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Janiss here, and a bit earlier than usual. I’m answering my own question tonight: “How can we stop mass shootings?”

I wish I could talk to each and every one of these intended shooters beforehand…all of them.

FromTheDeskOfJanissSignatureCall me, text me, email me, knock on my door, whatever; just get to me. Tell me what you’re thinking. Believe me; you do not want to know what taking a life feels like. And if you’re so dead inside you cannot empathize with ending the existence of another, you deserve to be put down.

You read that right. Destroyed. Killed off. Permanently removed from society.

I’m not talking about soldiers in wartime (we’ll skip my conscientious objections for now). I’m talking about the premeditated planning to murder the innocent.

Yes, I’m a vampire: an alpha predator, a near-perfect killer. I won’t tell you I can’t flip a switch and commit murder because I damn well can…but I won’t. I save that rage for those who lack the capacity to feel anything for anyone else, and only when someone else is in danger.

There’s a difference between a person who believes they have no choice but to kill and someone who delights in causing suffering, who feels righteous taking innocent lives. These aren’t acts of terror; they’re acts of evil.

I’m not 100% Country Girl, but I understand you need guns on a farm. Firearms are necessary to protect against local wildlife when you live outside of the city, places where your nearest neighbor is miles away and the police aren’t going to get there in time…ever. And let’s not delude ourselves; as long as there’s war, weapons designed to kill large groups of people will also exist no matter how many bans or restrictions you place on them.

All you need is love.

Fine, laugh now…get it out of your system. But if we all started connecting – really connecting – and offering a lifeline of understanding to one other, this kind of thing not only wouldn’t happen, it simply couldn’t.

Love thy neighbor.

Yes, me and my silly dreams. It’s all easy to say when you’re safe and surrounded by friends, but what if you aren’t?

We have to find a way to make the fear and anger go away. It can’t be one charity or a fun run or whatever-awareness month. It has to be everyone, all the time, making allowances to give to each other. We have to help each other through the anger and sadness and just everything.

Maybe I’m completely naive, but I know what it means to go on when you’ve taken an innocent life, no matter how accidental you tell yourself it was or that you didn’t mean it.

I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy. I don’t want you to become my worst enemy, either.

Put down your bombs, your guns, and your knives and just talk to someone…or become the person someone can talk to.

Keep each other safe.

~ Janiss

Email janiss.connelly@cedarcrestsanctum.com
Twitter @JanissConnelly
Instagram @janiss.connelly

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