IF I HAD A HAMMER
The mass shooting at the elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24th tipped me over the edge of tolerance for gun worship and violence in this country. "The Hammer Song," by Peter, Paul and Mary perfectly expressed some of my feelings. The following articles added to my understanding of the problem and I hope it will for you
"Why Politics is Both Poison and the Cure."
In this article the author quotes a friend saying, “Let’s not be OK. Let’s find power in not being OK. Let’s honor our brokenness—and the brokenness of our country—by finding the collective strength to fight for change.” The author says we don't need a complex philosophical descriptor to explain the wearying condition of being ripped apart, heartsick and furious, before launching back into the fight, shattered but still awake and still committed. "This is just what life is now. We take care of one another and ourselves to go on to do the work. We can bike, read, plant our gardens, organize, vote, march, donate, and be kind. Finding ways to marry the brokenness to the work is a part of the work itself."
"The Epidemic of Mass Shootings Is Neither Inevitable Nor Unsolvable"
The author of this article has studied case histories of mass shooters for many years, and looks at the motivation and process by which mass shooters decide to act. He also addresses the solutions to this epidemic: Continuing a relentless, long-term effort to strengthen our nation’s gun laws; quashing a surge in violent political extremism; investing in a lacking mental health care system; building community-based violence prevention programs. "We can start by rejecting the big politicized myths that stand in our way."
"Don’t Forget the First Half of the Second Amendment"
This article addresses the Second Amendment of the Constitution that Americans now interpret as a law saying any person can own any kind of weapon they want. But we need to pay attention to what it really says. "The purpose of the Second Amendment is to protect “the security of a free state” by means of a “well-regulated militia”—not to guarantee a state of anarchy ruled by mobs with guns. The 'absolutist interpretation' of the Second Amendment is the antithesis of what the Framers intended." Quote from Robert Hubbell in his 6/9 Newsletter.
We are hardly free from fear these days and our safety is anything but sure. We want freedom for kids to go to school and parents to send them to school without fearing they will be shot. We want freedom for adults to go the grocery store or to gather at a church or nightclub without fearing they’ll be gunned down. There are essentially no regulations for gun ownership, and particularly no regulations that says civilians should not own weapons of war, namely assault rifles.
Thoughts and prayers for victims of gun violence are not enough. Go to my July newsletter for a list of three excellent organizations addressing gun violence and other good related items. It is time to put mass pressure on lawmakers to do something significant to address the gun violence epidemic.
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