The senseless murders that happened yesterday at the Washington Navy Yard demonstrate to us several things.
First, we as a people are hurting. We are stuck in various stages of living. The sickest of us seek to stop their pain by hurting others and themselves. After the shooting stops we are forced to come out of our bubbles and address those failures. It makes us angry. It makes us stressed out. Around here it's the traffic, the furloughs, the economy, and more. We are anxious about our future, wars, government snooping, terrorism, health care, jobs, education, and even companionship.
The answers aren’t easy. The answers can’t be given with microwave quickness and we don’t want to believe that.
We are all seeking solutions but most of us are just scapegoating. The “gun” is the easiest talisman to use. It cannot be insulted. It is safe to say, “if it weren’t for the guns…”
There are so many inaccuracies in what really happened and we are quick to snap at bits that help us debate. First reports had this guy bringing in guns that he did not have. I don’t doubt we will find more than mental illness. It may even be a person radicalized by a religion. Either way, it is always a broken person.
Someone we always knew that was “a little off, way out there, had personal problems, etc.” and dare we say mentally unbalanced. They are broken because their moral compass broke down. I say that because everything that is legal, or politically correct is not necessarily “right.” Politicians can’t fix people. Laws don’t stop criminals, or the insane.
We, as a community, fell down on the job and let this guy go too far without help.
I have prayed for the families that lost someone yesterday in the Navy Yard. I feel so sorry for the people that were just doing their jobs and had their lives interrupted or ended by a mentally ill man. I watched, as you probably did, at the confusion and the chaos that went on all day as multiple law enforcement agencies stepped in to stop the madness and bring order back. We didn’t know if it was terrorism, or what.
It was a long, horrific day.
I waited for tweets from my daughter that works nearby and knew that the activities at my church in that neighborhood would be cancelled that evening.
So now what? There will be knee-jerk reactions for more gun control. The Washington Navy Yard is a gun-free zone inside a city where firearms are highly regulated. There will be name calling (gun nuts) or worse for people that don’t have the power, to do something.
Gun control is not new. It is easy to rent your mantle, beat your chest or hide your head in the sand.
I suggest we appreciate life today. If you are a person of faith, now is a good time to pray. Time to reel in your friends and family. Connect with people you haven’t heard from in awhile. Release your hold from your smart phone for a while and hug someone.
And finally, remember that September is suicide awareness month. It still takes a village… It’s not the guns. It’s us.
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