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What if One Picture Changed Your Life?

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Let's say you've seen a picture, one that shows a curly-haired toddler, his eyes glazed with confusion as he sits on a stranger's lap.

Let's say the Highland Park police release the photo publicly, disseminating it far and wide, trying to find the boy's parents. Maybe you wonder, "What could have kept his parents from him?"

Let's say you imagine what that boy saw and heard, in the moments after the shooting started -- the noises and the smells, the running and the screams. There's blood on the boy's legs, on his socks and shoes, and perhaps it occurs to you how that blood got there.

Let's say you keep thinking about that child being shielded from gunfire by his dying father. You might try not to remember but be unable to forget the words of a good Samaritan doctor who described the aftermath. Maybe you can't even type those words now, for fear they will infect another person's brain as they have infected yours.

But, if you saw that picture, those images, those thoughts might be burned into your mind and your soul -- forever. Once you saw it, maybe your eyes could never be closed again.

Maybe you abhor the taking of innocent life. If, to you, the life of a child matters more than unlimited personal freedom, you might wonder, doesn't that little boy count? Don't his parents?

 

Maybe you believe in the Bible, the Quran or the Torah. You might ask yourself why we sacrifice human lives on the altar of guns. Aren't we commanded to put nothing before God?

Maybe you are a parent or a grandparent, a dog lover or a neighbor, an environmentalist or an activist, a firefighter or a teacher, a police officer or a friend. Maybe you have a heart: Shouldn't that photograph, the look on that boy's shell-shocked face, break it?

Or maybe you care for no one but yourself. Well, then, you -- don't you matter?

What about your right to go to school, a movie theater, a church, a country music concert, a Fourth of July parade without being murdered?

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