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Salman Rushdie said, “One of the extraordinary things about human events is that the unthinkable becomes thinkable.”

It is unthinkable that one human being can willfully take the life of another. But society faces this occurrence on a daily basis. Now we are forced to think about these unnecessary deaths and what measures can be taken to prevent them.

In February 2012, as reported on CBS New York, Governor Cuomo announced a statewide objective aimed at curtailing gun violence. He outlined a multifaceted plan using $2 million to initiate varying programs such as advertising campaigns, violence intervention, toll-free tip lines, and community-based efforts encouraging citizens to report illegal firearms.

In January 2013, in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, Governor Cuomo’s compassion for the vic­tims in Connecticut resulted in his passing the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, commonly known as the New York SAFE Act for gun control. These measures uphold­ing gun control were followed by similar acts in Connecticut, Colorado, and Maryland. Recognizing the importance of taking steps to reduce gun violence, the governors of these states signed new legislation. Lawmakers and society should make similar efforts aimed at steering the well-financed National Rifle Association toward sensible gun legislation.

This is a step in the right direction, but it’s not enough. Sadly, this was demonstrated in April 2013, when, despite public outcry, the Senate defeated the Manchin-Toomey bill that proposed expanded background checks for gun sales.

But society can prevail. The strength demonstrated by the National Rifle Association can be matched by society’s strength. I wish to impress upon readers that my objection does not include legally purchased handguns and hunting rifles by people who have permits to own them. What I find so troublesome is the National Rifle Association’s unwillingness to acknowledge that their extreme, incorrect, fanatic interpretation of the Second Amendment cannot exist in the twenty-first century with the advanced weaponry made so available for those who intend to misuse it.

Our society can begin to reverse the trend of gun violence. There are organizations that are passionate about preventing the easy accessibility of handguns and in the process save lives. They face the unthinkable on a daily basis and devote untold time and effort to preserving humanity. We can join them. We can pool our strength in a positive manner to reverse the unthinkable.

The organizations are listed below:

87 Lafayette Street
Third Floor
New York, New York 10013

P.O. Box 726 Croton Falls, New York 10519
1225 I Street NW Suite 1100 Washington, DC 20005


Unlawful deaths caused by gun violence can be addressed by educating ourselves and passing laws that make it harder for criminals, convicted felons, and the mentally ill to obtain guns. Society can lobby for stricter background checks on all gun sales and steps to strengthen law enforcement’s efforts to stop illegal gun sales. As individuals, we can talk to our families, friends, and neighbors about reversing this escalating, horrific trend. Additionally, we can become involved in those organizations listed above. Contributions to any of these organizations would be gratefully appreciated. Just a little passion from everyone can help preserve a life. Eric’s reaction was succinct after the defeat of the Manchin-Toomey bill in the U.S. Senate for gun-ownership background checks. His comment was, “If we don’t take action, there will be many more Susies.”


Susan Schaffer at 3 years old.

Susie at three.

Susan Schaffer

Article from ALIVE STL magazine about the opening of Susie’s Gyrotonic studio.

Susan Schaffer

Susie in June 2007.


Buy the book The Unthinkable by Lois Schaffer

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