The Insanity of Gun Violence

There is a saying that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Some have critiqued writers who have overused this cliche while still hoping to appear as being insightful to their readers. And yet in times like these, what more are we left with?

It has happened again. There has been another mass shooting in the United States. The news is still unfolding, but what is known is that this is already the worst shooting event in recent U.S. history. As a nation, we will endeavor to learn more about those individuals who died. We will analyze the shooter and the details of how this unfolded. And inevitably we will wonder about the motive and what signals were missed.

There will be prayers for those who have been wounded and killed. Lord, have mercy. We will hope for healing. Christ, have mercy. We will call out for peace and understanding. Lord, have mercy.

Our politicians, many of whom are supported by guy lobbyists, will do and say all those things public figures might say after these events. They will attempt to rally us by making bold statements that we will not live in fear.

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In the midst of this, there will be a debate. It will be divisive, and it will hardly be about creating a better future. There will be those who talk about individual rights and the second amendment. The other side will bring facts and figures about how gun control saves lives. But in the face of the N.R.A.’s consolidated power to control the narrative and the religious-like intensity of its devotees, those seeking change will acquiesce.

In time, our emotions will recede, and we go back to our lives. We will forget until the next time. And when the next time comes, it all starts to seem ordinary. Lord, have mercy.

This is the script that has played out time and time again, over and over. It is insanity. We have become nearly numb to it all. We should all be ashamed. We all own this uniquely American madness, and it is time to take stock of our priorities.

To the individuals who are praying; your prayers are appreciated, but your actions are required.

To the politicians who are asking for God’s blessings; you can start by withdrawing your gun lobby money and donating it to a charity. Until then, your actions and statements lack integrity.

To the devotees of the Second Amendment who say that the right to bear arms is an inalienable American right; just stop. Own your part in the morally bankrupt position that guns and so-called freedoms are a higher priority than the lives of those who have been, and will be, lost. Quit hiding behind your civil religion and using mental illness as a scapegoat.

To the folks who take the tack to say that owning a gun is about the sport and further double-down by saying only guns can stop guns; you lost me at “sport.” Assault rifles were made for one purpose, and it should never be confused with a sport. We have deployed militarized police forces in the name of securing the myth of security, and yet we shrug when violence continues to beget violence.

It is time to rewrite this script. It is time to stop the insanity.

I reject any argument that our society is somehow made better by the presence of guns. I reject the notion that this is what our country’s founders intended when they wrote the Second Amendment. I reject the N.R.A. and the gun lobbyists’ stranglehold on this nation. I reject that we should wait to talk about gun violence until we have passed through some period of mourning. I reject this American insanity and gun violence.

Find out who represents you in Congress, call them, write them, and demand that they engage in this conversation. The majority of Americans support stricter gun laws, we must insist that our members of Congress represent us and not the gun lobbyists.