When my oldest brother was a boy, he was a hunter. When he realized that the family did not need to kill animals for food, he grew up, became a man and put away childish things.
Like the majority of Americans, my deepest sympathies extend to the families of Connecticut in the time of their most horrific tragedy. My prayers go out to them.
Iím grateful to the Founding Fathers of this country for providing us with the necessary authority to raise an Army, a Navy, a Marine Corps, an Air Force and supplementary national services that constitute a militia. I am thankful that I do not have to bear arms to protect my community against those who would seek to harm us.
It is unfortunate that many Americans feel strongly that they must have stacks of weapons in order to be able to exercise their constitutional rights ó that many of these weapons occasionally fall into the hands of criminals, of the mentally ill, and the emotionally disabled to the extent that innocent individuals are frequently harmed. The recent breaking of the peace in Connecticut is just the latest example of the overwhelming pain and agony that can be inflicted on the innocent.
People all over the country are now feeling sickened and beaten by the circumstances in which 20 children were shot and six of their defenders killed within a few short minutes. Today people are hurt and angered that little children were subjected to the inhumane brutality of an adult with a gun in his hands.
And now, after the fact, men and women, parents and nonparents, are seeking a way to prevent this from ever happening again. What to do about the number of guns in America? How do we make certain that they do not get into the hands of the mentally troubled? What about the criminals who go to gun shows and are able to purchase as many guns and as much ammunition as they choose without any difficulty?
Probably no other people on the face of the earth like to brag about their freedom more than Americans, but not so much discussion about their responsibilities. We can have all the guns we want. Arenít we the lucky ones? Nobody can tell us what we can have ha, ha, ha!
And with our guns and ammunition we have gunned down helpless, harmless, little children. They are lost forever and we canít get them back. Who will soothe the hearts of their parents and who will wipe their tears? And how in the world do we clean up this mess?
We have spent all of our money on two wars. We had to go into Iraq and kill Saddam Hussein, didnít we? So now, where is the money we need to help those with mental health problems? How do we see to it that no guns wind up in their hands?
I tell you, we are so free we donít know what to do with ourselves. We can talk loosely about arming our teachers and arming our principals and turning our schools into armed camps instead of laboratories for learning.
But so long as weíre free, and can do anything we want, what else matters?
Itís nearly Christmas and Santa Claus is getting ready to leave the North Pole. For children, thatís what theyíre thinking about as the time draws near.
But as adults, our minds are on higher things. We prepare to celebrate the coming of our Lord. We look forward to thoughts of peace on earth and goodwill to men. We welcome the Savior with open arms and smiling faces.
And, most of all, we give thanks.