Aug 14, 2019

From the desk of Fr Stephen

On Friday, August 9, I watched the NBC evening news, and at the end of the program they had a 5-minute segment on the mass shootings that have occurred all too often here in our country.  In the past year and a half there have been at least a dozen instances where someone has taken a powerful gun and just started killing people—innocent people—for no apparent reason.  In this segment, it showed the aftermath of destruction, and the lives of people ruined by such hatred.  It gave a list of the names and ages of every person killed, dozens of them.  Harry Smith did the commentary and was imploring the people of this country to do something, anything to help lawmakers see what needs to be done.  I think a case could be made that those who allow people to purchase the type of weapons being used in these shootings are just as crazy as the people doing the shooting.  It must stop!  We need to let the people in government know this cannot go on.  We need 100 million of us to say enough is enough.

This violence is part of our American culture.  There is no other country in the world that allows people to purchase guns of such destruction, but there also is no other country that has a group of people, HOLLYWOOD, that make movies and TV programs with such violence in them.  So much of what we see in film and on TV has a subliminal effect on us.  This violence we see is all around us.  We soak it in and it becomes part of us.  I saw a PG13 movie recently and was appalled by the violence.  How could this movie not be rated R?  To think of the young children who saw the movie, I was sickened by it.  And it doesn’t stop there.  How about the video games our young people play?  So much of what our young are exposed to is damaging their soul.   We become numbed to it all.  We don’t realize the effect it has on a young mind.

We must take a stand.  Not only do we need millions of people voting people out of office, but we also need to hit the industry with our pocketbooks.  We need to say no to shows, movies, t-shirts, video games and hate messages on the internet.  Maybe people wouldn’t promote such violent material if people like you and I quit buying into the system.  We can and must make a difference.  What the NBC news broadcast did was very good, but it wasn’t nearly enough.  We need some angry people in prominent places to use their voice just like Jon Stewart did a few weeks ago when talking about the first responders in New York on 9/11. 

It has gone on far too long, and sooner or later it is going to happen here.  May the grace and mercy of the Lord Jesus be with us, especially those hurt by violence.  Their lives will never be the same.  Each and every day they will struggle to get by remembering those that were lost.  May God be with them.