“THE ESSENTIAL AMERICAN SOUL is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer.” says D. H. Lawrence. In light of the latest school shooting in Kentucky, one of 11 school shootings thus far in 2018, one of nearly 300 school shootings and an average of seven children or teens under the age of 19 killed each day since 2013 according to Everytown for Gun Safety, perhaps Lawrence is correct.

We can remember Columbine, when two high school classmates, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris murdered 13, wounding 20 before killing themselves. Sandy Hook. Virginia Tech. Aurora. Orlando. Las Vegas…. “The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer.”

To their credit, Colorado and Connecticut tightened their state gun laws. Most states did not. Many loosened gun laws, passing Stand Your Ground and Concealed Carry Laws which make it easier for a person to express their “hard, isolate, stoic and killing” souls. Most national and state leaders offered thoughts and prayers. Another day. Another carnage.

Responsible gun laws make a difference. Go to www.protectmn.org and read their resources. Furthermore, quoting Protect Minnesota sources, “Public health studies have repeatedly shown that states with the strongest gun laws have the lowest rates of gun deaths in all forms, and states with the weakest gun laws have the highest rates of gun deaths in all forms.” Laws supporting “Universal Criminal Background Checks and Gun Violence Protection Orders, making state funds available for gun violence  prevention programs, removing prohibitions in current state law against the collection of gun-related data for the purpose of public health research” (Protect Minnesota) will make a difference. Then, consider Jesus’ words in Mark 1. To a person consumed by an unclean spirit, Jesus commanded, “Be silent and come out of him.” So it was done. Responsible actions addressing gun violence needs BOTH common sense gun laws and attention to the heart and the disturbed mind.

“The essential American soul [that] is hard, isolate, stoic and a killer” is also a transformable soul. If we care.


Rev. Dr. Ron Letnes