When Violence Divides Us

I’ve already mentioned here on the blog how challenging, in fact heart-wrenching, it can be to try to blog in the aftermath of tragedies like last week’s devastation in Connecticut. Yesterday, I was reminded personally how swift the transition from national outrage to finger pointing can really be.

It’s not surprising, perhaps, that in the wake of the shootings, a debate over the topic of assault weapons would take center stage. As the Editor of a website that is not typically super “issue oriented”, I have found myself ill-equipped to vet the various submissions that are crossing my desk. My “rule” has typically been to abide by the teachings of the Church. I consult the USCCB website, which often has great resources compiled for our reference. That’s true in this case too. But I’ve also found our writers, our readers, and my friends fairly evenly divided on the issue of increased gun control. It’s clear to me that our Bishops are calling for specific legislative action to lessen the rising tide of violence in our country. It’s also clear to me that many good Catholics land on both sides of the issue of gun control. In my editorial efforts, my desire has been to keep my personal agenda to the side and to provide our writers with a platform that reflects this diversity of opinion.

Doing so in this case has cost me personally in ways I won’t detail here. It has also reminded me how quickly we can move from deep sorrow to bitter debate. Again, I have no answers, only a cognizance that I should try to stay out of that argument and dwell in the arena of positive, proactive, healing action.

In the case of Newtown, it’s difficult to imagine what we can possibly do to help. One small opportunity has emerged in the form of support for the spiritual shepherds at St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church who have toiled so valiantly to serve their flock since Friday. Elizabeth has the entire story here, so rather than repeating it I will simply ask you to visit her blog, read the request presented, and sit down and address a few Christmas cards.

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About Lisa M. Hendey

Lisa Hendey is the founder and webmaster of CatholicMom.com and the author of The Grace of YesA Book of Saints for Catholic Moms and The Handbook for Catholic Moms. Lisa writes for several online and print publications, enjoys speaking around the country and is a frequent television and radio guest and host. Visit her at LisaHendey.com and connect with her at Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Instagram.

  • http://www.snoringscholar.com Sarah Reinhard

    I’ve noticed it too, Lisa, though I don’t see it as much as you do. I’ve noticed it in the submissions and comments over at the site you mention as well as in my Facebook feed.

    And you know, it seems to me that this is not an issue that should be divisive. It’s not doctrine or dogma, and yet it touches us in a close place. For one thing, it hearkens to the Constitution (which always gets people I know’s dander up) and for another, like you said, there is a rising tide of violence.

    I don’t follow the news very closely, so I’m not even sure: is there really more violence or is that just what is reported and heard about?

    That said, there is nothing condoning or saying that what happened in Newtown (or in similar situations) is EVER okay. EVER.

    You’re doing a good job from where I sit. Stay brave and keep smiling. And maybe grab a handful of chocolate! :)

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  • http://platytera.blogspot.com/ Christian

    “the rising tide of violence in our country.” Can’t say about violence in general, but the US murder rate has dropped from 9.8 (per 100,000) in 1991 to 4.8 in 2010 (down a bit more than 50%).

  • http://platytera.blogspot.com/ Christian

    Violent crime in general is also down significantly since 1991:


    • http://www.catholicmom.com Lisa Hendey

      Christian – thank you so much for providing these references. Obviously I did not research statistics, and this definitely helps to put things more into perspective. I thank you for taking the time to research and share this information.

  • http://acts17verse28.blogspot.com Sue Roth

    I decided to try to respond in kindness to the tragic events of 12/14/12 in Newtown CT. For each of the 28 people who died, I am performing an act of kindness. With each act, I am giving a card explaining in whose name I’m doing a kindness and why. If you wish to download a copy of the card or learn more about it, please go to http://acts17verse28.blogspot.com/2012/12/can-sense-be-made-of-senseless.html.