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This Land Is Our Land

28 Jul

Even if you’ve been buried in sand (umbrella drink in hand) or up to your elbows in zucchini plants, you’ve probably heard certain rumblings of the past two weeks: Where are the statements from the president or presumptive nominee on gun control? Could there possibly be a better time or a more receptive nation to which to deliver a strong message? Are the “candidates’” faith in the electorate such that any poking of the NRA with a stick is simply not worth the risk? No doubt you have heard or made all of these arguments over dinner, at the farmer’s market or in the cabana. It is hard for us mere mortals, those of us not actively working on a presidential campaign, to wrap our minds around the silence. To most of us there is nothing politically incorrect about limiting access to semi-automatic weapons.

No doubt the “candidates” have their eyes on a much larger picture than you or I. But it’s hard to imagine what could be more significant or legacy building than diminishing carnage. It’s a given that both political parties have clever people working for them who perhaps specialize in artistic wordsmithing. A powerful, compassionate statement is easily within their reach. A statement, which in fact even the NRA would not take serious issue. A statement that addressed the human lives snuffed out every single day, while honoring the intent of the second amendment.

What is encouraging is that people, who are not running for the highest office in the land, are speaking out. Mayors, religious leaders and the police are talking publicly about mental health, limiting firearm purchases, creating safe havens, changing the culture, etc. While it doesn’t change our unease with the ear splitting silence at the top, it offers hope. The NRA’s power stems from being a well-organized group of like-minded individuals. Yes, their power probably cannot be overstated, and yes they have succeeded in being just as threatening as the products they defend. But that doesn’t mean they cannot be successfully challenged. Bullies in fact rarely back down because an authority figure orders them to do so. More often it is the bullied, often times collectively that gives the bully a mighty cease and desist ass kicking. The timing is right for all of us to get ticked off and lay our own claim to the constitution (and while we’re at it the flag.)

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2012 in Cultural Critique

 

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