The Return of the ’60s, Let’s Hope

One of the most difficult things to come to terms with is the inevitability of change, especially change over a period of a lifetime. As the world turns and things change, you’re also reminded of your mortality. The speed of change now is mind-blowing, and in some ways it adds an incredible amount of stress to one’s life, even if you are a lot younger than I am. We all know if you don’t welcome change, you won’t survive in this world: it’s Darwin’s theory all over again. Adapt or die.

The fallout from the current Valentine’s Day Massacre (it has a different meaning for those of a certain age) makes me happy that change, and a new ways of adaptation, seem to be coming vis a vis gun ownership.

As my longtime readers are aware, I am not a gun person. Personally, I don’t believe anyone needs a gun–and the rest of the civilized world agrees. The presence of a gun in a household means that the weapon is more likely to end up in the hands of someone who’s not going use it properly, and an innocent person is more likely to be a victim of gun violence than a bad guy.

But ownership of guns in America is way, way out of control—thanks to the manipulation of the National Rifle Association over the past three decades–and frankly I do not believe we’ll be able to do anything to correct that situation. It is what it is, and Americans have been brainwashed into believing that a gun has to be part of your household toolkit.

Unless our Congress gets rid of their money addiction funneled to their campaigns by the gun manufacturing lobby, the National Rifle Association will continually manipulate us into believing that without a gun in every hand, we are in danger. So we capitulate to the fear they create in our psyches, and fall for their twisting of the Second Amendment’s meaning. It’s all about gun manufacturers selling more weapons, don’t you see?

It gives me great hope to see so many young people with bravery and fortitude who have taken on politicians and the NRA. They are exercising their power to possibly make a great change in the way in which America perceives and controls gun ownership and usage. They have guts to address this issue, and I am praying that they have the persistence to see this fight through and actually effect a change, no, demand a change.

That’s the most difficult thing: keeping the faith and fighting for right when you are faced with massive resistance and an ingrained power structure that is sustained by masses of money. It’s hard. It takes time; it could take a really long time. This is what I worry about.

I’m hopeful that this movement continues and grows (as I write this, Walmart has just announced that it will not sell firearms to anyone under 21…progress!), and that its perpetrators have the stamina to keep up the fight.

Now if we could just make ammunition enormously expensive and require that all gun owners carry minimum liability insurance for every gun they own; that would be a big change. You can still have your guns—if you must—but you have to be responsible for their use by anteing up. Hitting someone’s pocketbook is the best way to make sure they do that (this message is not NRA-approved!).

Young people are our future. May they continue to exercise their power—based in deep idealism—to achieve real change. The ’60s decade has returned!