Boy was I happy to be away last weekend and not see all the social media videos from the “March for our Lives” event. And, yes, I mean that. Not about the march’s initial message, but about the videos I saw of the “messengers” with their profanity-laced attacks, ignorance and hatred of those who think differently than they do, which is also occurring in our daily lives.
I hope with this column and what inspired it, I can show you just how foolish and wrong those messengers are.
So back to my morning. I saw on Facebook from a friend of mine who has cancer who posted to another friend, “Thanks for calling me to pray with me this morning.” I stopped except to post, “What a great reminder, I need to get on my devotion and I’ll lift you both up as well.” I stopped because I’ve been getting away from a lot of the good habits of spending daily time with God and playing too much in the cesspool that is social media. I’m glad I did.
My devotion took me to Romans 12, where Paul sets out his thoughts on personal responsibility. In other words, how to behave for yourself and towards one another. That’s exactly what my two friends were doing this morning, living exactly as Paul says they should in lifting up and encouraging one another. Paul’s words set me on a better path for this column.
While you might not like it, let’s talk about the God aspect in all of this.
I was putting down some notes about the gun debate when Paul’s words changed my focus. Well, maybe not changed it, but refocused things in a more personal way. And that is in how we treat each other. This debate shows we’re doing a poor job of it. So let’s apply some biblical logic to the debate, which you don’t even have to believe in God to understand. So here are my thoughts for all of us on a very personal, individual level.
This first point is going to seem insulting — or just plain stupid — but it needs to be the first thing to go from the inappropriate dialogue happening today. Name one person you know who’s pro-school shootings? There, I said it. Name ONE. So let’s stop saying folks who support the Second Amendment want kids to die in school shootings. Simple enough? For some on the other side, it will be harder than you think.
My second point is almost in the same arena of unbelievability. Name someone you know who’s against background checks for purchasing guns? You’d be hard-pressed. And let’s apply this to the NRA — which many on the other side might be shocked to know supports background checks, upholding the laws of gun ownership, outlawing bump stocks and doesn’t want people murdered. You can find this proof in the fact NRA members aren’t out committing mass murder.
Let’s take that a step further on background checks. Name someone you know who wants violent criminals and the mentally ill to possess firearms? Do you think so little of your friends you think they’d want crazy Uncle Joe in possession of a six-shooter, let alone a semi-automatic weapon? If you do, then your friends need new friends. In fact, the Parkland shooter offers a perfect case study of folks NOT wanting weapons in the hands of someone dangerous in terms of mental stability and being in trouble with the law. And yet, the authorities who could have done something about removing his guns due to his mental instability and criminal background did nothing. Isn’t it time that “See something, say something” actually MEANT SOMETHING in terms of protecting our kids and people in general? Because it didn’t do a lick of good in Florida.
Finally, name a friend who’s against making schools safer and more secure against violence of any kind, let alone the worst kind in these mass killings? We vote on measures to build and fix our schools, fund more teachers and myriad things to make the classroom environment better. So we can do the same about making schools safer. Locally, perhaps, we could address this first instead of trying to put clinics in our schools?
Here’s what this comes down to.
If you take what I’ve written here seriously, you’ll realize we’re all on the same side of this issue. I have no friends as I described and I doubt you do, either. But what we do have are government entities that are doing a poor job of doing what they’re supposed to do. We have a million folks dropped off the background check rolls. We have authorities who don’t act in spite of warning after warning. And we have school boards that seem hard pressed to get the roofs repaired instead of focusing on safety. And that’s just for starters. Maybe that’s where the marchers should have focused their anger?
My thoughts? Talk with your friends about this issue and get them together to make us all safer. And get off the crazy stuff on Facebook and read Romans 12. That Paul had a pretty good idea how to do it.