“In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” I just can’t get it out of my head. The tragedy of Newtown, Connecticut is the madness of Herod repeated over and over again. I stand outside my daughter’s room and weep as she sleeps, terrified of what we’ve become. For the right of one person to own guns, twenty-eight are dead. The balance of power is way off-kilter, like a fishing vessel in a perfect storm. Those who protest are those who are unarmed who wish to remain that way. The bravado of the NRA says, “I would protect them, if I were there.” If I were there. I would feel no safer. Where was the NRA in Stockton, California, Iowa City, Iowa, Jonesboro, Arkansas, Littleton, Colorado, Red Lake, Minnesota, Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, Blacksburg, Virginia, DeKalb, Illinois, Oakland, California, or Newtown, Connecticut? Polishing their rifles in readiness, no doubt.
The time has come to put an end to easy access to guns. Life was more civilized in the days of the flintlock and musket—at least people had time to react or flee before another shot was loaded. Instead we tell people they will be safer if they can squeeze off forty-one shots before that crazy idiot shoots another. Drop to your knees and beg for mercy, you’ll be safer. While you’re down there, say one for a nation that loves its firearms more than its children.
Days like this it feels like God has us in his sights. The longer I ponder this the blacker my thoughts grow. We may blame the madman, but it is society that allows this to happen. Herod was king, and even the mother of God fled. But what of those left behind in Bethlehem? They paid the price for a man in love with power. I see a man in a cage, being sprayed by an upright ape holding a firehose. The man is one of the most vocal supporters of the NRA, but now he is the inferior being. “It’s a madhouse!” he cries. Yes, Mr. Heston, it is a madhouse indeed. Only those aren’t apes outside the cage, and those are firehoses in their hands. On further reflection, perhaps they are truly apes. Rachel is weeping for her children, while Herod reloads.