P.S.-Pooh Says...

"What day is it? - 'It's today' - squeaked Piglet. 'My favourite day' - said Pooh."- A.A. Milne

16 December 2012

"...Regardless of the Politics"

This space today was supposed to be all about Thoughtful Gifting this season, but  in the aftermath of the horror at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday all thoughts have turned toward the victims,the families, and the community of Newtown Connecticut. 

The grief and pain are so big and the lives were so small.  The images of lines of children with their eyes closed tight away from the horror that filled their school halls should never be forgotten,and it is time for this nation to hold our children's hands and let them know our eyes are not shut and we will do whatever we can to keep them safe and that begins with the strictest legislation possible to ban guns in this country.  

 "As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it is an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago, these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."  President Barack Obama

 With all that the world and popular culture have brought we can still be shocked. I think that is a good thing, and that shock can be the catalyst for change as well as a light forward.  How else to honor and remember then to move NOW to build a safer country.  We have lost enough and our innocence cannot be regained.  We can never go all the way back, violence, madness, insane acts are an undeniable reality that will always be with us BUT we can place rigid impenetrable obstacles in their way.

 "There's 34 people killed every single day [nationwide]. We've killed more than 400,000 Americans since 1968, when RFK and Martin Luther King Jr. were assassinated. That is more Americans than died during WWII. So the argument that we can do with existing laws and stop this is just preposterous. It isn't worth having a discussion about." New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg

 Though I may not agree with the antiquated amendment allowing the "right to bear arms" I respect the constitution.  Though I can never see a good reason for any non-law enforcement citizen to own a gun, I respect the rights of those who choose a sport I cannot fathom.  But access to hand guns and assault weapons must end and end now.  Yes, the "genie is out of the bottle" and yes, there will always be guns and ways to obtain them, but the law of the land must reflect a society's determination to remain a civilization.  Guns have only one purpose and that purpose has no place in any society.

 "Calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough. We need immediate action. We have heard all the rhetoric before. What we have not seen is leadership – not from the White House and not from Congress. That must end today. This is a national tragedy and it demands a national response.” Mayor Bloomberg
This President in this time must make it happen.  It his leadership on Friday that echoed our horror and grief, and it is his leadership that must ignore the politics and break the carefully built and worded  laws that have allowed days like Friday to occur.  Barack Obama does not have another election to worry about, what he has is a nation that requires significant change, a change he and he alone can make happen.  He cannot change the moral or cultural reality, he cannot change that kids go out their front door afraid, sit in their classrooms afraid, play on their playgrounds afraid, but he can ensure that every conceivable stumbling block is in place so that guns are not as simple to obtain as a pack of gum.

 "We’ve endured too many of these tragedies in the past few years. And each time I learn the news, I react not as a president, but as anybody else would as a parent. And that was especially true today. I know there’s not a parent in America who doesn’t feel the same overwhelming grief that I do.
The majority of those who died today were children -- beautiful, little kids between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. They had their entire lives ahead of them -- birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own. Among the fallen were also teachers, men and women who devoted their lives to helping our children fulfill their dreams.
So our hearts are broken today for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children, and for the families of the adults who were lost.
Our hearts are broken for the parents of the survivors, as well, for as blessed as they are to have their children home tonight, they know that their children’s innocence has been torn away from them too early and there are no words that will ease their pain."  Barack Obama

  Barack Obama shines brightest when times are dark.   He represented our raw shock and pain on Friday and that grief, not only for this tragedy but for every life lost to a gun, must bring us at long last to our collective senses.  There are no elections, no political debates, no constituency greater than the safety and security and peace of our children.  Gun control is not a forum for political games, the stakes are too high and the loss is too great.  


To help the community of Newtown Connecticut The United Way of Western CT and Newtown Savings have started a Sandy Hook School Support Fund