By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lets focus on dark hearts that pull the trigger
Placeholder Image

I have written to the Times numerous moments in the past years to pose reflections as to our national path concerning the carnage we suffer through gun violence.

We give great attention to each instance of death rendered by guns at our schools. These occasions seem to focus us momentarily on our national disgrace. I describe it as such because we continue to try to grasp motivation of those who commit such horrid crimes while we also decry how again and again guns are used by those we seem sure should not have them if they are so clearly misguided.

As I have diligently noted in the past, I even more strongly note now that guns are not the weapon. The weapon is a cold finger guided by a dark heart. Guns are the instrument, not the cause.

We have chosen as a nation from our beginning to assure within our sacred civil scripture access to the gun. Recently our highest court has ruled this verse from our beginnings to remain interpreted it was written.

Our original and continued choice has come to be a wall of defense as guns flood the nation. Because of our choice, we have seen 45 school shootings in recent times, and 140 since Sandy Hook. Almost 10,000 gun deaths have occurred in 2015 and our beloved nation endures an average of 36 per day, every day.

The original intent for access to guns was to assure our ability to resist tyranny from those who govern. This need is no less today than it was in our colonial past. I would argue the need is greater as our freedoms are more challenged than ever and all rational people know it. An armed citizen does not need to request permission to remain free.

So we live now in the consequence of our national choice made long ago, and affirmed by each generation since. With over 300 million guns residing in our country, availability is assured to those who are rational and unfortunately to those who are not. We as a nation so chose, and we see so clearly that some places with the strongest laws to restrict access have the highest incidents of gun violence and deaths because we are a nation of free movement, not walled-off fortresses.

Until we are ready to confront the true cause of our national disgrace, we will continue to suffer. The spreading stain of blood and death grows because we choose it by our inability to admit that there are those among us who are deranged or who plot to harm us. Until we choose a path to find these before they find us, we will suffer.

Greater scripture than that we wrote ourselves for civil use teaches us that perilous times would come, and that he who has an ear should hear. Are we listening?

Michael Hawkins

Send a letter to the editor here or email

Regional events