Enough is Enough

Three more are lost after Thursday night’s movie theater shooting in Lafayette, Louisiana. Like countless other Americans, it has me wondering, yet again, how many more are going to lose their lives before something is done to stop this growing epidemic? The victims of gun violence include innocents of all ages, their lives ending suddenly and in random locations. These violent acts are occurring more and more frequently; when will enough be enough? After the Sandy Hook shooting many people strongly believed that some kind of preventative nation-wide legislation was bound to arise. Families of the victims as well as President Obama spoke out on the need for improvement in the way our nation carelessly hands out firearms to anyone with enough money to buy them. With American citizens in support of reform and the nation as a whole in a state of confusion and bewilderment, a change was more likely than ever to occur, but still no new legislation was passed and still nothing changed.

Victim’s families from other instances of shootings, such as the previous movie theatre shooting in Aurora, Colorado, are becoming advocates in the issue of gun violence in hopes of preventing anyone else from losing loved ones due to this random, senseless violence. The mother of an Aurora victim, Sandy Phillips, stated on twitter in relation to the Louisiana theatre shooting:  “Theater shooting in Louisiana. Numbers of injured unknown. Here we go again America. THIS is freedom?” In these simple words she brings up a valid argument to all the gun-supporters claiming to be protecting their freedom: when an armed man enters a crowded theatre, is the majority, who are unarmed citizens, really free? Or has freedom become a race to see who can be the first to draw fire? Going to the movies on a Thursday night should be an expression of American freedom, but anyone can quickly take that freedom away by drawing a weapon in a dark, loud movie theater.

The problem is not just a gun problem, it is bigger than that. The problem is a moral one. As a nation, we stand back and watch our country being impacted by mentally unstable men (the vast majority have been male) with guns, who have too much power over the safety of the American public. We cry for the victims and sympathize with their families, but is consoling the innocent really sincere if we continue to defend the guilty?

We need to reassess who we, as a nation, are protecting. The issue is not only about mass shootings, but the underlying problem of gun violence. It is a well-known fact that the United States is well-ahead of all other developed countries in terms of homicides by firearm. In relation to this fact, Obama stated that, “If you ask me of the one area of legislation where I feel that I’ve been most frustrated and most stymied, it is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on Earth in which we do not have sufficient, common-sense gun safety laws — even in the face of repeated mass killings.” (1) In seven years President Obama has spoken to the American public 7 times on the subject of mass shootings, and that is seven times too many. Even though it is something he wishes he could change, it is a crippling issue that requires more than one man to resolve. We need to find a solution in our hearts and within our communities. Anyone who is at all aware of this vital issue should reach out to Congress men and women to voice their complete unacceptance of the hundreds lost and request a change in gun-related laws to protect us in the future. Regulations need to be crafted to make it much more difficult to acquire firearms; and when guns are sold, there should be a thorough background check of the buyer. A process needs to be in place ensuring that not just anyone can buy a gun. It is our duty to call on law-makers to create restrictions on owning guns that protect our children and our families. The American people cannot rest until these laws are in place and something begins to change.

 

Sofia Corley

FAN Intern

1 http://www.vox.com/2015/7/24/9031771/louisiana-theater-shooting-obama

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Published in: on July 28, 2015 at 12:49 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. blessings to you, sofia, for what you write about gun violence and what isn’t being done to make each of us and all of us more free as we live our lives …

    a long time ago i spent my high school years at a residential, conventual franciscan seminary, and in later years i worked as a counselor at a state penitentiary for 1st & 2nd offenders, which mostly meant young men, and now i have lived for 35 years on a small, rural island, with a thousand folks living here, in washington state’s San Juan islands … one of the major reasons i have stayed here is that the isolated franciscan seminary, the “island” of the prison, and now lummi island have taught me and shown me how important a small, enclosed community is …

    we have a small Congregational church on the island … there is not a Catholic Church here … and, on the sunday after last year’s thanksgiving day, i began to attend the little church, and now i am a member … one of the huge reasons that i love this island, and the church congregation, is that this island, like the seminary, and the prison, have shown me that community is essential to a healthy, holy life …

    there will always be people, including me, who, for whatever reason, make mistakes, and there always will be violence, mostly by men, because of the percentages of imperfections, often caused by difficulties at birth and by sad childhoods … the percentage may have changed a bit but because there are increasingly so many people on the earth the count of flawed folks keeps growing, too …

    so what do we do? i like it that, in my 76 years of life, there is now a black president, gay people are being loved and accepted, and we are both learning and accepting love and compassion … our little island church has a wonderful pianist who plays for our church services and is active in the church community and she is a native ogalala souix, and this past weekend we hired a new pastor who is a married lesbian … this island is as human as any place on earth yet, because of our tiny island community, we spend lots of intimate time with one another, listening, sharing, being loving and/or friendly, and being compassionate … we take care of one another beautifully …

    personally i would love for a franciscan 4th order to exist, a franciscan community that accepts anyone, as our little church openly does … i know and love the traditional 3 franciscan orders … now we must take the next essential step and created the 4th order of saints francis and clare …

    i know that a woman who lived in alaska, now i think is in arizona, tried to do that but she has been quiet for a few years … maybe it’s time, as a beautiful, understanding and accepting community with franciscan hearts, minds, and souls to open up even more …

    i have long identified myself as a taoist franciscan poet … two weeks ago, because of francis & clare & pope francis, i i begun a simple, wooden franciscan tau cross with a commitment to you and i and all of us … we are beautiful … let’s be even more beautiful …

    don vanvalkenburgh

    1-360-758-7244

    lipotufu08@gmail.com


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