Systems of Belief: A Holiday Note from Gays Against Guns
December 25, 2016
From today until New Year's Day most Americans, regardless their systems of belief, will gather together with their families and loved ones to celebrate the holidays. They will sit together at tables, and eat together and, in that ritual, strengthen and renew the bonds so crucial for society to thrive.
However, around many of those tables, though all the chairs have occupants and all the plates are full, some person (or in some cases, people) will be absent.
They'll be present in memory, but they will not be there physically, nor will they ever be again. These are people taken by gun violence.
Survivors of the gun violence incident that took their family member may be seated at that same table. Though they may feel fortunate to have survived, they will also carry scars, mental and physical. They, too, are casualties.
These scars and trauma exist every day, but are often felt most keenly at this time of year. Add to that the fact that the holidays are meant to be a time of merriment, with expectations for folks to feel grateful and loving, and they cast a pall.
The effects of gun violence cast a pall on celebrations across America and diminish us all.
But perhaps what's most sad about gun violence is that, at its root, it's not some moralistic battle about the Constitution or the Second Amendment. Its root cause is, plainly and simply, profit. Or, more strongly put: greed.
The business people of the gun industry, and the politicians they control, have made it possible to flood the country with huge quantities of inexpensive, murderous weapons which - even in experienced hands - can destroy lives by accident.
At Gays Against Guns we have members of all faiths as well as those who profess none at all. But one thing we all share at this time of year is a wish that all Americans can gather together in joy and happiness.
And if there is someone missing from the table, memories of them can be shared that are of a long life, lived fully, free from fear and great sadness.