Last night I went to bed and this morning I woke up with a sound clip from the evening news playing in my head. It was the father of one of the victims of the recent gun violence in California. “Did we learn nothing from Sandy Hook?” he asked.
The question is rhetorical, and the answer is that to truly learn something is to put it into practice. I personally do not believe that the framers of the U.S. Constitution had anything like the domestic gun violence that now seems to occupy a weekly place on the news in mind when they wrote that citizens had the right to take up arms.
The problem is that changing the culture, and making the legislative changes necessary that father would like to see are both big tasks. It’s hard to change course when piloting a large ship. It would also require major capitulation on the part of both the gun lobbyists and the senators and members of congress they own.
This morning it occurred to me that change on this level will truly only happen at the second coming of Christ. Yes, I know. Not the kind of thing you’re accustomed to reading here, but radical change will only happen in the face of radical events; and gun violence in the United States is no longer the exception, it’s now the norm.
But a day will come when “they will beat their swords into plowshares.” That day will come eventually.
In the meantime, I believe individuals can still make a difference, and it’s not wrong to push for gun law reform. The day after Sandy Hook, I wrote this.