Fifty-nine dead and over 500 wounded. A bad day on the battlefield in Afghanistan? No, just another bad day on the streets at home.
The arguments are tired. I’ve heard them all. Our country is awash with firearms. They don’t preserve civil order. The sheer numbers and capacity of them threatens civil order. That fact has to be on the mind of all law enforcement officers whenever they go out on a call.
What kind of firepower will I encounter?
The National Rifle Association says “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” They say it is mental illness that’s the problem, but we don’t take care of the mentally ill in this country and we now have a president who calls them “sick losers.” How does that help?
We have a president who finds every point of division in our culture whether it is guns, race, religion, gender or class and rubs salt in it for his own political profit. After four years of Trump, we won’t be a nation, we’ll be pieces of a nation.
The founding fathers would be horrified to know that the Second Amendment to the Constitution was being interpreted to sanction laws that enable mass murder of civilians. Horrified. The Second Amendment was intended to enable militias, the only “standing” military of that time.
I don’t want to listen to the NRA arguments anymore. I’ve heard their empty clichés. They need to address the father of an 8-year-old girl in Connecticut who was slaughtered in her classroom at Newtown. When I saw him on television, his entire body was literally shaking with grief as he spoke of his daughter’s precious life. Quivering like an impressionistic painting. The NRA zealots need to look him in the eye and tell him, “we’re sorry about your kid, but that’s just the price we have to pay for the Second Amendment.”
We will light more candles, speak well of the dead, honor the heroes, support the wounded, sing “Amazing Grace,” and lower the flag to half-staff. We’ll talk about resiliency and healing, and nothing will change and it will happen again. And again. And again.
A great poet once said of America, “the stars on your flag are bullet holes.” Was he right?
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