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Perspective: Guns don't have heartbeats

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The recent rhetoric around the assault weapons ban is launched, words have been weaponized and sent into battle. The most recent weaponized word is "sanctuary." During the last McHenry County Board meeting, the word was used repeatedly to illustrate the fear gun owners feel over the new weapons ban.

I went digging. Historically, sanctuary has been a place of protection for immigrants seeking safety from deportation. In common references, it’s defined as the holiest of places, a safe and serene space for a person. It also is used to protect animals and endangered species trying to survive the impacts of human behavior.

Sifting through the dictionaries I believe the new assault ban does not meet any of these conditions. I cannot fully understand the resistance to managing the proliferation of high magazine military-style weapons. However, I do sense the fear and anger people experience when they believe the world they know and love is transforming.

Here is my bottom line: Guns are inanimate objects, they don’t bleed, nor are they traumatized as a result of what a human being does with the weapon. Guns feel nothing and ask nothing from us, least of all sanctuary. Until human beings touch them, they do nothing. Guns do not require our protection.

While I listen to everyone, at the end of the day, I vote my conscience. Not everyone will be happy with my decision. My sanctuary is my heart. As I continue to listen and learn from others, one thing I know as fact, Guns Don’t Have Heartbeats — they don’t require my protection.

Lou Ness has been working in service to people for decades. She has headed church-based programs in Rockford and served as Director of the Rockford Police Chaplains Program. She was an early pioneer in the domestic violence community.