Updated: Dec 1, 2021
It's time to address gun violence, again, for the 118th time since I came of age.
What I want to share is that when I think about many of these mass shooting events, I am about 1 or 2 degrees removed from several of them. My experiences: April 20, 1999: Columbine, Co. I don't remember clearly, but there were members of our marching band/drumline who encountered one or both of those shooters while at a national drumline competition a month before the shots fired. Making me 2 degrees removed from the first of these events in my lifetime. September 24, 2004, Rocori High School, My Alma Mater 2 years after I graduated. I knew every person involved but was not involved myself. My classmate lost a brother that day. Many of you reading this post lived through that experience. I am 1 degree removed from all of you. October 1, 2017, Las Vegas Nevada, a friend I stood by for many years making music was at that festival. They saw the blood and the trauma of the senseless massacre. I am 1 degree removed from the worst mass shooting in history. November 30, 2021, Oxford High School, A friend of mine is a teacher in the area. They know survivors of yesterday's attack and lost a colleague. My friend is close with these survivors. I am 2 degrees removed from YESTERDAY. Take inventory of your own life, your own circles, and ask yourself how close you are to these tragedies. We are all close. There have been 118 Shootings in my lifetime, 83 of those guns involved were LEGALLY obtained. 70% is a damn high average! Criminals aren't the problem. Its a societal problem. As a Pro-Life, Whole-Life aligned, religious person who is not a Republican or a Democrat, I see Gun control as part of the consistent life ethics of Catholic Christian life. Jesus himself is a threat to violence and we need to accept that if we are to truly ever get past these regular events that only happen in this failing country. Culturally, the violence stops when we become faithful to our ideals of human dignity and flow our responses out from there.
I say we are failing because we failed so many things in the 2019-2021 timespan, but Gun violence has been an epidemic my entire adult life. Wanna know some massive life-threatening problems we've solved in my lifetime?
The hole in the Ozone Layer- THE WORLD came together and phased out CFC chemicals, every single country agreed to this and now we are starting to see the hole shrink and it should be fully restored by ~2065.
AIDs Epidemic- When Magic Johnson told the world he had HIV/AIDS, we were in the throes of widespread panic about the disease. Now, more and more people are leading full and fulfilling lives with treatment, and soon, preventative medicine.
Foreign Terrorism- Since 2001, Homeland Security might be the biggest American achievement, while we sacrifice many of our rights to achieve this goal.
But guns? Nope! We choose to leave that part of our culture broken.
I sincerely hope you do take inventory of your connection to these tragic events of the past 20 years. You might be as surprised as I am how close we truly are to being in first-hand experiences.
Contact your representatives and demand change! https://www.congress.gov/contact-us