We can do better: a post about Newtown

by Lesley on December 17, 2012 · 11 comments

in make-you-think

Exactly one year ago, Jonathan went through his first chemotherapy infusion. We were horribly broken at a time of year when so many other people were merry and bright. I remember coming down with the stomach flu that week and feeling very, very sorry for myself. It was Anna’s first Christmas. It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

I planned to share a little more of that story with you today–to remind everyone that even though Christmas is often the most wonderful time of year, it can also be the roughest time of year.

But you don’t need that reminder.

Our nation is grieving from Friday’s shooting; families devastated, parents sending fearful children to school, safe communities questioning. 

There is no shortage of analysis around this tragedy. I’ve spent hours reading posts from some of the best bloggers and news reporters around the globe. They have challenged my thoughts on mental illness, gun control, and God’s sovereignty. Their facts have made me angry; their encouragement has given me hope. In some ways, they’ve already said everything that needs to be said.

But it’s hard for me to not say something too. And this is why:

Commentaries from abroad often include a sense of resignation that much can or will be done to prevent such atrocities in the future. (CNN, View from abroad: sorrow but little hope for U.S. gun control)

So this is what I’m going to echo:

We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this. –President Obama in last night’s speech to the nation

I’m writing today because I want to say, out loud, WE CAN DO BETTER.

It will be difficult. There won’t be a magic solution. We will likely argue over what needs to change the most, and whose fault it is. We likely will blame the Right, and then we will blame the Left.

There will need to be more conversations about how to care for mentally unstable individuals. Is prison really the best place for them?

There will need to be more conversations about violent video games and violent movies and violent television news. Are will doing the best job regulating these forms of entertainment?

There will need to be more conversations about school bullying. Is this a cause, and if so, how do we better teach our children how to stand up to bullies?

There will also need to be more conversations about updating and improving our gun control laws. We continue to add new traffic and driving laws to prevent auto accidents, shouldn’t we do the same for guns? Can’t we at least require all gun owners to pass a psych test before being allowed the right to bear arms?

In general, there will need to be more conversation, more blog posts, more angry mamas saying “ENOUGH” and more politicians willing to say, “Something needs to change.” 

I have a lot of prayers for America today, the largest being for the Newtown community and the families of the deceased. But I also can’t help but pray this:

God, would you help each of us to take a step back today? Help us admit there’s a problem in America with gun violence, and it needs fixing. Bring the Right and the Left together. Help us work towards creative solutions that ensure a shooting like Friday’s will never take place again.

And most of all, God, come quickly. Fix this broken world in all the ways we cannot.

photo credit to reuters via Time

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