I wish we had real forums anymore. Real, live places for real debate, policy and change. 'Social media' is so fake and ineffective. We get likes from the choir we preach to and those outside our ideological congregations just scroll on by, roll their eyes, or block us.
But aren't you tired of mourning students and teachers? Grocery shoppers? Concert attendees? Nightclub visitors? Not to mention synagogue and churchgoers? Aren't you tired of wondering if your kids are next, of offers to exacerbate the problems with more firepower on premises?
It's not like the Constitution didn't give us any wiggle room to define "arms," how powerful they can be, how many we need, how easy they are to procure, and who must pass certain checks and trainings before owning them. It's not like we have no examples to look to of what good firearm policy looks like on our planet. Unlike some of our other American issues, this one is so frustrating because it is actually solvable if minds meet instead of money: we all have a stake in it, it's not an all-or-nothing situation, and we have so much accessible data to create informed policies.
I admittedly speak a little out of my depth because I've never owned a gun that didn't shoot water. My parents didn't even allow me toy guns, even growing up in an 'old western' town. My neighbor had an air-powered pellet gun that I fired a couple times at toy army men in the desert. When I was 22, the summer camp where I worked assigned me to the skeet shooting range. I questioned their decision, letting them know I'd never held nor fired a real, actual gun. They said I had proven myself on the archery range, so I could be trusted around the shotguns and the middle schoolers. So much could go wrong in the name of our fun, so I learned everything I could about cleaning, handling and firing those weapons safely. It was a sacred trust.
And that's how I want it treated throughout our land.
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Would there still be killings? Bombings? Vehicles driving into crowded places? Drunk drivers? Handgun violence? Undoubtedly. And no, we wouldn't remove all cars, alcohol, knives, or chemicals from people's lives and homes.
Neither would we / could we / should we remove all guns. It's a nothing-burger, fear-mongering straw-man finger-point to bring up these questions. We require and advocate for reform, not removal. Not doing away with the Constitution. Everyone who wanted to could still protect their home, hunt animals, and keep the King of England out of their face. This is one of those issues like taking care of our planet or trying to prevent the spread of communicable viruses that does not even have to be partisan. It's everyone's problem: you owning a powerful weapon doesn't prevent your beloved person from losing their life to one at the hands of someone who shouldn't have one.
I have almost nothing beyond words and sorrows to offer the people who lost children today, yesterday, or tomorrow. Except this: if it ever happens near me, I'm going down with you, taking every bit of that shooter that I can on my way out the door.
This is a problem we must run towards.
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Shawn McEvoy is the Director of Editorial for Salem Web Network, he is also the co-host of ChristianMovieReviews.com & CrosswalkMovies.com's Video Movie Reviews.