On days like this when our home’s tall flag pole has Old Glory at half-staff there is a need within to stop and attempt in some way to marshal the facts and bring order to the chaos. I really try but readily admit when it comes to mass shootings there is no way to ever absorb the enormity of the event.
Instead of thinking about the leaders of the nation who have spoken or written their thoughts my mind is on a line from the church where this bloodshed occurred.
“Today an unthinkable tragedy occurred in our community.” the church wrote.
I want to place those words in the small-town reasoning from which it happened. After all, I was raised in a place of almost the same size population. I can imagine the horror of knowing countless families in the place of worship and then how the extended relatives and friends would all be in a panic as the details emerge.
But on the other hand I can not understand how anyone could claim this was “unthinkable”.
These totally bizarre and heinous mass shootings happen all the time. It’s not predictable where they will occur, but we all know they will happen again, and then again. The horror of Las Vegas is roughly only one month ago.
After each one of these gun crimes politicians and citizens alike talk about shared suffering and about “coming together” and saying prayers and a bunch of other things. Missing from the dialouge is what we as a nation must do to guarantee that this type of gun-created violece is reduced. Because with out some remedies applied the headline from Texas will play out again and again with only the name of the location changed.
It is not as if aliens from another planet are here doing us harm. Our own people are killing us. Then after each mass shooting conservatives and the gun lobby says we have to wait respectfully before discussing political solutions. There is one huge fault in that thinking.
This nation is getting shot at so often that this “waiting period” will never occur.
Today it happened again, and this time the horrible tragedy resulted in children being slaughtered. I simply grit my teeth when the news programs place those types of young faces up on the screen and report a short bio on the personality or special loves of the one who is now soon to be buried. I hate it so much because it need not happen!
When we live in a nation where buying a gun is on the same level as buying a Craftsmen tool we need to think about the rules that govern gun sales. We need to not be numb to the blood and tears that come at moments like this–moments which get repeated more and more savagely. We need to stay in touch with our basic humanity and core knowledge that this gun violence is not normal, not fit for a democracy, and not above our ability to change the laws and demand accountability from members of congress who work for you and me.
Tonight politicians saying”our prayers are with you” ring very hollow. Prayers for the dead will not supersede efforts to save the living.
And so it goes.