Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pointing Fingers

Michael Moore says in one of his recent emails: 

"....I have a prediction. I believe someone in Newtown, Connecticut – a grieving parent, an upset law enforcement officer, a citizen who has seen enough of this carnage in our country – somebody, someday soon, is going to leak the crime scene photos of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre. And when the American people see what bullets from an assault rifle fired at close range do to a little child's body, that's the day the jig will be up for the NRA. It will be the day the debate on gun control will come to an end. There will be nothing left to argue over. It will just be over. And every sane American will demand action.

"Because the real truth is this: We do not want to be confronted with what the actual results of a violent society looks like. Of what a society that starts illegal wars, that executes criminals (or supposed criminals), that strikes or beats one of its women every 15 seconds, and shoots 30 of its own citizens every single day looks like. Oh, no, please – DO NOT MAKE US LOOK AT THAT!"

He goes on to describe what the shooter's gun did to those children.  Horrible beyond comprehension.

I ask you this:  Do we have to look at something like that to know that it's horrible, to realize that we cannot continue to allow young children to be killed either purposely or accidentally by the guns of adults?

I keep having this image of people sitting in a circle.  One represents the media.  Beside that person is a representative of the mental health profession.  Then a teacher, then a parent, a gun-owner.  And at the end is a politician. Each of them is pointing a finger at the person beside them, absolving him- or herself of the responsibility and of taking action.

I say that in the middle of this circle should sit you and me.  And we should go around that circle one by one and ask, "What can we do to make a difference in your arena?"  How can we influence you, Ms. Politician, besides waiting another three or four years until we can vote you out or re-elect you?  How can we help you, Mr. Dad; how can we support you as a parent?  Teacher, what do you need that you're not getting from us? Ms. Movie Producer, what is it going to take for us to convey our dislike of the mounting violence in the media; or if we can't stop it, how can we stop it from being available so readily?  Mr. Therapist, how can we help raise awareness about the things you see that can be changed? Mr. and Ms. Gunowner, what rules do you think are reasonable to protect our children?

On May 28, we're bringing some people together in a town meeting who can hopefully help us ask these hard questions. In doing so, our goal is to have every person walk out of the bookstore armed with tools for change.  

Please stay tuned.  

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