Thoughts and Prayers

I was cruising Facebook yesterday evening, and the first thing on my feed was a friend posting “Seattle friends check in”. My first thought “Shit, what happened now?”

Of course I immediately search the internet for what has happened. I’m appalled at the immediate lack of information and attention to this mass shooting. Have we become so desensitized to it all that it is no longer “sensational” enough for the regular news. I found only 2 places right away about it, and then several hours later, the local news started to report on it.

Thoughts and prayers to Seattle – that seems to be the tongue in cheek answer to practically every mass shooting; every large disaster or horrible thing that happens to the world right now. Thoughts and prayers – but does anyone actually do that?

You know how sometimes people say to you “I’ll pray for you” – do you think they really do? I used to be guilty of this. I would tell someone I would put them in my prayers, and then not pray for them – or sometimes, not praying at all. Then I realized the hypocrisy of it all, and vowed to not do that. If I tell you I’m going to pray for you, I have specifically put an alarm on my phone to do just that for you. If I tell you I will keep you in my prayers, I have put you on my personal prayer list at home.

Is thoughts and prayers enough? I’m sorry, but I’m sick of this answer. Thoughts and prayers is not an answer to these situations. Thoughts and prayers are important, if they are followed through on, but action is the answer.

Who will have the guts to bring about actual change in regards to our safety? Gun safety, legislation, and impacts are not just a political issue. Conservative and liberal people alike know and feel there is an issue. We cannot keep pointing fingers at gun owners, at those who want strict gun control, at Republicans, at Democrats – this is a human issue. We are all affected.

Second Amendment

Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791.

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

There are those who throw the second amendment of the constitution in the face of others who try to suggest any sort of gun control. I get it, I really do. in 1789 when the second amendment was passed, semi automatic weapons were not even a thought. Does this mean we have to go back to the type of “arms” that the second amendment referred to? I think honestly that would be a little ridiculous. Think about it, if you want to keep your family safe in 2020, a gun with a bayonet on it is not going to help you against a semi-automatic weapon.

California has some of the toughest gun laws, and according to the CDC, in 2017 (that’s the latest data I can find at this point), was the 7th lowest death by guns rate. And of the top 7 states with lowest gun death rates, 6 of those states also have the strictest gun laws. There is a correlation there.

I fully support responsible gun owners. I am from a family that would practice skeet shooting with our shotguns during major holidays. I have shot a gun – though I do not like it. I have allowed my son to go target practice with his grandfather, father, and great uncle. AND I support background checks. I support laws restricting the types of guns that civilians can own. I support reasonable gun control. I guess that is the key word though, “reasonable”. It’s a subjective word, and therefore what one person finds reasonable, another does not.

Friends, I wish I had the answer. I don’t. But I know that blaming one another is not the answer. I know that keeping our minds closed, not seeing and feeling what the person on the other side sees and feels is not the answer. And I know that there is more at stake than just guns. I’ve watched enough Criminal Minds to know that the pathology of a killer is complex and more than just gun laws, mental health, social awareness, politics and religion.

So, thoughts and prayers and action for Seattle. I pray for all those who were hurt, for the family of the lost, for the emergency personnel trying to capture the gunman, for the young 9 year old child who will most definitely have some form of PTSD after this. I pray for those who are right now trying to find a solution to the continued gun violence in our nation. I pray for those who think that the answer to all this is to arm everyone. And I pray for those who think the answer is to completely remove guns from every household. I pray for our minds to become open; to become aware; to seek out understanding. I pray for those who have the power to take action; to sit at the table with all stakeholders and to try something new.

Lord, in your mercy.

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