No picture today…before you start reading, visualize the people you love most in the world.
Whenever I read about another person’s loss of a loved one, I hold my breath and whisper a thank-you to God that my loved ones are safe. Whenever I read about another parent’s loss, it takes my breath away, tears fill my eyes, and I whisper a plea to God to keep our children safe.
And so, today, when I read a summary of comments by radio talk show host Bob Davis in Minneapolis, I thought that the liberal site where I read the comments must have exaggerated his words and put their own spin on them. And so, as I do every time I doubt what is being reported, I searched the original source. When I found transcripts of the comments that were widely available on both conservative and liberal sites, I sat on my couch with mouth open, wondering how any sane person could say what Davis had said:
I have something I want to say to the victims of Newtown, or any other shooting. I don’t care if it’s here in Minneapolis or anyplace else. Just because a bad thing happened to you doesn’t mean that you get to put a king in charge of my life. I’m sorry that you suffered a tragedy, but you know what? Deal with it, and don’t force me to lose my liberty, which is a greater tragedy than your loss. I’m sick and tired of seeing these victims trotted out, given rides on Air Force One, hauled into the Senate well, and everyone is just afraid — they’re terrified of these victims. … I would stand in front of them and tell them, ‘Go to hell.’ (ABC video and transcript)
Although I’m a liberal at heart, I try very hard to look at both sides of every issue and give the people whose perspectives differ from my own the benefit of the doubt and the right to their opinions. I have friends whose views are more conservative than my own. I respect them. They can tell me why they believe what they believe. But at some point I have to realize that I can’t stand safely in the middle ground.
While Davis certainly has the right to free speech, these comments must be condemned—not only by liberals who, predictably, disagree with him but even by people like me, who like to consider ourselves people who think critically about both extremes.
I have no idea whether Bob Davis has children or not—couldn’t find that out online. But I can say this: I treasure the freedom this country offers me. And there is not one single freedom I enjoy that I would not sacrifice to protect my husband and my children. For Davis to compare loss of the right to own high capacity assault weapons to the loss of a child is heinous. And even those who don’t want to see assault weapons outlawed should be condemning this man’s line of reasoning.
So how far are you willing to go in support of your views? Those who share my liberal viewpoint will surely agree with me. But what about those of you who cherish your right to bear arms? Are you willing to tell this man that he is out of line?