Tragedy in Uvalde
Matched only by the tragedy of a soulless and spineless Congress
An 18 yr old young man walked into a gun store and bought two assault weapons, then shot his grandmother and killed nineteen children and two adults at their Uvalde, Texas, elementary school
"When in God’s name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?” the president asked in his speech tonight. "Where is our backbone? When in God's name are we going to do what in our guts we know needs to be done?"
And he’s right. This tragedy doesn't just say something about the shooter; it says something about all of us. Particularly it says something about our Congress, which is dripping in blood money donated by the NRA.
When I was a child, my father explained to me why the Second Amendment exists. I get it. It makes sense that the government shouldn’t be the only ones who can have guns.
But we’re free to drive, too; that doesn’t mean we don’t have traffic laws. We have free speech but we still can’t yell “Fire!” in a crowded theatre. Individual liberty must always be balanced with concern for the common good. Yet when it comes to short term profit for gun manufacturers, the right of such companies to make money tramples all over the right of an American parent to feel safe sending their children to school each day.
This has got to stop.
The end of every age is redolent with difficulties, and this is definitely the end of an age. We will either be getting exceedingly better or exceedingly worse. Those are our only two choices. As it says in A Course in Miracles, it is not up to us what we learn but only whether we learn through joy or through pain. We are going to start putting love before money, or we’re going down.
Our society is now governed by principles that are not loving, that put the goal of short term corporate profits before the health and safety of people and planet. And we are suffering the consequences. That is a mental health issue, that we allow such insanity. We will change, or as a society we will continue to suffer a precipitous decline.
We the people must step in now. “The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice;” still, we are the ones who have to bend it. Love will prevail because it always does. How long it takes for us to get there, but how much suffering will have to occur first, is entirely up to us.
That, to me, is the spiritual meaning of this moment. The question isn’t “How long, oh God, how long?” Rather, that’s the question He asks us. “How long, oh people, how long?”
There is very little to say about today’s shooting that has not already been said. We need stronger background checks and extended waiting periods. We need to outlaw AR-15s and AK-47s. We need stronger red flag laws. And we need to replace almost every lawmaker who gets a rating from the NRA that is other than an F.
Of course the shooter had a mental health issue, but we’ve got to stop using that as an excuse to cover up a larger malfeasance. Outsized greed is a mental health issue. A sociopathic economic system that puts money before people is a mental issue. A society that sacrifices its children for the sake of corporate profits is a mental health issue. Yes, the shooter had a mental health problem. But he was only reflecting a larger one.
Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has said that it’s “only the media” that wants to “politicize this issue.” It makes sense he says that, of course, given the $442,000 he has received from the gun lobby over the course of his career. My God if ever there was a political issue it’s this one. Other countries have responded to mass murders with stronger gun laws, and it has worked. So can we.
Parents in Uvalde will never get a recess from their excruciating pain, and Congress shouldn’t take a recess from DC until they get something done. If they won’t carve out a filibuster for this, at the very least Democrats should make every Senator who votes against doing anything at all to save our children’s lives have to stand in front of a camera and say so.
We have midterm elections in November. Please check the NRA rating of your Congressional and Senatorial candidates. Do not look away. For the sake of our country, get involved. I hope you’ll call your Senators and Representatives tomorrow and tell them you want action. The number of the Congressional switchboard is 202 224 3121.
These are difficult times, but we ourselves can and must make the difference. Every time we take any action private or public that lacks compassion or mercy, we are perpetuating the madness. In the words of John F. Kennedy, “Here on earth, God’s work must surely be our own.”
Please bring comfort to the parents and children in such deep grief tonight.
Lift the children who died to a heavenly place.
Bring forth light from all this darkness.
Please God, show us how.