If you’re an American gun lover, I’m not going to argue with you today.
I’m not going to exchange news articles and opinion pieces and stat graphics.
I’m not going to absorb lazy, tired platitudes about people killing people or about heart problems.
I’m not going to respond to personal attacks or allegations of my disregard for your individual freedoms.
I’m not going to debate which acts of terrorism are worth decrying and which worth justifying.
I’m not going to compare body counts and skin colors and shooter’s names.
I’m not going to trade snarky insults or angry tirades or verbal jousts.
I’m not going to play one religion against another in ascribing culpability.
I’m not going to listen to critiques that I’ve become “too political” over something that to me is far greater than politics.
I’m not going to engage in violence with you as a way of protesting violence.
I am going to spend today trying to create a more peaceful world in whatever way that I can.
I am going to spend it practicing the compassion and benevolence and kindness that I preach, as much as I am able.
I am going to spend it fully grieving the loss of all innocent life.
I am going to spend it lamenting the fact that no amount of bloodshed seems to merit any other action than fiercely retaining the horrible status quo.
I am going to spend it mourning the fact that Sandy Hook wasn’t enough, that Charleston wasn’t, that Colorado Springs wasn’t, that Orlando wasn’t, that Parkland wasn’t enough to move you.
I am going to spend it grieving those who devalue life—and those who do nothing when it is squandered.
I am going to spend it knowing that for as long as I live, I will always represent one less gun in the world.
I am going to spend it trusting that a “bleeding heart” is always better than a dead one.
I am going to spend it being a person of life, surrounded by so much unnecessary death.
I am going to spend it living out my personal faith convictions, that tell me I cannot repay evil for evil, that I must turn the other cheek, that I must pray for my enemies, that I don’t get to take an eye for an eye.
And I am going to do it all armed solely with the belief that Love is the only worthy weapon worth advocating for.
I will not engage in another shootout today.
I will lay down my guns.
I will not return fire.