America is not Great

America is not great.

America is not even good.

America is a country where children are being gunned down in their schools, in their homes, in their churches.

America is not great.

America is not even good.

America is a country where white men with and without criminal histories can buy guns on the streets, in the stores, from their neighbors-next-door whose names they don’t even know.

America is a country where a white man’s right to own a gun outweighs the rights of a child to attend school without fear of being slaughtered before recess.

America is not great.

America is not even good.

America is a country where the mentally ill cannot get health insurance, cannot get the care they need, the meds that would keep at bay the voices that tell them to buy more guns, to kill more people than the gunman before them.

America is not great.

America is not even good.

America is the country where the votes of Congressmen and Congress women are up for hire.

America is a country where the National Rifle Association controls the president and Mitch McConnell. Paul Ryan and half of the GOP. They all vote the way the NRA wants them to vote so that they can continue collecting monies from the NRA, a pro-death organization intent on arming every man, woman and child.

America is not great.

America is not even good.

America thrives off of its abilities to glorify war and gunmen.

America is the place where ignorant bullies and sexual predators can get elected to the highest office in the land.

America is not great.

America is not even good.

America is the place where a five-year old boy goes to church to learn about the wounds of Jesus only to suffer five gun wounds himself. A boy who can’t yet even read a chapter book is fighting for his life in a Texas hospital because he was shot five times while in church. While in church.

Save your pious prayers for another day,another gunman. Snuff out your candles. Stay home from the senseless vigils. Any country that ensures the rights of the gunman over the rights of the child isn’t great. It’s not even good.

America is a war zone.

America is a country where blood runs in the streets, in the school hallways, down the center aisles of the churches, and puddles around the altar and all those dead and dying bodies.

The teenage daughter of a pastor.

First-graders huddled in a closet with their terrified teacher.

People gathered for bible study.

America is not great.

America is not even good.

A good country would take better care of its children.

A great country would ensure that children would never be slaughtered in its streets, in its schools, in its churches.

But America isn’t great.

It isn’t even good.

Not even God can help a country that won’t help its self.

It’s not that God can’t hear the prayers. It’s just that he’s not the one with the problem. We are.

God is waiting on us to do something.

Anything.

To heal ourselves.

And our nation from the gun violence that’s besieged us.

When will we rise up and demand action?

Karen Spears Zacharias is author of CHRISTIAN BEND: A Novel (Mercer University Press).

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

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