The world was supposed to have ended, dozens of states have been slammed by winter storms and we've got through Christmas. Mayan doom and holiday shopping aside - this past two weeks has been a real struggle for me. And if we are honest with each other, I think it has probably been a struggle for many millions of people around the country as well.
Two weeks have just about gone by but the pain of what happened in that elementary school to those children has not dissipated. It's Christmas week, but at times, I really haven't felt like celebrating. This school shooting has had a more profound effect on me than anything that has happened in my lifetime. After a long military career, I thought I'd seen it all - its left a bigger impact than the terrible attacks on 9/11!
I will of course get over it and there are certainly signs that change is in the air. But there are several things that bother me profoundly. One concerns the two extremes on the edges of the raging gun control debate.
The views of both the right and the left, have been more evident and polarized this week than ever before. The 2nd amendment fighting right have taken a pasting for sure. But there are still many that have not budged from their viewpoint. In fact, some have called for the arming of teachers and volunteers in the classroom. And the NRA are advocating that more guns, not less, is the way to go. They want there to be no 'gun-free zones,' like churches and schools, anywhere in the United States.
Then there is the idealized left that would, given half a chance, ban all guns. This is the same left wing that would have us giving up knives and anything else that is remotely dangerous. They'd probably insist on us all swearing that meat is murder and ban hunting too. The newspaper article that published a map with the names and addresses of lawful gun owners in New York has done nothing but hurt those calling for gun control.
What bothers me is that those on both ends of the political spectrum still drive the agenda in this country. When are we going to understand that just because we disagree on one subject does not mean we should be labelled left or right. Because someone calls for a ban on assault rifles and military hand guns doesn't stop them from being Pro-life. Just like the person that believes that marrage should be between a man and a woman shouldn't stop them being able to call for 100% background checks of everyone who obtains a gun. Or the person who believes in Second Amendment rights has the right to call for higher taxes on those making the most money.
Its good to see people like Joe Scarborough, Mark Warner and Joe Manchin making brave decisions, but they are still in the minority. Its time the vast majority of people of this country who don't fit the mold created by the left and the right, start to lead the way, and steer us away from extremist run madness.