Monday, December 17, 2012

Our hearts are broken . . .
The country is still reeling from the killing of twenty first-graders and six school staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT on December 14.  School shootings, once a rarity, are now far from uncommon.  Since the mass shootings at Columbine in 1999, there have been at least 31 shootings at other schools.  In addition there have been shootings in public places:  in restaurants, in a theater, in a mall, at a rock concert, in places of employment, in a Sikh temple, in neighborhoods, in a gathering with a congressional representative. No place has proved to be immune to gun violence.
To date, there has been little effort at gun control because of the strength of the National Rifle Association lobby which has vehemently opposed any restrictions on gun ownership, including ownership of assault weapons of the type used by the military in war, as being unconstitutional.

However, with the latest tragedy in Newtown, CT, the country may have reached what is being called a "tipping point" and gun control legislation may be possible.

. . . and now it is time to act

*  On December 16, Michael Moore sent out an e-mail saying:  "People have had it and the outrage is loud and visible. I'm convinced the majority of Americans will now back strong gun control laws. And a better mental health care system. And perhaps a few are willing to look at the deeper issue of how this country officially sanctions violence as a means to an end.

The NRA, for the first time ever, has gone silent. They've taken their Facebook page down.... The gun lobby tonight is on the ropes. Now is the time to act. We can't let this sad moment pass without a true response and a president willing to be a strong leader."

URGENT ACTION:  Thanks to Martha Ann Kirk for sending in this urgent action from RootsAction re: gun control.  CLICK HERE to urge the president and members of congress to enact serious national gun control now.

THE DEEPER ISSUE OF VIOLENCE:  4 Twitter messages from Michael Moore on 12/17/12

The long term solution to reducing gun deaths is to change our society from one of perpetual war and fear to one of peace and tolerance.

The short term solution? A law immediately banning semi-automatic weapons & mega-clips. Must have license to own gun. Must pass mental exam.

Also, end the U.S.-sanctioned policy of killing: End wars NOW, end death penalty. Stop banks and insurance companies from destroying people.

It's all violence & it's all connected. Why does this happen only in America? The answer is right in front of you. And it's not just the guns.


  1. Jean,
    I have been of this same mindset for a long time, but recently some of my cousins and nephews forced me to realize that I don't know much about guns. For example, semi-automatic just means you have to pull the trigger each time you want to shoot a bullet, as opposed to holding the trigger down and the bullets keep flying until you let go of the trigger - which is an automatic weapon and is illegal. Such rifles are also used for hunting. Also, pistols can do as much harm just as quickly as these artillery-looking rifles. I'm coming to realize that sane and intelligent people do want to be able to defend themselves and their families. I think the background checks are necessary and the mental exams may help. But look at the drugs that are illegal--does it really stop those who want them from getting them? The same thing will happen if gun ownership is made illegal, traffickers will get rich and law-abiding citizens will be lelpless. I know this goes against the grain of current thought of many, especially after the horrible tragedy in CT last week, but it is a new perspective for me.

  2. As found on page 83 of the Engage textbook in The Statement: Vulnerability And Power Join Hands, “most of us would rarely choose to expose all our thoughts and feelings during conflicts” (83). Michael Moore, on the other hand, did anything but that. Speaking out against the increasing issue on violence, Mr. Moore presented a “long term solution to reducing gun deaths [by changing] our society from one of perpetual war and fear to one of peace and tolerance.” Gun violence, especially nowadays, is a topic that is increasingly being covered in the media; December 14 will be a day etched in the minds of the residents of Newtown, CT, a day where they lost their sense of security in their own home. “Now is time to act,” now is not the time to sift and opt out of saying specific details of the truth; choosing to stand and speak of our thoughts and feelings on the topic of violence does not make one vulnerable and less credible, it makes one human and capable of compassion for their fellow man.