LITTLE DID WE KNOW, that as the three of us were talking about how our Catholic and Lutheran faiths energize our commitment to gun violence prevention, as we were drinking coffee and enjoying delicious carrot muffins, as we were talking about he importance of people of faith engaging the political process for GVP, a 15 year old boy from suburban Detroit had brought a gun from home to Oxford High School, a handgun which his father had purchased a week prior, and killed four students and injured eight more.
Yet, should we be surprised anymore by this national gun carnage? Already in 2021, there have been over 600 mass shootings in the Red, White and Blue, coupled with nearly 41,000 gun deaths. We’re number one in the world again for rate of gun deaths. The USA is an annual war zone! Consider this, during our 20 year occupation of Afghanistan, we lost about 4,000 troops. Is there a disconnect in this picture?
Why do we tolerate this annual gun violence ritual? Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut, the state of Sandy Hook, spoke on the Senate floor yesterday and vented, “Don’t talk to me about the sanctity of life!” CNN reports that support for gun control just hit its lowest point in almost a decade.
The good news is passing responsible laws and parents locking up their guns at home will save lives, thousands of lives. Laws that will work are universal background checks for ALL guns purchased from licensed and private sales at gun shows and between individuals, Red Flag laws to protect spouses from domestic violence, registration and licensing of ALL guns, to include safety training for ALL gun purchases, elimination of the sale of AR-15 and all military combat semi and automatic weapons, and elimination of Stand Your Ground Laws. And yes, with all of these laws in place, people can still hunt, target shoot, shoot competitively and have a gun in the home for protection. In the words of Jesus, “Enough!” and “No more of this!” In this Advent season, we anticipate the Light that overcomes the darkness. Let it be!


Ron Letnes (Rev. Dr.)