Pictured above is the Memorial for the victims of the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School
Back in the early 90’s a youth group I was working with experienced 5 tragic deaths in 9 months. All teenage boys. One, a suicide. Four, accidents with handguns. One Sunday evening as we were closing the usual youth meeting with a prayer circle where people could pray for any needs, a girl choked up as she prayed, “Please, just make it stop.” No more explanation than that. But then, none was needed.
The memory of that prayer echoes in my heart this Wednesday as I sit in front of my computer monitor to write for our newsletter. A monitor with tabs open to updates on the horror brought on Uvalde, Texas yesterday afternoon. A horror that comes just days after the horror of the racist massacre in Buffalo, New York on May 14. People killed while shopping because they were Black. And yesterday it looks like a 4th grade class barricaded in their classroom and massacred.
There is a helplessness in the face of a natural disaster. But there is an anger that fills the helplessness in the face of entirely human-made disaster. Because we should not be helpless, but we have made ourselves helpless. The satirical news site The Onion is running a story today that it runs every time there is a senseless shooting like this. It’s the same story every time, except for the place and the date, ‘No Way to Prevent This,’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens. It’s bitter humor, and there is truth there.
There is so much that could be done and needs to be done. But today all I can muster is emptiness. And a howl of rage. And a whispered prayer.
Please, Just Make It Stop.