Time to stand up
"A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed." (Second Amendment).
"Well regulated" should be so simple to understand. In America we have incorporated many regulations that may limit one's freedom in the interest of the safety of all. We can't yell "fire" in a theater, drive at dangerous speeds or ignore zoning laws. Why are common-sense regulations regarding arms so difficult to be translated into law?
Is it common sense to: allow the purchase of guns at gun shows without having a background check; sell armor-piercing bullets, assault rifles and semi-automatic handguns at the mall; allow 30-round ammunition clips; sell guns to one who is psychologically unstable; allow one to carry a concealed gun without extensive training and psychological assessment (similar to police and military requirements)?
It's time to stand up against the National Rifle Association lobbyists with their fear that any regulation will mean the end of the Second Amendment, and to the fringe groups who are compelled to arm themselves with heavy arms in case they need to overthrow our government (local, state or federal)?
Bring the glow to all
As I was eating my morning bagel, watching the funerals in Newtown, Conn., I opened the Record-Eagle and saw the article, "Jewish song dropped from concert." I could not believe what I was reading. No right-thinking person would push having this Jewish song dropped from the concert. How narrow can we be and how shameful have we become to do such a thing?
I do not know where the decision to drop the Jewish song came from but it is a sad place wherever it is. However, if the Catholic perspective has shrunk to the limits of excluding a light-hearted Jewish song from its pageant, then perhaps those behind this petty decision should look at who Christ is, why He came and to whom — to the whole world and "all" the people.
At a time like no other, when we should be thinking and acting more together and bringing out the light of Christ that is in all of us, we should not be so threatened or limited or narrow. We should let Christ's presence light us up and bring the glow to all people, all God's people.
The Rev. Pat Cawley
The writer is a retired Catholic priest
Beyond civil rights
The one universal truth about weapons is that if it's legal for you to get them, then crazy people and criminals will get them, too. It may be illegal, but they will still get them. And the scope of the tragedies all depends on the weapons they can get their hands on.
The nuclear bomb was intended to defeat our enemies and make it so no one would ever dare to attack us. But a mere 70 years later our biggest problems are Iran and North Korea.
We are forever doomed to be in mortal danger that the bad guys will use our weapons against us. So should the answer be to arm our teachers so they can start a shoot out the next time a crazy person shows up? Should we wear body armor when we go Christmas shopping at the mall? Should firefighters carry Bushmasters so they can shoot back while they are fighting a fire? Should we all live in paranoia and fear?
This goes beyond just civil rights. I want to live in a civilized society, not a larger version of Somalia. A good start would be to ban weapons of war for personal use.