So many of us are rooting for Representative John Lewis. An icon of the civil rights movement and leader in the House of Representatives, he has stood up to injustice by sitting down. We applaud Mr. Lewis for galvanizing other members of the House to declare that Congress can no longer ignore its responsibilities.
Our government, as Abraham Lincoln noted, is extraordinary because it is ‘of, by and for the people’. The overwhelming popular frustration with our government is largely because it lost sight of this value and has been serving particular special interests, be they political, economic or personal. The violence that pervades our land is like cancer, insidiously growing and infecting our society, killing off vital parts, threatening to metastasize and destroy this great place we call our home.
We are desperately seeking some relief from this disease. And although a cure remains elusive, we see an opportunity to curtail the ability of the outlaws of our society to use weapons to inflict carnage. For the Love of God and our own children, the commonplace slaughter of people with these weapons needs to be curtailed. Curtailed, because sadly we cannot stop all gun violence. That does not permit us to do what we can to at least reduce the ease with which these horrific events take place.
Sensible and responsible rules to regulate access to guns and ammunition is not an attempt to repeal the Second Amendment or its current interpretation that citizens have a right to bear arms. There is no inexorable slippery slope leading to complete removal guns from society. But there is a desperate need for us to enact and enforce responsible access and use of firearms.
The extraordinary action of Representative Lewis on the House floor is welcomed by a nation filled with heartache and despair. I pray that Representative Paul Ryan as the leader of both his party and the House of Representatives finds a way to join forces with Mr. Lewis and guide this nation with the vision and leadership we so desperately need.