Maybe we all need to take a deep breath and step back from the conflict between “liberals” and “gun righters.” Many of you know I hunted and carried a gun for over 1/2 of my life (Marines and police). I don’t write this from a lack of experience and not knowing evil. But where I see things today is this: We are a violent society (I know, we’ve always been so!) but that should not prevent us from being less so. We need to take a look at the big picture — who we are as a nation, and where we wish to go and how we wish to be. Sure, it is the fault of blood thirsty gaming, libertarians, violent media, violent sports, bullying, the NRA, an eleven-year-old war, silent elected officials, domestic violence, a failing mental health system, drugs, poor parenting skills, and so on. The fact is dear folks, it’s ALL of this and we need to first start to change the violent things in ourselves, our families, all our relationships, and especially how we act at home, at work, and in our neighborhood and community. It’s all about being peaceful and making peace. Can we begin the New Year with a commitment to simply be more peaceful in our lives and in our speech? If we do, we will have made a giant step toward assuring a better future for our children and grandchildren.