|DEZEMBER 2012, December 2012 (Photo credit: eagle1effi)|
I just wish it were as easy to turn the page on politics and gun violence as it is to turn the page on the calendar. It seems we have experienced an all-time low in repulsive behavior on those two fronts.
Since I've been paying attention, I have never observed more petty, abhorrent, vile behavior as during the 2012 GOP election season. Fox News' outright lies would have been humorous, had the stakes not been so high. Still, they had the trust of large numbers of people who actually believed them. The entire staff under the moniker of 'media' accomplished near decimation of an already suffering communication industry. Who can trust the media now, after all that has been done to destroy journalistic credibility by what we now know to be an admitted farce?
The GOP campaign, led by corporate giants with nearly unlimited amount of cash thanks to the wrong-headed conservative U.S. Supreme Court's Citizens United decision tried to steal the election through no-responsibility campaign ads. Fortunately their candidate for president was a buffoon with little to no campaign smarts and zero integrity. His handlers weren't much better. I'm so grateful that enough of the public woke up in time to cast ballots for the incumbent.
But even more disheartening than the election debacle was the horrific gun violence in 2012 where 16 mass shootings resulted in 88 dead. The last one--on December 14--the needless slaughter of 26 innocent people, including 20 precious, little first-graders at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, may be and should have been the final straw to break the back of an undisciplined society gone awry.
The incident of worst-nightmare proportions brought a President to tears and so affected the general public that cries for better gun laws have begun to echo across the nation. Still, that is little consolation for the tiny unsuspecting east coast town that lost its innocence.
Changing the way the country looks at gun violence could be a start in the long road to help the healing. An end to gun violence could help if that were the end of the story. But it isn't!
Sadly, some of the same voices that supported artificial news during the presidential campaign are the same ones that now cry for more guns, not less. The National Rifle Association, which many fail to realize is little more than the marketing arm of the gun manufacturers lobby, has some of those same Fox News devotees squarely in its sites. They see no reason guns shouldn't be placed in the hands of school teachers to keep the students safe. Never mind that it didn't help at Columbine High School or at Ft. Hood where weapons actually belong and are issued to all the soldiers there.
It is unbelievable to me that anyone could believe that more guns could keep people safe from gun violence. That is like saying that keeping water in a toddler's bathtub will deter drowning.
I'm sick to death of the excuse that guns are for protection. Too often guns purchased for protection simply result in injury and death during a heated argument, or in an instant of despair resulting in suicide, or perhaps an accident by a curious child. Responsible gun owners should lock their weapon securely. So what kind of protection is that? Gun owners want it both ways, but it doesn't work that way. Protection from bad guys would require access to a loaded gun. Protection for family members requires locking away and securing the gun and ammunition.
Though this is a discussion that will likely span the entire new year, at least it is has begun. It is a topic that is long overdue, which is reason enough for optimism in the coming new year.
So once again, we wipe the slate clean. A new beginning with high hopes where anything is possible is upon us. Our future begins now. What we do with it is our choice.