Last week Chris Mercer walked onto the campus of Umpqua Community College in Oregon killing 10 persons and wounding at least nine others. At this point, he appeared to actually be targeting Christians–for what reason we are still trying to unwrap. It was the fourth mass shooting on a college campus in recent years. It was the 45th reported school shooting this year in the United States.
I am about to make some friends angry. They are persons who are avid sportsmen and passionate political conservatives. They own guns and are in fact, highly responsible gun owners. For this reason and others, they believe that their ownership of guns are an inalienable right tied fundamentally to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They believe that people kill people–guns don’t kill people. Some of them are also convince that our government is fundamentally untrustworthy and that must retain their arms to keep from being victimized and tyrannized by that same government. Others believe that their police forces our inept and ultimately it is up to them to protect their property and the lives of loved ones.
See how complicated this has become personally?
Nonetheless, I have reached the point that I must declare ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!
I cannot listen one more self-serving declaration from the NRA that instead of proposing realistic solutions chooses to stonewall with arguments that have become less and less tenable. I am tired of politicians of both sides of the aisle politicizing this issue, including those on the left who utter no outcry when babies are killed in the name of reproductive rights.
What about the inalienable right to life?
My friends and neighbors, the collateral damage has become simply unacceptable. Reducing school children dead and terrorized at the hand of a gunman to the callous categorization of collateral damage is absolutely offensive to one who believes in the sanctity of life–and I suspect to God, who is Life. My anti-gun control friends–the destruction of a human life in a womb is no less offensive than shooting that life in a classroom.
The passionate opposition to gun control when at the same time stripping the providers of mental health care of resources to bring some form of life management or even healing those with mental illnesses is selfish and self-serving.
The time has come to provide realistic control to the spread of arms in this land. The time has come to identify those prone to violence in their mental illness and get them help that reduces the likelihood of their becoming mass murderers–and again institutionalizing those who cannot be helped.
The time has come to end our insane flirtation with violence in this society and the worship of the tools of that violence–video games, automatic weapons to name a few.
The time has come.