February 02, 2023

By Wendy Gladney


As a writer and speaker, gun violence has not been one of my main topics.  However, it is difficult to talk about love, forgiveness, and healing without understanding what is happening with gun violence and the needless killings that continue to take place.

Hurt people will always hurt other people. People killing each other, even within their own race, culture, or community is nothing new, but what can we do to not only stop the gun violence and needless killings, but also heal the hurt inside the individuals that continue to do such acts. Guns kill.

Historically, guns have been used to wield power and even as currency in exchange for something wanted or needed.  What should be seen as a tool to defend and protect is often manipulated as a weapon to enforce death.  I am not against people having the right to bear arms and own a gun to protect themselves and their families, but why are so many people using guns to randomly kill innocent people? 

Just in recent news, we see the deadly mass shooting in Monterrey Park, California, and the shooting rampage in Half Moon Bay, south of San Francisco, and then just last night, my husband was sharing with me about the schoolteacher who was shot by a six-year-old student.  Where does a six-year-old get a gun and how does it even get on an elementary school property? Where are the parents?

When it comes to guns, there must be stricter rules on who and how people can purchase and possess them.  They must also be held accountable on how they store them and keep them out of the hands of children.  After all, we are not in the wild, wild west. (Although some may think we are).

I also feel that if someone is going to own a gun, they should take the time to get the proper training on how to use it and keep it contained. Be responsible. There are definitely individuals who have no business owning or carrying a gun if they are unstable, have mental challenges, have been drinking, or a whole list of other reasons. But, how do we police that process?

On a deeper level, if we are not able to control guns being on the streets and in people’s homes, how do we protect ourselves from potentially being a victim? We have all heard the saying that if you see something, say something.  This can be a good deterrent if someone is about to do something, and if you can get help, do so asap!

Secondly, if you see, feel, or even suspect that you, or others, could be in danger, flee and get out of there right away. Do not stick around to see what might happen. Furthermore, we need to also try and get to the root of why so many people are acting out with this type of violence.  What makes them take their anger, frustration, and rage out by actually killing others.  We must deal with mental illness.

In looking at what has been happening just recently in the news, the killings have varied from hate crimes to random outbreaks with no rhyme or reason.  To get to the bottom of this and to hopefully make an impact on decreasing gun violence, it is going to have to be something that all aspects of society get involved – government, community, churches, families, and individuals. 

If you see someone in trouble, do not be afraid to speak up and say something. We must figure out how to restore love, kindness, and healing to our communities.

Healing Without Hate: It's a choice. It's a lifestyle. Pass it on.

Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.

Category: Opinion