I am angry. I am devastated. I am done.
If you have not seen the news yet today, there was another school shooting this morning. I say another, because there was one yesterday as well. And I don’t know about you, but I’m saying enough is enough!
I am very conservative. Most of what I believe aligns with the conservative platform, excluding a couple of issues. Something I have always been a big supporter of is the 2nd amendment, or the right to bear arms. I feel like it’s important to preface this, so you can understand that this isn’t another rant from a hippie wanting to confiscate all the guns or something 😉
I am a big supporter of the right to own guns. Many people I know and love, enjoy hunting or target shooting. They especially love that they can have a way to protect themselves and their families, in the event that something horrible happens. And all the power to them! I’d feel a lot better knowing that if someone broke into my house, my husband could grab a gun to protect us from someone who was likely armed themselves, as opposed to calling 911 and waiting 15 minutes for someone to show up. (PSA I love cops too and am so thankful for them, just saying I’d rather not helplessly sit and wait for help.)
All that being said, something has to change.
I recently watched a documentary on Netflix about families affected by the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012. I remember being a junior in college when that shooting happened, and I cried watching the news coverage. But watching this documentary, five years later, now with two kids of my own, I sobbed. I don’t remember the last time I cried that hard. I couldn’t imagine dropping my boys off at school, and never seeing them again. Such innocence and purity was taken that horrible day. The documentary followed a few families whose sweet children were killed, and talked about their grief and the work they’re doing now in government to try to make a change, so that other parents don’t have to go through this nightmare they are suffering.
I used to be one of those people who said, “We don’t need to do anything about guns! Guns aren’t the problem, evil people are the problem!” And while it’s true that guns aren’t pulling their own triggers, evil people have such easy access to a weapon that can kill so many in such a short amount of time. I know evil people want to hurt other people, and will still use whatever weapon is accessible to them. But why does that mean this conversation isn’t necessary? “Well, it won’t make a difference anyways,” is not a good enough reason not to try something. When we can’t confidently go to school, church, the movie theater, the mall, a concert, or any other public place without wondering if a shooter is going to show up, we have a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
I know evil is at the root of these shootings. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cried out to God, asking, “Why, Lord?! How is this possible?” But then I stop and remember that this has nothing to do with God, because our culture has eradicated God. This breaks God’s heart, a million trillion times more than it could ever break mine. This is about a lack of morality and kindness, and a surplus of hatred and violence. So many times, these shooters are young people who were bullied and victimized. Not that this is an excuse at all, but it is heartbreaking to think that a person could feel so hopeless and dark, that the only solution that makes sense to them is to inflict pain on others. If you can’t relate to what I’m saying, please read the book Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult. It offers a life-altering perspective on the importance of spreading love.
All that to say, evil isn’t going anywhere. It’s been here since the beginning (thanks a lot, Satan), and it will be around until the end. So despite evil or unstable people being at the root of the problem, isn’t it possible that if we did something, anything, to somehow limit the easy accessibility of guns to these people, that a lot less people would be killed and injured? I know there are so many arguments to this: “Well look at that Las Vegas shooter–he didn’t have any kind of record,” OR “Well he stole it from his parents, and they were law-abiding citizens!”
I don’t have all the answers. I wish I had the perfect solution. I’m just saying, it is PAST time to have this conversation. We need to stop being Liberals and Conservatives–we need to be human beings. What if it was YOUR father, mother, sister, brother, daughter, son, husband, wife, or friend who was shot and killed? It’s not enough to talk about it for a day after yet another shooting pops up on the news. We need to make a change, and we need to make it now.
What are your thoughts on this? I’d love to have a healthy dialogue, and hear some of your ideas!