Yesterday, February 14th was already a day I was not fond of, but as the news headlines and status updates rolled in reporting that another school shooting had occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, my already dreary mood went to a whole other level.
I’m not numb or disassociated with mass shootings- I never will be. Even still, I was not shocked.
You weren’t either, were you? That’s the cycle of these events.
Mass shooting occurs—> Everyone offers prayers —> Someone brings up gun control —> Everyone argues either for or against —> Stays in the news cycle for 24 – 48 hours —> Move on to something else —> Repeat.
We can’t keep doing this.
I’m not going to try to convince you of a certain argument regarding guns. I’ve researched the data. I know what I feel like should be done, but the truth is it’s going to take a collective effort from all sides of this argument to create a positive change. No one side is completely right. No one side is completely wrong.
Stricter gun laws are ideally great, but won’t solve the issue.
Having more guns may make others feel more protected, but, also, won’t solve the issue.
This is a combination of a heart matter, mental illness matter and a law matter.
And truthfully- anything we do probably won’t ‘solve’ it. To solve it means that mass shootings would be eradicated. Ideal in theory, but with the way our country works, doubtful.
So, here’s my question. What ARE we going to do? Facebook arguments, while allowing us to air our grievances, aren’t progress. So last night, I cleaned my house and just thought about what are some actual steps we can take.
If WE THE PEOPLE hold the power, why do we act so powerLESS? Why aren’t we holding elected officials feet to the fire? Why are we not organizing in our own communities to start the conversation in a very real way? Washington may not be able to get shit done, but local is where change begins. Why aren’t we starting there?
Here is what I came up with last night and where I’m starting —
- Call and write your local, state and US officials- let them know it’s an issue that is important to their constituents
- Attend your City Council and County Commissioners meetings
- Community Organizing- organize a local community meeting out to start the conversation and invite elected officials to attend
- Attend any townhall meetings offered by your Congress members, and ask what ideas they have, hold their feet to the fire
Do SOMETHING, ANYTHING. I’m sure someone much smarter has a more comprehensive list; but this is where I’m starting. If you have any ideas, please share them in the comments.
And please understand that I do believe in the power of prayer. I just think that there’s a reason that this problem is actually getting worse, rather than better in spite of prayer.
“For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
God is waiting for us to act. If we’re not willing to do the hard stuff, to invest time and money into a cause like the safety of our children or just humans PERIOD, then it’s time to check ourselves. Why are we praying for change but hoping that someone else will do all the heavy lifting for it to come about?
It’s easy to offer the prayers and argue your point on a status update, because it hasn’t happened to you. But guess what? 17 people sent their loved ones off yesterday thinking it hadn’t happened to them, either. This is closer than you think.
Right now, The United States of America is the body without the spirit.