well, this out of character.
I didn't grow up in a gun culture. I grew up in a small Iowa farming community where the biggest concern and topic of conversation was the weather and the crops. You work hard, you don't express an opinion and you go to church on Sunday. I grew up surrounded by cornfields and farmers of Norwegian Lutheran decent. So Lutheran that the Catholic church was "in the country." (No one ever explained that to me and even at a young age I thought it rather odd and discriminatory.) So Lutheran there were three Lutheran churches in town ~ a town of less than 2,000 people.
But I'm 58 now and I do have opinions and I live in a city where gun violence happens every day. The morning news opens almost daily with a story (or stories) of someone being shot and killed overnight. I live in a Aurora, Colorado and 5 miles from a theater where a mad man opened fire and killed 12 people and injured almost 60 more. I live just across town from Columbine High School where in 1999 two evil kids took the lives of 13 people and injured over 20 more.
I have friends in Tucson and Seal Beach, California ~ both cities that have experienced senseless gun violence and tragic loss of life.
And then we have Sandy Hook and one is left thinking ~ well, surely something will be done now to protect our children. Surely the lawmakers will clearly see that violence in our country has gotten out of hand. That when our forefathers were talking about the right to bear arms, the arms now are much different than they were in 1776.
Surely they will see that.
So yesterday when every news outlet (except FOX News who deemed the President speaking not important) interrupted regular programming to report on the outcome of the Senate's vote on background checks for gun purchases and President Obama's response, I was shocked. Shocked. And angry. And deeply saddened.
I watched thru tears and with disbelief as Mark Barden, whose little boy, Daniel, was murdered in Newtown, Connecticut speak and introduce the President.
Who are these people who "represent" us as a country? Is self interest and greed so prevalent in Washington that it blinds our lawmakers to humanity? To what is only decent and good? Does money and the sick and desperate need for "power" speak that loudly? Shame on them. Shame on the cowards who can't stand up to an extremely powerful gun lobby. (And why is the gun lobby so powerful??) Shame on those who can't stand up for the people they are supposed to represent. Who can't stand up for what 90% of the country wants. Shame on them.
I think no one says it better - and has more of a right to say it - than Gabby Giffords
We can rant. (I did.) We can cry. (I did.) We can write our congress-people. (I did - to thank mine because they both voted for the law.)
But in the end all we can do is not give up. And come next election day remember to vote. And remember those who said NAY when 90% of the country said YEA. Who do you want speaking for you and your loved ones?