As I watched the video clip of President Obama talking about the shootings in Newtown, Conn., today, watching him tear up, I wondered how it feels to think, to know that you are the president of the United States, the leader of this country, someone who could stick his neck out and lead on the issue of gun violence, and know you have not done so. How does it feel to hear about these shootings and even as purportedly the most powerful man in the world, to feel helpless when so many people are killed senselessly.
In the very next moment I said to myself, well, what have you done? James, the book my Bible study group has been reading this fall, says "Anyone, then, who knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, commits sin" (4:16).
It is time to do the right thing. To stop shrugging our shoulders at the political power of the NRA. Screw the politics. We need sensible gun control. Now. As it is, it will take decades to make guns less available in this country--there are so many out there that can't be put back in a box somewhere. it's a huge problem. We have to start now.
Beyond that, one of the most sensible related things I've heard in the hour and a half the television has been tuned to MSNBC tonight is that we must provide better mental health care for troubled adolescents and young adults. We must keep guns out of the hands of crazy people, but we must also take care of people who are angry and suicidal.
Defy the gun lobby. Fund mental health programs. As the President said today, "regardless of the politics." We know the right thing to do.