Although it’s been a while since I saw Schindler’s List, there’s a scene in the movie when a young boy, an inmate of one of the death camps, goes to the home of one of the camp leaders and does some work for him.
When the job is completed, the boy turns his back on the camp leader to walk back toward the camp.
The boy is completely defenseless.
From the balcony, the camp leader raises his rifle and calmly shoots the boy in the back.
When I saw this brutal act of murder on the screen—the randomness of death in the camps etched itself on my memory. The camps were places where no one knew at any one time when they might be killed—for no reason at all.
And then, I thought, “Being randomly shot or murdered—not too different from living in America.”
My chances and your chances of being randomly murdered, while they are not so great numerically as the chances of those of a camp inmate at Auschwitz, still exist. And America isn’t a death camp.
Or is it?
Tell it to the people who were randomly shot right here in the United States while watching a movie, or praying in a church, or shopping for groceries or going to school.
204 mass shootings in 204 days.
Definition of insanity: Keep on doing the same thing while expecting it to end differently.
How many private, innocent citizens have to be shot to death before their deaths trump the rights of any one person to own a gun. Really? How many? One a day? For how many years?
I’m tired of the “what if” claims that had more people in “that church” or in “that school” or in “that theater” had guns themselves, less people would have been killed. No matter what the conjecture, the sole purpose of a gun is to hit and destroy a target, a can or beer bottle, an animal or a human being. Nothing else. Nothing but destruction.
I say shame on anyone who owns a gun.
Shame on you for being part of the problem. And to hell with your defense of your constitutional rights to gun ownership. To hell with your defense, period.
Shame on you for your selfishness and for your blindness and for your terrible insistence that your puny personal rights are more important than the lives of any single one person shot by any single one of you.
I say shame on you.
Put the guns down. Give up your rights.
Do something real and responsive and sane instead.
Put the guns down.
Author: Carmelene Siani
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Seattle Municipal Archives/Flickr