Gun-speak and political lingo fly out as you all are barely in high school. (Except you, Henry.) When I was in fourth grade, a suicidal high schooler blasted up his school and killed teenagers whose worst fault was probably snakiness. (Not to say that this isn’t bad. Snaky people suck, but that’s not really a good reason to kill someone.) When I was 16, some crazy person crashed [Virginia] Tech’s happy-go-lucky atmosphere. A few months ago, some evil man rolled up into an elementary school and eliminated over twenty childhoods and futures. All of these things have culminated into a nasty political debate about gun laws and gun control.
Like many others, I think this debate is a waste of focus, time, and oxygen. No matter what, weapons will still end up in the hands of people with bad enough intentions and fierce enough will to harm. Today, two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon. Many injured. Several dead. Politicians everywhere are shaking their fists to the left or to the right about guns, but what about violence? Isn’t that the bigger issue?
If not guns, there will be bombs. If not bombs, there will be fire. If not fire, there will be stones. Maybe instead of focusing on just one weapon that can be used to actualize hate, maybe, just maybe we should ALL focus on the moral climate of our community. This probably will not involve politicians, given that politicians are usually the most a-moral group of jerks out there. Instead, it needs to involve us at every second of every day.
Open the door for others. Smile when you make eye contact. Acknowledge the stranger in the elevator: s/he is no more invisible than you. Say “bless you” when someone sneezes. Listen up when your friend comes to you with a problem. Don’t interrupt others, but speak up when it’s time. Please and thank yous. Wave people through at stop signs. Make the slightest, most subtle differences that culminate in cohesive community.
I’m not sure what is the point or main takeaway of this note. These are just my thoughts. Do with them what you will. Just remember that a single smile or kind word to a person on the edge could inevitably save lives. Because violence only arises from hatred, and hatred is bred from meanness and lack of consideration– lack of community.