This morning when I opened my tablet to the newspapers, I was greeted with the reports of another mass shooting in the United States. This time, it is the deadliest mass shooting in history. I had no words. No tears. No feeling. I watched with a kind of numb sense of surrender. I told myself it was time to face the awful tragic fact that I live in a country that does not mind mass murder. They happen nearly every day in the United States and only make the news, only make us stop in our tracks, when the numbers are high. We value guns more than human life.

I have written about gun violence in the country over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again at the Tikkun Daily Blog alone.

This June, in my Juneteenth essay, I wrote about our nation’s enslavement to gun violence.

http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2017/06/19/juneteenth-2017/

In April, I tried to take a more humorous view of gun safety laws as a homage to April Fool’s Day and called for a rule that no white man under the age of 65 be permitted to buy a gun

http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2017/04/01/a-modest-proposal/

In June 2016, after the mass shooting in an Orlando night club I wrote about how this happens over and over.

http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2016/06/13/here-we-go-again/

I have written about the gun culture in the United States as idolatry.

http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2016/01/11/human-sacrifice-and-the-idolatry-of-the-gun/#more-58931

After the mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, where a young white racist gunman killed black people at a prayer meeting, I wrote a two-part essay about the Cost of Cowardice, the cowardice to face issues of race, and the cowardice of our elected official to defy the National Rifle Association and give us gun safety laws.

http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2015/06/24/the-cost-of-cowardice-part-one/#more-56596

http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2015/07/22/the-cost-of-cowardice-part-two/#more-57034

In 2013, I wrote about the Power of Mothers to bring about change, comparing the relatively new organization Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. My hope was that as women organized around the issue of gun safety laws, it would make a real change in our nation’s politics.

http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2013/05/16/the-power-of-moms/#more-38552

After the killing of elementary school children in Newton, Connecticut, all I could do was lament and keep saying that we have to elect representatives who will not fear the NRA.

http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2012/12/24/a-lamentation/#more-35141

In December of 2012, grieving over the deaths of children in Newton, I quoted a portion of my book where I propose the unicorn as a symbol for the world of justice and peace that we want to establish.

http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2012/12/21/unicorns-exist/#more-35139

After the mass shooting that nearly killed Rep. Gabby Giffords, I wrote about the Second Amendment within the context of 21st century technology. This amendment was not intended for a moment where guns can kill tens and wound hundreds in a matter of minutes.

http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2011/01/10/21st-century-weapons-technology-and-the-second-amendment/#more-18559

There is a story in St. John 5 where Rabbi Jesus meets a man who had suffered an affliction and who had been waiting next to the pool of Bethesda for 38 years. The waters of the pool were thought to heal the first person who entered after the water had been touched by an angel. Before Rabbi Jesus heals the man, he asks him if he wants to be healed. This seems to be a stupid question. After all, the man had been waiting there for 38 years. However, it is not a stupid question at all.

The questions for the United State of America are: do we want to be rid of gun violence in our country? Do we want to continue to live with this horror year after year after year, a horror that touches every section of the nation, rich and poor, all races and sexual orientations that kills little children, teenagers, middle-aged people and elders? We keep electing a Congress that refuses to pass gun regulation. We elected a lying, sexual predator, birther, con man as president of the United States who continues a politics of division and racial animus. Since his inauguration, Congress has passed and he has signed into law a measure that allows people with a history of mental illness to buy guns and his department of justice has weakened Obama era regulations intended to keep people with warrants for their arrest from buying guns. (https://thinkprogress.org/fugitives-mentally-ill-guns-7dd50ec2889f/)

Just a few days ago, Judge Roy Moore of Alabama stood on stage waving around a pistol and talking about the second amendment. The good Republicans of Alabama elected him to represent their party in the upcoming general election.

This is madness. Is there something beyond madness? If there is, this is it.

We get the government we deserve. We get the government we show up and vote for. We get the representatives who will give us the policies that we want, and it is clear that we do not want gun safety policies enough to make that the central issue in our elections.

I have no more words. And the rest for me is silence.

 

 

 

Valerie Elverton Dixon is founder of JustPeaceTheory.com and author of “Just Peace Theory Book One: Spiritual Morality, Radical Love, and the Public Conversation.”


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