As a Boomer, the date, 11/22/63, marked my coming-of-age -- and an entire generation's for that matter. How could it not? Much like 9/11/01 has marked our children, the day President Kennedy was shot changed our perception of certainty and safety and morality irrevocably. Our steadfast beliefs in a handsome president, running a strong and righteous country that made the world a better place were shattered around 12:30 Central Standard Time on that November day.
Whether it was three shots or two, as still debated ferociously since the release of the Warren Commission's Report in '64, the fact is: a guy (or two) shot and killed our president and wounded then Texas Governor John Connally. Just like a civilian shot President Reagan, and two different folks fired at Ford, and someone shot Theodore Roosevelt, and McKinley, Garfield, Lincoln and Jackson. And this sorry list fails to include the many presidents and aides who avoided intended bullets -- not to mention the daily shootings occurring across the country between regular folks.
While I've despaired, like many, over the mounting -- you could say grotesque, influence the National Rifle Association lords over Congress, I've also held onto a portion of JFK's Inaugural Speech, addressing us as: "My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man." It's a sentiment that has also marked us Boomers and continues to do so should we choose to act. I think we have no choice.
I believe the time has come to reconsider how we wish to leave our country for our children and theirs. As the anniversary of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut (12/13/13), approaches, I believe that together, we have the ability to spare our children and country from further gun violence. In fact, in my state of California, Senator Dianne Feinstein -- no stranger to a despairing guy bearing a loaded gun, and her office welcome our help in fighting to legislate tougher gun control. Holding our elected officials accountable is a first step in making this a reality.
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