“Uncle Sam” is down right now.  At least I think he is.  The events of Friday in Connecticut brought me to my knees and I live 4 time zones away and my passport has a maple leaf on it, not an eagle.  But tragedy is tragedy regardless of the country or continent it occurs in.

I usually insert a photo here to capture my ideas.  Today I won’t.  I don’t want to overdramatize an already emotion saturated season.

It is said of Joseph Stalin that when queried about the deaths of millions of Ukranians due to starvation provoked by his government he responded with “when one man dies it is a tragedy but when millions die it is a statistic”.  Well, on Friday maybe just over 2 dozen lives were taken but don’t miss the tragedy by summarizing the total–26 individual lives were taken.  Today, 26 individual family trees have had a branch sheared off by this–and the ugly scar will remain there for as long a people look at the family tree.  Today, tomorrow, twenty years from now–there will always be a branch missing.

I thought President Obama was inspirational.  Seriously inspirational.  Whether he has the chops to be a good president is everybody’s debate but let me tell you, he has the chops to be a decent human being.  I watched a grade one teacher cryingly relate how she had shepherded her class into a bathroom urging them to be quiet “lest the bad men find them before the good men can rescue them”.   Bless her.  Would we be a world  filled with hearts like that.

I started with a premise.  Never kick a man when he’s down.  America has been kicked by this kind of stuff before–too often if you ask me.  She’s stumbled a number of times.  But I don’t know if she’s buckled to her knees like this one.  The 9-11 event staggered her but she galvanized against a common enemy.  These events are different.  Yes an enemy has attacked–but the enemy is within, not without.  It’s not “them”, it’s “us”.  Those are harder enemies to fight.

God help us.  Help us all to “come to our senses”.

This week I want to mourn with those that mourn, grieve with those that grieve, weep with those that weep.

But the week after this one, I want to urge us to walk sensibly into a new day.  Do we really need to own “assault weapons, multi-round weapons, instruments of death?”   Don’t tell me it’s your “right”.  How did 26 Connecticans lose their “right” to life?  If you seriously need a weapon to defend yourself, then get a weapon that defends yourself.  Put away the weapons that destroy others indiscriminately.

At some  point in time we’ll need to “beat our swords into plowshares”.  Might as well start now.  Let’s start by declaring that we will no longer own assault weapons as personal property.  We’ll deal with other weapons later.  Turn them in, melt them down.