Yes, you heard me – Ronald Reagan was right…“We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the law-breaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”
Ronald Reagan; July 31, 1968
At some point we either take actions that make sense and stop this carnage – or our actions are to continue to stick hour heads in the sand and pretend that wholesale and rapidly increasing ownership of handguns and so called “assault style” weapons, instruments with no purpose other than killing other people is OK. Pretend that there is no connection to the gun violence inflicted in this country at a much higher rate than any other modern industrialized nation.
But here’s the thing. YOU are responsible for your actions – one way or the other, YOU are also accountable.
And so in a week where a young Australian was shot in the back and killed because his murderers were bored, where tragedy was averted by a brave (unarmed) woman talking a heavily armed gunman who invaded an Atlanta school, now there is this. A toddler was killed by his own grandfather claiming he was acting in self-defense (from the toddlers father, not the toddler – obviously). Of course I am glossing over the 200 or so (based on average of 10,000 deaths a year) other lives that will be lost this week in this senseless and largely preventable carnage.
The caption on this image from the Atlanta shool incident published by CNN read:
A child peers out the window of a school bus as the children are returned to their parents at a nearby shopping center Tuesday afternoon.
Thankfully this little girl and all the other teachers and children survived this incident. But can their lives ever be the same? Will their families lives ever be the same. Perhaps for some, some sense of normalcy will return, but for some, perhaps many, I wonder...
Reagan also said:“There can be no real peace while one American is dying some place in the world for the rest of us.”
So if a child here or there, has to die as collateral damage while the “rest of us” maintain our so called "freedoms" (often also referred to as "rights", and unfathomably to me by some who profess the same faith I hold dear, "God given"), I think it is fair to say, there is no peace. One thing for sure is that there is no justice.
I’m sorry if you feel this is a theme that dominates what I've had to say lately. I really would rather I was finishing up some other things I’ve been writing of late. Probably half of what I write I never share publicly. The writing itself is the catharsis I need. I wrote a lot on this yesterday and that was enough, I was spent. But these stories sadly keep coming…
One thought as I sat on my deck last night enjoying the glow of the almost full moon was how lucky I am to live here with my peace and quiet, and then a conversation with someone on the shooting of the young Australian led me to realize I live in a fools paradise. Columbine High School is less than three miles from my door. And although in some ways it seems on the other side of the country, the site of the tragedy at the cinema in Aurora last year is just over twenty miles away.