How many more of us have to die before we decide something has to be done about guns? When will folks who are suppose to be sane stop arguing that it is ideology and not guns that we should be concerned about? Today, I heard it again, Marco Rubio arguing that we should be more concerned about the Orlando shooters ideology of hatred for gay people than the weapons he used. Really? If he had not been able to get all of the weapons that were readily sold to him, in spite of the fact that he was a person of interest to the FBI, then 49 innocent people would not be dead tonight.
I work very hard to understand how people come to some of their points of view, but this is baffling. We are one of the most violent countries on the planet, and as I have said before, we are truly a nation addicted to violence. We witnessed the murder of little children at Sandy Hook, theater shootings and other instances of mass murder, and we cried for a moment and then went back to business as usual.
What is it going to take to awaken us to the reality that we are on a track that leads to death and destruction? How many more innocent people have to die before we decide to ban all weapons that are made only to kill people? What group of sane people would think it is a good idea to allow assault weapons to be available to anyone who can pass a superficial background check after waiting for three days? We need to catch ourselves as a nation before we fall completely off the cliff.
Along with the gun insanity is the mean-spirited anti-gay wind that is blowing across this land. We cannot sustain ourselves as a hate-filled, divided country. I wonder how long it is going to take us to get that message straight in our minds. It is absolutely horrible for people who call themselves “Christians” to be sitting upon their superiority chairs and proclaiming that God is punishing gay people when these acts of violence occur. The promoters of such mean-spirited analysis are living in a world of illusions if they sincerely believe God is causing the problems that are resulting from our addiction to violence and obsession with guns.
We need a constitutional overhaul that would reflect the 21st century. We don't need to keep declaring that we have a right to bear arms as we did back in the day of the founding of our Republic. You know, back when we declared our independence and needed to assert our right to protect ourselves as a nation and had to have an army. I think we have achieved that goal. We have more ways to defend ourselves than anyone back in that time could have ever imagined.
But what we can't defend ourselves against is fear. The fear that keeps us screaming about all of the reasons we need to have guns and who we need to defend ourselves against. We need to defend ourselves against the fear that we have allowed to make a home in our national heart.
A grand search needs to be undertaken in the United States of America to find the path to truth that can set us free. We need to see what we have allowed ourselves to become, and we need to carefully reflect upon whether we wish to maintain the status quo. A nation with too many violent, fear-filled people, who believe more violence is the answer only leads to destruction.
I stand against that idea and proclaim that there is a better way. We can do better and our long term survival depends upon us seeking a new path.
This column by Catherine Meeks, Ph.D., appears twice monthly. Meeks is also a contributing writer for the Huffington Post. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.