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Just One Thing To Do This Week: Dream On...

on October 7, 2017 - 2:54am

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

I was going to write a light-hearted column this week. However, between the natural and unnatural disasters that have recently occurred, my head is filled with such sadness that I find very little humor in anything.

Every time I sit down to write, my feelings of helplessness and heartache fill the page. Not very entertaining I am afraid. But let me share my thoughts on how we can make a difference and contribute to improving the situation.

Regarding hurricanes and flooding - send money. There are many organizations such as the American Red Cross and Americares that are effectively working in the devastated communities. If these organizations are not to your liking, go to Guidestar.org, it rates charitable organizations and you can find the nonprofit that reflects your values and priorities.

The most efficient way to get the money to an organization is directly through their website. Texting a donation might be easier for the giver, but it takes more time for the donation to reach those who need assistance, and some of those folks need help NOW.

Regarding mass shootings - the Second Amendment protects the right of an individual to bear arms. In 1776, when the constitution was drafted and signed “arms” consisted of individually-made, muzzle-loading weapons. I say, SURE. Anyone who wants a muzzle loading weapon should have one. I can’t imagine the men who wrote and signed the Constitution could imagine the weaponry available today.

It is hard for me to believe that not allowing someone to own a semi-automatic (or fully automatic) weapon would, at any level, diminish their civil rights or their quality of life. However, this week one man (using weapons he had allegedly legally purchased) in the span of a few minutes, diminished the quality of life for at least 22,000 people. At this writing he ended the life of at least 60, including his own. The amount of anguish for those left behind is unfathomable.

As individuals there are limitations as to what we can achieve. But when we come together we can make a difference. We have a marvelous system called democracy that can work to our benefit. Contact your elected representatives and let them know how you feel about disaster aid funding and gun rights. I realize I may be encouraging some who do not feel the same as I do to reach out as well, so be it.

When we are faced with natural disasters our propensity to help one another, regardless of race, religion, or political beliefs, lifts us all. If only we could do the same with unnatural disasters. I do believe temperance and wisdom will eventually prevail, and Americans will unite to create a safer and more just society. I will dream on, and on … and work to make those dreams a reality.

U.S. Sen. Tom Udall
http://www.tomudall.senate.gov/?p=contact
505.988.6511
202.224.6621

U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich
http://www.heinrich.senate.gov/contact
505.988.6647
202.225.6190

U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan
http://lujan.house.gov/contact/
505.984.8950
202.225.6190


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