I’ve been searching for words to describe the tornado of emotions–the ache, fear, anger, sadness, confusion–flooding my heart in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy, but I’ve come to the conclusion that words can’t articulate the depth of those feelings. Feelings that cannot even reach the depth that the families and community members of Newtown are experiencing.
But as a mother who is both aching for them and who is passionate about advocating for action in stopping massacres like this from continuing to happen, I ask–with sincerity–to engage in a discussion with you. If this is a time to send love to the Newtown community; if this is the time to examine core issues of this growing problem, such as accessibility and reform of behavioral health services in the U.S.; if this is a time to examine the role of God in our lives; why is it not a time to ask why there is a place for semi-automatic weapons in our society? Why is making an effort to take action in stopping acts of terror through controllable means such a terrible thing to address? Counter arguments have made it seem as if confronting and examining the issue of gun control is unthoughtful, politically-driven, and without tact in thinking of the victims. Isn’t it the complete opposite of that?
I’m genuinely asking for your feedback, your civil responses. Why is a taser not sufficient for self-defense? Why can’t behavioral health reform coincide with stricter gun laws? How is “turning to God” the solution in a society in which many atheists or agnostics are more peaceful than those who commit acts of hate in the name of their God? Why is a hobby in the hands of responsible citizens of more importance than preventing the same weapon from entering the hands of an irresponsible citizen? Although I know a ban on semi-automatic guns will not happen any time soon, why are significantly stricter laws so threatening to our rights?
I know you’ve most likely seen the stats about the high numbers of tragedies of this kind that happen in the U.S. as opposed to countries with stricter gun-control Iaws. I also know you’re sending just as much love as I am to the the families and community members of Newtown. Please, this is a discussion that needs to happen in a way that is respectful and considerate. What are your thoughts?