It’s Not My Truth

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Last week, I wrote about my wonderful, spiritual town where I live in. At that exact same time, one nearby neighbor shot and killed another neighbor, apparently over a bush trimming feud. When I saw the police cars and TV van, I almost pulled my blog. Instead, I decided to leave it longer than usual. My neighbor’s truth is not my truth.

Everything I wrote about my town is true. Even the TV and newspaper stories started with phrases like “quiet, peaceful and upscale neighborhood.” The facts remain the same except last week we had a murder on my street. No one expected it but it happened here.

Violence happens all the time somewhere in the nation. My neighbor’s quarrel should have been settled reasonably between two sane people. I believe it might have been settled rationally if no one had a gun.

Beyond the news stories, I cannot make a judgment about the case, but I am free to make the judgment that there are many too many guns around. I realize that stricter gun laws might not have had any effect on my neighbor’s dispute but I do believe that new gun laws are desperately needed.

We must speak out!  I hope everyone who reads this will take a stand and urge his or her leaders to continue to push for gun control legislation. When the great majority of citizens are in favor of tighter restrictions, shouldn’t politicians respond? Does money talk louder than the lives of innocents?

Yes, I have heard all that Second Amendment hooey. The Second Amendment was put in the Constitution to protect the American Colonists against the English in the 1700’s. It seems as archaic as Bible laws against eating pigs or shellfish to me. The dietary laws met a health need thousands of years ago but we have food inspectors now.

I know that my comments may sound simplistic but it does seem simple to me. Of course violence would still continue to happen, but if there were fewer guns in this country that would surely slow down the killing.

I’m glad people are talking more seriously about making neighborhoods safer by enacting stricter gun laws. This morning it seems as if we might see a tighter background check law get voted on and passed in the Senate. It is a beginning but there is so much more to be done.

Big city mayors have organized and been speaking out for several months now. Unfortunately, the mayor’s group represents cities, and many suburban folks who felt safer couldn’t hear them. Things have changed.

After the killing of 20 children and their six teachers in Sandy Hook Elementary School, everyone was shocked and it seemed they might be ready to listen. We dared to hope that some good would come out of the Newtown CO massacre.

The death of those innocent children dented in our hearts, They seemed like “our kids”. We already knew about random violence in less privileged neighborhoods but this time, there were so many children killed at once. And they were so young and from white, middle-class suburbs.

I’m certain we would say that a child of the ghetto or barrio deserved as much safety as a child of the suburbs. On the other hand, as I learned last week, it is easier to ignore issues when they happen farther away. Sandy Hook felt closer to home for most of us.

Many of us tried to imagine what it would feel like to lose a young child in the first or second grade to mass gun violence. My heart breaks when I think about it.

There are neighborhoods where death by gun violence is common. Sometimes it is gang activity and everyone involved a teenager. Sometimes random fire strikes a six year old. Can you imagine what it would be like to raise a child in one of those neighborhoods?

Whether in suburb or city, age six or sixteen, life is precious. There are far too many children in the USA who are endangered by guns. We know this and we also know that limiting access to guns would help. That’s why such a large majority (approximately 90%) of voters favor of stricter gun controls.

When politicians put powerful lobbies ahead of representing their constituents’ desires, it is time to elect new politicians. We can change the rules. Politicians who resist gun control legislation can lose in the next game.  Why re-elect someone who represents the NRA?

Violence has many facets. There are other things we can do besides limit gun access. We certainly need to curtail the violent video games, and the violence in movies, and on TV. It is a strange world where young people are entertained for hours by playing killing games. Not a good idea – as any psychologist will tell you.

Some of the same people who agree with me on guns will be against censorship of volence. They will quote the First Amendment quicker than the opposition quotes the Second. Neither the First nor Second Amendment is sacred.

Truth is, we already censor free speech in many ways. Liberals should not be afraid to ruffle the feathers of the Hollywood money birds. We are hypocrites if we are not willing to attempt to curtail all violence by saying, “Enough!

As a part of my New Thought spiritual practice, I have avoided violent films for years and I think it is a very good idea to keep your mind clear of violent entertainment. Why fill your head with nonsense? You may believe believe that Django is great art but that is not my Truth.

We also need to find new ways to identify and help individuals with mental health issues. That said, the most immediate need and the most logical place to start curbing violence is with gun control measures.

It looks as if we will get a vote on a background check bill in the Senate very soon. Please do what you can to help it pass. It’s not enough, but it is something. Let’s take what we can get as quickly as we can.

When the bill passes the Senate, it goes to the House and your representatives need to know you want something done. Contact the men and women who represent you NOW. Let them know what you believe and why. Tell them you are watching their votes and that it is important to you.

Whenever someone tells me that a proposed law is not enough, that the problems will remain, I remember the starfish story…

There was once a young man who walking on the beach who came upon hundreds of starfish washed up on the sand. He started picking them up, and throwing them back in the water. His companion said, “Forget it. There are too many dying. It won’t make any difference.” The young man threw two more starfish into the water and said, “It made a difference to those two.”

Remember – Political Action Works!

Ask Yourself

Do I agree?

Is there anything I can do?

What shall I do?

When shall I do it?

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8 Comments on “It’s Not My Truth”

  1. Brilliant piece Jane. You have spoken the truth with clarity, compassion, and integrity. May the world hear your words today…and our politicians as well…

    Bravo.

    Peace, Dennis

  2. Andy says:

    Thank you Jane. I needed that today. When I forget who I am and start getting drawn into the “apparent” world around me, your words are reminder that what I am looking at is not my truth.

  3. Thank you for expressing what I believe but have such trouble expressing to others! Mar

    • janeclaypool says:

      But you are taking action, Marilyn. I just signed a petition you were passing around. That’s what we need, the courage to speak out in action as well as the written word. Love, Jane

  4. Terry Drew Karanen/CSLCV says:

    You’ve spoken words, as a retired minister, that I don’t feel comfortable expressing in my blogs, or to my congregation. I must remind myself constantly that in spite of the liberal views of New Thought, my congregation is stuck smack dab in the middle of conservative PA. I have as many gun-totting Republicans as I have Democrats….no wait…I probably have more! LOL!

    Anyway, thanks for speaking “MY” mind!

    Love you,
    Terry

    • janeclaypool says:

      Hi Terry,

      PA is a lot different from CA. I’ve lived in both places. As for Republicans, Actually, I think I ran them all off years ago. First, this is a personal blog, not a minister’s blog. Second, I am retired and about to celebrate my 80th birthday so I am not scared of offending people. And third, it isn’t such a big risk at the moment since nearly everyone wants some sort of gun restrictions done. Plus… and this is a big plus, I have taught in those ghetto neighborhoods where violence was ordinary. I’m not just for banning assault weapons, I’m for banning anything we can get our hands on. Love, Jane


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