A Reflection on Gun Violence in Virginia

I need to write something, perhaps for my own sake. I need to DO something, yet I don’t know what to do. I am reminded of the verse in the book of Romans that states, “the whole creation is groaning together.”  There are few things more American than baseball in the summer. Add in members of Congress practicing for a game against the other party and it becomes very American.

Unfortunately, stories of tragic gun violence are also becoming so American as well. This time it happened with the Capitol police standing guard. Even they couldn’t stop someone whose heart had been filled with hate and intended to do harm to another. Well-meaning, well-trained, and well-armed folks could not stop someone who had the seeds of hate sown into his heart. Hate, fear and the like are powerful weapons.

I find it hard to fathom that the answer to the epidemic of gun violence in our country is more guns. I can’t dismiss the role that our current administration plays in our culture today. Social media has given the President the means to dismiss, marginalize, and insult those who do not agree with him. An office that should be used to unite us around what truly makes America great is instead being used for something far less.

Where do we begin? Do we give in to fear and arm ourselves further? Do we need more “good guys with guns?” I believe the answer to these questions is “no” but I know many who would disagree. I do know is that we need to stop sowing the seeds of hate, fear, and violence in our collective hearts. That’s what we need to do today. Yes, I am frustrated with those who seem to hold their understanding of the 2nd Amendment above all else. Yes, I am frustrated with those who turn a blind eye to those suffering with mental illness. Yes, I am frustrated with the way this administration conducts itself. I know I can’t find solutions to these frustrations today. I do know that my faith calls me to do something today.

I know what I can do is watch how I interact with others.

I can use my voice to sow the seeds of love.

I can advocate against hate, fear, and violence every chance I get.

I can work to build a more just and equitable society

I will engage with those whom disagree with me so that we might find common ground

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