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What is Ours to Do

[caption id="attachment_4632" align="alignright" width="200"] Blog by Sr. Anne Lythgoe, OP[/caption] What is ours to do is sometimes a lifelong task, what we came into this world to do, our mission, our personal calling, our vocation.  We are wired to belong, to pay attention to each other. We all want to be part of something greater than ourselves. It is what makes us join clubs or engage in social media. It is part of being human. Actually, more to the point, it is the Divine spark within us that draws us to each other and through which we become more human.  We cannot miss the moment that is ours to do in any situation. We are at an incredibly important moment in this country. The recent murder of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Florida, has inflamed my sense of outrage over what is ours to do as a country. Too many times we end up simply making public statements about thoughts and prayers and calling for action from elected officials. What really stays with me is the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, where 20 first graders (5-year-olds) along with 6 adults were shot to death.  FIRST GRADERS. And we have done nothing to change our national civil discourse on gun control. Children are being slaughtered. This is as much a pro-life issue as abortion. We allowed babies to be murdered and we could not find what was ours to do in that situation. What is ours to do now? Can we change the discussion on gun control to something more meaningful, more fruitful? It is ours to do to protect our children from harm and to respect the Second Amendment right to bear arms. These do not have to be conflicting values. Gun owners themselves, although they have a right to own guns, need to join the effort to protect society, especially our children, from gun violence. Can they reach across this chasm?  Those who work against gun violence need to reach across the chasm as well, to find a common solution to the death of children. Can they have civil conversations with gun owners? Will it lead to anything? We, the Leadership Team of the Dominican Sisters of Peace, are working to encourage all of our schools, and Dominican schools across the country to participate actively in the planned marches that call for walk-out and a call for Congress and our society to do some meaningful to work together to control guns.  We define common sense gun control as: 1) universal background checks 2) a ban on assault weapons 3) increased mental health services and screening. No matter what your position is on owning guns, we need to find a way to keep people who should not have them from killing our children. This is ours to do.

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