The Free Press, Mankato, MN

January 10, 2013

Your View: When fear takes over, gun tragedies happen

By Larry Kiewel, Belle Plaine

— There are too many guns in this world and not enough wisdom. Another gun tragedy and the advocates are going to spend our time and treasure in debate.

Some have suggested that a law will limit the number of guns and accessories. The other side went straight to armed guards in schools. But the events in Newtown, Conn., do not point to a poverty of law. They point to a poverty of the spirit.

This poverty of spirit shows itself as fear. Fear so great two different fathers failed to keep loaded weapons from children. A man living alone fatally shoots two teenagers. A grandfather awakes in the night and shoots his granddaughter.

The NRA is wrong. When individuals take their safety into their owns hands the community is less safe. All these recent events happened with legal weapons owned by people who had every right to own them. But their spirit was struck by the poverty that is fear and wisdom failed them.

Wisdom is the duty of every individual but safety is responsibility of the community. I argue that if we take our safety into our own hands we cannot guarantee the safety of our community or even our own children. We can write new laws, but what we need is new attitudes of faith and justice and inclusion.

The stranger does not call us to arms. He calls us to build an inclusive community of caring.