over the past few years Daniel's dad has made a number of public appearances in support of gun control. First at
the rally to protest the NRA annual convention in Denver. Then he was on the Today Show and followed by an appearance
on Peter Boyles' radio talk show here in Denver. Next he went to Washington D.C. to attend a White House ceremony hosted
by the First Lady as well as a news conferences that kicked off the formation of SAFE and the Bell Campaign in
Tom has been identified as an active anti-gun activist. However, Tom was extremely upset when a newspaper headline
read, "Father of victim blames NRA for shootings." He said no such thing at any time. The newspaper in question
published a correction as well as Tom's letter to the editor.
In each of Tom's public statements he has clearly stated that there are many factors besides guns that are responsible
for the tragedy at Columbine and other schools. We are quite aware that two young men committed an evil act that
was responsible for the death of our dear son Daniel. We believe there are many factors behind the rash of school
killings across the country, including:
- a lack of parental oversight and communication
- increased alienation in a rising number of youth
- a decrease in the value put on life and in civility towards others, as evidenced by talk shows,
road rage, etc.
- the numbing and desensitizing effect of violent portrayals in movies, on television and videos
- inadequate communication between schools and students
- the easy access and widespread availability of guns to children.
We clearly believe that the focus of America's efforts must be the family! If American families do not address this issue, then we are doomed to more tragic school incidents. Parents
and children must be more in tune, with more real communication, more hugging, more quality time, more frank discussion.
At the next level, our communities must be active. At the national level, we must look to the entertainment industry
to reduce their portrayals of violence, and to Congress to enact reasonable gun control laws.
It will be difficult and time consuming to address these cultural issues. But not impossible. It will involve sacrifices by everyone. It will involve creative solutions. Being the parents of a victim
does not somehow endow us with solutions. Everyone must work on them. We encourage all who read this web site to
submit THEIR ideas and potential solutions to our Guest Book. Every few days we'll summarize and post them.
Having said all that, you might ask, why then all the Mausers' talk of gun control? We believe that the tragic
and reckless proliferation of guns in this country makes school tragedies and other shootings so much easier to
carry out. We believe the NRA and other gun organizations are responsible for that proliferation. But that is quite
different than saying they are directly responsible.
Let's look at the simple facts: this country loses over 15,000 people each year to gun homicides. In Japan, with
about half of our population, they lose less than 50 lives. Germany, a third our size, loses less than 200. Great
Britain, Australia and Canada combined, less than 350. Gun supporters say that the lower death totals are due to
cultural differences. If it was cultural, the death totals would be more random, not the uniformly lower totals
in countries with stronger gun controls. Most of these low firearm death countries are ethnically and culturally
diverse, just like the U.S. But they have one major thing in common: they all have tight gun restrictions. It doesn't
take a rocket scientist, or someone playing Moses, to see the connection!
There are four reasons the Mausers will speak out more on the issue of gun control:
- The gun death statistics mentioned above are too overwhelming and tragic to ignore.
- We believe that as Christians we have a duty to reduce gun proliferation.
- Gun control can be addressed more immediately through pressure on public officials; the other
factors are cultural and will require more time.
- Most importantly, just weeks before Daniel's death, he told his dad about loopholes in the Brady
Bill. We don't know what prompted the comment. We didn't talk long about it. But it's clear now that it was a sign.
A sign we must and will respond to!
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