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Perhaps you might like to focus on the real issue ... gun control.

Oh, and since you seem to have finally concluded that Sikhs aren't Muslims, perhaps you'd also be prepared to accept that not all Muslims are innate terrorists?

I am saddened beyond belief to have seen the images I've seen on the television tonight coming out of Oak Creek.   I am rarely reduced to tears these days, but this has done it for me.   The dignity, compassion, decency and integrity of the Sikh people who have spoken from outside of the temple is something perhaps we could all learn from.    

After the Aurora Shootings, Noam Scheiber wrote a really brilliant article entitled "Yes, Really, Ban all the guns" in which he asks why it's only really acceptable to talk about banning assault weapons, why not talk about banning gun ownership in private homes, full stop?

He says :

Guns are good because they provide the ultimate self-defense? While I’m sure some people believe that having a gun at their bedside will make them safer, they are wrong.

Later in the article he says

It’s rarely talked about, but hunting for sport is just about as vile as we humans get. In the words of former Bush speechwriter Matthew Scully, “Most wicked deeds are done because the doer proposes some good to himself . . . [but] the killer for sport has no such comprehensible motive. He prefers death to life, darkness to light. He gets nothing except the satisfaction of saying, ‘Something that wanted to live is dead.”’ ... Can someone explain to me why that’s acceptable, or why that love of death should be more important than the safety of the 94 percent of us who don’t have hunting licenses and don’t hunt?
Today we are all stunned by the dreadful events in Oak Creek.  Sikhs, while attending their place of worship, attacked by a gunman (it seems to only be one at the current time).  We so far know that there are seven dead, including the gunman.

Continue reading below the squiggle for more...

There is so much I want to say here but I'm not sure I trust myself to say it!  

I didn't used to be someone who supported the idea of banning all guns, but I am now.  I said this earlier on Twitter and was told, by a gun enthusiast, that it would be unconstitutional to do that.  I replied that the passing of the NDAA was unconstitutional but that didn't seem to stop anyone voting for it!  

So, what is the truth in this country of ours?  Guns yes, freedom no?  Is that it?  I no longer know.  But I do still care, very much indeed.

I ended up by replying to those who tweeted me furiously to tell me how wrong I was

To all the gun nuts tweeting - I don't care about your rights right now, I care about the rights of innocent people in a temple.
Gandhi was once asked "What do you think of Western Civilization?" and he replied "I think it would be a very good idea".   So do I.

No candidate is going to put forward the idea of tighter gun regulation in an election year apparently.   Yes, there would still be shootings if the gun laws were tightened or if guns were legally banned, but surely fewer shootings is a better result than just doing nothing other than wringing our hands and comforting the injured and bereaved.

We don't yet know exactly what has happened in this case and I'm sure that others will come along who will be able to write far more articulate and eloquent diaries as information becomes available.  

But, before I signed off from Twitter tonight I asked this :.

When will enough be enough? When will we stop fearing our neighbors? When will we all grow up and talk about our ridiculous obsession with guns? When will the mass media stop feeding us a diet of fear that scares us all into believing every stranger we see is a potential threat? When will we take back control of our country? When? I have no idea. But, something's got to happen. And soon.

I go to bed tonight sad in the knowledge that yet another fatal shooting has occured in Oak Creek.

I send out all Metta meditation to those affected by this terrible tragedy, and all compassion to those who are now dealing with yet another massacre of our own making.

This isn't a very informational diary, it doesn't contain loads of up to date information, but it DOES contain a very real wish from me, that we somehow find a way to have a real, grown up discussion about gun ownership in this country.   I have a feeling that at the moment our Founding Fathers, who wrote the Constitution, are screaming from their graves that THIS is not what they had in mind when the wrote the 2nd Amendment.

I think the news organizations might do well to stop focussing solely on the racial profile of the victims, or the possible mistaken religion of the victims, and instead realize that we are ALL human beings, regardless of faith, color or creed and it's about time we ALL stood up and rebelled against this increasing violence.  


If you haven't already, you really MUST read the article I linked to at the very beginning of this piece, written by Noam Sheiber.  Please.

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