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Peace begins with each one of us | Letter to the Editor
The mass shootings in the last week have horrified me again. It’s not enough to ask why we allow automatic weapons to be sold or other legitimate issues about gun control. We have an epidemic of gun deaths, but the issue goes deeper. Our culture is steeped in violence.
As a lifelong educator, I’ve been in school lockdowns with the threat of armed intruders and an evacuation while robots looked for explosives. I’ve been trained in school safety programs and taught by police officers how to run from a shooter. Chilling protocols I never imagined signing on for as an educator. The violence in Connecticut shows that no plan can protect school children and staff with our current mindset.
Our culture of violence permeates every layer of our lives. Each of us can examine how we contribute to it. Do you settle a conflict through intimidation or the threat of physical violence? If you consider yourself a peaceful person, how much of your entertainment involves violence? Gun violence rocked our community just a few months ago. How many households have since altered their gun ownership or gun storage? As one of my teachers said, “What you think on, you will become.”
At a national level, we are engaged in endless wars and feel justified to send drones to kill anywhere our so-called enemies may hide. Our killing machines have many civilian casualties, including children as tender as those who died in Connecticut.
True peace begins within us, lived out in our families, community and our national course. As we await the Prince of Peace in this Advent season, we must set our sights on a new path. We will need to be resolute, standing together to change our society so a child can grow up safely. Being armed to the teeth is no security.
— Julia Lakey