Dec 15 2012




In a powerful and moving column written specially for The Daily Beast, Robert Shrum says we must find the will and determination to stand up to the National Rifle Association. Like the rest of the nation, Shrum is appalled and sicken by the Connecticut School Massacre. Here is an excerpt and you can read the rest here.

"Republicans who claim to defend the “right to life” profit politically by defending the moral wrong of a wholesale arsenal of death inflicted on the already living. The religious right that has allied itself with the gun lobby defies Christ’s warning that those who harm the children would be better off thrown into the sea with a millstone around their necks. Shouldn’t the protection of life begin not with a fertilized egg, but with human beings who are truly and fully alive?

And on the other side, politicians who know better, including most Democrats, cower before the threat of electoral retaliation—and invoke the rationalization that it is too hard to pass anything in Congress, even a ban on assault weapons or closing the gun-show loophole that lets criminals and the deranged shop for firearms without any background check. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today is “not the time” to talk about policies that at least in theory President Obama supports. Oh yes it is. If not now, when? If not the president, who? As he spoke in stricken terms, he seemed to comprehend that—and that he holds the office Franklin Roosevelt described as “pre-eminently a place of moral leadership.”

No measure short of banning all firearms could prevent all shootings. But we can take practical measures that would save many lives. Who among us, who among our children, could be the next to be killed in an unexpected moment of unspeakable horror? So now we will shed a tear again. And in the phrase of Robert Kennedy, who himself would soon be a casualty instead of a president, we should “say a prayer for ourselves and for our country.” And we should have the courage to do something for our country, too. We should look into the anguished faces of parents outside that Connecticut elementary school—faces now tragically incised on our national consciousness. We should recall events from that darkness at noon in Dallas nearly 60 years ago to the carnage at Columbine and Aurora. Those faces and events matter more than the scorecard of the National Rampage Association."