Author’s note: This is a repost of my article of December 15, 2012 following the events at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut. It is still very relevant today as common sense gun management movement indeed rallies around and grows out of Newtowns’ pain, frustration and anger.
It seems another day and another tragedy. More tragedies and each time it seems to be more tragic. I sat here the whole time watching the breaking news live in Newtown, Connecticut as it unfolded. The school childrens’ tears. Their blood. Their blessed dreams and futures all spilled and drained away. As Eric Clapton’s song so mournfully sings: will there be tears in heaven?
Wasn’t it Icarus who flew too close to the sun? Well, is America flying too close to her guns? And ignoring her innocent children. Do her huddled masses, yearning to be free have to all buy guns? And how ‘free’ is that in reality? Free to shoot someone else? Certainly not safe and free of fear. As Joan Vennochi says in her article “Gun Control: Vital Curse Words”, it seems there is no longer any place in America that can be taken for granted as peaceful and safe. Not in a shopping mall, a theatre, a temple, or a school. Not on many streets, and I would add not even in the grassy yards around Florida gated residential complexes.
I don’t know about you, but the guns and their politics in America today are not contributing to your freedom. They are taking it away. Like the Sun melting the wax on Icarus’ wings. Even if you accept that somehow men and women must buy guns because the other guys all seem to have them. And that’s the only way to be safe. How then to protect the youngsters and especially the children? Build steel fences and lock down the schools permanently? Buy them multi-coloured bullet proof vests? Oh, and matching helmets? And bring in the armed guards at the gates? Freedom indeed.
This is not funny. This is not right. This is ridiculous and simultaneously gut wrenching vile and evil. Is there not a moral obligation to each other to make sure that nothing like this happens? Especially to innocents? Please don’t try to tell me that its just that some people are breaking the laws already on the books and its just a minor problem with enforcement.
It is not just the broken laws that kill people. It is not just crazy and addled minds that kill people. It is the flagrant and rampant availability of guns and full accessories for them; and the lack of any rigor in the vetting or accountability for their use. That is what kills.
Look here at this Chinese tragedy if you don’t believe me. And read this by Nicholas D. Kristof OP-ed “Do we have the courage to stop this?” And I note it will take courage. He states that children 5 to 14 years of age in America are 13 times more likely to be murderd with guns as children in other industrialized countries. This is no way to show exceptionalism.
If you want to have a gun, fine. You and the person who created the gun, and the person you bought it from and the person who you might sell it to should all bear full responsibility for its use in any illegal or accidentally harmful way. I mean joint and several responsibility. Sound harsh? So be it. You want to play with a gun? Fine. You pass tests on how to use it and you register it and re-register it every year. And if you sell it to anyone, they must do the same. Anyone out of line and anyone gets hurt and you all face the consequences.
What is it with America that it needs to pack heat everywhere? And now the effort to be able to “show” it and bring it into all the stores and public places? It seems like the hubris of Icarus. What is with this logic that the answer to gun tragedies is more guns? As if everyone has to be their own super man. Or their own Wyatt Earp? Or Clint Eastwood hero of choice. Boys and men gone wild? Or worse? This is not God’s work, that’s for sure.
God doesn’t condone guns. A society that allows the savaging of its children, is itself dying. This must stop now. It can’t be left in the hands of politicians. It has to be taken up by the good and the wise right thinking majority of American people. I say that gun owners and the politicians, mostly on the far right, have their NRA. Or is it the other way around I suppose.. America’s children ALSO need power: as in an American LifeSafety Organization. There should be one. Dedicated to fighting back against those pushing America to fly too close to her guns and away from her sons and daughters. Dedicated to fighting to make a child’s life safer. Indeed, everyone’s life safer.
And in fact freer too. As Joan says in her article: “does the right to own arms, per the Second Amendment, framed centuries ago I might add, trump the little children and their rights to make it out of Kindergarten?
So let me see. Serious gun control or more children massacred? Easy choice. All rise! The Movement starts now! Take back the streets, schools and public places of America and make them safe. Outlaw guns so those who carry them without proper licences and training are outlaws.
The kids are not coming back. The other innocents killed in random places by random people; no return either. Are they dying in vain? Just so much collateral damage as America flies too close to her guns?
Americans must rise up, way up! Put on your SuperPower suits. Stare down the barrel of them NRA guns. Stare down all those who oppose proper gun controls. It is time the majority of right thinking Americans stood their ground.
In the meantime, Jesus loves those little children; he will keep them safe. And pray to God they suffer no more tears in heaven.