Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Thoughts on Gun Control

Remember when I said I made a list (a spreadsheet, actually) of all the holidays I want to make sure my family celebrates in some way? Well, after New Year's... the next holiday was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!

I found 3 documentaries on Netflix about him and I watched them all in one sitting when I was sick with the flu a couple weeks ago. Lol. Chicken noodle soup and MLK. That's how I roll! My favorite of the 3 was "Roads to Memphis."

Then we watched the inauguration as a family. How awesome is it that it falls on Martin Luther King Day this year? And how beautiful was that speech?! Obama is the man. WE THE PEOPLE!!! We're also going to the keynote speaker about MLK that they're having tomorrow morning at Utah Valley University. I've been missing my school days lately, so I like going to devotionals and speakers at UVU and BYU to get my fill of education.

Video of President Obama's 2013 inauguration speech:

Video of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1963 "I Have a Dream" speech:

Studying up on civil rights got me thinking about who I consider my heroes or idols. Who are the people who I can say made a difference in who I am as a person and whose values and philosophies are in line with my own? I'm still working on that short list of people I admire and I'm not all that sure who would make the cut. We're all human and people disappoint and fall short. But...

*What Martin Luther King, Jr. tried to do and what he tried to stand for resonates with me on a deep level.*

Mostly his stance on nonviolence. He wouldn't even allow his men around him to carry guns when they were participating in a peaceful protest. He took no concern for his life and instead just proceeded on with what he knew was right until the evil in the world took his life away from him. He will get his in the next life and so will his murderer. He left that judgement to God rather than taking it into his own hands with violence and a gun to "defend" himself.

--Beginning of rant.--

Gun control is a hot topic right now. And I'm not saying my way is right and is the way America should do things. I'm just stating my own personal beliefs - I am anti-gun. I do not believe that anyone should own a gun, for any reason, including hunting. I am anti-killing of animals. I am anti-violence. I know it goes deeper than a simple blanket statement of "let's get rid of all the guns" and that is why there is so much dispute about what exactly needs to be done about the gun violence in America. It is a very complex issue and believe me, I understand all sides. But I believe what I believe and I am entitled to that.

I think we should be a peaceful people. A people who trusts their neighbors and is kind to strangers and other nations. I think we should uplift the poor and needy and give help to the unhealthy (in mind, body, and spirit). I think we should be kind to animals as well. I think we should live a life of "doing no harm." To me, there is no place for guns or weapons in that kind of society.

We should be able to talk to each other and give each other respect without resorting to violence. I believe we should be able to find and keep a job without resorting to violence to steal what we need to survive.

I think that war is horrible. We should know better. Humans should be doing better than we are. Guns are not the answer. Forgiveness and respect are the answers. Freely giving of our substance to those in need is the answer. Righteous living is the answer. We need God, not guns. We need more peace.

--End of rant.--

Since I'm not working or going to school right now, I didn't get MLK Day off. So if I hadn't made it special on my own, it would've just been any other day. But I'm glad I made it special. It sparked a lot of great discussion in our home and gave me an excuse to be nerdy and watch lots of documentaries and educate myself some more. It's been great. :)

How was your MLK Day weekend?

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