She looked gorgeous. Her arm brace was off, her hair was styled, her smile was glowing. Her husband held her hand and guided her through the throng. My eyes were wet as I watched her swing her leg to walk, turn her head to see. She's the living embodiment of everything that is wrong with our gun laws today. She served in Congress with those she brushed by. How can they not be moved to act?
She was a Republican before she was a Democrat. She's a gun owner. She's damaged. Those are all facts which should make her opinions somewhat more valuable than others. Somebody should be paying attention.
She wrote her own speech, which is much more eloquent than any words I could write, myself.
Read it, and weep.
And then she looked up. She stared right at the cameras, at the Senators, at those watching at home. BE BOLD! she exhorted. BE COURAGEOUS! she implored. In those moments, there was our Gabby, our Representative from District 8, our Congresswoman Giffords. She never hesitated to call for action. She often led the charge. Now, from a back seat not of her own making, she's reduced to commenting from the sidelines. Did her listeners realize that there but for the grace of God go they, themselves? Did they notice that her life is taking quite a different path than that which had been planned? Did they make the connection between the battered-but-unbowed woman before them and that-could-be me?
Those words shouldn't have to be reminders. Those qualities should be woven into the fabric of the listeners' lives. If a former colleague's words are not enough, if seeing the effects first hand do not shame them into action, if pictures and stories don't push them to action.........
I can't finish that paragraph. There is no place else to go. Clerks can take it upon themselves to deny bullets to the obviously crazed, as the first Wal-Mart salesman did to our shooter, but that kind of boldness and courage has to be reflected at the top in order for real change to occur. We all need to look in our own backyards - locking weaponry at home is a good start - but those charged with making the rules need to step up and act, too.
I want to finish that paragraph. I just don't know where to go.