by John Borst,

A nation that lives in peace is a nation that controls its guns.  Is that too political a statement for the President of Rotary International to make?

The “tragedy of Newtown” is the tragedy of Everytown, in every country, in every language, in every race. The death of 20 children and six teachers by bullets fired from a gun wherever it might occur is an event which must rise above the banality of politics.

December-Family-MonthBut for Rotary International such a tragedy is something greater; it is a test aimed at the very heart of what makes Rotary great. Peace and family are the very cornerstones upon which Rotary is built.

Rotarians worldwide, but especially Rotarian’s in the United States of America must rise up as one voice and condemn this violence within their own house. They must rise up and say with one voice “a nation that lives in peace is a nation that controls its guns.”

To do anything less makes a mockery of the 2011-2012 theme of “Peace through Service”. To do anything less makes a mockery of December’s theme of “Family”.

If one truly believes in peace through service and the importance of family within society one cannot possibly subscribe to the tenants of the National Rifle Association.  Peace through guns is incompatible with the values of Rotarians.

It is time for President Tanaka, to speak out forcefully on behalf of grieving Rotarians who feel the pain of those 26 families most directly impacted by the bullets fired by guns that pieced fragile bodies and snuffed out not only their breath but the joy of this most holy of seasons.

President Tanaka, I want to hear you say, “A nation that lives in peace is a nation that controls its guns;” because the values of peace and family are not negotiable.