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Wake up, America! We’re in the midst of not one but two epidemics. The second is an advanced case of irresponsible behavior in the matter of guns. The majority of thinking adults in the United States favor gun control, yet we cannot seem to enact the legislation that would assure public safety.

This epidemic of violence spreads with each succeeding incident, as the guns proliferate and the publicity swells. There are many causes for this epidemic and many remedies proposed for its relief, but the central fact remains: if the guns were removed from these actions, many lives would be saved.

What is the cure? License all guns, just as we do cars. We don’t put matches within the reach of kindergarteners, or give cars to ten-year-olds. Require gun owners to carry insurance on each weapon, and then tap that income to pay for the resulting societal and personal damages. Scotland and New Zealand show us that restriction is possible. Christ, Gandhi and Martin Luther King have taught us that violence begets violence -- it is not a pathway to peace or ‘security’.

The striking photos of our planet from space show how isolated we are in this universe. We have a choice: destroy all life (the easy thoughtless path, just a finger pressing a button), or respect each other and preserve it. We need to look each other in the face and see “Fellow Human, Friend” rather than “Evil Stranger, Enemy”. Let us grow up to our responsibilities as world citizens, and work for the common good. Let us begin at home, and get the manufacture, sale and use of guns under control. Let us arrest both of these epidemics and follow a path which leads to justice, peace and health for all who dwell on this planet.

-- Alice Parker

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