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Mourning 22 Abr 2013 07:22 #7818

  • Felipe P. Manteiga
  • Avatar de Felipe P. Manteiga Autor del tema
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Assassinations of innocent children hit hard and deep; each young victim pulls your guts out and tears them in soaring pain. Fortunately, the light shines through darkness and, thanks to the grace of God , heroic acts and self-immolation renewed our faith in the latent goodness innate in our "bipolar" species, in our tug between animal instincts and human greatness. Above all, those heroes renewed our love for America.

As I joined the millions shedding tears at the monstrosity brought by a mad man, a deranged soul enabled by many, my granddaughter’s whirling face kept shrouding their bent bodies. My bitter distress also arose because most of my life, directly or indirectly, ranging from the poor barriadas in Jesus Maria, Havana to the jungles in Guinea, I have done my best to save both body and soul of the new generations.

But rampant violence against children happened over there. Suddenly, here in the home of the free, I witness such wanton destruction. And my spirit revolts when I hear many preaching such destruction is but a small price for our freedom to bear any weapons they might wish for. The rest of us must quietly endure looking at those broken bodies because such price must be paid by them, by their grieving families, so that our freedom to bear arms continues without bounds? Did the poet have those little children in his image when the blood of heroes must nurture teaching us the tree of freedom? No.

True, jumping at conclusions causes serious mistakes. Almost one in two families own conventional weapons; their rights must be protected. Yet, siren songs enthralling honest people cause concern. And those sirens weave lulling poems confusing pertinent issues. Personal mass destruction weapons—with mega clips and enough fire capacity to kill all the minutemen in our war of Independence in a few moments—fall beyond the scope intended by our right to bear arms. More precise information on who owns the “big guns” helps our society contain their potential damage. But no one will lose its right to bear arms—unless she becomes a felon or perhaps a lunatic.

Will the agents of greed and selfishness win their efforts to protect killers and madmen with measures taking away nutrition and education from future generations? Will "solutions" to the artificial political crisis created by the fiscal cliff make guns reign while education suffer? Will the gun lobby effectively transfer funds from schools and teachers to burly security officers carrying assault weapons to "protect” ten-year-old girls in the land of the brave? President Reagan dismantled significant elements of our mental health safety net. Will the Boehner's of this world consider revamping what the Saint of all Political Saints did?

Ironically, besides companies like Smith and Wesson, and Ruggers, perhaps major beneficiaries will be campaign coffers overflowing with bountiful contributions from this $32 billion dollar industry (jumping from $28 billion in 2009--please, as usual, help validate all figures or challenge the logic--emotions are personal). Many, occasionally honestly, lament the tragedy, while initiating measures to pressure teachers—and many others, like District Attorneys, to carry weapons and propose turning our schools into concentration camps.

When I was 16, someone offered a 22 to defend myself, in the Cuban underground at the time, against well trained, sub machine gun totting, Castro guerrillas. I will not print my response. Are we doing the same to teachers? Remember, is not who has the gun, but who has the will to kill who emerges victorious from the battle field. Killer teachers?

In America, virtue is resilient and sooner rather than later it shall overcome. Not all congresspersons are cynical opportunist. We are told, and we want to believe, an increasing number of congresspersons, senators and many other national leaders risk generous campaign contributions in order to contain this madness. Finally, the Obama Administration, one that has presided over the boom benefitting the gun industry, appears deeply committed to move beyond rhetoric and protect our children, our people from irresponsible gun wielding perverts or untrained users. Their actual votes should shape the list showing who will warrant increased contributions and intense campaigning. And that should form part of an integral responsible action. Responsibility must temper freedom, (libertad) or that precious jewel becomes recklessness (libertinaje). The only change many ask for is to balance the freedom to bear arms with responsibility. Like many, I strongly believe and support the right to bear arms (full disclosure, I am shopping around for a Beretta 4). And would like the counsel of my friends who understand this constitutional issue well. I do not read anything in the second amendment, which allows people to carry weapons of massive personal destruction anymore than they can own brief case nukes. And should we stay by the wayside while those pushing weapons actively promote their wares (gun ownership moved with urbanization, and jumped more than 60 % since 1994) hidden behind a convenient interpretation of, and advocacy for, a reasonable amendment??

I strongly oppose the reckless freedom to buy, store, and use weapons of personal mass destruction or advanced weapons. The numbers reviewed show their power to destroy is more frequently used against innocents than to neutralize perverts (a bat is more useful than a weapon, apparently, when deterring uninvited guests). As Patty, my associate district attorney daughter often, and sadly, shared with us, colleagues in the police force were frequently killed by easy access to weapons in a market place saturated by fresh supplies. Easy of access is a key to market penetration, (Wall Mart--no surprise here--is the largest retailer, offering good prices, and at some locations, minimum requirements).

Millions of dollars finance social marketing campaigns "educating " the 45 % America holding weapons with a bizarre interpretation of core values. The values praised prostitutes the national foundation and convince voters and Congress alike that, in principle, anyone should have the right to bear arms--any screening, reporting or control (e.g. "prescriptions” to purchase ammunition's) is intrinsically perverse; when 314 million Americans become increasingly urbanized this does not make sense. The zero tolerance policies in the UK and Japan may not fit our national psychic. But couldn't we consider the significantly more strict regulations enforced by countries like Israel and Switzerland? Is it a failure of our educational system? Our students are taught driving skills. If you misuse this right (people kill people not cars?) to kill people your license is lost. But who teaches civic responsibilities to children from gun-owning families? Why should a stricter program be considered anti-American?

…Frequently, in the forced peace and quiet made possible by my recent medical adventures I had time to ponder if our prayers embrace the man nailed to the cross, or the power wielded by the Roman Empire to destroy Him. Sometimes those who throw the hardest stones are but the ones hiding their own sins. Why those ready to punish the aborting young mother with a life time sentence in a horrible jail, are also protecting the rights enabling her rapist to buy guns freely?

... Let’s pray for those who, feeding on hate and greed, keep enabling the future wave of maniacs. Yes, those enabled by our regulations and with Congressional “hand washing” should plot tomorrow's Colombine and New Town; let’s pray for their many victims.

. Let's pray in particular for those who should lead our great nation, for those who should educate our people, because they share the responsibility of Newtown's tragedy, perhaps more than the other multiple enablers making possible this disaster. And let's pray for wisdom instead of passionate ire; the right policies, as Aristotle taught those in his Academia, usually follow the golden mean.

But compassion for victims and victimizers does not solve our civic crisis, nor absolves us from our civic duties. Can’t we, as citizens in a free society, demand more responsibility and ask our elected officials to stop the madness? The king of the Jews ignored the lure of the coins held by merchants in the temple; His teachings, rising above power and money—cost him torture and death.

And we, who claim to follow His teachings in a basically Christian nation, cannot even dare put pressure on our own congressman? No, Americans must go beyond compassionate prayers and hand wringing. No matter how much money is thrown by the industry at "teaching" the great American people and at buying Congressional decisions, we shall overcome. Aren’t we Americans, enjoying the legacy shaped by the courage and commitment of our founders? Yes, they strongly believed on your right to carry your guns and muskets, but not cannons (both less lethal than simple guns today). To honor them we must rise from our potato rest and fight for our children’s future. Daunting odds and mountains of misinformation through dangerous obstacles in our path, but the day should arrive where responsibility and transparency, not deep pockets, rule gun ownership.

And shall the Florida citizens start by looking at elected and appointed officials, who like politicians elsewhere survive on campaign financing? Should our political analysts focus on identifying those who oppose legislation seeking to increase responsibility and measures to contain those who enable our criminal side? After all, Tampa, Miami and Jacksonville rank among the top ten U.S. cities on gun assisted suicides.

Let's follow His teachings, and throw perverse merchants out of the Great American Temple; Love of Country rules, not coins jingling in Jude’s bag.


• "Tell the NRA to stand down, and allow Congress and the President to pass gun control legislation by visiting “ or similar pages. Your response must be done quickly, while the gun lobby is gloating on their victory over the American family. Most Americans want improved gun oversight. Let’s their voice lead to action.

• Please, could those who have (i.e. from Congressional web page) it circulate the names of those who voted for or against the recent gun-lobby victory. Please, let your congressperson or senator—even if he or she shamelessly enjoy the pocket of the gun-lobby—your feelings on this issue (even if you support the gun lobby).

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