— by Annette Sabbah
Long ago, the great Rabbi Hillel wrote: “If not now, when?”
After Yesterday our answer should be one long, loud, visceral, primal scream: Now.
After yesterday, while still reeling from that unfathomable nightmare scenario, sickened to our stomach by the sheer randomness & brutality of the crime, thinking of the unspeakable anguish & the numbing pain now awaiting each of those young mothers or fathers — all our clocks should collectively read but one hour: Now. To act today, this minute, this instant.
After yesterday, the second Amendment should now read as follows: “We, the Founding Fathers now urgently joined by the Founding Mothers and with all the Wisdom, Responsibility & Sanity vested in us decree Sacrosanct, Undeniable, Non-Negotiable & Inalienable the Right of a Free People to Hold, Retain, Savor, Enjoy, Love, Safeguard, Bear & Keep Life.” In a separate clause it should also read: “The War on Mental Illness, severe or otherwise, should be unanimously declared equal to War on Drugs. Congress must therefore spare no effort to help to diagnose, rehabilitate, treat and & whenever possible cure this terrible ailment from our midst.”
More after the jump.
After yesterday, we must come to the full realization that over the past few months, we are witnessing week in and week out a disturbing & unprecedented phenomenon: random shooting rampage epidemic. These are taking place in places and venues which are part and parcel of our everyday lives. Our malls, movie theaters, places of worship, colleges, a Tucson supermarket on a beautiful Saturday morning and yesterday in the brightest of places — a place filled with the voices, laughter and innocence of little children — a first grade classroom.
After yesterday — freedom of expression should begin to mean something different. Today’s culture of violence, maimings, killings & blood saturated movie screens and videogames devaluate life while glorifying death – fashioning a generation of desensitized youth. Oblivious to pain and suffering.
When a producer, director or videogame creator “freedom of expression” promotes violence for the sake of violence to sell tickets or a game — that’s where his rights should end and ours begin. Our rights to not have our children’s minds poisoned by a warped vision of the world — where to every problem, the solution is a gun.
After yesterday — it behooves us as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, wives, husbands, brothers, sisters — all citizens of this great country, to all raise our united voices and demand our Government act. Act promptly & act decisively. Act intelligently & act judiciously. Act to curb the sales of guns, restrict existing gun Laws and enforce new ones. Act to instate tougher & lengthier gun permit or license requirements.
After yesterday — each and everyone of us will find within his/her heart the right measure, the right degree of participation — but one cannot remain idle. Because one thing is for sure and connects us beyond being either for or anti gun control. We all have kids or grandkids — whom we love beyond words. Nieces, nephews, loved ones – be they young or old. From today on, we want them safe wherever they may be.
After yesterday — there is no longer any rhyme nor reason in a society such as ours, for a disturbed individual to, at a moment’s whim, begin roaming the streets of our lives with an AK 47, an Ouzi, a sawed off shotgun, a Glock, a Semi Automatic with high capacity magazine able to dispense 100 rounds or more in matter of minutes… and reload as many. And kill. NOT NOW. NOT EVER. NOT ANYMORE. The time is now my friends, get up and dust off your uncertainties, your misgivings, your reservations. It’s your turn to speak as I just have — if even one sentence — remembering always the power of the written word is mightier than the sword.
For when words speak the truth they strike a universal chord in the hearts of men – then grow and reverberate and have the power to change the world.
“Be the change you want to see in the world” – Ghandi.
“If not now, when?” – Hillel.
In the names of those you love.
The hour is late.