Wednesday, December 19, 2012
The Gospel writer Matthew (2:16-18) refers to King Herod and his order to kill all male infants age 2 and under living in and around the town of Bethlehem. He had been told that a rival king had just been born there. Jesus survived the horror only because his parents took him to Egypt and away from the scene of the massacre. That infamous tragedy has haunted the civilized world for over two thousand years.
While Herod and Bethlehem seem long ago and far away to those of us living in America today, the horror we felt when reports came in from Connecticut is exactly the same. (Perhaps even more so in our case because we have grandkids living just down the road from Newtown.) Surely parents of the 20 little boys and girls who were gunned down by a mentally ill 20 year old would have escaped with their loved ones if it had been possible for them to do so. Oceans of ink have been poured into reporting on this disaster and even more will be written in the days and weeks ahead about what can be done to prevent another bloodbath. But with all this said we still have to express our point of view and design a game plan of our own.
My first step is to check with local school authorities to make sure they are at the top of their game by reviewing whatever security systems are already in place. And yes, we should all learn more about mental illness and how to recognize danger signs. But most of all we should lean on our elected officials to tell them they MUST support commonsense national legislation to actually DO something about the scandalous gun madness here in our United States of America.