I had another post scheduled today, but I took it down. I finally found my words.
Like many people, I woke up to the news about the Las Vegas shooting and was sad for my country. Certainly, I’m sad for the victims and their families, but I’m sad for the rest of us – the ones who believe the (stupid) narrative that now is not the time to talk about guns. Now is exactly the time to talk about guns. About gun control. And we need to act.
We can pray for Las Vegas, San Bernardino, Orlando all we want, but we need to DO SOMETHING, too.
But Sara, guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
Yes, they do. And guns help them accomplish that.
Despite growing up in Texas, I’ve never been comfortable around guns. When I was sever or eight-years-old, my family and I were leaving the mall after doing some Christmas shopping. A man was driving recklessly on the ice at high speeds, and when my dad pulled up next to him at a stop sign, he asked him to slow down – because there were people walking and it was dark.
The next time we ended up next to the guy’s car, he had a gun pointing out the window. He didn’t shoot (thankfully), but it terrified me. My dad, who suffered from severe heart disease, found a police office to report it to, and then ended up in the hospital that night because of the high blood pressure that resulted from one guy’s stupid reaction to being asked to act safely.
I’ve never forgotten that night – how easy it was for someone to pull out a gun because they didn’t like being told what to do. It scared me as a child. It still scares me now.
Perhaps I shouldn’t scare so easily, but maybe we shouldn’t let people amass ammunition and guns either. Maybe we should ask them to submit themselves to testing to ensure they aren’t a risk to others. Perhaps we should look at the number of innocent people who had to die because they chose to attend a concert, go to a nightclub, or go to a holiday party and ask ourselves if we aren’t a little guilty because of our refusal to act.
But Sara, I should have the freedom to bear arms.
Yes, and people should have the freedom to enjoy a concert without worry whether the noises are fireworks OR GUNSHOTS. People should have the freedom to walk into a nightclub without worrying whether or not they will make it home. And still, parents should be able to send their children to elementary school and not wonder if today will be the day that another massacre occurs. Freedom isn’t just about you.
But Sara, it’s a slippery slope… what about bombs, and, and, and…
You know what happens if you buy inappropriate products? The FBI shows up at your house. If you make a clock that someone thinks is a bomb? The authorities get called to your school. Anyone thinks you might be a terrorist and brands you as such? Your life and career gets ruined – even if the courts find differently.
Certainly, people might try and get creative. Things will get missed. We’ll make mistakes.
But, how many more innocent people have to die before we say enough is enough? Enough is the day when it’s your loved one, your friend, your parent, your spouse – but it can’t be that. If we are going to pray for whatever city, we should also love all of our fellow men enough to act courageously and say NO. This can’t be how it works.
And, we must be willing to say NO when people try and assign blame to others who have nothing to do with why this man decided to unleash hundreds of bullets on people he didn’t know. (I’m looking at you, Fox News.) The blame lies solely at the feet of Stephen Paddock (and the people who continue to do nothing about gun control). We know that mass shootings are a problem. They have become such a problem that the one that killed 5 people this week went largely unreported. We are desensitized to them. We say oh isn’t that sad, and then we do NOTHING.
We cherry pick which laws to follow and when. We use the Bible when it benefits our narrative and cite separation of church and state when it benefits our narrative. We believe in freedom for some people, but not for all. The ability to amass military style weapons and ammunition is crazy, but if we’re going to allow it, why not allow people to buy tanks, too? (In this case, a Hummer is not a tank.) Don’t come to me with nonsense about how taking guns away is stripping you of your freedoms. We strip freedom away from people every day, and certainly the people (all of them, not just the ones we chose to brand as “terrorists”) who are shot going about their daily lives – at elementary schools, at Christmas parties, or at concerts had their freedom stripped away because someone was able to carry 49 guns into a hotel room and no one batted an eye.
I need you to do better, America.
If you want a (slightly) less emotional post with more sources, go to Steph’s blog.