Did you watch 60 Minutes Sunday night? It was about the parents of the children slaughtered in Newtown in December. They were unbelievably reasonable and composed and realistic.
Here is what they want. Right away. They want straw purchase laws to be seriously enforced. (A “straw purchase” is when someone buys a gun for someone who cannot legally own one.) They want a law to require background checks. They want large capacity magazines to be illegal.
They want their babies back.
These brave people are not talking about the mental health component right now. We Americans are so dopey that we have made HIPAA laws that protect this information no matter what. God forbid we should use common sense. Nope. Not us.
These parents don’t want your shotgun. They don’t want your handgun. They don’t even want your semi-automatic rifle like the Bushmaster .223 used to kill their kids. They just don’t want you to have the 30-round magazines that Adam Lanza had. More common sense.
And polls show most Americans agree with them. These are three very sensible expectations. But here is the problem. Not only is the NRA lobbying against these three things, who can possibly explain this, but the NRA is fighting to prevent any new gun laws from coming to a vote.
This is a big problem, folks. And it looks like they might succeed. And this is wrong. Really, really wrong. I have been on boards before. I am on one now. Sometimes things have passed on these boards with which I did not agree. However, we were all elected to these boards. We were given one vote each. We voted. Occasionally what I wanted to happen did not. That’s OK. Boards are democracies. We live in a democracy. We vote for the things we prefer.
Remember President Obama talking about Newtown in his State of the Union address earlier this year? He said, and I’m not sure of his exact words, but something like” these people deserve a vote”. You bet they do. I noted this comment at the time and didn’t exactly understand what he meant. I do now.
If you’re interested, you can watch 60 Minutes on youtube or probably CBS.com – maybe even OnDemand. It may break your heart. But your heart will not be broken as badly as the mother who said the last thing she does each night before getting in bed, is to kiss the urn on her dresser that contains her son’s ashes. And then she prays she will dream about her son so she can see him again. And sometimes she does.
But if you really want to do something, the right thing – send an e-mail to your Senator and Congressional Representative and tell them you want them to vote. Many of them have taken NRA money so they are afraid. But that’s too frigging bad. Time to man-up. Or woman-up, as the case may be.
I keep saying and saying this – We have to try. And like all good democracies, we will compromise. And these parents’ three requests – they are a good compromise. I know some people think I am anti-gun but those people would be completely wrong. I don’t own a gun but have been around guns my whole life. I can shoot a gun. Rather well, I might add. I have never used a gun under duress. But put me on the shooting range and I can aim at the targets and I will hit them. Right where I’m supposed to.
It is very easy to contact Congress. I am attaching a link here. You can e-mail, call on the phone, or you can take pen to paper or type a letter on your computer and mail it. All the information can be found in this link.
So let’s all do this. Take a minute and tell them you want them to vote. You want to see a vote. You want to see their vote. It’s the right thing to do.
One of the fathers on 60 Minutes said something like this. Go to your mirror, look yourself in the eye and say this can never happen again. This can never happen to me. Try to believe it even if it is not true. It will happen again.
And I know and everyone reading this knows this is a fact.
We can’t solve all the gun problems with laws but we must make an effort. We must try. These babies, children, sisters, brothers, sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, grandmothers, wives, mothers deserve it. They deserve for us to try.