As we approach the festive holiday season, acclaimed to be the season to be jolly. While the children are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Santa, the adults are eagerly awaiting the arrival of family. As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, because that is what Christmas is really all about, let’s not forget those that are less fortunate among us. While Christmas is an exciting time of year for some, it is just another uneventful day in the lives of others. There are some things that even the joy of Christmas can’t change. Christmas will not change the plight of homeless folks; there will always be homeless among us. Christmas will not fix the minds of war veterans still struggling with post traumatic stress disorders; their lives are forever changed. Sexual predators will still prey upon innocent children and vulnerable adults aided and abetted by the internet and chat rooms. And, gun toting crazies will continue to terrorize this country until stronger gun laws are in place. We live in a world that is becoming more violent and less compassionate. You hear it all of the time. Folks believe the decline began with the exclusion of prayer in schools and public arenas. Prayer is a powerful weapon but so is a gun. Prayer has a calming effect upon people--a way of changing people while guns terrorize and disturbs the order of the world. As we celebrate Christmas, let’s hold our politicians feet to the fire on stronger gun control laws.
Unless you have been hiding under a rock this past week, America woke up Friday to one of the most horrendous acts of violence perpetrated against children in this country. Twenty children under the age of 7 and six adults were killed. We can’t help but agonize over those 20 children whose lives were ended far too quickly. We can’t even imagine being in their parents shoes. One minute you are dropping your children off to school and the next minute someone is calling you with the most unthinkable information that your child has been killed at school. So, how did we get here? America has a history of reckless behavior stemming from the use of guns and even gun related children’s video games and movies. America! You can’t have it both ways. You can’t walk and talk guns and then expect a peaceful society.
Before retiring, I worked for a school district and I saw the number of students with weapons on campus increasing. Students in possession of knives or guns appeared before the board and when asked where they got the weapons, replied “they found them”. As old as I am, I have never found so much as a razor blade so I never bought into their tale. As a member of the Black community, I know I am not alone when I say we have tried to get guns out of the hands of our young people. Easy access to guns was not coming from within but outside of our communities. America went after Sudaam Hussein with a vengeance for guns of mass destruction while closing her eyes to weapons of mass destruction in her own country. If we were to take a poll of the number of young people alone killed in Black communities, it would be mind boggling. The majority of the people killed in this country come from easy access to guns. Of course guns are not a black or white thing, and I am not making it out to be. It is a cultural thing. We can’t cry foul when something happens tragically in the white community and turn our heads when guns are used illegally and irresponsibly in the black community. The point is, we have been crying foul for years and no one has heard our cries. We want the violence stopped.
I am a strong proponent for fixing lax gun laws. I am also a strong opponent of the AR15. The AR15 should have never been allowed in the hands of the public. The AR15 is patterned after the Military M16. It fires in rapid succession and can take out many in the face of danger. Why does the average American need such a weapon? Even while the parents and country are still mourning the deaths of Newtown, Connecticut and while most of the funerals are not over, AR 15 gun sales have doubled according to the latest CBS news report. Some of the same grieving Americans are rushing out and buying up the AR15 fearing a ban on the weapon. So, are we out of control? Yes! And, are guns out of control? Yes! Some of the AR15 lovers speak about the thrill of being able to pump out so many shots in succession. Some claim they use the rifle for hunting. I grew up with two older brothers so I learned how to shoot at an early age. First, it was their BB guns and then I moved up to a 22 rifle. If I didn’t hit my target (bird or rabbit) with the first one or two shots, you better believe by the time I got around to shot three they were long gone. If you miss your target the first couple of times, you need to perfect your aim and your game. Or, you might want to try some bi-focals. You don’t need a gun that can fire up to 100 rounds in rapid succession.
Are we more concerned over the clout and big bucks wielded by the National Rifle Association or are we more concerned over the number of lives that can be saved with tighter gun control? The same folks that are stockpiling high powered guns and rifles are the same folks crying foul. America, you can’t have it both ways. And while you are pondering whether to ban the AR15, you need to figure out how to get those that are in circulation out as well as banning some of the violent video games that glorify the gun toting star as heroes.
Y’all have a Merry Christmas and stay safe; y’all hear?