Redemptive violence in Seattle?

I knew it was time to jump back into blogging yesterday morning. Perhaps anger and grief is an impetus for writing.

Six people died yesterday from one person firing one gun in Seattle. Two of the victims were local musicians having their morning cup at a coffee shop I have been to. It sits adjacent to a great music store with guitars and mandolins and recycled gear out the door. There was no provocation – just a sick man with a handgun who walked into the Racer Cafe and killed 4 people; then murdered another woman several miles away to hijack her car.–155838715.html. Eventually, 4 blocks from my friend’s house, he turned the gun on himself .

Six people are gone due to senseless violence.

I guess I need to be clear. I support more stringent gun control laws. And I support actively encouraging a society to look for nonviolent solutions to all problems. Sadly, in this case, the shooter’s own father had pursued revoking his son’s concealed weapon license, aware that he was troubled and becoming more easily angered. But the response from authorities was essentially that they did not have the right to revoke it because he was NOT, at that time, a danger to himself or others.

It makes one wonder why it isn’t possible to intervene in situations like these, especially when a family member goes to authorities on their behalf. Freedom to own and operate a gun should not trump the right to live in a safe society.

Some people see events like this and think, “I need to make sure my gun is handy in case something like this happens to me or my family.” (“Damn it” – could be thrown on the end of that sentence.) So, you can kill the perpetrator. True, that may hault violence perpetrated in the short run – and potentially save someone you know. But ultimately, and when taken in consideration of the whole cycle of violence, it only feeds into the societal myth of redemptive violence that keeps us susceptible to other less subtle forms of violence like murder and rape.

And to think we imagine ourselves a nation founded on “Christian” principles. Let’s see, would that be the principle where Jesus encouraged his followers to a violent uprising against the Romans or the one who said “Blessed are those who kill to create peace” or was it that sly fox who said, “If someone slaps your left cheek, beat the crap out of them?”

OK, so I am angry. At the entire situation. And at myself. I know that there is much more I can do to help create a world of peace and justice.

Enough already. Let’s get on with the work that matters.

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3 Responses to Redemptive violence in Seattle?

  1. Thanks for your righteous anger at this horrendous situation, Shannon. Indeed there is much work to be done.

  2. Judi McMillan says:

    It’s so sad the authorities didn’t listen to the father, who had inside information and could see the change in his son. I recall a story a while back where a church partnered with the local police to buy back guns, no questions asked. The guns were destroyed. It may have been peacemaking grant funds which supported the cause.

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