If there was one thing the LIPSTICK women wanted us to take away from the workshop, it was the compelling question, “Where did the gun come from?” They rightly pointed out that when a shooting happens, the media focuses almost exclusively on the shooter and the victim. Certainly the story of the crime needs to be told, but if we end the story there we ignore the tragic realities of how gun trafficking is providing easy access to weapons that are used in these tragic and preventable shootings. So, we need to begin to ask, after every shooting, “Where did the gun come from?”
As I rode home on Saturday to Newbury from the conference in Roxbury, I realized that I would soon be immersed in the busy pace of an active parish and family life, and I could easily let the urgency I felt about this issue get buried under the surface. But the LIPSTICK women really got to me. Their question rings in my ears — “Where did the gun come from?” I live not far from I-95. At night when I lie in bed if I listen carefully I can hear the traffic going past. The last couple of nights I lay there wondering, how many of those vehicles going by are carrying guns south to Boston that will be used to kill people in the inner-city? I know I have the right to remain silent … but should I? The ship of silence has sailed for me. As a follower of one who came embodying peace and healing for a hurting world, I feel compelled to speak out and encourage each of us to keep asking, “Where are the guns coming from?” Then let’s dare to wonder and pray for guidance for doing something about it!
The Rev. Martha Hubbard is the rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Newburyport.