Message from a Conservative Friend

A friend of mine – a brilliant and thoughtful young man – someone who describes himself as “conservative” – who’s currently serving in the United States Navy and dedicated to protecting our Constitution – sent me a really articulate message the other day. Because he’s someone who knows guns and has been trained to use them in service to our country, I thought he offered a valuable perspective. I asked him if I could share his thoughts. He gave me permission. (Because of his position in the military I’m going to keep his name anonymous.) Here’s what he wrote:

“Hey Karen. I know this is a scary time for all of you teachers, especially with what happened. As you know, I am more conservative, but I think you would agree with my view on gun control: the Constitution explicitly states: ‘A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.’ Most conservatives miss the important line: A WELL REGULATED MILITIA. To me, that does not mean random citizens stockpiling weapons in their garage, or people buying high-powered weapons to simply play with. It means well-organized, trained, local security groups with standardized training and security practices, and that training should be coming from standardized government entities, such as the National Guard. At least, that’s how I interpret it. So when the NRA loudly states that ‘all civilians should be able to buy guns and that they need guns if the government tries to take over their rights’ I can’t help but laugh. Because if the government even tried to do that, the military would be obligated to protect the citizenry against the government due to its oath to the constitution and the country. That is my view. Gun control solutions and mental health solutions must be pursued at the same time. There are so many mental health resources out there that schools and hospitals simply don’t take seriously or under utilize.”

“Where there is love, there is life.”

Heart-breaking. A grief so deep, there are no words. I over-heard someone say: “I bet they’ll find out the mom is to blame.” And THAT crushed me, too. Finger-pointing. Finding someone or something to blame – the young man’s mom, the season, God…

And none of that is going to make things better for the parents of those children who lost their lives. I know the solution isn’t to be found in hate. That’s pretty much the ONLY thing I know for sure right now.

Yesterday I went to my blog, hoping I could find something to say there that might somehow help the people who are grieving the loss of their children – and I found myself reading other peoples’ blogs about the tragedy – everyone in deep shock and mourning.  I realized I wasn’t ready to post anything right then. It felt like anything I had to say would be self-indulgent and me-centered – MY feelings, MY grief, MY horror, MY shock.

Today, I still don’t have the words that are going to fix everything and make it all better.  There are no words that will do that.  But if any of the parents of the children lost in Newtown should stumble upon this blog, I want them to know that they’re not standing in their pain alone – there’s a world full of people who care,  who want to help, who want to reach out and offer what comfort they can – there’s a world full of people who WISH they could fix this, and make it all better.

Mahatma Gandhi said, “Where there is love, there is life.” The love we create with the people in our lives still lives on – even after they’re  no longer with us – nothing can destroy that love. The joy-filled memories of our loves ones – those with us and those no longer with us – we still have those memories, too – no one else’s hatred or insanity can take those from us.  We embrace them, cherish them, and keep them alive.

May the love shared and created, and the memories made,  bring comfort to those who are grieving unthinkable loss right now.


“Death ends a life, not a relationship.” – Jack Lemmon

 “At all times and under all circumstances, overcome evil with good.”  – Mary Baker Eddy

“…I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” – Romans 8: 37-39