“A mass shooting is coming to a neighborhood near you!” The phrase becomes chilling through a play on a common movie advertising phrase.
The latest mass shooting in Illinois has sparked the response that, unfortunately, we all are becoming accustomed to. Politicians will offer their ideas to pass new laws to “fix” the situation. Fortifications will be added for future safety at such events. Similar events will be canceled or never planned in the future.
Our children now attend school in fortified lockdown institutions. Any public event requires passing through a security check with security officers and metal detectors. Traveling by air requires passengers to pass through a sophisticated security system, some even requiring a person to have a complete body X-Ray. The words “required” and “security” have become a part of our lexicon and are accepted in our thinking.
Many of us have decided to stay home and not attend public events; some even fear attending their place of worship.
Every tragedy is turned into a political event. The politicians recognize that the tragedy will attract the attention of thousands, if not millions of people. Using a horrific event to stand in front of the TV cameras and pound their chests taking credit for something that has nothing to do with the tragedy, is just too tempting. After all, it is free TV time.
Politicians proclaim they will fix the situation by passing new laws. Does that work? Chicago has the strictest gun laws in America and one of the highest murder rates. Facts are facts. Laws only work when people obey them. Otherwise, they are worthless words written on a piece of paper.
The increasing lawlessness begs the question, “Why won’t people obey the law?” We see it occur every day. However, running stop lights is one thing; killing innocent people in mass is something entirely different.
Our country has changed. Freedom is slowly disappearing. Fear is creeping in as the norm.
Has our country lost its soul? Are we no longer the timber of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin? Have we lost the character and backbone that has moved men and women to step up and defend freedom in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and many more battles around the globe? And yes, the war that was fought from April 19, 1775 – September 3, 1783, for the independence we have enjoyed for over 246 years.
We cannot live in the past nor return to it. However, history is our very best teacher. We must learn from it and use that knowledge to move forward and build a better future.
Have older generations failed to teach younger generations patriotism, honesty, respect, history, responsibility, and work ethic? What about government programs? A strong argument can be made that government programs allegedly designed to help people have enslaved people to free food, housing, medical care, and cell phones rather than honesty, self-respect, patriotism, work, and love of country. We must ask ourselves honestly; was a program built and passed by the government designed to help those in need or to secure more votes in the next election?
Have our two major political parties’ priorities replaced God, country, family, and self with power, self, and total control?
Has modern technology, especially social media, allowed us to lose respect for each other as it is so easy for cowardly people to criticize, demean, disgrace, put down, degrade, tear down, dehumanize and virtually destroy the lives and reputation of innocent people from the safety of anonymity hiding safely behind only an emoji for identification?
Are political elections won by creating hatred for an opposing candidate rather than an honest debate and discussion of the issues?
If you agree with any of the above questions, what are you doing to correct it? Yes, you! The hope for our future lies in the resolve and activism from the person’s face staring back at you from your bathroom mirror. History dictates you getting involved in making positive change is the only true answer.
Getting our country’s soul back is the responsibility of each and every one of us. Restoring our country’s soul is a heavy lift. No one can do it alone; more hands and arms help make the lift easier.
Ask yourself a few simple questions. Am I just making an appearance at church, or am I a mini-evangelist spreading the word to family and friends while urging them to do the same? Do I take an interest in my local school and learn what they are or are not teaching our children? How about the grandkids and those children down the street or across town you know are being neglected? Am I making a strong enough effort to learn about my community and then actively participate in improving it? Do I know enough of our country’s history to understand what form of government our founders intended ultimately, a democracy or a republic, and why is it important to know?
If you answered “no” to any or a few questions, ask, turn off the TV, get off the couch, and start doing your part to put our great country back on its intended path. Take a few moments before your nightly prayers to ponder, “Am I doing enough to make my country what I would like to pass on to my children and grandchildren?’
Then say your prayers. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “The same God that gave us life gave us Liberty.”
It is time again to become “One Nation Under God!”