Why do I care?
Compassion is not only at the heart of Christian teaching and spirituality, it is at the heart of all major world religions. Compassion is what we all have in common.
Compassion is a muscle that gets stronger with use. Mahatma Ghandi
Sharing compassion with another, giving hope, is part of the Kingdom of God at hand. “The Kingdom of God does not come in one dramatic event sometime in the future. It is coming here and now in every act of love, in every manifestation of truth, in every moment of joy, in every experience of the holy.” Paul Tillich
For more of the ‘why’ read my blog “Why I Protest”
There is so much going on in our world that it can be over whelming. Not only do I understand the desire to ‘not listen to the news’ or to ‘avoid have that difficult conversation,’ - I have also been there. I used to be that person who ignored the pain and suffering around me, so that my world could be happy and comfortable. Well, those days are over for me and we need to have a hard conversation.
As you read on, you may start to get anxious or even angry. I invite you to read with an open heart and a curious mind. I have been reading posts and listening to interviews. I have attempted to make sense of the responses given in regards to gun violence. And I am offering a few short responses:
“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Yes, you are right. Which is exactly why it should not be so easy to get a gun. Some people just shouldn’t have them. You can’t simply get in a car and start driving without going through the process of getting a license, and even then, it can be taken away if the privilege is abused.
“If someone wants to kill someone, they will. You can’t stop them.” Yes, you are right. But, we can make it more difficult. If someone wants to break into your home or car, they will, but we still lock our doors and set alarms. If someone is determined to commit suicide we can’t stop them, but we will try everything in our power to prevent it from happening.
“Anything can be used as a weapon.” Yes, you are right. It is also true that someone who comes into a school with a knife will harm far fewer people than someone who comes in with a semi-automatic weapon.
“It’s about mental illness not guns.” Yes, mental illness is a factor. We need to give serious attention to this issue. We also need to assure that those who have mental illness do not have easy access to these types of weapons.
“It’s my right and I am protected under the 2nd amendment.” First let’s clear up one thing, owning a gun is not a right, it is a privilege. Everyone has a right to clean water, food and shelter – those things which sustain life. The rest is privilege. With that being said, our world has changed quite a bit in the last 227 years. Guns have changed too. So, if someone wants to have a musket (3 rounds per minute if you are skilled), go for it. Otherwise, for the sake of our children, we need to talk about what the 2nd amendment means today.
"We should arm our teachers with guns." Oh hell no. This one shouldn't even need an explanation. Not only do we under pay teachers and make them pay for their own supplies, but now we want them to take on the role of armed security? Ridiculous.
We need to talk and the conversation has to happen everywhere including among our elected leaders. We can't set it aside...again. It is time to rise up.
I invite you into the conversation and ask that responses be respectful, intelligent and well thought out. In return, I promise to hear what you have to say with an open heart and curious mind.