Saturday, December 22, 2012

Is Sandy Hook a Kent State moment?

In my previous post I wrote about a time when change was possible. However it didn't always seem that way at the time. In 1970, after a tumultuous year of protesting the war in Vietnam I was back at school and doing my best to focus on my studies. The anti-war movement was becoming fractured with some people advocating violent revolution (the ring leader of this group turned out to be an under cover cop). I wanted to end violence, not create more of it. The public too was growing tired of the protests. "Law and order" was the theme of the moment. That all changed on May 4th when four college students were killed at Kent State University by National Guard troops trying to protect that law and order.  My world was shattered. Sure the country had some problems but this was still the USA. Other countries gunned down their own citizens but surely not our country.  But it happened. These were not criminals. They were young college students who only wanted to help make our country a better place.
I couldn't continue in school. None of that mattered now. The only thing that mattered was to end the war and to put an end to Nixon and the fascist government that could kill it's own youth. I wasn't the only one who felt that way. Kent State was the tipping point. People who had been on the sidelines before came out and said "enough is enough". Momentum to end the war was now unstoppable.
So is the Sandy Hook massacre enough to wake this country up to the terrible price we are paying for the right to own guns? Have enough of our children died to get our blood boiling? Will this be the tipping point that will finally bring some sanity to the conversation? I certainly hope so.

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