This is a letter written by Arif Hussain, the husband of a friend. With her permission I am reprinting it.
Dear Mr. President:
I am the father of 3 young children living in a well-to-do community in America but I am shaking with fear, agony and anger after learning about the mass murder of young children and teachers at an elementary school in Connecticut. My immediate reaction is to take my children out of school. But then what? I (and we all) feel vulnerable, insecure and unsafe despite living in the tree-lined suburbs of America. I am overwhelmed with sadness. My anger is directed primarily at the politicians, Democrats and Republicans, and the NRA, alike. I (and we the people) have had enough. I (and we the people) say enough is enough. The politicians need to enact gun control NOW. This is not a matter of debate or discussion or argument. How much blood needs to be shed? There is no reason to allow access to automatic weapons. Don’t the politicians and the NRA have children and grandchildren? Don’t they get it? We are the most armed society. Has that made us safer? Should I (and the rest of us) wonder which of our neighbors has semiautomatics for self protection? Should I also carry a semiautomatic to work as a doctor to feel safe? Or when I go to the grocery store? Or when I go to the bank? Or when I talk to my neighbors? Or when I go to my children’s school concerts? And should my neighbors do the same, just in case? What good did the weapons of the mother of the murderer in Connecticut do in protecting her? Why did she need those weapons in the first place? If this does not open the eyes of the politicians, and for that matter, us the people, and yes the NRA, I don’t know what will. Lowering the American flag is not enough. Shedding tears from the bull pit is not enough no matter how heartfelt. ‘Breaking news’ on television, and the opinions of talk show hosts and their multitude of ‘expert guests’, that invariably follows such tragedies incessantly (interspersed with rote commercials) for a few days is not enough. Mr. President, we appreciate your sincerity and agree with your statement that, ‘it is time to take meaningful action’. Mr. President, you need to lead and show unwavering resolve as you have done on so many issues up to now, and work with the legislative branch, to have assault weapons banned immediately. We ask, no we demand, the politicians (the legislators in particular) to behave as responsible adults for once in their ‘adult’ lives and take immediate action!