Local Heart, Global Soul

December 20, 2012

Dear President Obama…

Mikey, a fellow Blogger at “ Invisible Mikey” made a reblog of a petition for Gun Control reforms in the USA in response to the terrible tragedy at the Sandy Hook Elementary (Primary) School. http://invisiblemikey.wordpress.com/2012/12/16/2807/

At first as a Dutch/ New Zealand citizen I thought that I wouldn’t be able to sign it because I am not American and don’t live in the USA, but I found that indeed I could, so I did and I also wrote a short comment in the little comment box that was provided.

Now, after posting a different thread yesterday and seeing responses I find myself thinking again about this topic on many levels and wanted to write a post on the letter I would write if I were to present my views in a letter to the American President, Barack Obama. I suppose his office gets the equivalent of a small forest of trees in post every day, so my little letter from a land far away would be ineffectual, so I’ll just pour out my feelings here. (Note to my earlier readers, yes I added more text…)

Tying multiple thoughts together , my letter would read something like:

Dear President Barack Obama,
Like millions of people around the world I was deeply shocked and distressed to hear of the mass shooting of innocents at Sandy Hook Elementary (Primary) School in Newtown, Connecticut, USA.

The scenario that unfolded there is every parents worst nightmare: innocent,  defenceless children and their teachers, assassinated in cold blood in a place where they should have felt and been safe: their school.

I simply can’t imagine the pain of the news that was delivered to some parents in Newtown that day: to be told that their precious child won’t ever be coming home again. Every person on the planet who cherishes the life of child as they should,  feels revolted by the actions of this madman.

From what I see as an outsider, it appears this could well have been prevented if this perpetrator’s ability to access weapons had been severely restricted, just as similar atrocities against the general public at other schools, theatres etc in America may also have been prevented.

There is far too much emphasis from the gun lobby about an individuals “rights” and not nearly enough on “ responsibility and accountability”.  I believe that sometimes the individual should sometimes give up a little of his “rights” in pursuit of the wider safety benefits to the greater community and society as a whole.

Not only are a tsunami of sea changes long overdue in the gun lobby but I believe also in the media too. Some people are truly mentally ill or just plain evil  and will take an undue solace in the fact that even when dead they will enjoy notoriety in the fact that they will always be remembered as the person who “killed the most at..”etc.
President Obama: I implore you to change national laws so that no perpetrator can be named in any mode of media, no image of a perpetrator may be shown and no family details revealed.  We should refuse to write their names, to give even negative attention, even to their memory.

The only people who deserve “attention” in these circumstances are the victims of their actions and a blanket ban that grants absolutely zero notoriety to the perpetrator must surely help to stop others with morbid illusions of grandeur.

Yes, usually the perpetrator has/had issues of revenge or mental illness etc, but that can be kept private because  it is surely self evident that anyone who is cable of such heinous attacks on innocents has serious issues of some sort.

I sincerely believe that the general public of your country are intelligent enough to have figured that out already. Therefore details are not necessary, except privately and in strictest confidence to the families directly affected.

I live in The Netherlands and my country is a safer place for having strict gun control, as  a parent of young children I wish for your children and parents to feel as safe in their communities as I do.

Please  use lessons learned from this terrible tragedy to save innocent lives in the future.

Should you choose not to, then no one will have had justice, and someone else  will loose their lives in another preventable situation.

Mr. Obama, you and USA lawmakers are in a position to prevent bloodshed and save lives, Please do not miss this rare opportunity and please make the responsible choice with greatest priority.

The World joins you in an outpouring of humanity and sharing of your national pain, sheds it’s tears and wishes you strength today but I believe it will judge you severely if you do not take this opportunity to make deep reforms in gun control and media reporting.

President Obama, I understand that the United States Gun Lobby is powerful, what I do not understand is why? 

Elsewhere in the world it is both possible to be a firearms enthusiast and a responsible citizen… you play your sport and then you leave your weapons in a secure vault at the Club.

A few private citizens might need a gun: for instance to shoot an dying animal on a farm but licences to obtain these weapons should only be given after exceptionally strict controls are carried out and regular stringent spot checks on access are made. Guns are ultimately a murder weapon and are a grave Responsibility not a Right.

What has gone so wrong with society that some people feel the necessity to stockpile arms and ammunitions for “protection” ?

What message does that end to the World about your education system, or faith and trust in one another? Massive issues about this need to be addressed at all levels, from individual level to national. Personally, I see this point in your history as an opportunity to address those issues.

For me at least the definition of “population” means private citizens who live together, not band of small private armies. I believe your constitution reads: We the People, and not “we the arms dealers…” does it not?

Your Senate and Congress are required to represent “the people”… so as far as I can ascertain we have:

– children who have pocket money
– are the voiceless citizens unable to make their own decisions in the eyes of the law
– are smallest, weakest and most silent and have no hope of getting what they want on their own.

– Gun lobby who have deep pockets
– hold all influence in your Senate and Congress
– are the biggest , strongest and loudest and hold most power in getting what they want.

Which of these two groups do you think should be given priority when upholding and defending their “Rights”?

.. or is it most literally and figuratively only the Gun Lobby who are allowed to “call the shots” in America?

There is an opportunity here for a Legacy that could change life in America for ordinary decent citizens for the better.

Yes, I am well aware that America has a long “history” and a “love affair” with it’s guns, but “history” is the past and surely after steady repetition of  truly terrible events like this the “love affair”  has proved to be an abusive relationship that such a relationship in the 21st Century should surly be well and truly over.

(Smoking was also once thought by the world to “do no harm” but we got wiser, learned and changed our position on smoking’s effects in order to save lives. Fixing Past errors in thinking commands respect, ignoring them: contempt.)

Sometimes there is a pivotal moment in a nation’s history where we are shaken to the core by events and need to take stock of ourselves as a culture and re-evaluate what society really needs and wants.  I believe that for the United States this pivotal moment is Now. Now it is time to look at the future and to take radical steps to make America a safer place for future generations.

How many innocent children need to be assassinated before someone  with the will and the authority does something to stop it?  How sick to your stomach do you have to feel before you get angry enough to stand up for them? I read once that a former President  of the United States said “the buck stops here”      

… This letter Mr. President,  is your buck.


  1. While I applaud the sentiment, I worry about interfering with other countries’ politics. I grew up with Star Trek and the Prime Directive sticks with me.

    Comment by Tilly Bud - The Laughing Housewife — December 20, 2012 @ 12:07 pm | Reply

    • Don’t worry Tilly,
      I have no illusions and don’t ever think that President Obama will actually ever see my letter… he’s too busy running his country and I amd happy to let him do just that 🙂

      I see my letter less as a directive and more as a wish… for any country and the press in it where perpetrators get attention and this inevitably spurs some other more atrocious attack down the line.
      On both counts we need to take steps to stop this “chain reaction” and protect innocent children.

      I think Star Trek also said “go where no man has gone before”… maybe that means a change of literal, moral, idealogical, direction when it’s warranted, no?
      I can dream 🙂

      Comment by kiwidutch — December 20, 2012 @ 5:53 pm | Reply

  2. What a wonderful letter! And Mr. Obama must have read your letter because yesterday he appointed our Vice-President to lead a committee to address these issues and come up with solutions before his State of the Union speech in mid-January. It cheers my heart to have someone from another country so touched by the events in my country to want to take action to help us. Thank you for your concern and help. And a real letter to Mr. Obama wouldn’t hurt. Really. You’d be surprised. You’d at least get a response back from his office. Someone would read your letter. I wrote once to President Bush (critical of his immigration policy) and I got a response from his office. Try it. Send your letter. Let us know what happens.

    Comment by mairedubhtx — December 20, 2012 @ 2:58 pm | Reply

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