Ashley stood before us.
The life of a small town, 2000 plus the 1500 students attending the University 9 months of the year, sets a scene for a conversation.
A conversation about community and who we are.
Do those that knew us then, know us now?
The issue of going back is hard.
There is clearly a difference between those that have roots and those like me without.
Who, save family, do I still know from then?
Who knows me, where?
The story of Jesus Mark 6:1-6 as he emerges and his mission becomes clear this passage reminds us.
When he went home he was ridiculed by many,
People who had known him then did not appreciating who he had become.
The story teaches us that we simply need to stand up and go forth.
As he did we simply must continue forward.
The power of Jesus, therefore what each of us must do, is exemplified in the next section mark 6-7-12.
He simply instructs his disciples out to go out into the world and share in the glory of God.
Do we fit in a box because others think so?
Or, do we like Jesus simply continue in the direction?
Constantly moving forward?
We all belong, yet where is it we belong?
Who is God calling us to be?
Is it who we know we are?
No, it is who we are here to be.
Who is God calling each of us to be?
Who is God calling me to be?
It is the discernment I struggle with.
Who Am I
In a NYTIMES article “What Explains U.S. Mass Shootings? International Comparisons Suggest an Answer” the following statistic jumped out
Americans make up about 4.4 percent of the global population but own 42 percent of the world’s guns. From 1966 to 2012, 31 percent of the gunmen in mass shootings worldwide were American, according to a 2015 study by Adam Lankford, a professor at the University of Alabama.
The article then goes on to show that most of the assumed contributor to why America has such a high rate of mass shooting. after demonstrating how none of these can be identifed as the contributor it makes th following statement
Rather, they found, in data that has since been repeatedly confirmed, that American crime is simply more lethal. A New Yorker is just as likely to be robbed as a Londoner, for instance, but the New Yorker is 54 times more likely to be killed in the process.
Our love of guns seems to be the major contributor.
More gun ownership corresponds with more gun murders across virtually every axis: among developed countries, among American states, among American towns and cities and when controlling for crime rates. And gun control legislation tends to reduce gun murders, according to a recent analysis of 130 studies from 10 countries.
The article relies on data to establish its argument. The net result, America is a culture unlike any other with a second amendment right, which one can argue, is the reason we are such a dangerous country to live in.
After Britain had a mass shooting in 1987, the country instituted strict gun control laws. So did Australia after a 1996 shooting. But the United States has repeatedly faced the same calculus and determined that relatively unregulated gun ownership is worth the cost to society.
The article concludes with the following statement that cause one to wonder who are we this country called the United States of America
“In retrospect Sandy Hook marked the end of the US gun control debate,” Dan Hodges, a British journalist, wrote in a post on Twitter two years ago, referring to the 2012 attack that killed 20 young students at an elementary school in Connecticut. “Once America decided killing children was bearable, it was over.”