It is not often I share personal opinions on my blog as it is safer to write about food or travel or art. The recent tragedy at Parkland High School, however, compels me to speak out because it is silence that keeps change from happening. One thing I know for sure is that these senseless killings must not continue and our voices must be heard.
Americans own more guns than people in any other country. We’ve not had them in our house, and in these parts that may be the exception rather than the norm. Now I have no problem with regular people like you and me owning guns provided they are gotten through appropriate channels and used primarily for recreational purposes. That does not include shooting aimlessly into a crowd of people. What I do have a problem with is the seemingly easy access to high powered automatic assault rifles. Couple that with mental illness and there is a recipe for disaster as evidenced in the mass killings that have occurred since Columbine.
Why politicians have been so slow to address these tragedies with more than a sympathetic comment or two is beyond me, but maybe, just maybe, the current response of this country’s teenagers will get their attention. This is not a time for left vs. right or Republican vs. Democrat. It is a time for every effort to be made to stop these acts of uncalled for violence that rock the country. For sure, there must be more rigid controls and background checks that make it harder for anyone to buy weapons, but that alone will not prevent another tragedy.
In the near term, maybe we as individuals can have an impact by supporting those businesses like WalMart and Dick’s Sporting Goods that are pulling assault rifles from their inventory. We can choose to acknowledge our approval of and do business with those like Delta and United airlines, Hertz, MetLife, Wyndham and so many others who’ve withdrawn their support from the NRA. We can let our elected officials know that it’s time for them to take action.
It is time for all of us who call America home to come together to help create a safer place to work, go to school, attend concerts, walk in the park. I’d like to think that can be done without arming teachers who have no experience with guns. Am I an idealist? Yes, but I believe in the goodness of people and think that together we can help right some wrongs. Won’t you join me?
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