Friday, December 28, 2012

Peace on Earth

I apologize for my silence over the past few weeks. I've been tired, and ill, and quite busy with both everyday obligations and holiday preparations. Most of all, I've been heartsick over the horrific shooting in Connecticut, but not entirely sure how to write about it.

My heart breaks not only for those lost on that terrible Friday in Sandy Hook, but also for the thousands of other people killed by firearms each year. And I'm furious that it took a massacre on this scale to get our society talking seriously about gun control.

Like more than half of all Americans, I firmly believe we need tougher gun laws to protect the innocent. I'm not talking about banning all firearms, but rather implementing certain specific common-sense measures: written and practical gun licensing exams, a federal firearms registry, an assault rifle ban, an end to gun show loopholes, extensive background checks for all gun buyers, tougher penalties for misuse of firearms, a liability insurance requirement, and a limit to the number and type of guns allowed in each home.

I'm sure many of you disagree with me on these points, and please feel free to tell me so in the comments. Just be aware that I won't be debating gun control with anyone at this time; I'm well aware that arguing will only inflame tempers without actually changing any opinions.

That being said, I continue to hope and pray that those who oppose gun control will experience a change of heart in 2013. I would be proud to see the United States join the ranks of other industrialized nations, where restrictions on firearms keep people both safe and free. I realize this will require a seemingly impossible cultural shift, but I don't think the situation is hopeless. Over the past fifty years, our society has made monumental achievements in securing rights for women, people of color, religious minorities, and LGBTQ citizens. Hearts and minds have actually changed. Progress is possible. We just have to demand it - and I don't doubt for a second that we will.

I wish you all safety, joy, and peace during these troubled times, and look forward to sharing my thoughts with you in 2013.  May you all have a wonderful weekend, and a very happy New Year.

The Gentle Mom

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