I was raised in a suburb of Chicago. I wasn’t raised around guns. My maternal grandfather, who lived in Alabama, would shoot squirrels in his backyard; that is my only recollection from childhood where guns were in a family member’s hand. I now live in a rural part of the South and everyone around here has guns. We hear people firing off shots quite frequently and think nothing of it. I think I have become accustomed to hearing shots fired as people around here hunt for food, hunt for sport, they hunt to keep down the animal populations. Never in my wildest dreams would I think those shots are because a gun was aimed at a human being.
Across our country we are once again in the midst of violence and anger being demonstrated through gunfire. One human is choosing to shoot another as a way to control or presumably defuse a dangerous situation. Unfortunately the people on both ends of the gun are assuming wrong things about each other. These wrong assumptions are only made exponentially worse with gunfire. So how does this all end well? Good question. And how did we get into this mess again? What did we not learn the last time this all happened?
In 1948 Winston Churchill said (paraphrased), “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” Our challenge is learning has not occurred or not occurred evenly enough throughout our nation. Some people get it while some are trying, others are still living with the pain and others have no clue that anything ever occurred. Until we all get it none of us will benefit from he lessons history provides. We cannot expect others to clean up their backyard when our own is a mess. As Americans we cannot expect others to solve this, it impacts us all even if we only see images on television. Guns are not the problem the people who use the guns are the problem; they have failed to learn or care about what that piece of metal in their hand can do to our world.
Whew! That’s a lot to say about a little quote written on paper remnants. “Force and Minds are opposites”. In other words when using force we are not thinking clearly. No one likes being told what to do especially when the person telling them is holding a weapon. We need to engage our minds and our mouths before we turn to coercion and pain to solve problems. We need to clean up our own lives before we tell others what to do, and we need to learn to learn and forgive and change. Only when learning occurs will things change.