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Strengthening Christ in us, Sharing Christ among us, and Showing Christ around us.

On Ash Wednesday and School Shootings

Posted by Wendy Pratt on OP8er @ 8:39 PM

Seventeen people died in a school shooting on Ash Wednesday.  Ash Wednesday is the first day in Lent and a day set aside to reflect on our mortality, but when we think of our own mortality, we don’t think of students being killed while in class.  I was shocked to hear that this school shooting was the 18th this year.  I was horrified, thinking there had been that many since September.  Then it was clarified there had been that many since the beginning of 2018.  How did we become so accustomed to school shootings that it took one that killed 17 people for it to become headline news?  Why weren’t we more aware of the other 17 that have taken place since the beginning of 2018?  How many deaths does it take for us to notice?  How many deaths does it take for us to make changes? 

Lent is a season for repentance and reflection as we prepare to remember Christ’s suffering and celebrate his resurrection.  I suggest that this year it would be appropriate to reflect on where we are as a society as mass shootings become more common place.  I don’t have answers, I have questions, though, questions I think call us all to quiet reflection and respectful discussion.  It’s time to set aside our confidence that we are right.  It is time to let go of our assumptions and begin to engage in open discussion, approaching the subject with humility and a desire to learn from those with different perspectives and search together for answers. 

  • Are we providing sufficient care and support for those struggling with serious mental illness?  What more can we do in this area?    
  • Under what circumstances should people be prevented from owning guns?

o   A restraining order?

o   History of domestic violence?

o   History of mental illness?

o   On the terrorist watch list?

  • Are there weapons that should not be available to the general public?  Where do we draw the line?
  • What message are we sending our children about their value to us when we continue to offer only thoughts and prayers after these shootings?
  • Where do we find our security, in guns or in God?

I don’t offer answers.  I offer an invitation to a respectful discussion.  I offer an invitation to reflection as we ponder not just Christ’s death, but the deaths of people shot in places that are supposed to be safe, like school and church.  What can we discover together?         

Wendy Pratt said...

Posted on OA11er @ 11:40 AM -
This morning I came across this article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/no-there-havent-been-18-school-shooting-in-2018-that-number-is-flat-wrong/2018/02/15/65b6cf72-1264-11e8-8ea1-c1d91fcec3fe_story.html?hpid=hp_hp-top-table-main_fla-debunk-525pm%3Ahomepage%2Fstory&utm_term=.1c7ca5cfd9c3 Even if there haven't been 18, there have still been too many, and I stand by what I wrote.
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