17 December, 2012

Referendum on Gun Control

I’m over at the Huffington Post with the political POV on the Newtown massacre. Herewith, an excerpt (below). You can read the full article here.

As human beings, we mourn for the innocents who had not yet learned to fear, who might have stood and gazed at their assailant, not undertanding his intention, never associating violence as being directed at them, too young to know that there would ever be a time when they might need to hide from an adult who might have reminded them of an older cousin, a young uncle. We imagine those children falling petal like, and just as unblemished, forever six, forever seven. And as we consider those faces, we must also remember that, as fellow-citizens, we have something that has been forever denied to them: our voices.

When we speak of gun control, what we are really asking for is a culture that is not driven by the anticipation of and response to violence.

A majority of Americans support placing restrictions on the purchase and possession of weapons, although in conversation we are wont to refer to the NRA quite as though that body – and not we, the majority – defines the national debate. We speak of national legislation, of lobbyists who are funded by billionaires, of the insurmountable odds of going up against that Goliath. Yet, as was pointed out by Malcolm Gladwell in an outstanding piece in the New Yorker, a few years ago, Goliath was beaten, as every bully is someday beaten, by David’s decision to refuse to play by Goliath’s rules. Indeed, he uses the research of the political scientist Ivan Arreguín-Toft, to demonstrate that those who refused to play the rules of the powerful went from being victorious 28.5 percent of the time to emerging as winners 63.6 percent of the time.

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The Books:

The Books:

On Sal Mal Lane

In the tradition of In the Time of the Butterflies and The Kite Runner, a tender, evocative novel about the years leading up to the Sri Lankan civil war.

A Disobedient Girl

A Disobedient Girl is a compelling map of womanhood, its desires and loyalties, set against the backdrop of beautiful, politically turbulent, Sri Lanka.


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