America may need to toughen its gun laws. But America must change its gun culture. The mind-set that elevates guns and gun rights to a godly status, esteemed even more than the God most weapon worshipers claim to profess, is literally killing us.
There is nothing godly about guns. Nothing. During this high holy season it bears remembering that when Jesus was threatened he had Peter sheath his sword. He was and is the ultimate prince of peace. The supreme hypocrisy is to pretend obeisance to Jesus and faith in God, while succumbing to a fear induced death-grip on guns.
The root of the problem is that right-wing conservatives have both used — and been used by — the gun lobby for deeper political interests.
Guns are yet another flash point for those who oppose our government. They have become for the "get government out" (unless used for me or my corporation) crowd a huge chip on the shoulder. And that chip grows exponentially as each new gun crime threatens to upend their senseless and immoral fixation on firearms.
With such knee-jerk emotionalism, any talk of rational gun reform is wrongly heard as a call to outlaw any and all gun ownership. Yet not once has any mainstream politician or credible leader called for outlawing responsible gun ownership.
Falsely fanning the fears that any reasonable gun restriction is akin to confiscation is all too typical for anti-government propagandists. It has further divided us. It has weakened us. And it has enabled the ever-growing number of such preventable tragedies as the Sandy Hook slaughter.
To be sure, more than just guns were involved in that shooting. But pro-gun intransigence has prevented crucial talks on preventing gun possession by those who should never have access to them, be they ex-felons, the mentally ill or any person with whom they reside.
Even now, the pro-gun forces are shouting their solution to prevent future Sandy Hooks: more guns. They are calling for schoolteachers to be armed and trained. They would even prefer arming older students. They truly want every healthy American to be armed and ready, and to live in this perpetual state of faithless fear.
Many politicians have here-to-now been scared senseless to whisper as much as a hiccup against unfettered gun proliferation. They have yet to say that above all we should be protecting our children and teachers, not arming them.
However, there is one entity that they are about to fear even more: mothers. And with this latest outrage, mothers are coming out. Mothers have helped curtail drunk driving and there is no doubt they will lead us out of the dark despair created by the gun culture.
A mother's love for life knows no bounds; it will bear all and resist all. The NRA doesn't stand a chance against mom.
It is an incredible, yet fitting, coincidence that this salvation of motherhood is reawakening now, during Christmas. For another mother 2,000 years ago boldly answered the call of God to save a broken world. She gave birth to Jesus, who came to save the world.
If only we will let him.
Richard Dawahare is a Lexington attorney.