Focus Text: Habakkuk 1:1-4; 2:1-4
O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not listen? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Why do you make me see wrongdoing and look at trouble?
Pastoral Reflection by Rev. Rachel R. Smith, Chaplain, Vigils Against Violence, Raleigh; Board of Directors, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
The school year of 2006 began rather quietly as most school years do. But on August 30th, a boy with a gun walked into a high school in Hillsborough, NC, and the new school year was marked by violence.
Little did we know that this August 30th shooting at a North Carolina high school would be a harbinger of a national spate of school shootings. The young shooter in Hillsborough had a deadly plan and a number of guns; after killing his father he shot and wounded a student at a nearby high school.
Personal Vignette by the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham
My name is Joslin Sims. My son Rayburn Sims was murdered at the corner of Leon St. and Broad St. on May 21, 2005. He was thirty years old. When I got the call, I didn’t know what to expect – my son, Billy, said, “Momma, he’s gonna be alright.” Once I got to the hospital and it took them a while to come and get me, I realized then that it was worse than what I thought. And once they took me back there and told me that he was dead, I didn’t accept it. I couldn’t accept it. I said, “He’s not my son. He’s not dead.” I started screaming. And then I kept thinking, why would somebody kill him?
Guns kill more than 1,000 North Carolinians every year. In 2005 (the latest figures available), approximately every six days a North Carolina child seventeen or younger was killed by a gun in a homicide, suicide, or unintentional shooting. Total deaths for the year 2005 were 1,126 adults and children.