To the Editor:
On January 25 my seven-year-old daughter made her first penance with her second grade classmates at St. Rose of Lima Church. I couldn't help but think, looking out at the scores of families assembled, that there were children who were not in attendance because of the December 2012 rampage at Sandy Hook School. Children who died that awful day should have been with us, sitting in the St. Rose pews, making funny faces at each other and listening to Father Bob's amusing recollections of his childhood.
I pray for this community every day; I also pray for our country. I pray for the people who feel their Second Amendment rights somehow trump the rights of the majority of us to enjoy our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Something has gone terribly wrong when public shootings are now so common. There are over 300 million guns in the United States, concentrated in the hands of about 40 percent of the population. Just in the last two months, there have been countless children and innocent people killed or injured by guns in schools, malls, movie theaters, on the streets and in their homes. There have been 36 school shootings since 12/14/12. In almost every case, the perpetrator gave very few warning signs of being mentally ill. The only common feature was easy access to deadly guns and ammunition.
I believe in the right to bear arms, but it seems to me that our country, armed to the teeth as it is, has its priorities upside down. Organizations such as the NRA and NSSF contribute to the dysfunction by glamorizing guns...playing up the fear that, unless one has the latest, most lethal, military-style killing machine, well, that's risking your family's safety and you could find yourself facing a better armed “bad guy.” It's time to examine our priorities, look in our hearts and move our society toward a less fearful and truly safer future.
11 Boulevard, Newtown January 28, 2014