Yesterday I turned on the news and immediately felt like I was living in the 1993 movie starring Bill Murray. The mass shooting in Orlando once again conjures up the same talking points from the news media, the politicians, the lobby groups, the hate groups, and the religious leaders.
“You never know who your neighbor is,” said one of the men who lived in the apartment complex with the shooter.
“I call on Barack Obama to resign,” said presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump in a reel of remarks yesterday
“We need comprehensive gun control laws,” said the progressive movement
“They’re coming to take your guns. BEWARE. We know It’s not the guns, it’s the Islamic radicalized terrorists,” said the conservatives
“We pray for our friends in Orlando #prayfororlando,” I saw all over social media yesterday.
“God’s judgement is upon them,” said the religious crowd.
More are dead.
And we keep on marching to the same drum beat.
Whatever your particular worldview is, the groundhog day beckons you to stand up for your position. Whether it’s those terrorists, those guns, those gays, or those politicians; When are we going to stop this?
50 people are dead
50 people are never going home.
50 people are never going to see their families again.
50 people … gone forever.
And we want to ride the same old hamster wheel of “what we’re supposed to say when a mass shooting happens in America?” This is abhorrent.
I thought Sandy Hook was the final straw. When a twenty year old can go into a kindergarten and slaughter twenty six year olds, I thought it was over. I thought we would rise up as a people to protect the lives our little ones. After all, we know kindergartners in our own community. Especially those of us who are pro-life are obligated to protect life inside AND OUTSIDE the womb. But we didn’t. We just doubled down on our commitment to gun freedom, and called the shooter mentally ill.
Then in Colorado, we had a twenty five year old decide the premiere of a batman movie would be his Swan Song. He walked into a movie theater with innocent people just doing what we all do on a Friday night, and slaughtered 12 people.
I thought, this is where it stops. No more. We won’t allow this to happen in our society, because we all like movies; right? Nope. Once again, politicians argued gun laws, news pundits called it mentally ill, and we did…NOTHING.
Blacksburg VA, (2007), Newton (2012), Washington D.C (2013), San Bernadino (2015), and on and on and on.
When does this seemingly anomaly become something that’s just…well..normal?
One of My friends in the Middle East called with condolences yesterday. “Are you scared?” he asked. I was thinking: Am I scared? I’m in Colorado. I’m no where near Orlando. But his point was well taken.
In America, we think violence is all “over there” and can’t be the normal here. But in other parts of the world, they’re scared to come to America because of our constant mass shooting scenarios.
We roll out the media
Call it terrorism
Work the Mental Illness angle
Argue over guns
And then all go back to our “safe” lives
My question is simple. When do we break the cycle of Groundhog day?
I realize my faith friends will say, “well, it has to get worse before it can get better.” And I must just call that for what it is – justification for doing NOTHING. Jesus didn’t tell you to simply sit by and let life spin out of control. Jesus didn’t save you so you could just sit here on earth and wait for his return. Jesus called you to be a part of the Kingdom of God and be involved.
I understand my conservative friends will say, “Well if they all had legal guns they could have stopped this.” To which I argue, the Orlando shooter got his gun LEGALLY. And it didn’t stop it. Newton, LEGAL. Aurora, LEGAL. San Bernadino, LEGAL. We’ve tried arming our citizens, and this stuff still happens. It’s not about guns.
My progressive friends will want to ban guns, and I argue, “Criminals will always break the law. You can ban guns, but that will only effect people who care about obeying the law.”
Something else is happening to US. We’ve been tuning into this same song and dance for far too long. When will we start addressing the real issues to prevent the next 50 people from being gunned down?
Maybe the story is far too complex.
Maybe we just don’t know how to identify the real problem.
Maybe we’re just too far gone, and we need to just bend toward protection.
But one this is sure, we need to sit down, think, and work on stopping this story.
After all, I’m tired of waking up to the Groundhog Day of senseless death, aren’t you?