By now you must have seen the video of the latest mass shooter storming the school doors and prowling the school halls. It is a disturbing sight. And it should be disturbing. There she is, in full military style; bullet proof vest, cap turned back like a swat team member, AK style automatic strapped over her shoulder. It is the very image of our increasingly militarized society; the glorification of gun culture in our country. Many of our own state and local politicians eager promote this culture. And what has it brought us? More safety, as they claim to promote? Hardly. Rather, more death and violence. Every time another mas shooting occurs, there is some detail that seems to be worse than before. Can we really allow ourselves to become inured to the violence, the death, the loss?
A few weeks ago I shared with you a chart that showed that the leading cause of death now among youth is gun violence. Did you see it? Did you really think about? Did you decide to turn away from it? One congressman famously said that there is nothing they can do.
This violence is horrible and painful to think about. But it is morally unacceptable to NOT think about it. I know that on this topic I am becoming pretty strident. I can becoming more demanding of your attention. But I think we all need to be more strident. The glorification of guns and violence are now so ingrained in our culture that it is going to take stern measures to overcome it. It is going to take a hard healing and a firm, unflinching demand for peace and understand, tolerance and compassion, to overcome it. Are we ready to be part of this necessary cure? Are we ready to make firm demands of elected officials to act responsibly for the good of our children? God help us to do so. God help us if we don’t.