The tragedy that took place in Newtown, Conn., was terribly shocking but hardly surprising.
In recent years we have witnessed growing violence in cities and towns all across America. Cartoons for kids, movies and videos glorify violence in increasingly gruesome and graphic ways. We have political action groups such as the NRA that encourage every man or woman to carry a gun. And we have nations all over the world whose leaders sincerely believe that peace will come through military might, guns, bombs and whatever else is invented to kill people.
I do not know how much the United States spends on diplomacy, but it spends well in excess of $600 million a year in military expenses.
But there is another way. History should teach us that war does not bring peace. Philosophers and prophets, holy men and women down through the ages have proclaimed that peace is the only way to peace -- not violence and war and guns and people trained to kill. Martin Luther king, Jr. noted that the ultimate weakness of violence is that it brings about more violence.
You may say that this is impractical. But if we want peace this side of the grave, we need to do more than pray to a loving God. We must be people of peace and live non-violently, loving our enemies and doing good for those who hurt us.
And we cannot do that with a gun in our hands. "Arms are for hugging."
John A. Laker