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January 17th, 2013

Guns In The U.S.A. – They Must Not Speak For Us

A significant aspect of who we are as U.S. Americans seems often to be expressed as — “Don’t let the government take our guns from us; I need a gun to protect what is mine; this gun speaks for me.” Is this seemingly ingrained attitude and its expression part of an ethos which harkens back to “the way the West was won” and earlier — to vigilantism? The memory of the awfulness of that day in December will never leave us; I see it every day in the young child. Fortunately, there seems now to be readiness of government officials, media managers and columnists, gun and ammunition manufacturers/dealers and related organizations, and the public to discuss and to make recommendations onĀ  control of guns. Useful in these considerations, I think, would be a focus on the deep-seated feelings about and long-term association of U.S. Americans with guns — beyond their use for hunting for food. We need to hold up the mirror — to see ourselves. Our basic reliance on the obvious force of the ‘gun’ has, as we know, continued, unfortunately, to affect the design and execution of our foreign policy and military policy (e.g., the Gulf of Tonkin, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen). We lost our little children and their school guardians here in December. Because of our recent and current military operations abroad, little children there, as dear to their loved ones as children here are to theirs, are being killed by us. The ‘battlefields’ are homes and streets in towns and villages. It is hoped that the consideration of ‘guns in America’ and our tragedies related to use of guns will engender in those concerned the immediacy of the need for us to focus our foreign policy, with regard to conflict resolution, on obtaining results through diplomacy/negotiation, rather than through use of the ‘gun.’

- Barbara Walker
for the Granny Peace Brigade

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