Wishes for Our Country
We live in a beautiful, diverse, and inspiring country. This is my home, and I love it.
But I wish more for it, and I think that is patriotic — that is continuing the American process. I want our country to become better — at acknowledging how our complicated history affects us today, at making sure everyone has access to opportunities, and expanding their rights and ability to find happiness here. This week has been a hard one. It is difficult to be faced again with the fact that mass shootings happen so often here — at schools, movie theaters, concerts, homes, churches. (‘No Way To Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.)
There has to be a way to stop this. It seems to me that more gun regulation would be an easy first step. Although it is not for me, I can understand why people want the ability to own a handgun or a hunting rifle, and haven’t ever heard anyone argue that those rights should be taken away. On the other hand, why do private citizens need to own semi-automatic weapons, why are “bump stocks” that make these weapons almost automatic legal, why are we contemplating legalizing silencers for private citizens, why can people on the no-fly list still buy weapons, why are background checks not done at gun shows? Why is Congress considering a “concealed carry reciprocity bill” that would mean that untrained people from states with weak gun laws will be allowed to carry a concealed weapon in all 50 states? Most Americans agree with these basic ideas, but the NRA and the gun lobby are powerful, and Congress has offered up only moments of silence time and time again. Something needs to change.
As a country we have so much verve and innovation — it is shocking that we wouldn’t try to fix this. Let’s hold the people who govern us to account, and make sure the concerns of the majority of citizens are reflected at the ballot box and in the halls of Congress. (A few ideas here.)