Navigating the Sea of Violence
Over the last several weeks, guns and the frequency of gun violence have been at the front of our national political discourse. This is largely a result of the Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 teenagers lost their lives in just over six minutes due to the violent impulses of Nikolas Cruz and his available firepower. Since the shooting, students from Stoneman Douglas have been the commodores of the gun control fleet, unapologetically active in their efforts to tear down the walls of the gun debate, prevent future mass shootings, and force Congress’ hand in passing meaningful, common-sense gun legislation.
But these kinds of tragedies don’t always happen in a sudden, acute way. They’re not always grabbing headlines. People are taken from us because of a person with a gun all the time. The United States leads all developed nations in this specific kind of tragedy. In most cases, however, there isn’t an Emma Gonzalez or David Hogg to provide catharsis, engagement, and a emphatic attempt at change. A lot of the time, we must handle these situations ourselves, nameless and lost in a maelstrom of lethality that is a result of a culture preoccupied with violence and the tools in which to carry out that violence.
But that doesn’t mean we’re alone. There are plenty of resources available to help provide a beacon of hope in the choppy waters of pain and confusion. There are crisis and grief counselors readily available to help you manage the shock and the awe. Hope Wanted can help get you in touch with them. From there, if you are feeling the need to lend your voice to change, you can write your state and federal representatives, join a group whose mission aligns with yours, and even volunteer to help others experiencing similar situations and pains to your own.
While we may not agree on what specifically influences these shootings and random acts of violence, we can all agree that they need to stop and that the pain we experience in the wake of them is real. We all agree that the need for hope is present every time something like Stoneman Douglas happens. There are resources available to help turn that hope into change. All that is required of us to achieve it is to acknowledge those resources and utilize them.
Author: Robert Franklin