In my four years of writing for this website, I have written, unfortunately, multiple articles on recently-happened mass shootings in our country. Today I add last night’s Thousand Oaks shooting in a California bar to that list. A shooting by yet another angry man (in this case, and it seems, in multiple cases, white and former military, with possible PTSD or other mental illness) that has left twelve people dead, include many young college students just out for a good time, and a hero police officer who was a year from retirement.
I have written so many of these articles, but today I find myself just about out of words. I can barely even pray. “Jesus, please,” is the only prayer I can manage to squeak out and release to heaven when it comes to the Thousand Oaks shooting.
What do we do? We have to do something. But because the issue of gun ownership is so politically charged, it seems no one is willing to work together to solve this problem of mass shootings.
I am not against gun ownership. I’ll give you a perfect example: my parents are in their 70s and have two homes, one in Ohio in the inner city and one in Virginia on top of a mountain. When they are in Ohio, they need a gun for protection in their high-crime area. When they are in Virginia, they need a gun for protection from the literal large bears that often try to get too close and personal to their home. Luckily for everyone, neither of my mentally stable, responsible parents is going to use those guns to do anything but protect themselves (or in my dad’s case, hunt a deer or wild turkey.)
So, what can we do to encourage responsible gun ownership? What can we do to keep angry people with mental health problems, hate agendas, or simple criminals from using guns to kill masses of people at one time like a 28-year-old former Marine did last night in the Thousand Oaks shooting?
I don’t know. But I do know that nothing I have previously said about it has helped. And today, though I’ve written close to 400, I truly now sit here before you, about out of words.
I am reaching out my hand to compromise and try to find a solution…but we’ll never reach one unless some folks in Washington, D.C. will do the same.
And so until I can vote on or for a solution, today I am hitting the floor on my knees and raising my gaze to the sky one more time praying “Jesus, please. Please bring our country to some sensible agreement on how to protect our people from within.”
And Jesus, please. Blanket the grieving with comfort and love in this moment.
I’m so out of any other words, you guys.