Monday, December 17, 2012

Insanity in the Market Place: How our Delusion over Second Amendment Rights is Killing our Future!

Keywords or Terms: Second Amendment Rights; Malady; Insanity; Mental illness; Sandy Hook; Our children; Elementary School; Adam Lanza; Nancy Lanza; Future of America, President Obama, Newport High School

I am going to get flak for this one; but I am truly prepared to deal with whatever comes my way. I have been away from blogging over three weeks because I lost a very beloved mother last month in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Ms. Wanda Jones (1929 - 2012) was a saint with ivory and velvety voice; a mother of very few words, but candid and helpful advice. A rose among thorns; cherished, caring and compassionate classroom teacher, who would not have believed the mayhem that took place in Sandy Hook, Connecticut this past week. 

Her former elementary school students, children and I loved her so much; but the good Lord loved her better, so she went home to be with him/her. When she left, she said some few words that kept me away from blogging for a while: she says I should reflect over what is truly important in life. I promised to honor her wish, to say little and just act to make this world a better place.

However, the tragedy at Sandy Hook, Connecticut, torched a nerve in me and the bleeding may not stop, except I have some of my spiel. How on earth, could anyone justify making available assault weapons to people of ill-lucid minds to mow down our children in the safest place they've always known? Do these people know that when a mad man rampages in an elementary school and murders children, he is attempting to erase the future of our country. Our children are the only hope for a tomorrow. When we allow anyone, adult, teenagers or what have you, get an assault weapon and murders our children, he or she is saying: there mustn’t be a future for us? Until someone gives me an answer that matches the values that I wish my children and their children to have in the coming years, I will continue to argue against any support to give a fiat to everyone on second amendment rights. There are too many crazies out there; and they make me brittle and shimmer to the core!

Meanwhile, here are the consoling words from President Obama at Newtown High School, Newtown, Connecticut, to memorialize the twenty-eight beautiful souls that were lost to malady, insanity and the inability of America to appreciate that assault weapons were hardly covered under second amendment; because they never existed in those days. And if anyone wants to stretch the right to bear arms to the limit, why is America so gong-ho on Iran not owning weapons of mass destruction? The simple answer is this: any weapon in the hands of anyone, political leader or ordinary citizen, suffering malady and or insanity is harmful to all. To say, out of the provision of second amendment, all of us must enjoy the right to own assault riffles with re-load capacity for thirty rounds, is probably pushing that right too far. 

President Obama's remarks at the Interfaith Vigil at Sandy Hook, Connecticut " Thank you, Governor.  To all the families, first responders, to the community of Newtown, clergy, guests -- Scripture tells us:  “…do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away…inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.  For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands.”

We gather here in memory of twenty beautiful children and six remarkable adults.  They lost their lives in a school that could have been any school; in a quiet town full of good and decent people that could be any town in America.

Here in Newtown, I come to offer the love and prayers of a nation.  I am very mindful that mere words cannot match the depths of your sorrow, nor can they heal your wounded hearts.  I can only hope it helps for you to know that you’re not alone in your grief; that our world too has been torn apart; that all across this land of ours, we have wept with you, we’ve pulled our children tight.  And you must know that whatever measure of comfort we can provide, we will provide; whatever portion of sadness that we can share with you to ease this heavy load, we will gladly bear it.  Newtown -- you are not alone.

As these difficult days have unfolded, you’ve also inspired us with stories of strength and resolve and sacrifice.  We know that when danger arrived in the halls of Sandy Hook Elementary, the school’s staff did not flinch, they did not hesitate.  Dawn Hochsprung and Mary Sherlach, Vicki Soto, Lauren Rousseau, Rachel Davino and Anne Marie Murphy -- they responded as we all hope we might respond in such terrifying circumstances -- with courage and with love, giving their lives to protect the children in their care.

We know that there were other teachers who barricaded themselves inside classrooms, and kept steady through it all, and reassured their students by saying “wait for the good guys, they’re coming”; “show me your smile.”

And we know that good guys came.  The first responders who raced to the scene, helping to guide those in harm’s way to safety, and comfort those in need, holding at bay their own shock and trauma because they had a job to do, and others needed them more.

And then there were the scenes of the schoolchildren, helping one another, holding each other, dutifully following instructions in the way that young children sometimes do; one child even trying to encourage a grown-up by saying, “I know karate.  So it’s okay.  I’ll lead the way out.”  (Laughter.)

As a community, you’ve inspired us, Newtown.  In the face of indescribable violence, in the face of unconscionable evil, you’ve looked out for each other, and you’ve cared for one another, and you’ve loved one another.  This is how Newtown will be remembered.  And with time, and God’s grace, that love will see you through.

But we, as a nation, we are left with some hard questions.  Someone once described the joy and anxiety of parenthood as the equivalent of having your heart outside of your body all the time, walking around.  With their very first cry, this most precious, vital part of ourselves -- our child -- is suddenly exposed to the world, to possible mishap or malice.  And every parent knows there is nothing we will not do to shield our children from harm. 

And yet, we also know that with that child’s very first step, and each step after that, they are separating from us; that we won’t -- that we can’t always be there for them.  They’ll suffer sickness and setbacks and broken hearts and disappointments.  And we learn that our most important job is to give them what they need to become self-reliant and capable and resilient, ready to face the world without fear.

And we know we can’t do this by ourselves.  It comes as a shock at a certain point where you realize, no matter how much you love these kids, you can’t do it by yourself.  That this job of keeping our children safe, and teaching them well, is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors, the help of a community, and the help of a nation.

And in that way, we come to realize that we bear a responsibility for every child because we’re counting on everybody else to help look after ours; that we’re all parents; that they’re all our children.

This is our first task -- caring for our children.  It’s our first job.  If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right.  That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.

And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations?  Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children -- all of them -- safe from harm?  Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return?  Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?

I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no.  We’re not doing enough.  And we will have to change.

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 Blacksburg 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?

All the world’s religions -- so many of them represented here today -- start with a simple question:  Why are we here?  What gives our life meaning?  What gives our acts purpose?  We know our time on this Earth is fleeting.  We know that we will each have our share of pleasure and pain; that even after we chase after some earthly goal, whether it’s wealth or power or fame, or just simple comfort, we will, in some fashion, fall short of what we had hoped.

We know that no matter how good our intentions, we will all stumble sometimes, in some way.  We will make mistakes, we will experience hardships.  And even when we’re trying to do the right thing, we know that much of our time will be spent groping through the darkness, so often unable to discern God’s heavenly plans.ere’s only one thing we can be sure of, and that is the love that we have -- for our children, for our families, for each other.  The warmth of a small child’s embrace -- that is true.  The memories we have of them, the joy that they bring, the wonder we see through their eyes, that fierce and boundless love we feel for them, a love that takes us out of ourselves, and binds us to something larger -- we know that’s what matters.  We know we’re always doing right when we’re taking care of them, when we’re teaching them well, when we’re showing acts of kindness.  We don’t go wrong when we do that.

That’s what we can be sure of.  And that’s what you, the people of Newtown, have reminded us.  That’s how you’ve inspired us.  You remind us what matters.  And that’s what should drive us forward in everything we do, for as long as God sees fit to keep us on this Earth.

“Let the little children come to me,” Jesus said, “and do not hinder them -- for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”

Charlotte.  Daniel.  Olivia.  Josephine.  Ana.  Dylan.  Madeleine.  Catherine.  Chase.  Jesse.  James.  Grace.  Emilie.  Jack.  Noah.  Caroline.  Jessica.  Benjamin.  Avielle.  Allison.

God has called them all home.  For those of us who remain, let us find the strength to carry on, and make our country worthy of their memory.

May God bless and keep those we’ve lost in His heavenly place.  May He grace those we still have with His holy comfort.  And may He bless and watch over this community, and the United States of America.  (Applause.) 

Now, the commander-in-chief has spoken; and, called on all of us, in this speech, to muster the strength to carry on. Yes indeed, our first order of business is to get rid of all those battle ground weapons loitering around our neighborhoods. Our task is not limited to that, for the sake of our remaining children, who our lackadaisical attitude to gun control has not murdered, let us stand up and make laws that not only put these weapons away, but anyone who sells them or make them available in any form. Life is too previous to continue to accommodate this carnage.

Whether out of carelessness or inability to manage the whole stuff people buy at all those crazy gun shows; or the need to make profit, let us renounce violence by not making those guns in the first place; let us realize that not everyone we meet on the way to work, grocery store, parks, swimming pools, exercise centers, stadium, government houses, legislative halls of government, is absolutely lucid. Let us believe that little children are precious, and no amount of money can bring them back, once a mad man goes on rampage. There is no need to be fooling ourselves with delusional comments: Guns don’t kill people, people kill people! If madmen do not have access to assault riffles; yes, they may kill people, but not massacre them the way that madman in Connecticut cut the lives of those elementary school children short.

The politics of gun control need to take a new turn. No one wants to take your gun, preventing you from protecting yourself. Our concerns, which we believe is the concern of any civilized person in this country is this, when access to assault type weapons are relatively easy, then, we must expect the type of nightmare that we’ve just seen. I hate being obstinate; however, I hate guns and hate gun ownerships till kingdom come! When I see faces of children, whose only fault was to have woken up on that unfaithful day to go to school, you understand why I am so mad and so askance on any proposal from anyone that will allow current status-qua on any weapon to persist. Our lawmakers have the obligation to make the laws banning assault weapons for good in all our states today, not tomorrow or next week; but today! Now, as in this minute, seriously! A word is sufficient for the wise.

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