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What else did we expect? Guns and violence

What else did we expect? Guns and violence

The Very Rev. Gary Hall’s, Dean of the Washington National Cathedral, sermon on John the Baptist and Sandy Hook school shootings and all the death that continues. From Huffington Post:

It has been a year since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and as we observe this anniversary, I find that these two questions frame my perception of the year we have been through. A year ago, I stood in the pulpit and declared my own and this cathedral’s resolve to stand with and for the victims of gun violence and to use our energies to mobilize the faith community to pressure our legislators for action to curb the epidemic of deaths brought about by guns in America. In the phrase that will no doubt be the opening line of my obituary, I said, “The gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby.”

A year later, pretty close to nothing has happened. By the estimates of the Center for Disease Control, another 32,000 Americans have died by gun violence since December 14, 2012. There have been mass shooting around the country, even in our own Washington D.C. Navy Yard. There has been almost no legislative action in response to these deaths. “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” “What else did we think we had a right to expect?”

One year after Newtown, I ask, as you do, “Why has nothing happened?” And in response I hear not an answer but William Sloane Coffin’s question: “What else did we think we had a right to expect?” If we don’t care at least as much as the gun lobby, if we don’t become, in the president’s words, “obsessed” with curbing gun violence, what right do we have to expect that things will be any different, even after the next mass shooting or wave of urban gun deaths?

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Troy Haliwell

Our local newspaper asked a similar question on the editorial page: “When will it be time for discussion about gun control?”

I fear that until such a tragedy happens in Washington DC or in state capital buildings, the politicians and the pundits will keep things just the way they are. Lawmakers never seem to pay attention what happens elsewhere when other’s lives are at risk, but if their own lives are, then you can bet they will do something. Please note I do not wish for this to happen, I do not wish violence on anyone at all. However, based on their self-serving past record they are more likely to protect themselves and not the rest of us.

Unfortunately, the pro and the con folks will just jabber uncontrollably and fruitlessly talking at each other rather than with each other. There is a middle point and that middle point is being drowned out by all the vitriol from both the Left and the Right. What is that middle point? Until both sides stop demonizing the other, we will never hear the middle point.

Richard III

Ann,

It’s always easy to look for a simple solution to a complex problem and gun violence is one of them. Guns and gun ownership are a part of the fabric of American life like it or not. We are awash in an ocean of media propagated violence from movies, television, news reporting, video games, you name it and we have glorified violence as a way of resolving problems and the seeking of vengeance to “right” a wrong done against us. The only way we could be free of gun violence would be to disarm the entire population of America and stop the flow of illegal arms into the country and the black market that would surely result. So what’s the answer, I don’t know but until we do a better job of teaching our children that violence isn’t a way of resolving our differences or settling scores gun violence will continue to be a part of life in the USA.

Richard Warren

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