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The headline of a major news site read, “Teen calls out politicians by saying that children will continue to die if we don’t take a stand now.” In the news report, the teenager went on to say, “My message to lawmakers in Congress is please take action. Ideas are great. Ideas are wonderful and they help you get reelected and everything. But what’s more important is action that results in saving our children’s lives.”

What prompted this profound statement by one teenager was fear that another mass killing of innocent students would occur at another school yet again. The teen’s statement struck an emotional and painfully familiar chord with me as I had great sympathy for the families and friends whose loved ones were gunned down inside their high school.  A school is a place for educating the mind and schools have always been thought of as safe havens for children to learn and play. However, in recent years the very institution that we rely upon for educating our children has become less safe. Its environment is becoming so toxic that lawmakers are considering the idea of arming teachers with weapons.

It is my belief that until citizens of this great country of ours take a stand for sensible gun laws that will create a safe environment for all humanity, mass shootings will continue to be a part of our society’s way of life. Our teenagers are responding to a call to “Stand up” and take a stand against inadequate gun laws because adults seem to have lost sight of the need for gun safety. Let’s together take a stand to curve mass shootings by calling on lawmakers to implement sensible gun laws for the safety of its citizens.

The students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School protesting against gun violence caused me to reevaluate my thoughts and opinion about guns that have no usefulness except for military personnel who defend our country and its liberty. Law-abiding citizens don’t need guns that operate like machine guns.

However, the trouble in our society is that many of us deny dealing with any kind of overwhelming fear about standing against the current gun laws. We rarely consider it a serious consequence to stand silent on the matter. But the fact remains that our fears hinder us on our journey toward change, and unless we face them, we will never reach our God-given potential to do the right thing.

Maybe you don’t view things that are bothering you as fear at all. It could be a feeling or situation you habitually avoid, or leave to others to handle. Whatever it is, the only way to overcome it is to call it what it is, confront it, draw on God’s strength, and make a decision to fight for a change.  And Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!

By Chaplain Ghosten

chaplain@lhp.net