On Tuesday, January 23, in Benton, Kentucky, there was a school shooting. Bailey Holt and Preston Cope were killed by a fellow classmate wielding a gun. Another eighteen were wounded. (This was the eleventh school shooting in 2018 with the end of the first month of this year still days away.)

I was shocked; stirred to the core of my being. Any death, especially the murder of the innocent, is soulfully eviscerating of all that I can conceive and do believe is holy, that is, of God.

However, I was not surprised. In America, school shootings and killings are a dreadfully commonplace happening. So commonplace that, I also am not surprised that when (not if) they occur, two different voices, at least, in the instant moment, predominate our public airspace – one staunchly championing stricter gun control laws and one, as vigorously, promoting gun rights. (Here, I confess, that I identify with the former position, though I know folk, truly, I have friends who stand on the latter side.)

This said, whenever there is a school shooting…and another…and another – so many that, over the passage of time, surely, I forget the names of the cities, towns, and villages where they occur and, sadly, I forget the names of the slain and wounded – I wonder, I fear when will I, in sorrowful addition to no longer being surprised, no longer be shocked?


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