I must admit that I’m curious about, and interested in many topics. Authoring a blog about brands can feel limiting at times until I simply use brand image as a baseline subject for the content. I can add almost any idea as a suffix to the headline, “The Brand of (Blank)” and immediately make it relevant. Until now.
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Around 12:30 a.m. in the early morning hours of July 17, 2012 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, a gunman entered the Copper Top bar near the campus of the University of Alabama and opened fire with a military-style assault rifle. Ultimately injuring 17, the attempted murders that night went largely unreported in the national news due to an even larger, more heinous event in Aurora, Colorado.
I watched the President offer words of consolation, but no commitment to new gun legislation after a visit to the families of victims in Colorado. I watched John McCain stay on party message and defend the Second Amendment last weekend. I saw Mitt Romney stick to script as well in the days after those murders. For the life of me, I cannot understand why the obvious, broad consensus of U.S. popular opinion is not resonating with lawmakers, candidates and campaign staff, and our executive branch of government. Do they not represent our interests?
Why is it that we as a people relish our freedom so much that we need to extend that right to be able to purchase 6,000 rounds of ammunition online? Of what use or benefit to the greater good of our nation would that be? Why have we not reconsidered the decisions of our founding fathers, all with the knowledge that life, (population, values and modern weaponry, to name just a few others) have changed dramatically in the 225 years since that iconic document was drafted?
It’s unfathomable, and it crosses party lines. Only Mayor Bloomberg had the good common sense, strength and the decency to stand on a national stage and call on our elected leaders to measure up. They haven’t and of course, they won’t.
What drives the stonewalling? Is it the special interests, the NRA and powerful lobbyists representing the gun manufacturing industry?
John McCain struck an old chord when he stated that, as far as stricter gun control, “it would have to be proven first” that such a measure would be effective. This logic, used time and again by conservatives — of which I am one — is a tragic, deflective manipulation that now borders on the inane. One might counter, “Why even attempt to improve what is clearly a national epidemic?” Should we prove first and demonstrate further that cancer is indeed a bad thing since it kills, before we try to address the issue? Shall we build a bridge now, because after all, no one has proven that we can ultimately cross that river? Wait — let’s turn the national discussion to same-sex marriage, or taxes, or the recession, because that will certainly distract voters from the core issue: Our national community has a grave flaw, but it can be substantially helped through regulation.
Using a more linear analysis, why not take steps immediately to shape policy and attack the national problem at its root, and in the process, ignore big “inside-the-beltway” money?
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On Monday, July 30, I will fly with my daughter to Tuscaloosa to help her set up her first apartment just off campus. I’m a graduate of Virginia Tech, and I remember my classes in Norris Hall. A chilling detail: After that massacre, the cell phones of those murdered students rang unanswered in the pockets of the victims, calls from their desperate fathers and mothers checking to see if their children were OK.
I’d like to think that my children are going to have a better future, a right to work and earn, yes, but also a safer future.
Our leaders are failing us, but it’s our country and our right to send a strong message. In the words of Mayor Bloomberg, write to your local representative and let them know that we care about gun control and the regulation of ammunition being sold online. If they don’t act, vote them out of office. Let’s find the right people for the job.
Our children’s lives may depend on it.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 at 8:40 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.