I'm an optimist. It's part of my hard wiring, but it's also a result of my habits. I meet people, a lot of people, I engage folks, and I try to read up, watch, and study things that are happening nearby and far away from my world. I read a lot of terrifying disturbing things and I read about a lot of unsexy, miraculous, life affirming, amazing things as well. Mostly though, I listen to the people I meet and my faith is constantly renewed with evidence, not blind belief. I have seen standards of living in America and around the world go up consistently throughout my life. I have also seen the forces of hatred, ugliness, and oppression, consistently find a way to push back against the tide of change. The interesting thing is, those malevolent forces are always viewed with skepticism by the majority of people. You can always tell on a kind of primal level when people are truly coming from a place of honestly, kindness and love and when they are not. You can also tell when someone or some group is using fear to try to make you do what they want you to do. Love has a ind of confidence to it, it doesn't have to work so hard at convincing you it's real. The American Neo-Nazi movement for example is real, but it is not beloved, and the majority of Americans don't want to see a Disney movie about a Nazi hero or heroine. I know this may seem like a strange overly simplistic analogy, but what I mean is this.The vast majority of people want to do good, they also want to feel good. They want to love and be loved. They want to protect and serve. They want to share, fundamentally. We just have make to make it easier, as a society, for people to do these things. Poverty, cruelty, and ignorance beget suffering and pain. Pain has a way of crushing our human capacity to give the best of ourselves. This gun control debate gets at the heart of what we're about. We all want our children and our families to be safe, all the time. There are forces, voices, companies, trying to scare us by telling some of us that protecting our loved ones means losing our freedom and independence. When we dig deep, let the fear go, and admit that a peaceful society should not allow the retail sale of military weapons of war to it's citizens, or accesories that easily transform other tools into weapons of war, we'll be in a good place to start the change. With the help of all those that have come before us, and now the students of Parkland High School in Florida, I think we can do it. We just have to let the fear go and listen to our better voices that tell us to love and take care of each other.