Finish the Sentence Friday…the Late Version…

My husband and I are on vacation and last week I was in Annapolis, Maryland for Finish the Sentence Friday…in fact, that day I was at the United States Naval Academy, soaking up history like a sponge. This vacation has been one for the books…
So to the reason I didn’t post on FTSF. I am an advocate for gun ownership, for one thing, and usually when I voice an opinion on gun violence…well, let us just say that the reaction is usually swift and extremely harsh and hurtful. So I generally just keep my mouth shut. The only exceptions are when I engage in well-informed, thoughtful, respectful and considered debate with people like my friend Jennifer Roemhildt-Tunehag…we are on polar opposite sides of the debate on gun violence, but we also love and respect one another and when we engage in a debate, we generally come away with something new to consider. I like that. I do not like hurtful, nasty comments…so if you are reading this and you are thinking about posting a knee-jerk, nasty reply…don’t bother. On the other hand, if you have a considered, well-informed, thoughtful and respectful opinion, I welcome your comments.
I changed my mind about posting on this issue because of the following: Earlier this week, while I was on vacation in Annapolis, a young man who I will only identify as CB chose to use a gun in what the police are calling a domestic violence incident. It was my son who called to tell me about CB’s arrest…my son who told me, with tears in his shaking voice….and the unspoken question, “Why, God…WHY?” ringing down the phone to me. My son went to school with CB at a Christian school and he has remained friends with CB since. I do not know all of the details, but according to the newspaper in my state, CB was upset because the girl he wanted was involved with another young man…so in what appears to be a jealous rage, CB allegedly shot both of them. I do not know their status, I do not know their names and I do not need to know the gory details. I knew CB. He was my son’s friend and therefore he still is one of My Boys. Like my Aunt Lou, I adopt the friends of my children because, well…because. I’m Mom to 20 or so young men and women who I have watched grow up for sometimes just a few years and in some cases, I have known them since they were tiny little kids. CB is one who I haven’t known as long, but that doesn’t matter either. He’s one of My Boys.
I want to talk to you about the effects of gun violence. One effect is that people are already filling up the comments sections of the newspaper’s web page with such stupid, hurtful comments as “glad you got that SOB” and words to that effect. Well, that SOB happens to be one of My Boys. Yes, what he’s accused of doing is awful…and yes, I am weeping for the two people that CB allegedly shot, and I am praying that they recover and are able to forgive him for his actions. You see…when I look at CB, I see a young man who has unseen wounds, wounds that have led to the recent events. I think that perhaps those unseen wounds contributed to a mindset that could only see one course of action: for CB to cause as much hurt to the two people as they caused him. This does not in any way mean that I endorse his actions, because I do NOT. I see wounded souls and so much pain that it boils over and strips the skin off my heart and soul and mind and oh GOD what I would give to have been able to step in and prevent it….and the worst part is that I cannot. I cannot and it kills me…
I will tell you what I can do…and what you can do…and what we ALL can do: we must educate our children. The old truism that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure most certainly applies here and in nearly any other situation in which someone thinks that the only solution to their problems is to shoot one or more people…because the truth, my dear friends, is that preventing gun violence rests not in the purview of LAW but in the purview of PARENTING…children must be taught that shooting another person never, ever, EVER solves any problems. My children have been taught this from day one, right along with their breast milk or bottles…and nothing brings it home like watching one of your friends destroy their own life, the lives of their own families and friends, the lives of their victims, their…the ripple effect just keeps spreading out from the center of that awful decision: to shoot someone in order to solve a problem…please, I beg you…teach your children. Model for them the way to solve problems in a way that doesn’t involve taking the life of another. Teach them about consequences. Teach them to learn solutions to problems…teach them the long view to their reactions to situations…teach them to look a year, two years, five years, ten years down the road and to exercise patience and restraint…TEACH THEM. The answer has to start with each of US…not in the courts or Congress.

The effects, then, of gun violence are that EVERYONE is hurt. Everyone. No one profits. Nothing is solved. Nothing changes for the better. There’s just destruction and pain and nothing good comes of it. CB will be in prison for God only knows how long and the two gunshot victims…I don’t know. All I know right now is that I weep for the boy that CB was and for the destruction of his future and loss of potential and all I can ask is WHY…God, WHY?

2 thoughts on “Finish the Sentence Friday…the Late Version…

  1. Oh no. I'm so so very sorry to read about this. One of my childhood friends was shot in a similar situation and there's just no getting over that senseless loss. Yes, please, please PLEASE let's teach them. xo Thank you for writing this.


  2. I grieve…I grieve…I grieve…for My Boy, for my own son, for your childhood friend…there are no words sufficient to cover the pain….thank you for understanding…


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