Niagara Gazette — It’s no coincidence that there was a time in American history when people regarded weapons as the last line of defense - the sort of thing used only in defense of home or country, reluctantly picked up duty called in far off places like Germany or Japan.
My father had shotguns in our house my entire life. He was an avid hunter. My uncles were the same way. For generations, people have owned guns for recreation or self defense.
The majority do not use them to gun down the innocent because, well, they knew better. They respected the damage their weapons could do, handled they safely at all times.
Beyond that, their moral fiber wouldn’t allow for such things. Truth be told, in most cases, they’d have a difficult time fathoming such plots, much less carrying them out.
Obviously, in light of all these recent shootings, times — and people — have changed.
No longer do deranged individuals seek out presidents or “famous people” to murder.
They grab their guns and go to the schools and the shopping malls and the beauty salons and the movie theaters.
What’s the answer?
Is there one?
Our pastor, I believe, put it in the proper perspective Sunday when she left the congregation with a few pieces of advice as they headed back out into the world for the week — a week in which many are preparing for the Mayan calendar and what they believe may well be the end of our world.
She reminded us that everyday’s a gift and anyone’s time can come at any given moment.
She encouraged us to hug our kids, appreciate our friends, forgive our trespassers and tell those we love that they are loved.
Because, dear friends, you just never know.
In this world, it seems, nothing’s certain — or sacred — anymore.