SorrowThe personal sense of loss as parents hold their lifeless children in their arms is incomprehensible, unfathomable for anyone who has not experienced such tragedy. We may never fully  understand the reasons for what happened in that small town in Connecticut. We will, in time, be given information and facts but it will never add up in our heads or in our hearts. Nor will we shake the terrible fears that will arise because of event. A nestled school in a safe neighborhood is a terrible reminder that none of us are safe from violence. As President Obama said, there are 20 very young children who will never have another birthday, experience a graduation, marriage or have children of their own. The roses they might have received along the way to celebrate these momentous life events will instead rest upon their graves.

Gun control is must be revisited seriously by our legislators. The resistance against it is hard to understand or comprehend in the face of the rising incidents of random violence perpetrated against defenseless and unprotected citizens in our country. It is time for those who do not advocate for better and tighter gun controls to face the fact that guns kill. And guns in the hands of the wrong person are killing our children and loved ones.

Given all the facts, and acknowledging the need for gun control, there is a greater truth to confront:  that the rising violence in our country is a symptom of a far greater and more complex problem.

Until we as human beings can stop judging others by vilifying them for their differences whether those differences are of color, of sexual orientation, political loyalties, religious affiliations, economic status, liberal or conservative choice; until we can stop buying in to conspiracy theories and false propaganda; until we can re-engage our children by turning off the television or putting down our cell phones or taking time out of our “busy” schedules and sit down and have a meal together; until we can make who we are more important than what we do; until we can instill discipline and not punishment; until we can hold each other accountable, especially our children, and redirect them toward what is important instead of making them small for making mistakes; until we can stop hating …until then, we will live this nightmare. Marianne Williamson said it so simply, “This is not a gun problem, this is a parenting problem.”

The world is teaching all of us, every single day, the damaging effect of individual prejudice and self-imposed ignorance. Prejudice is just another way of being “right” and making others “wrong.” We all need to pay attention to the Great Teacher of Experience – this is not someone else’s problem. This is personal. Transformation begins with each one of us. Whatever authorities discover beneath the tragedy of the Connecticut massacre will not bring us peace. The only way peace will come is when each person puts away their own virtual gun and chooses kindness toward all. The Prince of Peace, whose birthday we celebrate, asked us to do that…to love our neighbor in spite of his or her differences. Yes, be an advocate for gun control. More importantly, be an advocate for tolerance and peace toward all. It’s time to put a stop to the madness.