The wounded cry of aggrieved mother Lori Alhadeff reverberates throughout our nation as she prepares to lay to rest Alyssa, her murdered 14 year-old daughter. Alyssa is one of 17 deceased victims of the February 14, 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Fla.
We are stunned. We are angry. We are overwhelmed with the senseless slaughter that appears to stalk this country. Yes, our hearts and prayers go out to the victims of this massacre. But that is not enough. Even the Word says “Faith without works is dead.” It is time for action.
It is time that the weak, pitiful leaders elected to serve and protect us be challenged. It is time that our communities stand up to the gun lobbies and match them dollar-for-dollar in a campaign to shed light on the true nature of the gun issue in our country. It is time for politicians to put the good of the citizens they serve above that of money and power. It is time that conservative politicians, like Rachel in the bible, say “If I perish, let me perish” by speaking truth to power.
It is unthinkable that one would trade the safety and security of American citizens going about their daily tasks of praying at a church, reveling at a concert or studying in a school, above the Wild West concept that every American should have a gun on his or her hip.
Last night I watched the “Magnificent Seven.” It was a sprawling epic that glorified the fight of good over evil. It struck me that the only difference between the “good” guys and the evil ones was their cause. In the end, bodies of both the innocent and the guilty were scattered across the town square. The show glorified violence as an answer to injustice and seemed to infer that the carnage was worth it.
While this story is rooted in our history as a nation, is that what we want for our future? Do we want to barricade the town square and have a shooting match with the bad guys? Is it okay to see our streets littered with the remains of the good and the bad as we seek vigilante justice? Or do we want to figure out a way to thoughtfully examine our 2nd Amendment rights in the context of their creation by the Founders?
The British are no longer standing at our gates with regimens prepared to overrun us. The Native Americans, who were enemies of our own making, are no longer a threat. We do not have to call up militias when our sovereignty is threatened…we have the most well equipped military on the face of this planet. Our cities and towns are protected by well-armed police forces, and the National Guard stands ready to assist when called upon.
This nation’s love affair with guns runs far too deep to imagine that there would ever be a time when guns are outlawed, but it is insanity to allow the proliferation of military-style weapons to continue in America. It is time that we dispel the glorified myth of the “Magnificent Seven” and embrace a common-sense, civilized approach to gun ownership in this country.
I challenge politicians to have the strength of courage to refuse the money and tell the truth. I challenge the public to seek out their legislators and let them know that you will be at the polls in November and that you will remember their answer to the question, “What ACTION did you take to end gun violence in America.”
I echo the words of Lori Alhadeff. We can tolerate no more mass shootings. The time for action is NOW!