The Weekly Peek

Hello, friends. I was going to blog about my lovely weekend, about the new bookstore I visited, and about how hopeful and happy I felt after my writing group session yesterday.  But all of that seems frivolous. Because after my lovely Saturday and my happy and hopeful critique experience yesterday, I read the news. And I was horrified and saddened, and then rageful. Something has to change in this country — specifically, our gun control laws. You can be sure I will be voting (and encouraging others to vote) with that goal in mind in November, and doing whatever I can to help the victims in Orlando in the meantime. Check out this link if you want to find ways to help, too.

In the meantime, my heart goes out to the victims, to their families, and to all of my friends who might be hurting today. I am horrified and sad and angry, but ABOVE ALL, always, I love you.

2 thoughts on “The Weekly Peek

  1. Advancing gun control legislation as a nation remains a priority. The challenge is that laws are slow to change, and focus on punishing offenders, versus preventing offenses. The case of the “lone wolf”, or self-radicalized individual, presents a challenge that is deeper than gun legislation itself.

    What leads an American citizen to self-radicalization? Is it their upbringing? Is it the community where they live, or the education they receive? We spend a lot of time looking at access to weapons, but I believe we need to look further back at the conditions that lead to self-radicalization if we’re going to reduce the chance of these types of events occurring. Once a person embarks on a path to commit an act of terror, we’ve lost the battle of ideas.

    Omar Mateen abandoned his allegiance to the United States of America, for “liberty and justice for all”, and swore allegiance to a foreign terror group instead. Americans of all races, faiths and orientations need to find a way to reinforce the meaning of that allegiance in their homes and communities, more than just the rote recitation in our schools and public functions. This is much harder than counting on legislation to keep weapons out of the hands of “bad guys”. Who is a bad guy? How do you know one until they commit a crime? Total elimination of acts of terror is impractical, least of all without severely restricting the right to freedom and privacy that American citizens enjoy as core freedoms (and I’m not talking specifically about guns here. I’m talking about surveillance, freedom to assemble and worship, and freedom of speech.)

    Again, I think we can and should continue to review our gun control legislation. I just don’t believe that is a panacea if the goal is to prevent another Orlando, San Bernadino or Sandy Hook. We need to dig in and reconnect with our local communities in ways that used to be more commonplace in our schools, religious centers, and community organizations, but may have lost influence as our society has increasingly retreated to the insulation of our homes, our devices, and the faceless, disconnected world of social media, where the dialog is so often less than civil, and less than enlightened.

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