(Todd A. Smith)

As a veteran journalist very few news stories get me emotional.

For many journalists, Sept. 11 was their D-day.

For me, that day is May 24 when 19 innocent babies and two teachers at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, Texas had their lives snatched by an evil soul, determined to do the devil’s work on Earth.

The tragedy in Uvalde, Texas had me at a loss for words.

It left me emotional.

The testimonies of the witnesses and survivors got me choked up.

Journalists are paid to speak on issues and stories.

But what can you say because talking and writing has gotten us nowhere?

Action is needed.

People have rightfully said we need more than thoughts and prayers.

However, diminishing the power of prayer is a grave mistake.

Prayer is not just a passive exercise.

It is communicating with our Lord and Savior and believing in Him to move on the hearts and minds of people.

Many people say we need more gun control such as expanded background checks so that people with mental health issues and criminal backgrounds will be prevented from legally purchasing a firearm.

Many people say that 18-year-olds should not be able to purchase weapons of war when they cannot even drink.

All those things will have a positive impact.

But Salvador Ramos, 18, would have passed a background check.

Therefore, only upping the age-limit would have made a difference in the tragedy that occurred May 24.

Many people say the only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

People with that mentality believe that to stop mass shootings, armed guards should patrol schools, places of worship, factories, etc.

But according to reports, armed officers approached the school and retreated when fired upon.

It then took approximately an hour for a special tactical team to come together and enter the classroom that Ramos had entered and locked.

Prior to the tactical team entering the building and killing Ramos, parents of Robb Elementary students pleaded with the officers assembled outside of the schoolhouse to let them enter, so that they could take matters into their own hands, since officers were hesitant to approach Ramos.

Therefore, if all those armed officers could not prevent mass carnage, adding more guns to the streets will not solve this problem, which seems unique to gun-loving Americans.

Furthermore, 10 African-Americans lost their lives at Topps supermarket in Buffalo, N.Y. when a White supremacist committed one of the most heinous and hateful attacks in recent memory.

Topps had a retired police officer working as armed security.

But the alleged murderer wore tactical gear and a bulletproof vest, meaning that gunfire from the security guard did little to stop the carnage.

As a result, the good guy with a gun argument is unlikely to succeed unless the American military is deployed to every public and private place in the country.

Even then, the good guy with a gun logic might not work.

Regardless, who wants to go to school or the grocery store if it is surrounded by the military?

Americans cannot be so in love with their guns that they willingly want to live in a constant war zone.

Nevertheless, America still finds itself in a war zone whenever children go to school, or the elderly go to the grocery store.

But America’s war has a spiritual component as well.

America needs gun reform.

America needs more security at public places.

America needs better police training.

But America needs its spirituality and morality back as well.

For too many years and decades, America has gotten away from everything religious or spiritual.

Religious figures are ridiculed, while sin is glorified and glamorized.

And no matter how popular Hollywood, the media and politicians make sin and immorality, the wages of sin are still death.

Should America advocate one religion over the next?

Absolutely not.

But should spirituality and faith be eliminated from all walks of life?

No indeed.

We see what happens when people are devoid of morality, faith, compassion and empathy, tenets of many religions.

Many will blame the shootings on mental health struggles.

While mental health struggles are real, evil is just as real and prevalent.

Many people struggle from serious mental health issues.

Many of those same people live their entire lives without committing mass murder.

Therefore, blaming everything on mental illness is a way to dismiss the realities of God and Satan in this thing we call life.

Both are real, regardless of what some people might believe.

Although both are very real, they are not the only real issue.

Therefore, America needs to take a real look at the problem and create a holistic solution to this epidemic of mass murder.

A wise person once said that more than one thing can be correct.

In the case of mass shootings, especially the ones targeting the elderly and our babies, politicians must get out their ideological bubble and realize that no party has a monopoly on good ideas, to paraphrase former President Barack Obama.

Once upon a time, before cable news and social media got so popular and divisive, politicians could work together to do what was in the best interest of their constituents.

Now it seems, it is more about pleasing the extremists of each party so that they can remain and power and not face blowback from powerful lobbying groups and powerful talking heads in the media.

But for once, can politicians take a little from the left and a little from the right and at least try to make a difference on the issue of saving children’s lives.

All are right on somethings.

All are wrong on somethings.

Just take the good from each side, such as protecting the Second Amendment, while also making it harder for the wrong people to get weapons, while at the same time praying for the soul of the country.

It should not be this hard.

Even if it does not eliminate the problem, aren’t our babies worth the effort, at least?

Todd A. Smith
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