It wasn't long before all media returned to the usual suspects. If only President Obama would say "Islamic Terrorism." If only we banned Muslims from entering the country or took stronger military action in the Middle East. If only we passed laws restricting access to guns. The fact is, at least on my view, none of these actions would be effective. Singling out an entire religion that comprises nearly a quarter of the word's population is only likely to radicalize people further. Even with more background checks, there are still a lot of guns out there, and getting one is not likely to become difficult anytime soon.
But the silence, the pause. I remember hearing Buddhist psychologist Tara Brach talk about how often the result of various spiritual practices is to create just a few seconds of space. In that pause we can stop before we make a hurtful comment or do a harmful act. Those few seconds can make all of the difference. What we need regarding gun violence is some disruptive thinking--something that takes us into a new direction when we realize that the current political dialogue isn't working. That requires a real knock on the head, or more likely several, resulting, finally, in a few moments of real reflection.
I have said before that we will not see change until there are large numbers of protesters outside of gun shows or churches putting tiny crosses on their lawns in memory of women killed by guns and not only for abortions as some do now. Most of the time I am skeptical that such things will happen. No one really cares enough to upset the status quo, and the concern for life often seems to end at birth.
But there was that pause.