Thoughts and prayers to South Carolina victims and families

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I was going to write one of my usual, rather light hearted blogs today, but then an incident in South Carolina changed that. I am having a hard time wrapping my head around how this happens in this day and age. My heart and prayers go out to the people that lost loved ones and to the survivors.
I have seen many cry out for more gun control after this. I am not sure if this is the answer. A few blogs ago, I wrote about the prevalence of heroin use in my state and the surrounding states, yet I never entertained the thought of using. Guns fall into this same category for me. My dad is a hunter, and I had guns around me my whole life. Never once did I want to take one of those guns and use it to kill someone. I mentioned that I was bullied in high school, so I could have made them my target. Yet I never even TOUCHED the guns that were in my house.
I was just reading an article in today’s USA Today entitled Hate in America which stated, “A study in March by the Southern Poverty Law Center of “lone wolf” and “leaderless resistance” political violence found that 90% of domestic attacks or planned attacks were carried out by one or two people.” What this immediately brought to mind was my magic word – CONNECTION. What kind of connections did the alleged assailant have? What kind of environment surround him? If he had positive connections in his life would this have happened? There are many factors that need to be considered, but this one really resonated with me.
Thankfully the members of that church have the connections that will support and nurture them during their time of need. They are surrounded by caring individuals, and in the wake of the tragedy, people are reaching out that they don’t even know. I believe an incident like this draws people together, strengthens bonds, and ultimately creates positive connections that can impact the future. I can take some solace that those that died are now in the presence of the God that meant so much to them. They now have the ultimate connection.
I will close with these remarkable words from Martin Luther King, Jr:
“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

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