Dec 15, 2012

Posted by in Issue of the Day | 0 Comments

America, please hear our prayer

A tragedy has struck America through a bewildering shooting that has claimed the lives of far too many young lives. It is of a scale that makes the tragedy not just ‘American’ but global in its significance.

In that respect, the world may dare to offer America some thoughts. No, not a lecture. Not sermonising. Nor some barely disguised effort to denigrate you while pretending to be your friend. No, this comes because we share your horror at what has happened.

But, speaking frankly as your friends – as many of us consider ourselves – we feel the need to share some thoughts. You may wonder how compete strangers can be your friends but that happens when your way of life is exported globally through a vast array of cultural mediums and communication channels.

The consequence is a bond of sorts is formed with the extraordinarily multi-faceted ethos that is ‘America’.

That ethos is assuredly not a one-size-fits-all proposition. Not to American citizens and certainly not to the rest of the world.

Your nation is a conundrum. Just as Australia is a conundrum to outsiders. As are all the other many nations of the world. We are all different in our own ways and those own ways are vitally important to our individual sense of selves.

But some issues transcend differences. Some issues leave behind local nuances. Some issues speak with a voice that commands the attention of all.

It is a message your friends beyond your borders believe too many Americans have come to screen-out – to pretend the message has no validity because it has adverse reflections on your way of life.

And that is not an easy thing to accept. We understand this.

That said, it does not mean our view is not valid. Certainly it is not condemnatory nor it is high-minded. We speak up because we care.

And our message is this: it is time to seriously consider your approach to gun ownership and the role of weapons of mass destruction by ‘ordinary’ citizens.

Look, we get it that this ‘right’ is central to your core mythology of what it is to be American. We are not (necessarily) knocking it. We have learned to live with it for decades because your own insistence has been that the rest of the world – and many in your own society – are wrong to oppose this.

Regardless, the deaths of two score children in a brutally senseless crime like Sandy Hook commands a rethink of your approach to gun control.

The cumulative impact of many similar predecessor crimes surely cries out that enough is enough?

This is a pivotal moment in United States’ history. This is the fulcrum for change. If not, American society demeans itself.

The world can ill afford that because we all have a stake in this through our shared experience of your way of life. We make this plea to you as your friends not as critics.

Please look into your hearts and decide that there is a better way.

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