Gun violence makes the world feel unsafe. Gun violence in a house of worship, even more so.
But the world is not a safe place.
That seems obvious. But we cling to this ideal of peace, love and happiness. All you need is Love. Give peace a chance. We are the world. Let there be peace on earth.
I can sorta-kinda cope with violence in random public places, on public transportation, in shopping malls. Workplace shootings are rampant. Sadly, I have an expectation that it just might happen in some corner of my little world. It boggles my mind that I have to be vigilant for my personal safety in a public place, but this is the world we live in now.
I’ll be honest… I don’t get it. My mind can’t process this kind of hate. I see what evil has done. And I am numb.
Shootings in the public square are bad enough, but what about the attacks in churches? It seems ages ago since the attack in Mother Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston. How do we ever process the seemingly random violence of a shooter, assasinating the very folk who welcomed the stranger into their midst? Then to discover that, according to investigators, he plotted this for weeks?
Then I think about the violence at other places of worship. What about the mass shootings at a Sikh temple in 2012 in Oak Creek, Wisconsin? Or the six people shot in a mosque in Quebec?
The churches in California, Tennessee, and now, Texas?
I don’t have answers for this kind of blind hate and prejudice. Lord knows I have enough unkind thoughts for some specific politicians today… but then I realize…
I am no better than the perpetrator of a mass killing if I let hate fester in my heart.
Let me be clear: Am I looking for justice for the Charleston 9? Absolutely! But responding with violence? May it never be!
The stories will trickle in over the next weeks from the Sutherland Springs tragedy. We will read about families and shocked townspeople. We will get the pablum of “thoughts and prayers.” And we will hear the horrible theology of God needing another angel (ugh!!) and a diversion to a diatribe about mental illness instead of finally addressing gun control.
It has happened yet again.
The rhetoric swirls yet again.
And the world will continue to be unsafe.
And I will continue to wonder why any private citizen should own an assault rifle.