As we recognized and celebrated Memorial Day during the last days of May, I was reminded of the sacrifice so many have made in our country. The countless men and women who have served and those who continue to serve in the armed forces. Many have died to fight for the rights and freedoms that American citizens have, for which I am grateful. One of those rights that we have is the right to vote. 

I have never really been one who took advantage of my voting rights, and unashamedly so. I often used the usual excuse or reason that my one vote won’t matter in the grand scheme of things. After a while of having that mindset, I shifted my thinking. As my children got older and were on the cusp of adulthood, I realized that voting was not just about the here and now but also about future generations. So I took voting more seriously and made it a part of my personal duty.

Fast forward to where we are in the United States now. Recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, as well as others throughout the years have taken countless innocent lives and continue the polarizing argument over gun control laws and the right to bear arms.

Some political figures and citizens believe gun control reformation would not stop such tragedies and trauma that mass shootings bring. Well, that may be true, but considering the power of many of the weapons used in these horrific events, even if the acts aren’t completely halted, maybe, just maybe there would be fewer victims if the perpetrators could not get their hands on weapons that are designed for wars. Hundreds of families are mourning the senseless deaths of their loved ones, including innocent little children. That alone should be enough to take steps to protect them with rules, laws, ordinances, or whatever it takes.

I was disturbed yet understanding by an Instagram post from actor, comedian, and musician Jamie Foxx. He deemed our country as having Christian leaders refusing to do something about the mass shootings that keep occurring. On the surface, it can seem that way. But I believe it’s a deeper issue. 

Our political system is in a whirlwind of confusion. We have those who yelled and fought tooth and nail against wearing masks and being vaccinated during the heightened times of the Covid-19 pandemic, claiming that no one can force them to do something with their bodies that they don’t want to do. Some of these same people fight hard against those who are pro-choice and insist that politics have no right to tell them what to do with their bodies. They are spewing the same argument but in different ways. 

If you are pro-life, why aren’t you taking every measure possible to help protect lives, both inside and outside the womb? If you care about lives, why do you insist on having the right to destroy lives inside the womb? 

It’s an unending argument that will never get solved because people are staunch about what they want, their rights, and their freedoms. In the meantime, the value of life is being subdued and suffocated by the fundamental rights of Americans. The biggest problem with this is America disagrees with what those rights are or should be. This continual back and forth is like a tornado spinning throughout our country, leaving death, destruction, and a frayed flag flying pitifully overhead, tearing up with cries of pain. 

And it’s making me rethink my thoughts about voting. Because too many on both sides value their rights above the right for life.