Target Practice at Pierson Point

Ordinarily the POW! POW! POW! of gunfire a few backyards down the road does not chill me like the shots did last Sunday afternoon. There are guns down here at the river. Locked up, taken out sparingly for sport target shooting. Hand eye coordination is required to hit the little tin target hanging on the tree. No harm; no foul. Second Amendment in action, for that time when we need a well armed militia here on the Neuse.

Daddy did not have guns. My husband has never owned guns. I am afraid of guns. There is no particular righteousness in this. Many in my family and many of my friends are gun owners. They know when deer season starts and the gun racks on the backs of trucks are filled with rifles and shotguns. The camo hats and jackets come out and the deer don’t stand a chance. There is the sport of the chase, a great bonding experience for those who share the thrill. I get that.

There is something altogether different happening in the mass shootings that seem to be a regular happening in our country. Believe me, I know the arguments: “Guns don’t kill, people kill.” “We need better mental health systems to stop violence.” “ Video games are the problem exacerbating violence.” I don’t disagree with any of those statements; one excuse is as good as another. But we dance around the issue that is the most controversial: there is too much availability to buy military style assault weapons, and big magazines of ammunition, there are no checks or stops for cross referencing who is buying munitions of mass destruction right beneath our eyes.

Will enough ever be enough? Jesus promises PEACE. My peace I give to you not as the world gives… that’s a good thing, because the world doesn’t seem to want peace. Our elected officials are complicit in the fact that many of their campaigns are funded heavily by the NRA. Their continued silence and inaction speaks volumes about how they want the money to keep their places of power more than they want to serve the nation and work to address this gun problem we have in America.

Alongside the lack of gun control we live, there is the growing unleashing of hate and racism, white nationalism and bullying coming from the highest office in our nation, and nobody seems to want to control it. It is such hypocrisy when the president, who spews hate in ever other tweet says, “We must condemn racism, bigotry, and hate however they show themselves.” He must not read his own tweets.

There is a deep spiritual problem in our country. We have lost our way and are tumbling down a deep hole into a darkness I have not seen in my lifetime. A few gunshots in the back yard remind me of the freedom that is America. What are reasonable controls for gun ownership? My car is licensed; I have to take a test every few years to see if I am competent to drive. Who is driving this conversation about guns? Where is money driving it? Will the violence ever end?

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