People Are Having a Hard Time Accepting Your Thoughts and Prayers
Texas raised me. New York made me. I’ve seen both sides of America’s controversial gun laws.
A childhood friend visited me this past weekend. She asked so sweetly and lovingly, “Do you have any protection in your home?” “Huh?” The thought never occurred to me. “You know. Like, a firearm. You should get one,” she said.
Usually. My non-violence believing knee jerk reaction would have been something along the lines of “hell no. Ew.” But after some deep thinking of certain circumstances, I am considering the possibility of enhancing my protection. While I believe in the right to protect my home, I also hope that the process allowing me to do so is laborious, excruciating, full of fact checking, psyche testing, analyzing, and background screening to prove that I am of sound motive and mind. I would also hope that under no circumstances would I be able to legally purchase an assault weapon. What would any individual need an assault weapon for? The right to bear arms and smart gun control laws can co-exist. Right now, they do not.
The United States (that name seems so odd now given how visibly divided we are)—America, rather, is on the heels of yet another mass shooting tragedy. While people are sending thoughts and prayers, what they’re not saying is that we are also surely on the brink of yet another mass shooting if gun law reform doesn’t happen swiftly
Is it just a coincidence that 3 out of the top 8 mass shootings in this country have all taken place in Texas, my beloved Lone Star State of liberal gun laws?
Is it ironic that this latest act of violence happened in a church where people were most likely “thinking and praying”?
I go to church. Mind you, I go to a church with metal detectors.
I believe in the power of prayer. I believe that prayer is one of the most powerful things we can do, and often the single most powerful thing we can do. While I resent labels, I am probably what you would call a Christian.
Maybe it’s not actually the label that bothers me. But rather what has come to be associated with Christianity.
The same people praising God are the same people voting for excessive rights for the same guns that are killing the same people who receive reactions of shock and horror, cries and posts and calls for “thoughts and prayers” after it’s too late.
Is it kosher to offer condolences as if this couldn’t have been avoided? As if the overly stated boast to protect one’s home doesn’t disingenuously disguise facilitation of the bloodshed.
Like offering thoughts and prayers to gunshot victims while raging against gun reform efforts to prevent future slayings is kind of, mutually exclusive? Meaningless, maybe? Is it a contradiction to claim to live a life in Christ, who announces life, but be so forthright in promoting tools of death?
Is it disturbing that even after innocent children are slaughtered in the supposed safety of their school due to extreme gun allowance, people still value their lascivious gun usage over saving the lives of precious children? Do we remember what Jesus said about children? Do we remember what Jesus said about anyone who is complicit in the harm of children?
Is it strange to praise the local resident who chased down the gunman to shoot him after the gunman had stopped shooting? Is it just to give pursuit to shoot anyways after no longer being in harm’s way? Are we blood thirsty? Are we eye for an eye? Is it right that this armed resident is being used as proof as to why guns on the streets are effective? Is this the life by faith? Are we now a country of street justice? I’m not necessarily opposed to street justice, but I didn’t get that memo. Is it propaganda to promote the doctrine that more citizens should carry more guns rather than moving towards legislation to prevent mass shootings from happening in the first place?
Why are so many Christians fighting so hard for such liberal access to guns? Guns that kill. Guns that kill people. Would Jesus own a gun?
In his song “Holy Ghost Girl”, Canton Jones romanticizes about a woman who is “tongue-talkin, Bible-walkin, spirit-filled, and dressed to kill.” But I don’t think he meant that killing part literally.
I hope we’re all paying attention to the signs. Jesus is coming back soon.
In addition to your thoughts and prayers, here are some practical things you can do:
- Get out and vote. Today. Yes, general elections are today. These local decisions hold more weight about what happens in our communities than presidential elections. Hopefully you will vote to save lives. Find out where to vote here: https://nyc.pollsitelocator.com/search
- Support businesses who work towards gun reform.
- Stop supporting businesses who support the NRA and/or oppose gun law reform.
- Compile a list of such businesses and spread that information to the public.
- Be compassionate to other human beings. If you notice someone showing signs of being mentally or emotionally disturbed, try to get them help.
- Share this article.
- Write your own article.
- Write your representative.
- Join, volunteer, and/or donate towards an organization that is working towards gun control.
- Run for office.
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