At Christmas each year, I like to share a portion of a Christmas speech from President Reagan - I would like to think the hope he shared 40 years ago matches the hope we can have as we enter 2021. After a year of unprecedented challenges, it can be difficult to look for the bright side of things. It is important to remember, although the COVID pandemic is unprecedented, we have been in difficult times before.
Over the past two weeks, I have met via video conference with winners of the Third District Excellence in Innovation and Adaptation Recognition (EIAR), as well as the Third District’s winner in this year’s Congressional App Challenge. While I prefer meeting with Nebraskans in person, being able to recognize Nebraskans who innovated in the face of a pandemic while using technology seemed entirely appropriate.
America is fortunate to have an excellent higher education system, and is home to many of the world’s greatest and most prestigious universities. During any given year, nearly 20 million Americans are enrolled in public and private colleges studying topics ranging from engineering to business to science. Nebraska in particular is proudly home to many world-class universities educating thousands of our young people. It is no wonder that Nebraska consistently ranks among the best states for higher education according to U.S. News and World Report.
At the end of November, Nebraska closed another successful deer hunting season. While hunting is a great benefit of our constitutional right to bear arms, it is not the primary reason our founders chose to specifically enumerate this protection in our Bill of Rights. Nationwide our Second Amendment rights continue to be under threat. In fact, ongoing attempts by the House majority to weaken our Second Amendment rights, not to mention possible future presidential actions, have destabilized the arms and ammunition markets causing widespread shortages and shocking prices for common hunting and self-defense firearms and ammunition.