Archive for May 19th, 2018

May 19, 2018

My Thoughts and Prayers

With the latest school shooting in Sante Fe, Texas, the epidemic of unfathomable, irrational, unforgivable violence that has led to one school shooting after another in America has hit too close to home. The high school I graduated from, Alvin High School, is roughly a 20 minute drive from the high school in Santa Fe. I have family and friends living in Santa Fe, and while none of my immediate family or friends were shot, I grieve with the community that is today shaken to its core.

It is hard to know exactly what to say – even what to think – in such a situation. And yet so many will say, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Santa Fe.” What precisely are these “thoughts” and these “prayers”?

My own immediate reaction was that my mind went numb as I checked for details about friends and family members. What thoughts exactly were with the people in Santa Fe, when my mind was too numb to hold a thought? I have been trying to process this question myself, and it has been much more difficult to do than with the “usual” mass shooting (and yes, I am appalled that I can even utter those words), because this one hit so close to home, and hit in a community that I know is still recovering from a devastating storm that struck them last year.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott offered these words in response to the shooting, “We want to hear from everybody who has an interest in what has happened today so we can work together on putting together laws that will protect second amendment rights but at the same time ensure that our communities and especially our schools are safer places.

In my reactions to these words, some of my own thoughts have been clarified. I do not doubt the sincerity of Governor Abbott, nor do I doubt that he is utterly heartbroken over this tragedy that has hit in the state he governs. However, I do question the wisdom of his priorities. How is it that protection of second amendment rights are placed before the safety of “our communities and especially our schools” in his list of concerns? My thoughts? My thoughts are that we must protect our children, whatever the cost to you and me. We must prioritize that first, without consideration of what rights an old document has guaranteed us, no matter how revered that document is in the political system under which we live. If we put first things first, we might come to some solutions. If, on the other hand, we prioritize that which is secondary, this will not stop. In fact, I fear it will only escalate and turn into an even worse situation – even though I find it hard to imagine what could be worse than this.

Those are my thoughts.

This is my prayer. I pray that we will humble ourselves enough to make any sacrifice necessary to protect, love, guide, and nurture our children. I pray we will think of them above ourselves. I pray they will be given the right to grow at least as old as you and I are. And, I pray that as they do so, they will grow wiser, kinder, more compassionate, more loving, and more generous than we have ever been.