We have seen far too many deaths from gun violence. All of us should be upset, outraged, angry especially as followers of Jesus Christ. As a society, we have been successful at making automobiles safer to drive, water safer to drink, and developed medications that can treat all sorts of illness. Why haven’t we seen practices and technical improvements that guns be made safer to own and use?
The right (or privilege) to own and use a gun should not supersede public safety and public health. Gun violence and mass shootings are much too high a cost to pay to protect private gun ownership in this country. We can do better. Life is infinitely more valuable than any individual’s right to buy and use a gun as they chose.
Those who died in Lewiston, Maine is now added to the list of mass shooting deaths that includes Uvalde, Texas, Newtown, Connecticut, Parkland, Florida and Las Vegas, Nevada. A search on Wikipedia.org today (October 31) shows that there have been 14 more mass shooting incidence recorded since the shootings in Maine took place on October 25. In addition to mass shooting events, there are other gun related deaths by homicide, by accidental misfiring and by suicide attempts.
As people of faith, we value every human life. We see all persons created in the image of God. When one person suffers harm or death, it affects all of us. Prayer is good and a part of our response, but we can do more. We can push our leaders to study ways to limit gun violence through sensible regulation. We can speak out to friends about our concern. We can urge that guns can be stored and operated in such a way that they would be less likely to be used in attempted suicides, accidents, and homicides. We can work with others to put pressure on gun manufacturers to make guns safer. There will not be a single solution to this problem, but there are many ways that we can work together to reduce the harm that involve guns. In this way, we can love our neighbor.
Grace and peace,