Friday, December 14, 2012

Reactions to today's tragedy in Connecticut

I've tried to start this post three times now and I'm still struggling for words to describe my feelings in light of today's shootings inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.  I'm somewhat frozen in disbelief that yet again innocent ones are gunned down in a public place. The horror is even greater because 20 of the victims were small children.  I am going to do my best to share what's been percolating up inside me while also tempering my words.

If it is too raw and ragged, I beg your forgiveness, in advance.

1 - First reaction - When are we going to do something to ban semi-automatic and automatic weapons?  

Yes, I understand our constitution provides the right to bear arms, but I do doubt our founding fathers ever imagined we'd have guns that can mow down multiple people with one pull of the trigger.  I suspect "bear arms" was meant to describe the right to hunt game to feed your family and defend yourself, your family or home if under attack. I don't think anyone does either with automatic or semi-automatic weapons, but some of us are determined to retain the right to own such a weapon. Semi-automatic and automatic guns are designed to kill people - this time little children included.  The NRA would tell you "Guns don't kill people. People kill people." Well, I say, "People aim. People pull triggers. Guns don't."
Oh, my, I edited out my summary statement. Here it is. Yet take the gun out of the statement and people live. 

2 - Second reaction - Suddenly, we've all dropped our defensive postures and angry rhetoric and we're recognizing the sanctity of life and the call to love one another.  

Finally, the nation is coming together expressing love and compassion for those suffering unimaginable pain and loss. Recently, I've become resentful of my friends bashing my political viewpoint and spouting online right wing media hype as if it is fact.  I have done my best to avoid political discourse because of the pain and injury it inflicts. Respectfully, I don't mind friendly discussions of differing opinions.  I simply wish we could all respectfully listen to each other without immediately dismissing others' opinions as wrong or vilifying those who don't share our political views.   Personally, I've been feeling pretty beat up.  I wish my friends would agree to disagree with me and love me just the same. I keep thinking - Aren't we called put love first?  At least, today we're speaking in love.  Check out Facebook and Twitter - It's refreshing to see posts of good will, love and compassion.  Yeah, there's the reactionary posts here and there, but how refreshing we all recognize what's tasteless and hurtful. TV media talking heads are asking us to pray, not telling us what to think.  It is incredible. 

3 - Third reaction -  I'm glad Christmas is coming.  At Christmas, we will sing about peace on earth, good will to men and in so doing seek healing for our broken hearts. We'll celebrate the birth of a savior who came as a defenseless child to save us from our sins. We need to be reminded there is hope one day we will have peace.  Today we are left wanting for we realize there are no guarantees in this life.  Thank God there is hope in knowing one day Jesus will return bringing peace to our broken world.  

4 - Final reaction of the day - I can't just sit here for too long or depression will set in.  

  I know the nation, and the world, will continue to grieve the senseless death of 20 children and their teachers.  Together, we have some hard work to do. We must honor those who lost their lives by living ours. We need to support those who will minister to the grieving children, teachers and their families so they too can return to their own lives.I can't close without stating I know I am called to even pray for the man who pulled the trigger.  I'm not there yet, but I'm sure because of what God's love did for my wretched self, I will. 

"For God so loved the world, he gave his one and only son, so whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal live." John 3:16  

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