February 15, 2018
Dear Senator (Rand Paul, Mitch McConnell) and Rep. Brent Guthrie
This is not a letter of request but an ultimatum as a citizen in your District. Please vote to restrict the sale of assault rifles to youth age 21 and younger, and for regulations that tighten the screening necessary to buy an “assault” rifle.
Yes, there are mental health issues, yes, we can make schools safer, but that is not at the basis of the current safety issue: kids with guns killing other kids. Change the gun ownership regulations, Sir.
I want to hear from you on how you will act to restrict gun ownership by minors (21 and younger) and your plans to write or support such legislation. This has the highest priority in my own mind. We just lost 2 youths in Kentucky, with another 16 wounded, and thousands of students, parents, families and the public traumatized by mass shootings in their community. Now, its happened again.
Tomorrow I’ll be making an appointment to meet with you in your Bowling Green office at your earliest convenience.
Very truly yours,
Last month I was privileged to be a juror for local and regional youth writers during the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. We have great budding talent as well as youth whose voice is already powerful with portent of great works to come. Poetry filled the majority of entries, short stories and essays less so yet entries were stellar. Themes varied from an essay about surviving the digital tsunami to family and personal narratives. As jurors, we listened for a distinct voice, for use of language, and other indicators of a writer’s talent and potential. See the accompanying press release about Bowling Green SKyPAC awards ceremony and reception. I hope many of our community members, teachers, and leaders can join us March 3rd at SKyPAC to celebrate our youth and the cultivation of the imagination.
Scholastic Press release 2-9-18
Wendell Berry is by far one of my favorite writers . . .
In his 2005 book of poems, Given, this one is printed on the back of the volume:
“The yellow-throated warbler, the highest remotest voice of this place, sings in the tops of the tallest sycamores, but one day he came twice to the railing on my porch where I sat at work above the river. He was too close to see with binoculars. Only the naked eye could take him in, a bird more beautiful than every picture of himself, more beautiful than himself killed and preserved by the most skilled taxidermist, more beautiful than any human mind, so small and inexact, could hope ever to remember. My mind became beautiful by the sight of him. He had the beauty only of himself alive in the only moment of his life. He had upon him like a light the whole beauty of the living world that never dies.” ~ Wendell Berry
This Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It also seeks to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom, We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.