Those are not my words. Those are the words of Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Texas. He continued, “I’m sick of hearing it.” So am I Bishop, so am I.
I cannot comprehend a hate so virulent in one individual that he would commit the most despicable crime against the most innocent of victims. And yet, in just two weeks time our country has endured two mass shootings perpetrated by eighteen-year-olds. Why in God’s name could someone so young be so filled with hate?
As a parent and grandparent I am shaken and I am heartbroken. I want to hold on to my precious grandchildren and reassure them that this could NEVER HAPPEN to them. As a citizen I am outraged and fearful because I know that I cannot make that promise. This is the world in which we live. My emotions have bounced back and forth between sadness and anger since learning of this latest massacre.
Our United States Senators have the power to stem the horrific violence of guns in our nation but they remain silent; they remain beholden to the gun lobbyists and the NRA. They will ask for prayers for the victims and families and they will offer “moments of silence” and request that flags be flown at half-mast but they will do nothing to stop this madness.
Of course, I have friends and family who are gun owners. They are peaceful hunters and sportsmen and sportswomen. Some own weapons as a safeguard against possible intruders or persons intent on doing them harm. My friends and family are not the problem. But we are also not the solution. We sit quietly and respectfully (?) amidst the violence in our country. We do not challenge our elected representatives to put in place reasonable gun safety regulations. The proliferation of guns in our nation is deplorable. Within my own community there are frequent “guns shows” which allow the relatively easy purchase of weapons with little or no background check. You can carry concealed guns in my neighborhood legally. We need to stop the slaughter of innocent victims by enacting responsible gun control legislation.
Won’t you join me? Let’s pray for the victims and their families. Let’s pray for the grace to mend broken relationships. Let’s pray for the relief of the suffering and pain of others. But then, let’s get off our knees and ask our members of Congress to actively work on real gun control. Let’s vote for Senators and Representatives who will truly be PRO-LIFE and stop kowtowing to the gun lobbyists and the money they offer.
And please don’t tell me that guns aren’t the problem.