Today marks the 6th anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. What a horrific day! And there have been many similar horrific days before and since.
This season of Advent invites contemplation of the theme of migration. Awful as Sandy Hook, and Parkland, and all of the other mass shootings are, they did not occur in a vacuum. We did not suddenly wake up in a country with more guns than people where school shootings are a “thing.”
We have progressively migrated to this point as a country. Over many years attitudes toward guns and gun ownership have changed in the US. This is the result of an intentional strategy by several groups for differing reasons. And it has been very successful. There are people who wanted US culture to migrate toward greater acceptance of guns and the proliferation of guns and they have effectively created that cultural migration.
But what this shows us is that it is also possible to create a migration in a different direction. It is possible to shift our culture toward a different attitude toward guns. That’s the thing about migration – it involves movement and we can influence the direction of that movement.
In thinking about celebrating the birth of Jesus, we must remember that Jesus was a pacifist. So the last thing that should ever be given as a gift in honor of his birth is a gun, toy or otherwise. That is but one small step in contributing to a societal migration away from gun culture.
Seeking to live and flourish, may we make our way toward Jesus this Advent season. Amen.