Friday, December 14, 2012

Meaningful action

My heart goes out to those affected by today's tragedy at the Sandyhook elementary school in Newtown Connecticut.

I am a teacher, and it's difficult for me to watch the news right now and not think about what I would feel as a parent, or an educator, or even just a classmate of those lost in this terrible attack. This is in itself an abomination, compounded by all of the other abominations that have happened this year through of gun violence. Seriously how can we allow this?I don't know why this kind of thing happens in this country. I don't know why there are so many troubled people certain that the only way that they can cut out the pain in their own hearts is by putting bullets through other people. I don't know why there are so many people so terrified of the citizens of their country that they'd buy guns designed to for purpose of killing other people. But I do know that this is something that happens in our country and pretty much our country alone.

I grew up in this. I come from a family with guns who hunted and who paid dues to the NRA. I ignored it because it didn't really mesh with my world view. In my world view, the slow tide of progress would sponge away the old fears that so obviously fueled gun ownership. But it hasn't disappeared, it has gotten stronger. We live in a culture that secretly dreams of shooting half of itself to death. Fantasizes about that.

Meaningful action has to be taken. It should be impossible to fire 100 rounds of ammunition in a single morning. At the very minimum guns meant only for the production of mass death should be outlawed. Clips carrying more than say five bullets should not be available. And it should be easier to get mental health assistance than buying a firearm.

I have to believe that these things at the very least can be possible in this country.
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