Evil That Is Felt … Newtown Moves Forward

December 17, 2012

Opinion

America Continues to Pay A Price For Its Love Affair With Guns?

By:  George Addison

Article first published as Evil That is Felt … Newtown Moves Forward on Technorati. 

Malls, Theaters, Public Forums, Schools, Workplaces and numerous other public venues are fast becoming the backdrop of choice for individuals seeking to do harm to people going about their daily routines.

The shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut is just the latest in a series of shootings that have stunned Americans this year. Adam Lanza, the alleged shooter, killed himself along with 26 others.

On July 20th, James Eagan Holmes entered the Century 16 Cineplex Theater in Aurora, Colorado during the screening of the “Dark Knight Rises,” killing 12 and wounding 58; On August 5th Wade Michael Page, the alleged shooter of the Sikh Temple massacre killed seven.  Andrew J. Engeldinger allegedly killed five and injured three at his Accent Signage Systems Factory on September 27th, upon finding out he had been terminated from his job.

At this rate, Americans may have to grapple with these types of incidents on a monthly basis? FBI statistics show that 2012 Gun Sales broke records across the country, as it related to back ground check requests, and guns had a 31 billion dollar impact on the economy last year. Is it fear or profit that drives the intense loyalty for the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms?

Whose city, community or loved ones will be next to pay the ultimate price unexpectedly? Perhaps this question was poignantly asked by President Obama during his speech to the residents of Newtown during the interfaith prayer vigil when he said,

Since I’ve been President, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by a mass shooting. The fourth time we’ve hugged survivors. The fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims. And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and big cities all across America — victims whose — much of the time, their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law — no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.

But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacks-burg before that — then surely we have an obligation to try.

 

In the coming weeks, I will use whatever power this office holds to engage my fellow citizens — from law enforcement to mental health professionals to parents and educators — in an effort aimed at preventing more tragedies like this. Because what choice do we have?

We can’t accept events like this as routine. Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard? Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?

Americans must now decide if their love affair with guns is worth the price of losing their friends, family and community.  As a nation, what are we afraid of? Do we have the will to change our thinking? Only time will tell whether we truly are the land of the free and the home of the brave?

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