I am using my blog today to post about another tragedy involving a gun. Last night a young man went into a church in Charleston and shot dead 9 people. It is still an ongoing case so we don't know why, or if he even knew the people he shot. We don't know if the shooter had a mental illiness or past problems, or if he had plotted his actions out ahead of time.
But, once again, a person used a gun to kill many innocent people.
It happens every day.
This one was especially horrible because the young man went into a church, a place of sanctuary...a house of God. And it happened in Charleston, known as the Holy City. It's a city "just down the road" from me. I have a personal connection to it.
As I type this thankfully the shooter has been identified and apprehended. The fear of more shootings from this individual is over. Life and work in Charleston can begin again. But, it is forever changed. Individuals who mattered on earth are gone. Families will forever grieve.
Today, in the United States, we live with the fear of someone using a gun like he did. Guns are everywhere. They are easy to get, and it seems "everyone carries." Many people own more than one gun - and leave them loaded in various spots in their house, or in their car - or even on themselves or in purses. If I stop and think about it, everytime I go out to a restaurant, or go to a movie, somebody there is carrying a gun. Even bars allow guns. Alcohol + guns = disaster.
Last year, I heard that someone who attends my church was carrying - in the church, which also has a preschool. I was very upset. (I took it to the council and as far as I know nothing has been done. It was discussed - and dropped.)
I despise the NRA. They have pocketed our lawmakers with money for so long. They have promised votes for lesser gun laws. Background checks are a joke. Pentalties are not stiff enough, time put away not long enough to scare people.
I have heard "guns don't kill people - people kill people." I can't tell you how many times I have heard this! Well, people are irrational at times, people "blow up" and reach for tools to prove themselves. People do dumb things without thinking sometimes. They get mad. A gun is too readily available to reach for... and it's too deadly.
The American public gun numbers are bigger than the police force numbers. The bad guys have more than the good guys. And, the mentality of "protecting my family" is just wrong! What? Shoot other human lives to save some? An eye for and eye? Are we back to that?
America is reversing back to the ole "wild West" and it worries me.
I really don't get the love of guns in America. They scare me to death (and I suppose that could be taken literally.) And NO I do not want to learn how to use one! (That's another thing people say...if you took training, you'd feel comfortable.) I do NOT want to be "handy" with a gun.
So... we will learn in the coming days how this young man (only 21. An adult by law standards, but possibly a very troubled kid too) got a gun. Did he purchase it? Take it from a family member? Whatever... I can assure you it was easy for him to get it.
I pray for peace everyday. I pray for our children every day. Brought up in an environment where a gun could be used and they be "accidently" killed. Accidently?? No. It's not an accident.
We need to change the thinking of America. We need to look at other countries that have tougher laws, and less availability to guns. We need to toughen up! Don't just shake your head...and say "it's sad." We have to DO SOMETHING!
Because tomorrow there is going to be another shooting. Perhaps it will a child hit, or perhaps happen at a school...or theatre... or at church. It will happen.