Peace on earth is part of the Christmas message that tends to be overlooked. We talk about it many times as a nice but abstract idea, an elusive wish. Wishing
alone won’t bring the peace we desire. Unfortunately, anger often does. America is angry now. Angry that it has allowed gun violence to escalate so far that it claimed the lives of 26 people on Dec. 24, 20 of them children. It is the culmination of years of looking the other way, reacting to mass murders then going back to business as usual.
Having a mentally ill gunman open fire on 4 and 5 year olds so close to the holidays was the breaking point. After all, it is the children that make Christmas so special. What would have been a highly emotionally charged issue was elevated even higher by the most important holiday of the season. What America experienced of the tragic killings in Newtown, Conn on Dec. 14, was best summarizes by Stevie Wonder more than 30 years ago: “Someday at Christmas, men won’t be boys. Playing with bombs like kids play with toys… When we have found what life’s really worth. There’ll be peace on Earth.”
The fear that has spread since the killings at Newton, Conn has reached a boiling point and made politicians come face to face with their nemesis, the National Rifle Assn. (NRA). Are we going to let a handful of trigger happy gun enthusiasts dominate how gun violence is dealt with in this country?
Surprisingly, just as House Speaker Boehner seems finally able to make a sensible deal in solving the fiscal crisis, it appears other Republicans are loosening their strong grip on the idea of pushing policies for unrestricted access to guns. With lives taken from our most vulnerable citizens, babies, even the NRA cannot keep its power. The images are too graphic. The love parents for their children is too real.
Recently our U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) introduced legislation to reinstate an assault weapons ban. The ban expired under President George W. Bush. Why an assault weapons ban would come with an expiration date is beyond me.
As we celebrate this Holiday Season this year, I hope we will take a moment to think about the children in Newton, Conn and hold your loved one closer. Reflect on the idea of peace on earth. Make it more than a slogan, take it to heart. Take action. What can we do to bring more peace into our world? Can you get help for someone you know is mentally ill? Can you report a school bully? Can you divert a possible conflict with the potential of becoming violent? If you do, you can become an agent for peace on Earth and demonstrate the true meaning of this Holiday Season!
Happy New Year To All !!!!