Guns: Enough already

When the shootings in Aurora happened, I stirred up enough trouble with an angry midnight rant and the unexpected attention that I hoped not to say anything else on the subject. But..I can’t help it. We have a shooting in Connecticut and once again, between a Twitter stream and a Facebook stream, I’m really fed up. So I’ll make this short, sweet, and to the point.

Families are still in shock; show some respect

We’re still in the early stages of even finding out what happened. We don’t know why, and we barely know how. As I’ve said before, when you share your opinions on guns in a public way, and you decide that your opinions could have resulted in a different situation, you’re being disrespectful to those families. There are mothers, fathers, grandparents, and siblings whose lives were devastated today. They don’t need to hear your opinions, rants, and diatribes about what could have been different. Things are what they are. They need love, prayers, and support. If you can’t say something that consoles the families, just don’t say it.

We don’t need more opinions

I know we’ll get them. The media will rail against this, the politicians will rant against that. CNN will say one thing, Fox News another. We don’t need more attitudes and opinions shoved at us. Every news outlet already has 3 commentators and 4 opinions, we don’t need any more. We need love, care, support, and respect. That’s what those families will need, too. If you’re going to say anything, center it around the families who have suffered. This isn’t about you, it’s about them.

 Your opinions on guns aren’t going to change, nor will they change someone else’s

Someone who supports gun freedoms sees fault with the government, for not arming the teachers. Someone who supports gun regulation sees fault with the government for letting citizens be armed. Those who love guns and gun freedoms think one person with a gun could have changed things. Those who hate guns think one less person with a gun would have had a different result. Your mind has already been made up. All the shooting in Connecticut does is further prove whatever position you had. Just like what happened in Aurora, and just like what was in Wisconsin – the incident justifies the opinion you already had.

And sure, maybe there’s a few folks whose thoughts on guns will change. But they changed their opinions; you didn’t. Overall, your attitudes on guns will likely remain the same. This is a profound tragedy, and it will evoke powerful emotions that will amplify those attitudes, but, chances are that your opinion, whatever it is, is still the same.

Let’s do something good

There isn’t going to be peace on Earth any time soon.Good will towards men won’t be a trending tweet this year. The only thing we can do to make the world a better place is to offer grace. Grace is what a Samaritan shows to a broken man. It’s forgiveness instead of throwing another stone. Grace is being loved when you were just hoping to be healed. It’s when someone meets you where you are, and doesn’t leave until you’re ready to go to someone else. If we’re going to do anything, let’s show grace. Let’s pray for those who have lost. Let’s heal those who are hurting, let’s have compassion for the shooter and his victims, and let’s show love and grace to the community.

Newtown, Connecticut needs us to do good things.  Let’s give them grace.



  1. //

    Brilliant as always.

  2. //

    I started reading your blog after blindly searching the web for opinions on gun control – I found your reaction to the Aurora tragedy off of Fox News and I was surprised to fully enjoy the post and all the follow-ups. Honestly, the (Fox branded) title “why I own an assault rifle” written by a native-born Texan made me jump to some stereotypical prejudices. As a total “progressive troll” (born and raised Yankee) I gave your blog a chance and found that a lot of our ideas overlap. Where we disagree logically we both tend to approach the arguments with empathetic hearts. I think the best way to understand (and in many ways, cope) with post-tragedy political debate is to read well-educated opinions that attempt to reach across the political divide. Thank you for sharing – you’ve actually helped me approach conversations with better clarity.
    I’ll be reading more,

    p.s. I put a hyperlink to your blog on my latest post (under “sane people who own guns”)… hope you don’t mind. :)

    1. //

      Thanks for commenting, Grace. You’re right, it’s the empathy that’s key.

      I really do enjoy owning and shooting guns, and I think our right to own guns is important and should be protected. But, I can’t hold those opinions in a box and completely ignore the fact that lives have been utterly destroyed by violent people using guns in an awful way. I haven’t met any of the Aurora victims, but if I were to, I don’t know how I could be wholly empathetic to them and still maintain a view that there’s nothing wrong with our gun laws.

      It’s so much easier to keep these strong, divisive opinions on gun ownership when you’re not personally affected by the outcomes of those laws. I don’t think most pro-gun folks would actually say to an Aurora victim, “if you had a gun, you could have stopped it” and not come across just completely cold and cruel. Contrarily, many folks attribute the fact that the mall shooting in Oregon was stopped because a concealed carry holder brandished his weapon. He didn’t shoot because he didn’t have a safe line of site, but, the next bullet was the perpetrator ending his own life. I don’t know how we could say in this case that all guns are bad.

      We really should soften our hearts on these gun issues when we consider that real people are affected, both positively and negatively.

      Oh, and my wife is a Yankee; y’all ain’t totally bad ;)

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