There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in the shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
- William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar, Act 4, Scene 3
For the next five days I will hijack my own soap box. I am going to go off topic and discuss something that has been on my mind lately - the role of firearms in our society.
I desire a safer, more civil, society. We are not on a path to create such. In fact, if we continue on the path we're on society will continue to be less and less civil and less and less safe.
To be clear, I believe we need more control of firearms. I don't want anyone to take away my guns. I am a sportsman who enjoys the legal use of firearms. But the events of the past year and the past month have lead me to the conclusion that things must change.
Within a short walk of my home, three houses have empty beds where small children slept before they were murdered by a person using legal weapons that had no justifiable place in our community. In less than ten minutes I can drive to seventeen other homes with the same vacant beds. These children all died in the same first grade classroom in which my youngest son sat seven years ago.
There are wounds here that will never heal. Lives that will never be lived. And all because we as a society are incapable of understanding and remedying a threat that can be understood and remedied.
We have chosen not to address gun violence -- our collective response of one violent episode after another is to shrug our shoulders and marvel at how unsolvable the issue is.
We have chosen to be the dutiful subjects of special interests on this matter.
I believe it is time for us to chose differently.
I hope that you will too.
I will try and limit each day's essay to six hundred words so that they will be tolerable to read. The five topics will be:
- My story as a gun owner - Just so you know where I'm starting from
- Facts about gun violence - You'll be startled at how little we know
- The Second Amendment - You'll be startled at how little we know
- The Emotional Problem - The thing that prevents us from acting
- Common Sense Proposals - That some will hate
I appreciate all of you accommodating this brief change of topic and will return in a week's time with more about fishing and photography and the random stuff to which you've all become accustomed. I am deeply grateful for your friendship and your humor.
Read the next post in the series