Saturday, December 15, 2012

Thoughts on the Connecticut school shooting

The horrific elementary school shooting in Newton Connecticut this morning (the death count standing at 20 children and 27 overall at the time of this writing) inevitably brings the debate on gun control back to the forefront. I am saddened. I am angry, angrier than I've ever been about something like this, God help me. It is tragic and terrifying when something like this happens at a university and even moreso when it happens at a high school. This latest evil was committed at an elementary school. These were babies, who had their lives ripped away from them in a senseless act of mass murder.

I've been a 2nd amendment advocate for many, many years. I'm also a father for 15 years. Whenever something like this would happen in the past, I’d wince and mourn, but would be comforted by the idea that it was the “gun-free” school zones that were to blame. If only a good law-abiding citizen had been armed nearby, the violence could have been lessened or done away with altogether.

No. Just...NO. Not today. Not anymore. Someone in the state of mind this sick man had to have been in to commit such an unspeakable act of violence wasn’t spurred on by a “gun-free school zone” sign. He would not have been deterred by the idea someone might fire back...he took his own life afterwards. Besides, an armed teacher or janitor would likely have produced a crossfire that would have killed even more people, likely more children. Answering violence with the same produces more pain, more corpses, more sorrow, more memorial vigils, and more child-sized coffins being carried out of churches, temples, and synagogues.

I have no solution to this. I have nothing to say that isn’t already being said in thousands upon thousands of places on and off the internet right now. But there has to be some kind of meeting of the minds in this debate; there just HAS to be. Our founding fathers could not have foreseen this kind of senseless violence when they penned the 2nd Amendment; there is simply no way. How do we keep firearms out of the hands of people who would cause such horrific suffering? How do we preserve our right to self-defense without losing our precious loved ones to a slaughter like we saw today? Brother Francis pray for us...

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life


Saturday of the Second Week of Advent
Daily Mass Readings
Sirach 48:1-4,9-11
Psalm 80:2-3,15-16,18-19
Matthew 17:9a,10-13

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