Paschal Meditation – Day Twenty Seven
Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen!
“Serbian citizens have handed over nearly 6,000 unregistered weapons in the first three days of a month-long amnesty period that is part of an anti-gun crackdown following two mass shootings last week, police said on Thursday.”
“Police also have received nearly 300,000 rounds of ammunition and about 470 explosive devices during the same period, the Serbian interior Ministry said on Instagram.”
“The effort to rid Serbia of excessive guns was launched after 17 people were killed in two mass shootings last week and 21 were wounded, many them children. One of the shootings took place in a school for the first time in Serbia.”
The above are not exactly the usual types of passages chosen to deepen our appreciation of the paschal mystery of the Death and Resurrection of Christ. These are quotations that I have taken from a recent Associated Press article (May 11) about the reaction in Serbia over the two horrible mass shootings that had occurred there just last week. (Serbians have a high per capita rate of gun ownership dating back to the Balkan Wars of the 1990s). The Serbians are not used to what we, as Americans, are accustomed to on an almost daily basis: gun violence that claims the lives even of our children. It is my impression that a kind of collective shock, horror and dismay have overcome much of the population in Serbia, and thus the cooperation on the part of a wide range of its citizenry to oppose these mass shootings, by (voluntarily?) turning in their weapons following a government mandate to that effect.
Overwhelmed by the sheer number of mass shootings in our country, we no longer seem that horrified over such killing sprees. Hence, the entrenched reluctance to take any significant action in controlling the ownership of the urban equivalent of “weapons of mass destruction:” high-powered rifles such as the A-15, apparently the new weapon of choice among mass shooters. But perhaps we need to first transform our “gun culture” before we can meaningfully pass “gun laws.” Whatever the solution may be, the Serbian people (primarily Orthodox Christians) have provided an example of civic responsibility and humane care for their fellow citizens – beginning with their children. I just heard a fellow Orthodox priest publicly say that “the Church must do something about gun violence.”
Perhaps the questions posed for Christians should be something like: What do we need to do to best protect our children? What can we do to best serve the Gospel of peace and righteousness?