If you know me at all, you know that I am a get-out-there-and-fix-it kind of person. No problem is without a solution. You just have to have the chutzpah and courage to go out and find it. But tonight, I feel gagged. I feel without hope for the country in which I live. I am so, so sad about another mass shooting, this time in a school in Florida. I look at the victims, particularly the children, and think, those could be my kids. They look just like my kids or their friends; young, fresh, full of life, of dreams and hopes. And they were stopped, they were deprived of their right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, by a boy with a gun. Not just any gun either. An AR-15 style assault weapon.
The man who currently occupies the Oval Office spoke today and didn’t even say the word gun. He talked about mental illness, but he did not talk about guns. This sickens me. And this is where the helplessness comes in. Every day we send our children out into the world, knowing there is the possibility of this horrible danger, and yet we as a society do nothing. Our leaders do nothing. So, as a parent, it becomes this decision, do I keep sending my children into harm’s way or not? Because there are no other options. I call my congresspeople daily to beg them to do something. But at this point I know they won’t. And every day, I send my kids off and I tell them, “If something happens, remember to run and keep running. It’s harder to hit a moving target.” Why should any sane parent have to think that way? Why should danger feel that real in the normal world? Those sound like the words of someone suffering from paranoid delusions, but they aren’t. Those are the words of this parent, and I am sure many others, living out life in America in 2018.
Where is the hope? What is the hope? Before you say, “We have to have faith,” I want to say, faith in what? Faith without works is dead (James 2:20). We must also do something. We live in a sick, sick country, many of the citizens of which have been deluded into thinking that sensible gun laws equate to the removal of their right to bear arms, who have become convinced that fewer guns won’t mean fewer gun deaths even though good research tells us otherwise, and who are unmoved in any real way to actually protect our children because their guns are more important. The head guy in the White House told the children of America that they should know they are surrounded by people who will do anything to protect them. That is a lie. Our leaders won’t do anything, haven’t done anything, to protect them from gun violence. We are all just lucky we haven’t been hit yet. Our children are not safe and we are extremely limited in what we can do to protect them without the policies in place which will do so.
I called my Congresspeople today, I wrote to my children’s principal, I made some posts on social media, but it all feels hopeless, like trying to save a sinking ship by using a plastic cup to get the water out. We need brave leaders who will take real action because we are all currently at the mercy of the NRA and of the next crazy guy with a gun.