As a baby boomer, the date Nov. 22, 1963, marked my coming-of-age -- and an entire generation's for that matter. How could it not?
Much like Sept. 11, 2001, has marked our children, the day President John F. Kennedy was shot changed our perception of certainty and safety and morality irrevocably.
Our steadfast beliefs in a handsome and charming president and his elegant wife, running a strong and righteous country that made the world a better place, were shattered about 12:30 p.m. CST on that November day.
Whether it was two bullets that hit the president and wounded then-Texas Gov. John Connally, as the Warren Commission concluded -- or more, as put forth by a cottage industry of assassination theorists -- the fact is a guy (or two) shot our president.
Just like a civilian with a gun shot President Ronald Reagan, two different folks fired at Gerald Ford, and someone shot William McKinley, James Garfield and Abraham Lincoln. And this sorry list fails to include the many presidents who avoided intended bullets and plots.
While I've despaired, like many, over the mounting -- you could say grotesque -- influence the National Rifle Association lords over Congress, I've also held onto a portion of JFK's inaugural speech, addressing us as: "My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."
It's a sentiment that has also marked us baby boomers and continues to do so should we choose to act. We have no choice.
The time has come to reconsider how we wish to leave our country for our children and theirs. As the anniversary of the school shooting in Newtown, Conn., approaches, I believe that together, we have the ability to spare our children and country from more random acts of rage.
In fact, no stranger to a despairing guy bearing a loaded gun, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and her office welcome our help in legislating tougher gun control. We can make this a reality.
Denise Bostrom, a Piedmont resident, is a scriptwriter, film producer and screenwriting instructor.