He’ll settle things fairly between nations. He’ll make things right between many peoples. They’ll turn their swords into shovels, their spears into hoes. No more will nation fight nation; they won’t play war anymore. Come, family of Jacob, let’s live in the light of God. – Isaiah 2:4, The Message
As a theologian, philosopher, and social commentator, I have enjoyed watching and reading the news surrounding Saturday’s “March for our Lives” in Washington D.C. and throughout the nation. I have been especially impressed by the authenticity of the young voices at the center of the protest, especially those from Parkland in Florida.
These students have created a compelling space for productive conversation, and it’s a conversation that we must have. Nobody – at this juncture – has a handle on exactly where the debate should lead us, just that we must talk about issues such as security, accessibility, gradation of weaponry, licensing, insurance, liability, and the unavoidable fact that there are very real differences between the United States of 1791 and the one we live in today.
The key point is that these are conversations we must have. That is where I find the tactics of bullying, out-of-hand dismissal, suppression, misinformation, deceit, and cultivated half-truth so unacceptable.
Slap in the face…
The contention, for example, that these young people are little more than pawns in the hands of liberal agitators is not only a cynical lie but also a slap in the face of the victims, their friends, and their families. Nobody is marching to take away anyone’s rights. What is reasonable, however, is a productive conversation about how best to deal with the very real problem of abundant potent weaponry in the hands of a trigger-happy America.
It may be true to say that “people kill people”, but it’s also true to say that people kill people with alarming efficiently with guns.
I could write a lot about this, but today’s post comes down to this simple declaration. The Parkland students, and those who have stepped out to speak up, are clearly not trying to take away anyone’s 2nd Amendment rights. What they do want – and what I’d like to see too – is a serious conversation about celebrating America’s unique gun culture without compromising the more fundamental and inalienable right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Because we hold this truth to be self-evident, that no American’s right to bear arms should ever infringe on a child’s right to live. That’s a pretty simple idea and it is entirely inappropriate for it to be dismissed by the bullying tactics of those afraid of a reasonable conversation about safety.
That’s all. So please continue to step up and speak out – DEREK
I pulled these images from the Internet… and made one of them into a meme: