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by Mary Griggs

Candle Light 027

Twenty seven dead in a elementary school in Connecticut with twenty of them children between the ages of five and ten sure puts your day in perspective, doesn’t it?

That 18-wheeler going below the speed limit in the passing lane on Highway 90 at 6 o’clock this morning? Those crowds I had to battle at three different malls? That unopened 2L bottle of vodka I smashed on the driveway? On most days, I’d get to whine and complain about how bad my day was.

Not today.

Today, you and I are not having a very bad day. You and I, we are lucky to be alive, to be loved, and to have something to complain about. No, this isn’t our bad day. Today’s bad day been taken by the families of those school children and those teachers who have lost a loved one.

And they didn’t lose their child or parent because the school day didn’t start with a prayer, as Bobby Fischer has claimed. The American Family Association demogauge said that God could have protected the victims of this massacre, but didn’t because “God is not going to go where he is not wanted” and if school administrators really want to protect students, they will start every school day with prayer. His words were echoed by Mike Huckabee later in the day when he blamed the violence on removing God from schools.

They lost their lives because the National Rifle Association wields far too much influence in politics. The NRA is decidedly against the obvious public safety concerns of the citizens. There have been at least 31 school shootings in the U.S. since Columbine happened 13 years ago and, instead of helping us be more responsible about guns, they advocate being armed in schools, daycares, churches, places where alcohol is served and at job sites. Such laws as well as Stand Your Ground legislation are wrong for the nation.

You want to know how much influence they have? Check here to see the money they’ve given to your elected representatives. In the 2012 election cycle, they gave $719,596.

I’m a gun owner and an advocate for the 2nd Amendment protection of private gun ownership. I do not believe that the right to bear arms is without limit, however. I believe we should reinstate the Brady Bill to ban assault weapons. I believe that high capacity magazines should be illegal. I believe that kits to switch semi-automatics to automatics should be illegal and that gun manufactures should make it harder, not easier, to modify their weapons or face liability lawsuits. I believe that there should be waiting times for gun purchases, not only for the ‘cooling off’ effect but for both criminal databases and mental health registries of the violently mentally ill to be checked.

I don’t have all the facts about today’s shooting in Newton, Connecticut but I know that December just got darker. And unless we take our country back from the NRA, I don’t see it getting better.