Official blog for the book "Just Behind the Door"

Another Life, Another Tragedy

Another senseless death – a TSA worker simply doing his job – is gone. Didn’t the terrible tragedy at Sandy Hook elementary school teach us anything? For those of us who have lost someone it reminds us that life is fragile, there is no guarantee of tomorrow. As we watch others live through the stages of grief, from a loss that could have been prevented, we wonder what will it take, how many more lives must be lost before we are strong enough as a country to make the changes necessary to ensure greater safety for everyone. The survivors, the family members will get through this over time but never get over it. As we know the death of a loved one changes our life forever.

These innocent people, including children and public workers simply could not have died in vain. These deaths have brought our nation to our knees, momentarily stunned into silence, as we watch people run, yet again, from the sounds of a gun firing into a crowd of innocent people. Is it possible that these human beings have given their lives to teach us as a nation that life is sacred and that gun violence should no longer be tolerated? Do we take pride in being labeled the gun capital of the world? I think not, we are better than that – or are we?

In a recent interview former President Clinton said he is the only president who stood up to the NRA and won. It seems that our elected officials are more worried about being reelected – meaning not standing up to the NRA- that voting the will of the people. President Clinton explained that in a recent poll 92% of American people stated that they support a ban on assault rifles. Yet when the critical time comes to vote they are NOT EVEN AWARE of a candidate’s position on the topic! We are blessed to be able to vote freely in this country but with that opportunity comes an obligation to be informed on the issues before simply pulling a lever.

The words of President Obama in January still ring in my ears, “We must change…doing nothing is not an option,” they should cause us to wake up and face the truth in our country. We have allowed violence to grow to epidemic proportions. We pride ourselves in being the leader of the civilized world and yet experience 32 murders per DAY in the U.S. What can we learn from countries such as England, Australia, Germany and Japan who have acted decisively, in a nonpartisan effort, to assure the safety of their people and defenseless children? Can we check our egos at the door, finally, and say we can humble ourselves enough to learn from others? We are strong, we are intelligent but we are not invincible.

Piers Morgan of CNN has been relentless in his effort to help us understand the staggering statistics that, sadly, are unique to the U.S. Both professionally and personally he is committed to doing something to help. He is not letting the issue of our need for greater gun control drop as the rest of the country resumes their lives.

Senator Diane Feinstein saw the positive effect from the legislation to ban assault weapons succeed for 10 years, until 2004 when it expired as part of the sunset provision contained in the law. Yet, she has been back once again trying to pass legislation to ban the deadly assault rifles. As she said about Sandy Hook, “This is the straw that broke the camel’s back!” She is a model senator who will eventually receive the support of legislators in Washington when and if they are held accountable by us and not until.

What can we do to help? We must keep up the pressure to see assault weapon legislation passed again but this time with NO sunset provision. That will ensure greater safety for all of us – especially our children. Other major issues such as improved mental health services and reducing the amount of violence promoted on T.V., movies and video games must be addressed. Glamorizing violence, killing and maiming is simply wrong. When you put garbage in your mind you get garbage out. It is simply cause and effect. We know that we are what we think about most often.

The candidates running in the mid term elections in 2014 will be gearing up shortly. May we be strong enough, informed enough and tenacious enough to elect individuals who will do the right thing.

Please pass this blog on to others. We will need all the support possible to make the changes necessary in our country. Together we can change our world.

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