This is not my typical type of post. But, I can't ignore what happened on December 14th.
I have waited until today to add my voice to the discussion of the tragedy at Sandy Hook School. I needed time to process the horror. I needed to try to understand the mindset of people who believe more guns would have made last Friday's events less likely. I needed to understand why our country accepts tens of thousands of deaths each year from guns. I needed to understand why Congress is more afraid of the NRA than the reality of all the dead children and adults killed year after year.
I finally decided I can't understand.
I found this story from TV commentator, Joe Scarborough, who was strongly in favor of unlimited gun rights........ until last Friday.
As reported on the Huffington Post Joe Scarborough said on Monday "From this day forward, nothing can ever be the same again," he said. "... Let this be our true landmark ... politicians can no longer be allowed to defend the status quo."
He said that he was a "conservative Republican" who had been solidly aligned with the NRA during his time in Congress, and had previously held libertarian views on the Second Amendment. But he added that Friday "changed everything":
"I knew that day that the ideologies of my past career were no longer relevant to the future that I want, that I demand for my children. Friday changed everything. It must change everything. We all must begin anew and demand that Washington's old way of doing business is no longer acceptable. Entertainment moguls don't have an absolute right to glorify murder while spreading mayhem in young minds across America. And our Bill of Rights does not guarantee gun manufacturers the absolute right to sell military-style, high-caliber, semi-automatic combat assault rifles with high-capacity magazines to whoever the hell they want.As a father of two grown girls and now grandfather of three grandchildren, I can't accept the reality that going to a school, a church, a mall, or any public space in this country is a decision that could cost anyone his or her life. That is just not acceptable.
It is time for Congress to put children before deadly dogmas. It's time for politicians to start focusing more on protecting our schoolyards than putting together their next fundraiser. It's time for Washington to stop trying to win endless wars overseas when we're losing the war at home ... For the sake of my four children and yours, I choose life and I choose change."
For those who say banning assault rifles is just the first step to banning all guns, I suggest you go to Newtown and talk to a parent of a dead 6 or 7 year old child and tell them exactly why a weapon designed for war has any place in civilized society.
I've heard all the arguments that banning guns won't end killings and the Bill of Rights and the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to bear arms. But, as Mr. Scarborough makes clear, that does not include assault weapons.
Yes, I am aware the killer in Newtown also had pistols. But, he killed the 27 people with a Bushmaster rifle. Would he had killed as many with the two handguns? Who knows. That distinction changes nothing. The Bushmaster has no legitimate purpose in society. It's availability is absurd and obscene.
Will the 27 dead be the last straw that finally forces change?
I pray it will be so. Otherwise, the dead lost their lives for absolutely nothing. And, that is the ultimate waste.
I am open to constructive comments and thoughtful responses. Name-calling will be deleted.