Our hearts go out to those in Sandy Hook and Newton – once fairy tale communities. We salute the brave teachers, the clergy, the strong and empathic citizens, and most of all, we send our deepest condolences to the parents and families who lost their children and to the families of those adults who died.
One common theme over the past several days since this latest tragedy has been to blame the congress. But we seem to overlook the fact that we the people elect our representatives. How can we seize this moment when emotions are high to bombard our congressmen and women with anti-gun messages.
Along with the massacre in Connecticut there are countless single child murders in New York and other big cities as crossfire bullets cut tiny, innocent children down. Even sitting in an apartment in some neighborhoods is dangerous in today’s world. In fact, no one is safe because anyone can become a mass murderer anywhere.
The right to bear arms was appropriate in the revolutionary war and even during the civil war. But in the age of automatic pistols and other weapons of mass murder that can and do kill many in a minute, the right to bear arms that are capable of mass destruction is suicidal.
During the civil rights movement, many young (and older) people went to the south to speak with people who could not understand the concept of equal rights and to protest when such rights were denied. I hope that our young people mobilize in a similar way – to speak with not only the NRA but to the individuals who support it. It is time to make these people very uncomfortable. I fear that reason will not reach them but shame may be effective.
The effort to change this nation’s love of guns must be a grass roots one, something like the anti Wall Street movement. Such a movement must find ways to connect with the movie and video game makers. We must begin our protests now lest our society fall apart at the seams. Some may say that such efforts are hopeless but if we lose hope all is lost.
I hope we all act now. And I hope that during these weeks of mourning we each take the time to write to or call our representatives in congress – even if they support gun control – because such messages become statistics that can be used. And I hope there will be organized marches on Washington.
In a separate letter we might address the desperate need for more mental health clinics – walk in clinics where troubled people can feel safe to talk. Funding for such clinics is necessary. Volunteer mental health workers are also important. You would be surprised perhaps to know that when free clinics operated in the 70s people came of their own free will. Philanthropists must be made aware of the importance of mental health and asked to support therapy for all. And social media must be used to make talk therapy a good thing. Even in New York City there is still a stigma attached to seeing a shrink.
Violence stems from rage. Replace the right to bear arms with the right to be heard. Getting therapy does not mean something is wrong with you – it means that something is right!Explore posts in the same categories: Editorials, General News