As the father of a first grader and as a human being in general, I was shocked, saddened, angry, disgusted and went through probably every emotion that you also went through after the unthinkable shootings in Newtown. No matter how you feel about gun control, we can all find common ground that these murders were awful.
None of those feelings have left me. I think about my six year old angel who loves life and how the 20 children that were murdered must have had similar appreciation for things as small as the first snow, playing with friends, drawing a picture, etc. I can’t imagine what their parents are feeling. I read something yesterday that described a child being like having a heart beat outside of your own body. That’s how I and most parents I know feel. There can’t be anything worse in the world.
But what made this murderous event the tipping point of our country being outraged? Not everyone agrees that no lay person should have access to guns that can fire scores of rounds a minute very easily, but if you do feel that way, why didn’t you voice that opinion last week? Many people think that it’s sensible to require gun owners to have a license just like those that drive a car, but it wasn’t on the national agenda last week. Just a few days before Newtown there was a gunman in a shopping mall that killed two people. Earlier this year a lunatic killed people in a movie theater. And while guns no doubt save lives – and I believe that most people don’t have a problem with someone keeping a hand gun in their home – it’s a fact that 10,000 people die in the U.S. from gun violence. Just yesterday two cops in Kansas were shot and killed.
And every morning on the chicagotribune.com website you can read about how many people in Chicago were shot overnight. Often it’s in the 20’s. Often it’s little kids that are killed. Innocent bystanders. But that doesn’t move the needle at all. Are those lives not as worthy? Do their deaths not justify our outrage? Over 500 people in Chicago have been murdered by gun violence this year and over 2,500 people have been shot.
I believe that most people believe that all of these victims are gang bangers or criminals that are not worthy of our sympathy. Well they have my sympathy, even the worst of them. And if we don’t do something about it, be that enforcing current laws or making guns harder to access even by criminals then we are just waiting for the day when a Newtown type event happens in Chicago. Or will it have to happen in Naperville or Highland Park for anyone to notice or care?
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