UPDATE: For all of my friends who will be speaking before their faith communities this weekend — as you adjust your liturgy and your sermons in light of today’s shooting, know that I do not envy the spiritual leadership to which you are being called. May you have the courage to choose words, not out of convenience and avoidance, but conviction and transformation. To that end, here are some educational and liturgical resources from my denomination: GUN VIOLENCE RESOURCES.
I woke this morning to the news that, yet again, gun violence has devastated a community. Yes, there are communities that deal with the threat of gun violence every day of their lives, but tragedies like this, ones that take place in communities where this is not the assumed or perceived environmental norm, can shock the system into realizing something must be done.
For all of us it is time to, again, talk about guns in the United States.
While it might seem to be politically prudent and socially acceptable to avoid talking about difficult issues like guns, if we – families, communities and governments – hope to experience health, wholeness and healing, avoiding that which is emotional, difficult and painful is never a sustainable strategy.
Just as a couple struggling in their relationship to say that they don’t have the time, the money or energy to go to counseling, unless the United States is done being a people who can engage in difficult conversations that strive to achieve a common good, we cannot afford NOT to spend the time, the money and the energy on talking about guns in our society.
I have certainly offered my thoughts on this before and I am under no delusions that this post or my tweet or my isolated voice crying out into the night will do any good. What I do hope is that for anyone – politicians, pastors and you – who may be weary of the arguing that has taken place, fearful of the conflict that might arise or doubtful that anything will come of the attempt, I implore you to think again. While the cost in relationships, energy and status has the potential to be significant, the potential for lives to be saved, healing to be had and hope to be restored is worth any risk that might be taken.
So please, lets talk about guns, gun violence and gun laws.
It is time.