In October of 2017, the title of this column was “America as a Killing Field,” after the Las Vegas mass shootings. I have written little about the terrible toll that guns are taking on our society since then, and only briefly in February of 2018 following the Stoneman-Douglass school shootings. Since that time, there is estimated to be a school shooting every 12 days.
Even those of us who don’t know all the amendments in our constitution know the gist of the Second Amendment, adopted in 1791: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
A few summers ago, my daughter Sarah was bound for Denver. Sarah had committed to serve in the AmeriCorps’ City Year program. Before she left, I helped to pack up her car. She had a few meager belongings, mostly clothes and books. She had sold off almost everything else she had owned. She was off to more than a grand adventure; this journey was meant to jumpstart her career as an educator. Moments before she left, I took a photo of her at Kerry Park, overlooking the city of Seattle. In the photo she is holding her City Year badge and beaming with pride. She wanted to know if her passion for teaching was a passing fancy or her true heart’s desire. Soon she would find out.
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” -- Second Amendment, U.S. Constitution, ratified 1791.