arrynes, www.sxc.hu
Mon, July 23, 2012
Colorado Batman Shootings
As a participant and spokesperson for the Million Mom March;

It is important to begin by saying that I come from a long line of hunters, my father taught my brothers how to handle a shotgun, BB gun and slingshot with utmost respect, responsibility. Dad included in his training the reason for the privilege as well. We had guns throughout history, primarily for the gathering of food for our families, and this is why my brothers had a campout in the woods on the family Centenial Farm…shot and ate a squirrel for their supper, counted the stars, it was 1957, they watched Sputnik fly overhead. Gratefully, in 1957, girls didn’t do such things and I missed the squirrel dinner; probably would have tried to resuscitate him anyway.
 
So that was the atmosphere of normal in my growing up years, guns held a very specific purpose and just as my idea of what constitutes a food group, I find myself a vegetarian of sorts since I was 14, unusual choice in 1967 but it made sense to me. When my sons were small in the early 70’s, and wanting to use a stick from the playground to point and yell “bang bang yer dead”, it made sense to me as a young mom to suggest to them that the idea or act of killing another person, even with a stick, would be wrong, just wrong.
 
In 1990 after signing a watered down version of the Crime Bill, President Bush added this statement, “Americans have the right to be free from fear in their own homes, in their streets and in their neighborhoods. I call on the Congress to implement the remainder of the comprehensive crime package, which fell short of becoming law this session. The American people deserve tough, new laws to help us prevail in the fight against drugs and crime”…. He now would probably add to this list…insanity.
 
Ironic as it is, just 6 years later my son chose to take is life using a handgun, for which he did not have a permit, nor training in use, and he never had the opportunity to go through the safety program with my father. Yet he acquired a firearm and ammunitions quite easily at the age of 18.

As I worked to recover from his death, I also got serious in exploring how many other loved ones have been taken from life too soon, too easily through the use of readily available handguns and automatic assault weapons that are way too available. I joined the March 2000  Million Mom March rally in Michigan and Washington DC, hoping to promote tighter restrictions. The primary focus was then, and still is, on gun safety, and smart gun technology. It is important to note that well over a Million Mothers, joined by their families, across the country, held photos of their loved ones who were murdered by firearms. They participated that day to be counted and to demonstrate a loud voice for the need for stronger laws and enforcement; knowing, that had those laws been in place sooner, their children and those near and dear to them would still be alive.

A Million Mothers, is now closer to 3 Million Mothers and counting, and I for one agree this time with President Bush (a card carrying NRA member I might add). It is time to put in place whatever means are necessary to ensure that our families can safely toddle off to a movie, or school, or into the neighborhood to play…free from fear.
 
I am addressing in this week what has been called the “horrific slaughter” of people who just wanted to go see a good movie, without saying goodbye to their life or their family, because who could have imagined that they would not be coming home from the theater. I am asking for your thoughts and opinions for an important discussion that needs to take place at every dinner table, in phone calls to our political representatives, in the media and right here in this blog.

Begging the questions answered;
When is “enough” actually too much to take anymore?  
When will our choices in this society reflect a higher value on human life?
How important is the role of the media in moving that line of delineation causing deleterious effects?
And of course - What is the solution?
 
I especially would like to hear from Mothers on this issue,

Thank you for your thoughts, see you next time,
Until then, Light and Love, Tamara

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