In the wake of the most recent gun violence, I watched President Obama speak and thought about his words:
“As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it’s an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago — these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics.
Then I read an NBC news report:
The weapons used in the attack were legally purchased and were registered to the gunman’s mother, two law enforcement officials said. Two 9mm handguns were recovered inside the school. An AR-15-type rifle also was found at the scene, but there were conflicting reports Friday night whether it had been used in the shooting.
Of the recent shootings President Obama quoted, I have always seen several key reports. First was the shooter mentally ill? Secondly, were the guns used in the shooting spree legally purchased? As if the shooting has lessor impact if the weapons were ‘legally’ purchased. And third, the best any of us can seem to offer prayer, as the Vatican parsed in their statement:
“The Holy Father was promptly informed of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown and he has asked me to convey his heartfelt grief and the assurance of this closeness in prayer to the victims and their families, and to all affected by the shocking event. In the aftermath of this senseless tragedy he asks God, our Father, to console all those who mourn and to sustain the entire community with the spiritual strength which triumphs over violence by the power of forgiveness, hope and reconciling love.”
So in response to all this, I can only state, “What a crock of bullshit.” And to America, I openly ask, “Is this the best we can do? Spiritual strength will triumph over violence by the power of forgiveness? This is seriously the best we can offer these families? This is the best we can offer any family?”
According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (PDF), more than 58,000 gun shops in this country while there are fewer than 20,000 Starbucks world-wide. Think about that America. There are 38,000 more gun shops in America than Starbucks world-wide?
And the best we can do is offer prayer to the afflicted … to the great Lord our God … who overcomes all with love? While we do nothing?
Last time I checked, America is composed of those who engineered the ability to walk on the moon, successfully combated several forms of cancer, perform heart transplants, feed the poor, donate to hurricane and earthquake victims. We have the capability to create weapons of mass-destruction, to build beautifully aesthetic buildings, put GPS on a phone, created the toilet, toaster, Twinkies, automobiles, air conditioning, clean water, toothbrush, Scope, antiperspirants, Microsoft and Apple products, chocolate, artificial heart, ATM, atomic weapons, Band-Aids, baseball, football, beds, beer, bifocals, paper towels, toilet paper, pasteurization, PayPal, Penicillin, coke and diet coke, gasoline, electricity, heaters, cameras, microprocessors, etc.
Yet when it comes to some form of gun control, the best we can say is, “… console all those who mourn and to sustain the entire community with the spiritual strength which triumphs over violence by the power of forgiveness, hope and reconciling love.”
I’m not claiming to revoke one’s right to bear arms. But can we not do something more?
At this time year, the Ghost of Christmas Present will visit many. Beware of his words:
They are Man’s,’ said the Spirit, looking down upon them. ‘And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom.
We are so Ignorant! Is this really the best we can do?