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It’s Time


 “My world is being destroyed.”

This is it. I’ve had enough.

As I drove around a snowy Santa Fe today, I kept feeling chilled, not because I was cold but because I had already seen the news about the slaughter of the 20 elementary school children in Connecticut. This is not the post I intended for the day, but I knew it was coming.

On the subject of the massacre of the Sikhs in their temple in Milwaukee on August 5 (“What Will It Take?”), I wrote that “there’s a sense that this can’t go on, that there will be one last horrific event that makes the blood of the entire nation run cold, and then we will begin to move on gun control.”

“What’s ‘the big one’ going to look like?” I continued. “Where will it happen? How many people will die? Who will they be, so that everyone registers: That could be my child, my friend, my mate, my parents, my neighborhood, my . . .That’s the key word. ‘My.’ That’s the point we have to get to collectively: ‘My world is being destroyed.’”

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’m there. For years I taught as a volunteer at Acequia Madre Elementary in Santa Fe; and when I think of all those wonderful children, those bright faces, I know that they could as easily be trembling in terror at this moment as the children at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Connecticut. The way things are, this could happen at any time, anywhere in this country.

Before the sun goes down on this tragic day, every member of Congress who represents New Mexico will have a letter in the mail from me saying basically, “Do something about gun control, and I mean now!” Change won’t happen through email transmissions composed by an organizer. This is going to take paper and stamps and individual expression. And I’m not stopping here. Every member of Congress is going to hear from me–by regular mail–before I’m done.

I closed my post on the Sikh massacre with a series of questions: “And if we believe in the idea of a soul’s contract, who among us has committed to the role of martyr that always invokes the most profound change in human thought? How many of them are there? Where do they live? How long will it be before we know their names? And which one or ones among us will call them out through an act of unprecedented evil?”

In a few hours, we’ll know. Right before the children’s most beloved holiday of the year, we’ll know.


4 Responses to “It’s Time”

  1. Ce

    I couldn’t agree less. If you were to take all the guns off the face of the earth sick and evil, hate filled people will still find ways to kills each other. Putting more legislation on guns wont change that fact that people raise children so scarred that they don’t understand the value of life and only can feel and think of their own pain and vengeance. Nor will it change the fact that emotional illness exists and plays a role unchecked and unreported. Knives, chemical weapons, bombs, words….. they all kill and maim. Assault weapons have no business in a debate about a hateful and scarred society. It might be a way to put things off but in the end the problem is the people who do this, finding and helping them before its too late…… not their weapons.

    • celeryellen

      Dear Ce,
      A “hateful and scarred” society is one that has deteriorated, and I think that accurately describes our own. The proliferation of increasingly dangerous weapons in the hands of individuals is symptomatic of our social deterioration, not a remedy for it or a protection against it. And sometimes symptoms need to be addressed before healing can begin. We can’t just stand by and go “Tch, tch,” any longer. It isn’t enough to live the most high-vibrating life possible. It’s now come to the point that each of us needs to take some kind of initiative for the benefit of the collective, and I’m doing that in other ways in addition to promoting gun control. But if this country does not take some kind of legislative action to try to prevent recurrences of this tragedy, the world will know that we have lost our soul.


  2. Barbara McCarthy

    I am deeply moved by what both you and Kate said. I am so aghast, so horrified, so disturbed by this event – I can’t process it completely yet.

    If you have emails or addresses, Ellen, for any members of Congress – please forward them to me and I will follow your example.

  3. Kate

    If only gun control were the answer. I am totally behind the control of assault weapons, but what is wrong with us that we are creating individuals who act out in this way? In China there was a recent event where 20 school children were attacked by a man with a knife. So the sickness is not here alone. These children will survive. It is true that it is easier to kill with a gun. But the Chinese youngsters will be marked for life by this.

    If only we could cut the publicity and thus the copycat nature of these crimes. But that won’t ever happen.