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Sometimes events are so sad and tragic that all you can do is be quiet as you hear your heart cry. No place is safe from violence and our governmental leaders seem to want to do nothing about the violence that infects us. Their sympathy and prayers ring hollow as they care more about the rights of gun ownership than the well-being of citizens. A Synagogue, a Church, a Mosque, a street are now dangerous places. A dance club or what was once a safe haven for so-called minority groups (think of the Pulse Nightclub in Florida) have all become places where safety is an uncertain thing.
In the wake of the Pittsburgh shooting, the advice from our governmental leadership was to encourage armed security in the sanctuary. What is to be said of the California killings where an armed police officer responding to the attack was killed? It saddens us to the point of outrage that our leaders think and preach that gun ownership is more precious than the right to live, or vote, or sing and dance.
Of course, the murderer in any killing spree is motivated by complex causes. Nonetheless, the glorification of violence and the normalization of guns contributes to a culture of uncertainty based on the fear of being wounded or killed. Political, civic, religious, and governmental leaders must confront this culture of death where “my truth” cancels your right to live in peace.
Since the United States has almost more guns than people, we must answer the question, “Why are we so intent on killing ourselves?” No right to bear arms mitigates another person’s right to safety, life, and health. The failed policies of having no policies have resulted in more deaths and injuries. The violence must stop.
Our hearts are broken again. People who were singing and dancing are now mute and dead for no good reason. No community should suffer as the community of Thousand Oaks, CA, is now suffering. We offer prayers and blessings as we pledge to continue to raise our voice in protest calling for common sense gun legislation and regulation.
We must learn from the other Nations and cultures of the World what it means to be a society in which violence is neither expected or tolerated. We must confront the violence in our thoughts, words, and deeds recognizing the dignity of each and every person. We must realize that gun violence is a national health emergency. We must realize that, above all else, governmental officials are charged with assuring domestic tranquility. Our leaders are servants of the entire population to which they have the responsibility to think and act responsibly without regard to what is politically or personally expedient. We call upon all our leaders to show courage in the wake of this epidemic of violence.
May Thousand Oaks never happen again.
Thomas P. Bonacci, C.P. with
The Board of Directors