Monday, December 17, 2012
Enough is Enough
In the coming weeks, I’ll use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens, from law enforcement, to mental health professionals, to parents and educators, in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this, because what choice do we have? We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage?
President Barack Obama in Newtown Connecticut
Some of you will recall that I wrote about my experience in Wyoming this summer while on a course at Ring Lake Ranch. Even though we were in the proverbial "middle of nowhere" we received news of the senseless murders of movie-goers in relatively nearby Aurora, Colorado within hours of the incident. At chapel in the morning we dispensed with the usual format for worship so that we might pray and reflect on what had happened. I walked away angry, surprisingly, because no one suggested that the madness of the gun culture in the States has to change. As the lone Canadian I felt as though I was from another planet, even though this was a fine group of thoughtful Christians.
Last night President Obama offered what has already been described as his "enough is enough" speech in Newtown, Connecticut, where innocent school children and teachers were massacred. The young man who killed them had a history of mental health issues, yet his mother was armed to the teeth with weapons which included an assault rifle. This is obscene, and the president seems to finally realize that sombre condolences are not enough. There has to be a national strategy which changes the culture of violence.
The mayor of Newtown commented that evil had visited his town. Sadly, the evil lived there, and does in countless other communities in the form of the reckless endangerment of its citizens because of lax gun laws which allows legal procurement of weapons used for domestic terrorism. Isn't it ironic that the United States has spent hundreds of billions fighting terrorism overseas, and billions more on homeland security, yet some of the worst terrorist acts have been perpetrated by young white males who are the "boys next door."
I hope the pastors of America had the courage to call for gun control in worship services yesterday. I hope President Obama has the fortitude to make a difference.
Do you have any hope that there will be change? What is your gut reaction to all of this?