Reflections on a Plague

The word nightmare is used too frequently and casually in describing merely disagreeable events. But today’s incident in Connecticut fits the word and in fact overwhelms its meaning. For the little kids who died and were injured and had to witness what happened and believed they could be next, the shootings must have seemed like a nightmare because they were so unreal, but worse because they were real. And they’ll never end, not completely. I can’t imagine the feelings of the parents who raced to the school, fearing the worst. Even more unimaginable: finding out your worst fears have come true. Try to picture yourself in the shoes of a parent or family member or friend of the victims, kid or adult. Count your blessings, but count them in your prayers.

Isn’t it way past time that we as a country began limiting the crazy proliferation of guns? Isn’t it time for people who manufacture and promote and sell and lobby for guns, and those elected representatives who refuse to do their duty as public servants, to be held accountable? What if victims and their families began taking them to court, suing them as accessories to mayhem and murder? What if a soft stance on guns and a disregard for public safety meant one term in office and then the boot? Yes, we have a second amendment, but our forefathers had a lot of ideas that were either inappropriate or appropriate only for their time and circumstances or had different, less consequential ramifications. The second amendment was passed in a time of muskets.

“Gun culture” is an oxymoron. If we want to consider ourselves cultured, or better yet civilized, we need to end the craziness. We need to look to countries that actually are both of those. I could live with gun-lovers owning muskets. And so could our kids.

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