When I was in college, I took great pride in what I perceived as a fortress of righteous conviction that I built for myself. I built it to protect myself from what I perceived as moral and mental weakness. I let that pride construct a rigid worldview and I clung to quotes like that of G.K. Chesterton: “Tolerance is the virtue of a man without convictions.” Fast forward 10 years and my heart is humbled to realized that the walls that I had built protected me not from external, societal weakness but from truth, reality and how it would confront my own personal weakness.
The hard part is that I’m still working to tear down those walls and learning to engage reality. A huge part of that struggle is figuring out how to loosen my grip on long held assumptions and beliefs. The shooting in Newtown Connecticut has challenged me to put another set of cards on the table that I have long since packed away and have forgotten how to question. I’ve been encouraged to see that I am not alone in this and have been challenged by a number of pieces of writing on the shooting itself and gun control.
The Loss of the Innocents has been the most challenging and inspiring read for me through all of this. Followed by another more emotional article, Safe from Harm, which has provoked many thoughts and interesting discussion with my wife. I’ve also came across three articles which are more data and politics driven and are all tightly related. They discuss what may be the most appropriate and pragmatic first steps in response to this tragedy. The NRA Protection Racket, Scientific American’s Gun Error, and most eye opening Silencing the Science of Gun Research
For your convenience, here they all are again listed out: