Published December 4, 2015
I am so tired of the rhetoric, so disheartened by the anger, the prejudicial thinking, the pettiness and the willful ignorance that surrounds the discussions on gun violence in this country. People have completely lost their compassion, they have lost their moral compass, and their ability to think deeply and critically about important issues. People are so busy trying to be clever, trying to align themselves with a sense of superiority over the perceived “other” that they want to distance themselves from that they have lost their grasp on reality. Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, wives and husbands are dead. DEAD. And, people are arguing about who coined the term “assault weapon.” They are arguing over the type and number of killings that should qualify as a “mass shooting,” as though the terminology is some sort of devious scheme to convince us that things are worse than they seem. Guess what – Things are as bad as we imagine, regardless of what terminology is used to describe it.
Today, instead of coming together to address this problem in a real way, people are instead arguing over prayer vs. action. They are condemning those who want more than prayer for the victims. They are condemning those who want our elected leaders to stop pandering to the NRA and start leading this country in a more sane direction. It’s the worst form of madness. A deep spiritual and mental illness that is endemic to this country.
Of course, we should pray for the victims and their families, and for the deeply damaged heart of this country. But, we should also be taking decisive steps to address the underlying causes of hate and violence, and we should be eliminating easy access to combat weapons.
The spin, the propaganda, lies in the distraction caused by these inane discussions. It exists in the divisiveness that is fed and furthered by senseless arguments about terminology. It lives in the fear mongering that leads people to believe that the black man in the White House is trying to take your guns. It boggles the mind to witness how easily people are led astray, how easily they are manipulated into these petty and meaningless arguments, even seemingly intelligent people. It’s time to wake up and realize that you have been duped. You are being misled with slight of hand and purposeful distraction, by those who profit from the tools of violence. Take some time, do some honest reflection and trace your argument to its natural end. Then ask yourself, does it matter in the end? If that were my child dead on the street, would it matter what they called the gun that killed them? Would it matter how many people died with them or how they labeled the shooting?
We need to be able to see beyond these distracting and divisive tactics and begin having honest, common sense discussions about the amount of violence that exists here. Then, we need to enter into rational discussions about gun control. And, most importantly, we need to stop allowing those who profit from violence to convince us that more weapons and more violence is the way to stop the violence on our streets.
Love and compassionate understanding, cultivated by awakened hearts and minds, are the only things that will lead us out of the violence that we are living under. And, until we reach a state of compassionate understanding, a little common sense and gun control wouldn’t hurt.
#WakeUpAmerica #LoveAndRevolution #StopTheViolence
Sherri Mitchell (Wena’ Gamu’ Gwasit) was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian Reservation. She is an Indigenous Rights attorney, writer and teacher. She’s been an adviser to the American Indian Institute’s Healing the Future Program and the Spiritual Elders and Medicine Peoples Council of North and South America. Sherri speaks around the world on issues related to Indigenous rights, nonviolence, and the traditional Indigenous way of life. Sherri is the Director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization committed to protecting Indigenous Rights and the Indigenous Way of Life.