When my mom had cancer, there was a chain of calls made to get everyone praying for her. She did her treatment (surgeries, chemo, etc.) while friends and family prayed, while her church prayed, while the churches of her friends and family prayed after getting her on their prayer list.
And she beat cancer.
Did the prayers help? They definitely didn’t hurt, and it fed something inside her that helped her as she recovered. I am grateful for each one sent her way.
But you know what cut out that cancer, shrank down any leftover bits, and made her strong again? Doing the hard, uncomfortable work of consulting with experts about the hard truths, research, treatment, lifestyle change, going with her gut to do what was right to make things better even when it was so, so hard.
I’m sure the prayers I am seeing this morning for those in the gunman’s way last night in Las Vegas aren’t hurting anything—and are possibly even helping in a way—but we need more than that.
I grew up in a home with guns. I’ve handled and shot guns. I learned what was safe and what was not. I knew it was not a toy. I knew it was for protection and hunting. I understand that many people feel safer with them in their homes. But a gun cancer has grown in this country, and it is killing us. It’s killing our kids and our fellow citizens, innocents. Friends. Family.
We can do better than this. We need to do the hard work. We need to consult with experts. We need to understand that making changes to gun laws so as to make it MUCH more difficult for those who want to hurt others (or aren’t well enough to be a safe gun owner) to get them. Or AT LEAST make it so if someone does go on a shooting spree, they can’t sweep a storm of bullets that rain through the flesh of innocents in seconds with ease. Killing killing killing with ease over and over again.
Talk about guns in your home.
Learn the laws in your community.
Look into where your representatives stand on the issue, and look into where candidates for representation stand, too. Vote accordingly.
When a bill/law is coming up for vote, contact your representatives and let them know where you stand on it.
Don’t remain quiet.
Donate your time or money to organizations that are trying to help cut this cancer out.
Do you want to keep praying? Please do! Then after your “amen,” take that grace and do what you can to participate in the bigger part of the treatment plan to heal our country.
RESOURCES & ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
This post called An Easy Guide to Contacting Your Elected Representatives About Gun Control was updated last year, but it can help you:
1. Quickly find who your senators & congresspeople are
2. Quickly see how your senators voted in Dec 2015 on expanded background checks
3. Call/write/tweets your representatives with handy scripts you can use or alter to get your voice/opinion to them right away
Listen to the gunfire in this video. The people who took it are hiding—you will not see a gruesome death—but listen, just listen. Is that sound you hear something that should be legal? We need to stop that sound. Take action, please.
A look at how some people in the news got their guns (and some food for thought as to whether some of the laws/procedures regarding getting guns into peoples’ hands should change).
Save this one, take a few quiet minutes to read it, absorb the information here, see where the US is in comparison to other countries: Gun violence in America, explained in 17 maps and charts
“On average, there is more than one mass shooting for each day in America” ← that alone made me catch my breath
A partial list of some of the mass shooting in America over the past 10 years.
A resource and a community for people who support the Second Amendment while also want a safer country: Moms Demand Action.