I was profoundly touched by the leadership of our President, who said, among other things, on Wednesday:
…sudden loss causes us to look backward – but it also forces us to look forward; to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us.
We may ask ourselves if we’ve shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives. Perhaps we question whether we are doing right by our children, or our community, and whether our priorities are in order.
We recognize our own mortality, and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others.
I know I am guilty of not having done enough, of letting days and years drift by with good intentions but, sometimes, scant action. I have been thoughtless. I have not always been the parent my children deserved. Circumstances have conspired to leave me now in a position of being able to do very little physically. But I can still consider “…the manner in which…” I live my life.
I will continue to support practical and reasonable gun control legislation, for one thing. No sportsman needs a semi-automatic hand gun. And there must be better controls in place to prevent the mentally ill from having such easy access to firearms. Over 30,000 people are killed by guns in the United States every year, but for some reason there is little outrage.
Ten years ago I took part in the Million Mom March in Washington, D.C. It was an awe-inspiring and sobering day, yet the movement has simmered down to a whisper, although James and Sarah Brady have remained tireless in their mission (http://www.bradycampaign.org).
According to the CDC, in 2007, (http://webappa.cdc.gov/cgi-bin/broker.exe) 65 children under 14 died in firearm accidents. Two hundred and forty nine were murdered by guns. And 53 children between 10 and 14 committed suicide with a gun. The next age range is a ten year one, 15 to 24, with 53 accidental deaths, 4669 murders and 1900 suicides by firearms. How is this accepted in our society?
As President Obama reminded us, our time on earth is fleeting. It shouldn’t be shortened by senseless, preventable violence.
The Peaceful Stone House is a lovely, gentle blog written by Dana from Canada. It is always worth a visit for a brief respite from the craziness of the world. Dana is sponsoring a wonderful giveaway connected to her business, The Great 1870 Flannel Nightie Co. (http://www.flannelnightie.com). Check out her blog for details on winning a cozy treasure.
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