According to the latest news article, nineteen children and two teachers are dead. This morning, hundreds of people are reeling, their lives forever changed, because a young man chose to exercise an act of evil out of some deep dark place in his mind/soul.

When I did a Google search trying to find the latest information on the shooting, every search result contained information on stricter gun control. Wherever you are on that issue, I’m going to ask that you put your thoughts aside for just a minute, and let’s explore the topic from a different perspective.

I’ll admit, it does seem that it is frighteningly easy to purchase a gun. But, we can debate and argue about that all day long. It’s a “political” issue, and when things are political, whatever side you land on, we do a lot of talking about it, and results are slow to be implemented.

And this is my opinion, but it seems that when people want something, they find a way to get it.

Marijuana is illegal in North Carolina, yet I know folks that have ready access to it. Both in its plant form, edibles, and even beverages. Then, there are other things that we shouldn’t have, but if we want it badly enough, we get it. I mean, heck, you can google how to make a bomb. So we can have stricter gun laws all we want to, but there are enough guns already out there, and the damage is done.

The most troublesome thing to me is that in my Google search for info on the shooting, not one article addressed the need for better opportunities for mental health.

I don’t care what kind of “armed weapon” someone has; to have thoughts of killing people is not ok. That person needs help. And that person need not be ashamed to seek help because they recognize they are in a dark place.

May is Mental Health Awareness month. We need to work together to find a way to make it ok to say, “I’m not ok.”

I’m sure you already are, but let’s hold the families and people impacted by this shooting in our prayers. It may seem like it doesn’t matter, but prayer does matter. The energy conveyed as we hold others to the light of God is very, very real.

And may we pay attention to one another. May we help others find a safe space to say, “I’m not ok.”