Is now a good time?

Why? How? Why, why why the hell why????? It’s 2am and I can’t sleep. It’s all I can think about. Why? These questions must be weighing heavily upon those impacted by the events that unfolded in Newton today. They weigh heavily upon me, though I cannot even begin to fathom what the those who were effected must be going through right now. Before I go any further with this, I want to be clear, I’m undeterred in my belief that people are good. There will always be those that will cause me to question that belief, but I’m holding steadfast to it. That said, things have gone too far. Enough is enough. This can’t go on. The response I have been hearing from many people is that we all need to offer our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their families, that we need to come together as a nation and support them through this terrible time. What we really need to do is come together as nation to enact real meaningful change when it comes to gun control. Now do not mistake this for naiveté. I am not so ignorant to believe that tragedies like that of today can be avoided simply by keeping guns out of the hands of those who are unbalanced and dangerous. It’s far more complex than that. There are many issues that need addressed, such as the role  society, parenting, and media plays. And also how we deal with mental illness. But nonetheless gun control IS ABSOLUTELY A BIG PART OF THE EQUATION. And it is probably the part that is most easily addressable RIGHT NOW. I’m not saying we do away with the second amendment, but we definitely need to revise and tighten our process for obtaining firearms and WE ABSOLUTELY DO NOT NEED SEMI AUTOMATIC RIFLES in the hands of civilians. Our answer to providing safety and security for our selves and our nation can’t continue to be “have a bigger stick than the other guy”. Violence begets violence. It’s not working, and it’s not going to.

Every time one of these tragedies occurs (and there have been far too many over the years) I hear the same thing, that now is not the time to talk about gun control. When is then? You know, when the planes hit the twin towers, I don’t recall there being much of a waiting period for open discussions about how to deal with terrorism. We acted immediately. But when unspeakable violence happens from in our small towns and communities we can’t talk about the role gun control plays curtailing these acts?

This shit has got to stop. And we can do something about it. I’m aware that we can’t eradicate gun violence in this country. And I’m also sadly aware that another community will most likely have to endure the pain that the community of Newton is going through right now. But just because we know we can’t prevent it all does not mean that we should resign to apathy and stand idly by and do nothing. As a famous king once said.

And may I remind you that although they thought they were riding to an unwinnable fight…..they did win.

It is time to have a real honest and open discussion about weapons in this country. I have to ask myself, why doesn’t this sort of thing happen on the scale and frequency that it does here as it does in other countries such as England, Japan, and Australia. Again, I know it’s more complex than having easy access to big guns that shoot bullets quickly, but tell me that this doesn’t play a role? Whether it actually would or not remains to be seen, but could it hurt? Though, I suspect that people would still obtain them by illegal means which will put additional stress on our already over taxed law enforcement and legal agencies to enforce anti gun laws. But maybe we can divert our resources from the truly ridiculous war on drugs to the ban on assault weapons?

Whatever path we pursue, it is clearly time to get off of the one we are on. As I said, I still believe in humanity. For every heinous act that is committed there are thousands of acts of kindness, inspiration, and love that stand against it. We can do something about this. We can have an impact and have change. In the coming days, weeks, and months I hope that this tragedy can be a catalyst for good, and that the lives lost would not have been in vain. I hope that we can show them and their families and the countless other families around this country who’ve endured this kind of pain that it wasn’t for not, and that the deaths of their loved ones meant something.

In the spirit of middle earth, I will leave you with these words.

The shadow is upon us, but it does not hold sway yet. Not over you, and not over me.

Lets do right by these people. Please. Lighting candles and writing letters just isn’t enough.

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~ by glennikin on December 15, 2012.

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