It happened again.

I woke up this morning to the sickening news of another mass murder. Another day where I won’t let my kids turn on the TV because I don’t want them knowing this is happening in their country. I am honest with them about most things, but the random slaughter of innocent humans is more than their little hearts should bear.

Like they always do after a tragedy like this, America’s self-serving asshole politicians crowed from their perches, “thoughts and prayers! thoughts and prayers!” I’m sure they felt so smug and self-satisfied after doing so: thanks to thoughts and prayers they don’t have to actually do any work. They can go back to business-as-usual in Washington, where nothing gets done and everyone blames everyone else. But, hey, thoughts and prayers, right?

Effective immediately, gun control will be MY defining issue in all elections. If a candidate takes even one cent from the NRA, no vote! If a candidate doesn’t have a solid plan for addressing gun violence, no vote! If a candidate tweets “thoughts and prayers” after the murder of dozens of innocent Americans, (Click here to see every member of Congress who took money from the NRA and tweeted thoughts and prayers today.)

But, you know what, I can do more than depend on our asshole politicians to come to our rescue. I can:

1. Support mental health initiatives – this includes being ok with my taxes going towards programs that help people who are struggling. We all have to be ok with this. We all have to contribute to the mental well-being of all of us. OK???

2. Vote for candidates who make gun control a top priority. See what I wrote above if this point isn’t clear enough.

3. Chill out on the 2nd Amendment: I’m not advocating we get rid of guns – our country is waaaay too far gone for that. But, there is no reason some of these weapons need to be available to whoever wants them. And, what is the problem with background checks? Before buying a gun maybe everybody needs a “letter of reference” from three people affirming that the purchaser isn’t a total loony. We need to think outside the box for solutions. Geez.

4. Spread kindness. Seriously, just be nice to everyone and give everyone a break every now and then. We all have our moments and we all could benefit from a little extra love.

5. Pray. Yeah yeah yeah I get that this kinda contradicts what I’ve been saying, but hear me out: if praying is your thing (and it happens to be mine), pray for the strength to do points 1-4 above. Maybe we need to stop asking God to change how other people behave, and instead ask God for support in how we behave. If you are surrounded by gun-rights advocates, pray for the strength to voice your opinion in their presence so they are forced to question their own beliefs. If you don’t want your tax dollars going to support mental health initiatives, pray for a generous heart and an open mind. If you can’t be kind to EVERYONE who crosses your path, ask God for help. Pray to be a messenger for peace – wouldn’t it be nice if this is what the politicians actually “thought and prayed” for?!

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