Guns don’t keep us safe. Grace does. Giving does. Compassion does. Peace does. Trusting does. Loving does. Good works of all kinds are the one and only “protection” we can possibly have against arbitrary acts of violence. When we reach out to help or comfort or encourage another we spread grace from our hearts and those we touch in turn are inspired to pass it on from their own hearts. One act of peace becomes two and three and so on, into infinity. There is no violence that can impede or permanently stop the onslaught of multiple Acts of Peace. There is no gun that can truly kill a loving heart. Even in death, the souls of the just are immortal:
But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God,
and no torment will ever touch them.
In the eyes of the foolish they seemed to have died,
and their departure was thought to be a disaster,
and their going from us to be their destruction;
but they are at peace.
For though in the sight of others they were punished,
their hope is full of immortality. (Wis 3:1-4)
Those who incite others to buy and carry weapons are deluding themselves into thinking that firearms mean freedom from harm. Will they sling them over their shoulders at the mall while shopping? Set them down on the table when they go out to eat? Keep them on their laps in a movie theatre? Hold them in one hand at a sports or music event? Slip them into their church or temple? Place them next to their computer at work? Have them at the ready beside the kids’ car seats? Carry them in their backpacks at college? The whole idea that anything physical can keep us safe -- especially a weapon destined to inflict grave harm on others -- is in itself preposterous. Only Divine Love can keep us truly safe. Even when there is "great harm" done, as to the victims of the recent shooting rampages in Paris, Colorado, and San Bernadino, God takes the victims as martyrs to heaven and comforts the wounded and bereaved with divine grace and mercy. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” That’s a promise, not wishful thinking!
The way to make our communities safer is not to shun or ostracize those whom we may consider “different” in some way from ourselves, whether racially, culturally, or religiously. That kind of fear and isolation only breed mistrust and anger, a volatile mix that inevitably leads to violence. The way to protect ourselves is to reach out in loving efforts, however small, to protect the other person. Get to know your neighbors, talk to strangers on line at the supermarket, go out of your way to help someone in need. Fear is dispelled when we say a kind word or make someone smile. Reaching out to the other is like buying grace-filled insurance that the other will not harm you. Practice that day after day and you will begin to feel safer in every environment. And you will make the world a safer place for those you love. Guns won’t keep us safe. Grace-filled actions will.
Please share this message with family and friends!