President Obama Speaks at Interfaith Prayer Vigil

(Transcript)

Are we really prepared to say that we’re powerless in the face of such carnage, that the politics are too hard?

Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?

You know, all the world’s religions, so many of them represented here today, start with a simple question.

Why are we here? What gives our life meaning? What gives our acts purpose?

We know our time on this Earth is fleeting. We know that we will each have our share of pleasure and pain, that even after we chase after some earthly goal, whether it’s wealth or power or fame or just simple comfort, we will, in some fashion, fall short of what we had hoped. We know that, no matter how good our intentions, we’ll all stumble sometimes in some way.

We’ll make mistakes, we’ll experience hardships and even when we’re trying to do the right thing, we know that much of our time will be spent groping through the darkness, so often unable to discern God’s heavenly plans.

There’s only one thing we can be sure of, and that is the love that we have for our children, for our families, for each other. The warmth of a small child’s embrace, that is true.

The memories we have of them, the joy that they bring, the wonder we see through their eyes, that fierce and boundless love we feel for them, a love that takes us out of ourselves and binds us to something larger, we know that’s what matters.

We know we’re always doing right when we’re taking care of them, when we’re teaching them well, when we’re showing acts of kindness. We don’t go wrong when we do that.

Something has to change. Something in his voice made me feel like he certainly will see to it something does.

 

Posted by Vixen Strangely on 12/16/12 at 09:45 PM • Permalink

Categories: PoliticsBarack Obama

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It seem like this President “gets it”.  Thank FSM that what’s his name lost the election.

I’ll take a renewed and updated Federal Assault Weapons Ban bill, thanks. Mental health legislation would be nice, too, but yeah I’m dreaming.

@toma—I definitely want to see attention paid to mental health as a general part of improving and expanding upon the ACA.  Given the general antipathy I’ve seen from RW-ers on the subject of federal attention paid to health care issues (especially if they’ll cost any money)I’m heartened that they’ve brought up the need to focus on mental health (albeit as a way to distract from the gun issue)—since I think as a country we can even walk and chew gum at the same time, I don’t see why we can’t tackle both. The assault weapons ban should be a no-brainer (except for folks like TX Rep Gohmert, who is, I’m sad to say, a different kind of no-brainer).  There is no other purpose for such weapons, not hunting, not home defense—just mass killing.

I don’t grope through the darkness trying to discern heavenly plans, but if you’re willing to work temporally, I’m in.

With you all the way there, Vixen. My mom and dad were both mentally ill. I don’t think America has any idea how many people they see on a daily basis that are badly messed up and in need of medication and professional support. We’ve just gotten used to seeing people as whackos or odd birds.

After I finally accepted who my parents were and how I grew up (that sucked), I became more aware of the mentally ill around us. I wrote a post after the Jared Loughner shootings about untreated schizophrenics and the inability of family members to deal with someone sliding into a dangerous psychotic state. The problem has a great deal to do with their having virtually no choices other than incarceration. They don’t know what else to do, so nothing gets done.

Someone, probably a well-meaning schizophrenic, wrote to say to me that schizophrenics weren’t really that dangerous. Unfortunately, my next door neighbor was a managing schizophrenic who’d had a psychotic break in her early twenties, chased her roommate down the street, and stabbed her to death. It happens.

My former housemate was a script writer who moved houses to pay rent. His buddy had a moving fan, so they worked together. One day, his buddy was driving back from a job when some old codger took exception to the way he was driving. He was screaming and yelling and honking his horn and following his van everywhere he went, It was funny. The buddy finally stopped the van and got out to tell the old man to relax, but the codger gunned the car, ran him over and dragged his body down the street while watchers screamed.

Turns out everybody who’d ever known the codger said he was a rancid human being who’d been dangerously ill all his life. At the trial, the old man said the victim called him a ‘fag’ or some such bullshit—he’d become a defenseless homosexual overnight, for purposes of the trial. He got something like 40 years for the murder.

Anyway, a great deal of Americans need a great deal of help, and we’re not doing ourselves any favor by ignoring the fact. People who have gotten sideways cannot bootstrap themselves out of their situations, only highly trained professionals can do them any good. We don’t have to be a paranoid whacko society, we can do better. The government is probably the only entity that can really tackle the problem, so I’m crossing my fingers that Barack will jump in on this here, and now.

I agree, Vixen, that there is a new sense of resolve and determination from the President. I know that he feels frustrated by this chasm in our nation, and the fact that we have not been able to bridge it. But now, with the momentum and the outrage, we can all get behind him and try to change the structure of how we use and abuse guns in this country. I think a lot of us are more than ready to do something.

Toma, you speak from deep experience; thank you for being willing to share your stories. What you say is so true: once a family of a dangerously mentally ill member realizes something has to be done, where do they go?  The resources just aren’t there currently. 

How anyone can not see the need for action at this point is beyond me.  Please, President Obama, keep pushing!

This is going to drive the nutters even crazier.  Too bad, they lost the election even after claiming he’d grab all the guns.  Obama owes them nothing.

Time for our society to grow up and ditch the fear.

Right is on our side this time (kind of like every time, from income inequality and taxation, to climate change, and then whether guns are, um, for killing, and stuff). The trick has always been to get past the weakness of their justifications—let them present them against the backdrop of their utter failure, and watch that p.o.v. wither (and hopefully die.).

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