We used to have one or two anniversaries of tragic events to keep track of. Pearl Harbor, the day President Kennedy was killed, shooting in San Bernardino, Charleston, Newtown, Aurora, Virginia tech, Downtown Dallas, airport at Fort Lauderdale, concert in Las Vegas, church in Sutherland Springs Texas, High school in Santa Fe Texas, high school in Parkland Florida, News room in Annapolis Maryland, synagogue in Pittsburgh,Bar in Thousand Oaks California, Office in Virginia Beach, festival in Gilroy California, Walmart El Paso Texas, entertainment district Dayton Ohio,Midland and Odessa Texas, gas station in Springfield Missouri, Spas in Atlanta, grocery store in Boulder Colorado, FedEx in Indianapolis. Those are only the examples I can remember! Sadly, I’m sure there are more.
The pace is too much. The cost is too much. The politics preventing any meaningful action is too much. The numbers of families scared is too much. My point is that we used to have only a few of the dates of tragedies on our calendars. Now, the calendar is jampacked with gun violence mass shootings from coast to coast. Now, mass gun violence and random gun violence in our communities all across this country has jampacked our calendars. It is so bad that at this point some people are turning away from them because it is overload! People can’t handle the problem because they frankly can’t see any way to fix it. THAT is a real problem.
What skills will it take to begin to solve this gun violence problem. Well, in plain language (and excuse me if you’re offended but…) we need to give a shit! It’s not someone else’s problem, it’s not something that can only happen somewhere else. This gun violence epidemic can happen anywhere and to anyone!
Our leaders need to stop playing games with our lives and start protecting, serving. Start caring more about the people of this country than they do about getting re-elected.
Finally, everyday folks like you and me need to realize that what we say and do, what we don’t say and don’t do affects this situation in a big way. Every measure brought up isn’t a frontal assault on your second amendment rights. Likewise, every concern a gun owner has isn’t wrong. If we’re going to begin to fix this, we’re going to have to compromise. That means change. That means keeping some things you want to keep but also losing some things you once had. Until you’re willing to do that, the random gun violence won’t change, the mass shootings won’t change, the animus and division in this country won’t change.
Nobody wants to be the first to make a step in this journey. It’s going to take a big person, then another and another and another and so on until people aren’t afraid and over whelmed. Only then will they join. So, are you willing to be one of the big people to begin this healing? Maybe it’s a conversation in your family or among friends. Maybe it’s simply listening to the other side. Maybe it’s offering leadership at home, your city state or nationally. Find a way. Maybe it’s simply giving a shit! Now more than ever, lives depend on it.