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?


roger said...

It seems that some of the people - including politicians - keep using the "this is not the time to talk about gun control" phrase any time tragedies like this occur.

Unfortunatly, if we leave it to later, it becomes an issue that is put on the shelf and not prioritized. As well, have these same people asked the victims' families about that? Maybe some of them do feel it is the time.

Gun control is obviously not a guarantee that a similar massacre would never happen again, but something needs to be done. Gun control is a step in the right direction.

Sarah said...

My heart is heavy. My sorrow is deep.

My gut reaction is that after this initial outcry, compliance will once again set in.

I hope I am wrong.

Forail said...

The gun culture in the United States is well ingrained in their 2nd amendment rights... The right to bare arms... I'm fairly sure, the founding fathers of our cousins to the south, had no intention to arm the general populous with assault type weapons! I pray Obama gets his agenda together, to protect his people from themselves.

This overwhelming tragedy weighs heavy in my heart, as I'm sure it does for most. The lives lost in these little ones, brings me to tears, as mass media milks it for all the ratings they can.

God bless these little souls... You are with your Creator now... RIP...