May the U.S. Senate's acute failure to extend gun purchase background checks be the (metaphoric) call to arms America needs to oust those who opposed it, and from this day on get the support we need to legislatively prevent gun violence and protect responsible gun ownership and use.
Far fewer of us board a plane (than own a gun) with the intent, firearms or explosives necessary to disrupt an airline flight or harm fellow passengers. But we all go through the delays, inconvenience, frustration, tediousness and invasion of our personal privacy that are mandated and reasonable to prevent and minimize the chances of hijacking or explosion.
Yet, we are bombarded daily with ongoing, needless, intentional or reckless firearm fatalities and maimings. But even having the life of one of their own, Gabby Giffords, permanently altered by someone who may not have passed a background check, isn't enough to shame or incentivize senators who hide behind the NRA's "ranking system."
And seeing the faces and hearing the very rational requests by the Newtown families present before Congress during the vote wasn't enough. What will it take?
Giffords wrote: "Senators say they fear the NRA and the gun lobby. But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the fear the first graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt as their lives ended in a hail of bullets."
Let today's vote be a clarion call to those with money, power - and even our corporations and big business - to get our senators and congressmen to sign a pledge that this legislation will be passed while our current president is still in office, and that those who continue to oppose it will be targeted for "unelection" each and every November.
May all those who perished due to gun violence and irresponsible gun ownership "speak from heaven" to those who oppose efforts to prevent, preempt and curtail further gun-related tragedies that now will assuredly continue, but could at least possibly have been avoided.
-Michael B. Goldenkranz