Blessed are the mourners; for they shall be comforted.
When I tried to process how and why such horrible tragedies like the Connecticut shooting could happen, someone sent me that scripture.
Comfort is a start, but like President Obama said when he addressed the nation Friday with teary eyes, it’s time to take action. Like the rest of the country, he doesn’t want to ever see a scene like we saw in Newtown anywhere again.
This isn’t a political issue; this is a human rights issue. Every citizen in this country has the right to feel safe on the streets, in the mall, at the gas station or in kindergarten class. It shouldn’t matter whether it’s in a rich suburb, a rural farming community, a working class neighborhood or the inner city. We should feel outraged anytime a human is a victim of gun violence.
Before we spend another dime fighting for the freedom of others across the world or deploy another soldier, we need to demand that gun laws be changed and that the military or somebody take back the streets in Chicago, Philly, Cleveland, New Orleans and everywhere else that crime and violence run rampant.
I don’t want to hear a single word about how changing the laws won’t stop guns from getting into the wrong hands. It won’t stop all of it, but it will stop some of it. Increased services for the mentally ill are part of the problem too and must be addressed.
In times like these, we all look to each other to gain some kind of understanding on how we can begin to heal. Thank you for all of your Facebook posts expressing sadness, sympathy, confusion and, in some cases, anger over what’s happened. Don’t let it end there. Help me come up with a plan to hold our elected officials accountable for making some changes. Like so many of you, I will go on with my life, my vacation, my Christmas and, by the first of the year, be right back in my comfort zone. I don’t want that to happen. At the first of the year—and for those parents whose lives, vacations and Christmases will never be the same again—I want to find out what I can do to make a difference.
Let’s not be cynics and ask why it’s taken a shooting in a white, upscale neighborhood to cause us to force change. The point is if we don’t force change now, it will continue to happen. We banded together as a community and a nation and elected a president. We can do it again to stop senseless violence, starting with stricter gun control laws.
God bless the families in Newtown. And God bless families all over this country who have lost friends and family to senseless gun violence.