On Tuesday afternoon when I left to pick up Clare from school, I noticed some police cars gathering just a few doors down the street. I was late, as usual, so I thought, hmmm, that's a lot of police cars, and then went on.
They were still there when we got back, and an ambulance was just pulling away. Police were still there, interviewing people on the lawn and looking very busy.
I'm still not sure what happened; there's an ongoing investigation; but we do know it was a home invasion.
On my street.
And now, every single person in this country who has ever loved a child is fixated on the horror story unfolding on our news channels. Children dead. There is no explanation that will ever make sense of this. But the real horror is that it's happened before, many times. And it will happen again unless we do something different in response, this time.
My friend Jennifer Bayne is right: it's exactly time to politicize the hell out of this, because politics is the way we organize our lives together on this planet. And right now we're not living with each other. We're killing each other.
We can do better. We have to do better.
Like the desolate mother in Ramah, I refuse to be comforted. Comfort brings resolution, complacency, forgetfulness. We don't need comfort. We need some anger. We need the energy and clarity that such anger brings. And we need to put that to work.
We need to make it harder for people to kill people with guns. We need to make it impossible.
Start a petition like my friend Jen Bayne. Speak up like my friend Ken, even if people slap you down. Pledge like my friend Scott to write, to lobby, to rally, to educate others about the need for gun control. Write the people whose job it is to represent you and make policy for all of us. And do your part in confronting the subculture of violence and hatred and shaming that explodes, not out of nowhere, in the middle of elementary schools and kills 5-year-olds and their teachers.
We need more than prayer. We need politics. We need politics motivated by our prayers.