Tears for Lilly

We are not going to stop writing about it – the violence that has become part of the everyday fare of our country. Road rage is blamed for a man pulling up along side a car on a New Mexico interstate and opening fire. When he was done, four-year old Lilly Garcia was dead, an innocent occupant and now deceased victim of a kind of violence the tragedy of which is exceeded only by the stupidity of those involved and responsible.

Our children can not go to school without violence following them. We can’t go to a movie or shopping without fearing some disgruntled person will start shooting. We can’t be social workers, police officers and yes – heaven help you if you are a person of color. But driving?

The automobile is our sanctuary. It is not only the means we use to get to the places we escape to; it is our escape! It is the idol of our time, the one thing we have convinced ourselves we cannot live without! We can’t work or play without getting behind the wheel. We have devised all sorts of means and mechanisms to keep ourselves safe and comfortable there – from our heated seats to the extravagant contraptions we use to secure our children – the car is our oasis. But you know the saying: “Wherever you go, there you are.”

Grown men driving on the interstate don’t have the self-discipline to stay in their lane? They have to cut each other off and drive aggressively … and why is that? How can you be old enough to be a parent and not wise enough to drive defensively when your children are in the car? And the guy who did the shooting – really? It seemed a reasonable move in this game of vehicular “Chicken” to pull up along side and indiscriminately start shooting?

I mourn for the family whose child has been taken from them. I wonder how Lilly’s dad will go through life with this reality riding his shoulder – that even the slightest bit of restraint on his part could have prevented the death of his daughter. And the man with the gun – the life he has known is over, too. How did these two men become so angry that they would sacrifice a child and jeopardize themselves and so many innocents?

The longer this all goes on, the weaker is the argument that we need more people owning and carrying guns. It is tragic enough that one of those drivers was armed. I shudder to think what greater sadness there would be had they both been packing.

To the argument that says: “Guns don’t kill people. People do.” I would counter with this – that we can’t get rid of the people; but we can get rid of the guns – at least some of them. And it’s long past time we did.

The Road Rage Story: http://www.cnn.com/2015/10/21/us/child-road-rage-death/index.html

 

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.