Is this going to be the thing that does it? Does it take 20 children — and six adults — dying at a Connecticut elementary school, for us to realize that maybe we shouldn’t make firearms so easy to access? Do you think your “right to bear arms” is infringed if we restrict weapons that can fire 100 rounds in 90 seconds? Please help me understand.
The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary today in Newtown, Connecticut is a horrible tragedy. There is nothing that can be said that truly reflects how horrible it is for children to lose their lives in this way. 26 families are directly feeling the loss tonight and forever, and many more will be affected, haunted even, by the events that occurred today.
My initial reaction was to call out those folks that get all up in arms when someone like Bob Costas goes on an anti-gun rant after a football player killed himself a few weeks ago. “Rocks kill people; let’s ban rocks” their clever little Facebook pictures say facetiously. How do those people feel now with the death of 20 children today. Where are your internet-constructed pics that announce guns are an important way of life now?
We seriously need to do something in this country about this. As a friend so eloquently put it earlier: “Stop passing the buck to tomorrow’s victims and take a goddamn stand for once. Grief doesn’t make tomorrow’s tragedies less likely and prayer doesn’t do one fucking thing to stop tomorrow’s murderers.” If now is not the time to discuss this, when will it be? It was less than six months ago that some idiot opened fire in a theater in Colorado, and the same rhetoric came from the pro-gun folks then as well. Enough is enough!
I don’t think that we have any chance of becoming like Japan. As that article points out, we have vast cultural differences that would make it neat impossible to reach that kind of control here. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t try something. Here are three perfectly reasonable things that we should strive to make Congress do something about. Failing that, here are some steps that I took today in my small sliver of America:
- Go to OpenSecrets.org and take a look at how much money the National Rifle Association contributes to our politicians for them to keep gun control measures off the table.
- Take a look at who has received the most money from the NRA during the last election cycle. The list is predominantly Republican (big shocker), but the leading Democratic recipient is Utah’s own Jim Matheson. Hooray!
- If your Congressperson shows up on that list, contact them somehow and let them know that they should give that money back to the NRA and encourage them to work on doing something about gun violence in this country. It might be a small gesture, and only covers a small piece of the money the NRA is spending, but it would help show that our politicians care.
- Tell them not to wait until the next school shooting happens to do something about this. The time for action is now.
Failing that, find those kids that mean the most to you and give them a hug. Tell them that they shouldn’t have to be afraid to go to school on Monday. If they are old enough, explain to them what happened and let them know that sometimes the world is a crazy place. Placing restrictions on guns and other weapons won’t prevent future violence. There will always be disturbed folks out there that will find it necessary to kill innocent people. Something should be done to make it harder.
I could go on, but I think I’ve said enough.
Until next time…