While certainly the far lesser of the horrors that today has wrought, in news article comment sections and across the social network, I’m confounded by those who’ve chosen this moment of all moments to turn the conversation and direct their rage against gun laws. Beautiful, innocent children are dead, their lives stripped away by inexplicable madness. Parents are bearing unimaginable loss and pain. The suffering taking place is too hard to comprehend. Yet, here some are, talking about current gun laws.
In many ways, I appreciate the sentiments. I’m no big fan of guns or any kind of staunch Second Amendment defender, so perhaps holding a conversation about gun laws is their way of dealing with this abject evil, of trying to make sense of the senselessness. So they do. They cast blame at the NRA, gun collectors, video games, rap music and site statistics and charts and studies and so on. They want to direct their rage into action, their grief into change and strike while the iron and passions are hot in order to propagate that change—all well meaning, maybe even justified. Lord knows, I feel as helpless as anyone. I think of our two young boys and I want to get sick. My faith is shaken.
Yet where is the grace and compassion that this moment requires in having that conversation right now? The parents, the brothers and sisters of the murdered children are wandering in a sea of grief only few of us can begin to imagine. And yet, they get lost in this talk. Even in a small way, that is another shameful tragedy on this day of horrors.
So, how do we direct our rage and grief? I have no grand ideas or sage words of wisdom. Go to a church and light a candle. Read the Bible. Pray to your God for guidance and strength. Send a card or flowers to one of the families. Write about it. Hold your children tighter. Turn to someone and tell them you love them—and mean it. There are grace and hope and love in all those acts, and it is energy used wisely.
Yes, a conversation about gun laws has to happen—it needs to. This much is certain.
And when will be the right time to have that conversation? I don’t know. But not today, definitely not today. And tomorrow’s not looking real good either.