Lord, Have Mercy on Us

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; have mercy on us. Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world; grant us peace, grant us peace. 

Hands in prayer
Hands in prayer

After seeing the news of yet another mass shooting yesterday, at Seattle Pacific University, I felt that I had to write something. I feel convicted. I feel drawn to confess and ask for forgiveness. I don’t know about you, but I can’t not write something anymore. For too many acts of such violence I have held off from writing something. I have let others express their views and remained seemingly neutral on the topic. Well, no more.

I sense two ideas in our culture and society: We hold to the right to bear arms, consequences be damned. We hold to the right to have guns, lives be darned.

We have seen this story before, repeated many times. Yet, not much has changed. Why can’t we learn? Why can’t we finally pull our heads out of the sand, stand up, and say ENOUGH? We should join the chorus of Richard Martinez from Southern California. We should say, enough of this insanity. The least we can do is send a postcard and say “Not One More.”

Columbine wasn’t enough. Sandy Hook wasn’t enough. When will it be enough?

It’s time for common sense gun control. The longer it takes, the more we need to ask for forgiveness. The more we need to beg God to have mercy on us because of our inability to overcome our desires for weapons, our false feelings and sense of security that guns provide, and our fascination with them.

I am not saying its time to give them up entirely, but there surely can and should be limits on how many weapons one can have, what type, etc.

It’s time to stand up and lead. Enough is enough.

The Joe the Plumber’s of the World claim that, “your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights.” I’m sorry, but such an argument comes up short. As far as I have been taught and understand, the point of the constitution isn’t to allow you to have the right to bear arms. It’s the right to have life and liberty. When anything jeopardizes life, it is high time to question it.

If you disagree with me, if you think this is all about mental health and not about guns, I respect your right to hold that view. But the statistics and data at this point are so overwhelmingly against that perspective, I just can’t buy it anymore. If there is anything we can do to further promote and preserve life, we need to do so. Too many innocent victims have been hurt, harmed, and even killed by senseless violence. Too many people have been hurt because of either a lack of regulations, it being too easy to have access to weapons, etc.

There is certainly much that needs to be done and improved when it comes to mental health, but it is a “both and” need. We have to deal with guns and gun culture, as well as mental health.

One Western Washington county elected official tweeted this yesterday:

To this, some responded that he was politicizing a tragedy. Perhaps he was. But my question is this, if events like this don’t lead us to act and to change, what will? We can’t just sit on our hands and hope the world is going to change without doing anything about it. That’s really a common definition of insanity when you get down to it.

God has given us gifts- of love, forgiveness, our selves, our time, our possessions, our passions, our gifts, our vocations… the list is endless. Might it be time to use these gifts in the world and society when it comes to guns? 

A final thought. I grew up playing with water guns, and thought they were tons of fun. But now that I think about it, I am a little sick. Such a “toy” was merely a reflection of a larger culture of violence that is so socially acceptable. Hearing the story of someone finding a loaded gun in a South Carolina Target store was also horrifying.

Lord, Have mercy on us!  Please show us the way, open our eyes and guide us to finally do something positive in response to these challenges and problems. Help us and open us up to safe conversation about these challenges. Please help us to not give into these cultural norms and claim that it is simply too hard and impossible to do anything about them. For too long we have thought that this would be an impossible thing to respond to. Nothing is impossible with you. Please guide us, guide our communities and guide our leaders. Be with the grieving, comfort the mourning, and strengthen the recovering. Give them peace, and grant us all peace. Amen.

Image Credit: Hands in prayer

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