Reader offers thoughts on gun-control argument
My husband Larry and I almost lost our grandson in the Sandy Hook massacre. It was his music teacher who saved him and his class by hiding them in instrument cabinets. That experience taught us what it is to be a victim and a survivor — and that soul-searing tragedy of first-graders and educators massacred changed our family forever, and we did not lose our grandson.
As community, we are all concerned about gun violence in our country. Common sense tells us that, as gun owners and non-gun owners, we share the responsibility of stewardship for our families; we share the priority of wanting our children and grandchildren to be safe and to thrive. None of us wants violence.
However, it seems we fail in communicating those common goals. Authentic communication is drawing parties into a circle to listen, not drawing lines in the sand. If we have already determined what we are going to say before considering the ideas of the other, we have not truly listened, nor reflected on substance. Nothing productive will take place through remarks meant to bolster predetermined conclusions.
As the daughter of a lifelong NRA member who is familiar with guns in the home and who has more family members who own guns than not, I hear concerns about taking that right away. That has not happened. But with our many freedoms, comes responsibility. Our gun owners, our rod-and-gun club members, need to do all they can about teaching respect for firearms and preventing theft of those guns.
In addition, we need to reduce the cavalier attitude some people have about access to guns. Our children and teenagers, and those with severe brain health illnesses, are in harm’s way with easy access to guns. Felons, stalkers, domestic abusers, those who don’t pass a background check need to be prevented from purchasing a firearm legally or illegally.
In addition, we are losing thousands of Americans each year to suicide by gun. The gun lobby resists calling this gun violence. But ask emergency room doctors and nurses what gun violence is. Measures to prevent those tragedies must be a priority because 4 of 5 who survive a suicide attempt never go on to commit suicide.
We are reminded of a homily we heard years ago where the priest ended by encouraging the congregation to go out and live each day as if it were our first day, our last day, our only day.
Why do I mention this?
Because we can’t just wring our hands, feel awful, whisper prayers for victims and families to bring solutions to the plague of gun violence in our cities and towns. A greater sense of seriousness, urgency and intensity in working together has to take form. We have to challenge ourselves. What can I do to move solutions to this issue into daylight?
I didn’t do anything until it came into our family. But should we wait until it reaches us personally before we lend our voices to the conversation? You have to answer that.
Kathleen Glenn Glueck