As this latest abomination on humanity opens deeps wounds, Social Media is filled with people posting memes saying things like, ‘Cain killed Abel with a rock; It’s a heart problem, not a gun problem.’ At some level I would agree, it’s a ‘heart problem;’ but knowing it’s a ‘heart problem’ opens the wider question, why are we giving people with a heart problem access to guns? Allowing people with a ‘heart problem’ access to weapons of such mass destruction seems counter to any reality I can grasp.
Call it whatever you desire, a terrorist act, a hate crime – whatever. Just don’t allow what you call it remove you from finding a solution. Because in my mind it doesn’t matter what you call it, taking the life of another because you don’t like who they are, is simply twisted. We can argue the value of mental health issues, the freedom of the 2nd Amendment, we can argue whatever – but we must, MUST, look past all the arguments and start addressing some core realities of our world. Saying, ‘it’s a heart problem’ without addressing the heart issues, simply puts the solution on the back burner. Because of all this violence we are redefining our norms.
If we live in a world where violence against another is the norm, we live in the wrong world.
If our faith encourages us to marginalize others, for any reason, we need to rethink our faith
If you think you are called to take a life, you need to check those voices in your head
If all we are doing is offering words, we rethink, and start action
If our actions marginalize some, we are the ones with the ‘heart problem’
Prayers? Yes, we need to be praying. Words? Sure, sharing our feeling, and expressing emotions, over this tragedy is important. While prayers, and words, are important, we need to embrace this shock to our human culture and move past words and take action to stop this kind of violence in the future, but I wonder if we will? I thought the Newtown massacre would take our collective Spirits over the edge of words, and move us to real action. But instead, our leaders bowed-down before the altar of the NRA, and did nothing. We moved past Newtown, without honest and real gun control, or background checks. Many simply allowed the conversation, and prayers, to end – we simply moved on to the next wave of violence. I remember thinking, when no one was truly hearing the voices of grieving parents, ‘If we’re not collectively moved at the killing of elementary school children, nothing will move us.’
These events should cause more than sadness; they should sicken us at the core of our being. I have no ability to grasp, or understanding, such violence until I take the time to process the events. But in that, in that processing, I truly desire to stress that this is a gun issue, because giving people with a heart problem access to such weapons is simply crazy.