You may have come here looking. Over the past few days, frequent visitors to this place might have expected me to write something about the Virginia Beach Shooting. It is, after all, a preoccupation of mine. Not the shootings so much as our response to them. I tend to pull up near the end and make an impassioned plea for common-sense gun laws. Anything that might limit or even prohibit tragedies that occur all too frequently in the land of the brave and the home of the heavily armed.
Twelve people were shot and killed in Virginia Beach's Municipal Building Number Two last Friday. The motive, as so often is the case, is "a mystery." The idea that this man "just snapped" seems a little out of character for a fifteen year veteran employee of the city. Knowing the reason why he gunned down twelve innocent victims and wounded four more will not bring any of them back to life or health. Crime Scene Investigators will not bring relief to any of the families and friends by discovering that lone clue that will make it possible to convict the shooter of his crimes. The crimes were murder, and attempted murder. Not a lot to uncover there.
Common sense gun laws.
Why does that phrase ring so hollow right now?
Maybe because so little of what that legislation might cover seems to apply to the name. Common Sense. Besides, we already have one of those, don't we? "Tho shalt not kill." Over the centuries since then all kinds of asterisks and amendments have been attached to that notion, leaving it hollow and archaic. Like the kids on the playground who insist that their parents told them to hit back, we seem compelled to find ways to excuse and even encourage shooting back.
And then we go and pray about it. I'm here to tell you, God seems to already have had his say. But we want to argue. God made man in his own image, but all the pictures I've seen don't show our Lord packing heat. Okay, that's mostly the case. Which makes me wonder why twentieth century "artists" would want to depict the guy who said, "Love thy neighbor" carrying a rifle. Common sense suggests this is a way to continue the narrative that God wants us to have guns and when the voices inside our heads tell us to head down to the job or school or movie theater and pop a cap in a few of those innocent bystanders, it's all a part of the plan. God's plan. The Constitution and the Bible are one big advertisement for guns and ammo.
I don't get it.