Friday, December 14, 2012

On the Sandy Hook Elementary massacre

Having three young children attending public school, I can begin to imagine the terrible suffering going tonight on in Newtown, CT, and my heart is with those who are grieving. But I must ask myself, as I ask everyone in this great nation, how should we best channel our empathy and outrage when a mass murder like this occurs as it does now on a very routine basis at the will of an individual with unfettered access to a handgun or other deadly weapon? I hear my youngest son sing "Jingle Bells" as I write this, and know the answer, but understand it is not popular or consistent with the general American psyche or a Constitution that for starters came into being by overcoming a colonial power in a revolution. The 2nd Amendment was passed in 1791. It's nearly 2013. Times have changed, weapons have changed. There is definitely no way to prevent people from randomly taking vengeance; but there is a way to limit the kind of violence they inflict if they do. So I say, lobby Congress to enact legislation that prohibits average citizens from possessing firearms. Full stop. No compromises. That's the only sure way to solve a crisis that is fundamentally eroding civil life in these United States. This is already done in the UK. It *can* be done here. Take action for you and your children now. There is no distant Utopian future. But there is the promise of a rational future determined by very active rational citizens.