is wrong in this country when a child can grab a gun so easily and shoot
a bullet into the middle of a child's face, as my son experienced.
For my family, these past few says
have represented a flash flood. That is, we witnessed a momentary, horrific
flash of hatred and violence. It has been followed by an amazing flood
of tears, prayers, calls, cards, visits and countless expressions of sympathy
and love. Now the question is whether the floodwaters can be channeled
into something meaningful, or whether they'll be followed by another flash
flood in another unsuspecting community.
My family knows that Daniel is in
a better place. Still, we feel a great emptiness and miss our son's physical
presence. We do not wish to see more parents and communities suffer as
we've suffered in Columbine, Paducah, Jonesboro, Pearl and Springfield.
It could happen again if Americans don't take bold action right now.
Americans must face the fact that
we have by far the largest per capita rate of gun ownership in the free
world. The number of people killed by guns is immensely higher than that
of the free world. This is no coincidence. Any reasonable person understands
there is a connection. We've seen a dangerous proliferation of guns in
this country, yet we are all now told the solution is concealed weapons.
The NRA deserves credit as a promoter
of gun safety and representative of hunters. But it and other gun organizations
deserve our condemnation for their relentless promotion of all types of
guns regardless of their dangerousness.
Clark Howard/Scripps Howard
Tom Mauser, father of slain
Columbine High School
student Daniel Mauser, sits
Wednesday (June 13, 2001)
in the driveway of the
National Rifle Association
headquarters in Fairfax
County, Va. He was arrested
for refusing to leave.