BY STEVE DUNN
The school shootings in Newtown CN are almost a news cycle in the past. And if my experience serves me well, they soon will be replaced by other “earth-shattering” and breaking news about the economy, some political intrigue, or geo-politics. But in Newtown those new developments are irrelevant. Their earth has already been shattered.
A friend of mine, Bob Douglas, posted this comment this morning on FACEBOOK: ” We MUST change the WAY we THINK about guns….the way this country FEELS about guns….the way we TALK about guns…and “solving problems” by using guns! I’M NOT talking about changing the laws to TAKE AWAY guns….but changing the underlying WAY we BELIEVE about what guns will DO for us.”
Immediately he received negative comments that saw his words as one more attempt to take away guns from the average citizen. Their comments totally ignored the reality that innocent people were being maimed and blown way by the senseless violence made possible by our attitude that says, “Don’t take away my gun. I need it.”
Bob had an interesting proposition explaining what he means by changing the way we think about guns and feel about guns. ” I believe there should be “memorial walls” (much like the Vietnam Wall) that lists the names and ages of ALL of the Family members….friends….playmate
s….sons and daughters….mothers and fathers…..next door neighbors….co workers…..classmates….and other “non criminal” persons who have been KILLED, MAIMED and Blown away by gun violence in the last ten years. Those are PEOPLE….LOVED ONES….who have done NO WRONG….and should NOT be lumped together in a MASS NUMBER of those killed by guns. Set that Memorial Wall up in EVERY country courthouse lawn…..and let people who have lost loved ones rub their fingers over the names….FEEL THE PAIN of what GUNS have done to their lives. I believe that there should be bill boards on every highway….paid for by the gun dealers and manufacturers…that show faces of dead bodies with their faces blown off with the caption “Guns DON’T SOLVE PROBLEMS…..PEOPLE do!” Do you get my meaning? CHANGE the WAY WE FEEL!….change the way we THINK….change the discussion from “it’s OK to blow people up with guns”….to “DON’T EVER DO THIS TO ANOTHER PERSON….for ANY reason”. If the NRA and those who support them want a SEAT at the TABLE where gun laws are going to be discussed….LET THEM PAY FOR THEIR SEAT….but demonstrating how MANY HUNDREDS OF HOURS of Public Service television spots they have run from their VAST RESOURCES….to promote GUN SAFETY…..to SHOW they are REAL partners in making country FREE from Gun Violence.”
Bob was immediately mocked as being naive.
This was my response to Bob and his readers: “None of this changes the fact that what we think about guns and the way some of us worship guns is a problem that must be dealt with. These arguments are merely justifications to retain the guns we believe we have a right to. Our rights to guns do have limits and we need to face that for the good of this nation. Bob is right on.”
I stand by that even in the face of friends who will feel betrayed by my attitude. There reaches a time when ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. And that time is now. The nation’s psyche is further scarred every time such incident occur. But more importantly, innocent people’s lives are shattered by these events. Where is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness furthered by the random violence, by the preservation of rights at the cost of perpetuating what is clearly not right.