I spent about an hour in Mayor Wharton’s office listening to Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong talk about the family of slain police officer Lang. The weapon used to take Officer Lang’s life was stolen. It was the same kind of automatic weapon used by the shooter in Newtown, Conn., to take the lives of innocent children and their guardian angel teachers – as well as his own mother. Wharton described a devastating picture of teenagers and young adults in our own city who are angry and out of control – who have guns – and who are using them without conscience.
The tragedy in Newtown is a tragedy that our own city bears. The only difference, we get the report of deaths day by day that we have grown numb to the violence that inhabits our own streets. Until we are willing to take a stand and take action to address the issues of angry young men with guns, and mental and emotional problems, we are left to face these kinds of losses again and again and again.
It is time to begin to take up this cross – to pray daily for our policemen and first responders for their safety and protection, t take action and communicate with our legislators to change the guns laws in this community and this country and get automatic weapons out of the hands of average citizens, and to realize that young people and their parents who live in our own city need help emotionally, educationally, and spiritually. May God give us wisdom and innovative solutions on how to guide the hands that are holding guns to hold one another’s hands in peace.