As a nation, we weep for the innocent victims at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown. To me there is something much more disturbing beyond this tragedy.
As a nation, did we weep for the victims of the Sikh Temple in Milwaukee? As a nation, did we weep for the victims in Aurora, Colo., or the mall in Oregon? A teenager is shot and killed almost every day in Chicago. Do we as a nation weep for them? Are the lives in all these tragedies less precious than the little ones lost in Newtown? Have we become so callous about the victims of gun violence that we only weep for the 6- and 7-year-olds? A lot of questions. These answers are much more difficult.
We do have a national crisis. Gun violence is only part of it. Our national crisis is a crisis in leadership. We have to wait for a senseless tragedy the magnitude of Newtown before politicians speak. Politicians wait to read the political tea leaves before they act. That is not leadership. It is the failure of leadership.
I wonder how the presidential election would have changed if this tragic event in Newtown had occurred in September? What effect would it have had on our races for Congress? What would Congressman William Owens and Matt Doheny have said about gun violence?
The fiscal crisis is a fine example of this loss of leadership. The politicians create the crisis and then pat themselves on the back when they solve the crisis they created. Is that leadership? I think not. Gun control and gun violence are the political buzz- words of the day so they can get their 15-second photo-op on national TV and talk shows. I hope this is not the reality of the day.
Are we finally going to find leadership in this country? Will the president, the Congress and ultimately the Supreme Court fulfill their leadership roles? We are a nation in crisis and gun violence is only part of the crisis.
We are a better nation than what we have become. And yes we should weep for ourselves, for the innocent victims of gun violence and, most importantly, for the loss of leadership in our country.
Wayne D. Mihalyi