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Yesterday I watched and heard President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

On January 16, a month and two days after the massacre at Newtown, December 14, 2012, the Vice-President and the President had a plan to announce and orders to sign so the plan would go into effect immediately.

The plan does not go all the way.  People may still bear arms walking down the street,  but it may be that the President went as far as he could go given the circumstances of his Presidency.  I therefore remain congratulatory.

So, let me repeat that a month and two days after the Newtown massacre and despite the holiday season the President signed orders that should decrease deaths by gun.

Sitting in the audience and introduced to us were parents of Newtown who had lost a child.  We learned that the President had actually visited with the bereaved parents.  That may not have been very ‘presidential’ of Barack Obama, but it was the human thing to do.

The people of Newtown will always remember that the President of the United States of America sat down with them, grieved with them and listened.

Behind the desk where he signed the necessary orders, there were children.  He had read their letters.  These children will never forget that they can talk with the President of the United States and that he will hear them and act.  Again, it was the human thing to do.  (See first Related Articles for photograph.)

Ironically, although he faces obstructionism in Washington, in the eyes of the world President Obama is viewed as a great leader.  In most instances, he is, in fact, at the very top of the list, including my list.  I am so grateful to him, to Vice-President Joe Biden, to Michelle and to Jill for helping the people of Newtown.  In fact, they are the people of Newtown.

Yet, let me repeat that the plan does go far enough and add that, if such is the case, it is, to a certain extent, that the people of the United States will not let the Vice President and the President go further.

Given the opposition he faces in Washington, the President has to know that the people want him to go further.  If he doesn’t know this, his successor may revoke the security measures his administration has put into place.  Good presidents act in the best interest of the people, but good presidents prefer not to go beyond the expressed will of the people.

Many individuals enjoy collecting firearms, but I presume these are not loaded.  Many individuals also like target shooting.  It’s a sport.  But again, I would presume that target shooters practice and compete in an enclosed area and that, for security reasons, they do not carry home loaded weapons.

Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes would not agree with me.  Yet, I would also presume that people know that their freedom ends where the freedom of others begin as do their “rights.”  Rights and duties are like the opposite sides of the same coin as are reason and instinct.

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I remember my mother telling me that the nice thing about turning seven was that a child had finally reached the age of reason.  I hate to say this, but when will members of the National Rifle Association (NRA) turn seven?

Micheline Walker©
January 17, 2013
Bach-Wood ‘Lament’ – Slatkin conducts
Publiée le 17 janv. 2013
Sir Henry Wood‘s ‘Suite No. 6’ is a set of six Bach transcriptions, arranged from various sources, that includes this heartfelt ‘Lament.’ It is the ‘Adagio’ from Bach’s ‘Capriccio on the Departure of His Most Beloved Brother’ in Bb major, BWV 992. In this recording, the BBC Symphony is conducted by Leonard Slatkin. (With all due acknowledgements to Chandos Records.)