When will it end? How will it end?

So far this year, there have been 606 mass shootings in our country. There has not been a single week in 2022 without at least four mass shootings in the United States. 67 Americans, including children, died during mass shootings this year. This does not count the number of victims injured, often permanently, the family members left to grieve forever or the emotional trauma of survivors that continues for a long time.

And almost 40,000 died from gun violence this year in our country, with over 1,500 of these victims being children. There are those who blame mental illness, social media, hanging out with the wrong persons, or drugs. The real culprit, however, is easy access to guns. Many states do not have regulations for training or permits anymore. Many states allow open carry laws.

There are those who claim to be pro-life or desire our country to be a Christian nation but are fine about the right to have guns and refuse to support sensible gun safety laws to protect innocent lives.

What are we missing here? What have we lost as a nation when we are only able to resolve anger, conflict, or differences with violence? What happened to basic human respect and decency? What has happened to our ability to have some self-reflection and to think and respond and not react?

How do we gain a sense of belonging, responsibility, and a community of caring for one another? What have we lost? Will we be able to recapture it?

Is it possible, just possible, during this month, when we celebrate and remember the great feasts of many religions, that we can embrace once again the ancient invitation of “Peace on earth, goodwill to all.”

By Sister Jean Anne Zappa, OSU