Posted by: skyward | September 29, 2008

Obama! Obama! Obama! (#3)

My little girl seems to have joined her big brother’s “Help-Obama-Win” campaign.

Tonight, as I was trying to put her to sleep, she whispered, “Mama, I hope Obama is winning.”  She smiled broadly.  “Do you support Obama now, like Daniel?”  I inquired.  A moment of silence.  After studying my face, she remarked: “McCain’s running mate carries a gun, and she kills animals.  That’s not nice!  We have to pray to God about it.” 

It was way past her bedtime, and I didn’t feel like discussing politics in bed.  So I only kissed my girl good night.  She is now snoring softly.  (What an angel.  I can even forget about those moments when my increasingly defiant daughter kicked her mama repeatedly while rejecting her car seat.)

Afterward, I pondered:  How can I explain to my four-year-old that those who do pray to God (at least, they say they do) are sometimes passionate, even overzealous, advocates of gun rights, in the name of self-protection, in the name of the sacred Second Amendment, in the name of civil liberties?   (Almost invariably, they are quick to spread the banner of the Second Amendment, adept at evoking the sweet-sounding rhetoric of constitutional freedom.) 

Years ago, while chatting with a religious-minded man —- a former missionary to Japan,  I casually and briefly mentioned that I was in favor of gun control.  He took me by surprise, immediately calling me a “liberal.”  (I’ve grown accustomed to that label over the years, to tell you the truth.  My publication record contains a chapter contributed to a feminism textbook, as well as other legal articles written from the plaintiff’s perspective.) 

He did own a gun, and during my visit to his house, he proudly took it out and (believe it or not) even pointed it at me though jokingly.

Gun rights, as well as numerous other social issues, are too important to be reduced to a matter of being liberal/conservative.  What parent would want to send his or her child to a friend’s house where a hidden gun could be secretly taken out? 

Imagine my horror when Daniel came home from his friend’s house, reporting that the friend had bragged about knowing where his father kept his gun.

Call me a liberal.  Call me a conservative.  I’m just a mother who hopes for a safer, brighter America for the sake of our children. 

P.S.  My daughter also expressed her disdain for  “McCain’s running mate” (she, like Daniel, never remembers her name), who “always wears glasses.”  

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