Just another victim


It happened again. After the fact, I find out a member of my church has been shot. The good news is that he lived.

The good news is that he lived.

This is what it has come down to in our community. If he ain’t dead, it’s all good. The text said, “…was shot at. He’s fine. Bullet grazed him.”

He’s fine.

Washington is in an uproar about gun control. Next week recommendations will come out. Next week the NRA will blather on about infringement of rights. Next week congress will probably have a press conference.

And next week I’ll go to another hearing to support the family of Darius Simmons. And next week I’ll be praying with the young man who should not in anyway be “fine” after being shot but who in all actuality probably is “fine.” And next week there will be suicides and domestic violence involving guns. And next week, as it was this week and last week, if they live it is good news.

I know how we protect our young men, giving them hope and a future. I know how we break the cycle of violence that plagues our city. I know how we move from a desensitized people that says a bullet grazing is fine. I know it because I see a different story lived out all the time. It begins with jobs. It begins with schools. It begins with role models. It begins with high expectations. It begins with positive places to be. It begins with men leading our communities and showing boys and teens what it really means to be a man. It begins with gun control. It begins with mental health care. It begins with a community and a Church that stands on the corners where the gun shells falls and says, “We do not give up this space. It is ours.” That says, “Not one more young man, not one more victim.”

I know all this. And still, tonight, I am comforted by the good news that he lived. And I ask how will we ever keep our young men safe? How will we break the cycle? How do we stop being fine?