We mourn for the victims. Not just the victims in Orlando, San Bernardino, Charleston, Sandy Hook, Aurora, and those victims of the murderous sprees before and in between, but also the victims of the daily shootings on the streets of our country. Although the casualties are fewer in number in each instance, they amount to tens of thousands each year. Each death, each shooting diminshes us.

The United States is being torn apart – rather, allowing itself to be torn apart by guns. There are few types of manmade items created solely to do harm to others. Guns and bullets are prime examples, and there is so much killing.

After this last massacre, there will still be those who will say the answer is more guns. There are those who will say they believe the freedom of America lies in the right for private citizens to own guns. But the reality is the U.S. Supreme Court’s misguided Heller decision, a deliberate distortion of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, has left too many citizens unprotected.

We think that our freedom takes root in the First, rather than the Second, Amendment to the Constitution.

Freedom to write, speak, and worship apart from government interference and freedom to petition the government for redress are the foundation of this democratic republic. We know there are excesses, and we know there are injustices, but we remain firm in our conviction that talk rather than gunfire is the solution.