As a member of the Greatest Generation, I am proud of how my contemporaries endured and persevered through the many difficult times we lived through. However, now I feel a sense of shame for this country when, during the election period, many states passed laws to suppress the votes of minorities, the young, and the old. We are living in a time of greed and corruption from Wall Street and the big banks — some which nearly tanked our economy with their anti-consumer policies — taking taxpayer money at the same time that they are kicking families out of their homes and gouging customers.
As if those policies are not difficult enough, I learn that I’m living in a country where children, ages five to 14, are 13 times more likely to be murdered with guns as children in other industrialized countries. The power of the gun industry and their enablers, the NRA, has created a political climate in which it is too difficult to make even moderate changes in gun regulation.
I went to the Million Mom March in Washington on Mother’s Day, May 14, 2000. We were all so excited to be able to make our voices heard to pass common sense gun control, which would help protect the lives of our children and all Americans. When I look back at that day, I am heartsick about where we are on the critical issue of gun control. Our goal, to urge Congress to enact common sense gun legislation, has failed up to now. Will this latest horror stiffen the spines of our legislators to prevent more gun massacres in future years? I wish that I could say that I’m optimistic about changes to our gun policies, but I’m not sure.