lenten journal: shot down


Some days the news makes me angry. Some days it makes me sad. On rare occasions, it brings me to despair. Today is one of those days.

After dinner tonight, I read this article in the Huffington Post that said both the assault weapons ban and the limits on high capacity magazines were not likely to make it into law. We have such a dearth of leadership in Congress that they cannot agree to ban guns that do nothing but kill people (hello — “assault” is in the name) or limit the size of the magazine to make it harder for someone to mow down everyone they see with said rifle. Thus, I despair.

Our elected officials keep shooting off their mouths at one another in one verbal assault after another and then run scared of taking any kind of courageous stand for fear that their money supplies will dry up. The lobbyists are locked and loaded and Congress has allowed itself to be taken hostage; what we end up with is a bunch of empty rhetoric and useless legislation.

Banning assault weapons and high capacity magazines will mean fewer people get killed. Demanding a background check for any kind of gun purchase (another thing they don’t have the backbone to write into law) is not oppression; it’s common sense. Freedom doesn’t mean getting to do whatever the hell you want. True freedom comes in community when we are determined together for the common good and we have a sense of the consequences of our decisions. If my unbridled license means you are left shacked, then neither of us is free.

Yet Congress is going to do nothing but offer a toothless, empty shell of what could have been helpful and hopeful legislation because they are too busy acting like middle school kids (my apologies to anyone in middle school offended by that comparison) and worrying about getting reelected. They are not listening — to us, to common sense, to one another. And they think we are stupid enough to believe their posturing in their press conferences as though they have actually accomplished something.

Tonight, they have brought me to despair. I won’t stay here, but this is where I am tonight. I don’t plan to stay.



  1. My dad used to say, “Your rights end where my nose begins.” This is not what I learned in Civics, and I don’t think it was the government I met when I came home in ’74 for college.

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