Normally, I despise “apology letters” written by people who didn’t commit the offense themselves. But I’m trying to speak the language of the People Who Love Apology Letters. And, since SOMEONE definitely owes you an apology for the thing I came across today, I’ve decided to tackle it.
I’m sorry that fear and lack-of-understanding of your culture has resulted in undue blame for crimes you never committed.
It has been observed many times that fear of differences often causes people to say shocking, damaging things. It causes us to shout our own perspective, loudly and uncompromisingly, to the exclusion of those who think differently…
Some of my brothers and sisters in Christ have allowed their fear of Gun Culture to influence the way they interract with Gun Owners, in ways which (unfortunately) breed even MORE fear and MORE division.
Sometimes these well-meaning Christians let their understandable fear, grief, or anger cause them to write misguided and hurtful things to their gun-owning neighbors:
To the innocent men and women who are being preemptively blamed for a hypothetical Grocery Store Shooting, I am so sorry.
I’m thinking especially of my real-life friends: Bill, Russ, Allen, and David. But I know literally dozens of other responsible gun-owners, who probably don’t want to be listed by name in a cultural climate where they are held responsible for Child-Killers.
Please try to understand, the words being written about you PERSONALLY are not really meant to be taken that way. If I filled a hallway with people like Bill and Russ and Allen and David (and the rest of you careful, compassionate, and community-minded neighbors), no one would dare look you in the eye and deliver an inflammatory speech about dead children that doesn’t apply to you.
When we say that we want to be united as Americans against the Bad Guys, we really mean it–even though our emotions cause us to misidentify those Bad Guys at times.
I’m sorry that the cycle of fear and mistrust continues with every careless thing written about Gun-Owners as a group.
I’m sorry that the same people who believe the government is running literal concentration camps at the boarder have said, loud and clear, that they STILL trust that government more than they trust you…
I’m sorry that propoganda is so pervasive, and that some have chosen to wield their weapon of words against you, even though you would never use your metal weapons against them.
You didn’t kill anyone, and you don’t deserve to be treated like you did.
That said–I know the person from the above screenshot in real-life, and I believe she’s genuine in her desire to make a difference in this world, through LOVE rather than fear. If this was just a lapse in judgment, please don’t hold it against her. We are still in this together, as fellow Americans against Evil, even though this growing loyalty to Policies rather than People feels like betrayal.
Someone has to stop the cycle of fear and division. Let it be you.
Be courageous. Be brave. Step in. Raise your voice.
And remember this post in case you are called to respond to a fearful neighbor with grace and patience today.
That’s far more likely than being shot.
P.S. As an addendum, I want to note that I’ve been in conversation with Conservatives today about the so-called Red Flag laws and the pros/cons of allowing private citizens to identify when an individual may NOT be fit to own guns. I’m genuinely open-minded because I believe communities are the first line of defense against criminals. It has been encouraging to interact with fair and reasonable gun-owners to be reminded that there are very few “clinging to their guns” out of pride and selfishness. Most of the people against gun control are simply concerned that the Government Bad Guys will be even more unstoppable than a rogue Shooter, and they’re trying to protect ALL OF US from being treated like criminals when we’re not.