Enough of the mass shootings

The last several months have been heart wrenching for many areas of our country due to natural disasters or man made tragedies. I cringe every time the news comes on and when I get on social media as facts of each case comes to light.

For instance, the shooter in the Sutherland Springs Church shooting in Texas was discharged from the US Air Force due to charges of domestic abuse. According to law his records should have been given to the FBI, which would have prevented him from buying any type of gun. This oversight or whatever they call it has proven a fatal mistake for the 26 people he killed ranging in approximate age from 17 months to 77 years, nine of whom were from the same family. A quiet Sunday morning shattered by the senseless act of a mad man.

Shots rang out for 20-25 minutes in the community the other morning in Red Bluff after a man started shooting at random residences then stole a truck going on a shooting rampage. The gunman rammed the truck into an elementary school fence and tried to enter the building. His entrance was barred when school staff locked down the campus as soon as they heard the shots.

We often think none of that crap will affect us or even come near us. But it does and it has. The otherwise quiet town of Concord has been shaken by the news of a 17-year-old boy who was shot and killed while simply standing around with friends and hangin out, as teenagers say, right near their high school. Nobody else was hit as they ran away in fright.

I had a conversation with my kids one day about what they thought of the NFL players taking a knee during the national anthem. They understood to a point, but also said it seemed disrespectful; there are other ways and times to protest. My 14 year old also voiced what I’ve been thinking for a while now; society seems to be going backwards.

The most beautiful part of life is when we come together as one to help our fellow man. The Louisiana Cajun Navy, a group of volunteers, grabbed their boats when Harvey hit Texas and helped rescue people and animals from the floodwaters. First responders in Las Vegas ran toward the shots, as people tried to dodge bullets flying around them they covered each other, many of which were strangers when the day began. Two private citizens, one armed, chased down the shooter in the Texas church shooting.

This should be our first response when something happens. Everyone who has ever tried to help in these or other disasters, whether it is their job or not, should be hailed as heroes. If you’re not able to help because you’re not close there are other ways to help. Technology has proven its usefulness in helping others far and wide. Facebook had several notices to help collect clothes and essentials for survivors of the fires in Northern California; people were even offering homes, property and stables for horses if needed.

My heart goes out to all who have personally been affected by these and other events and I pray for healing even though we will probably never fully understand why these things happen.

We should be more receptive to picking people up, not picking on people. In times of trouble natural or man-made we should be grabbing each other’s hands and rising above these situations. This is what we should be doing, helping our fellow man. Not attacking them!

Hate in all its venomous forms should have no place in society.

A song by Mandisa comes to mind.

“We all bleed the same,

So tell me why, tell me why

We’re Divided”