“As an atheist, I believe that there is no divine force that will save us. We are going to have to try to save ourselves. That means we’ll have to work together, in spite of our religious disagreements.

Thus, my atheism moves me to care for and love my neighbors—it is not an excuse for violence. “

I know that some days I sound like a Chris Stedman fangirl.  I am. He manages to put words around the way that I choose to live my life better than I have ever been able to do.

Surely we can do better than this.

I want for there to be an answer.  I want stricter gun control with bans on automatic and semi-automatic weapons to stop the violence.  I want improved diagnosis and treatment of mental illness to prevent tragedy.  I want an end to the sensationalism in the media to stop a killer from taking that terrible step.  I want a ban on realistic violence in video games to prevent young people from feeling like killing is unreal. I want security measures in our schools to protect our children beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I want for there to be an answer.  A simple one.  One that will definitively end the violence that is far too common in our modern American society.

I know that answer doesn’t exist.  There is no single solution that is going to end the violence.  Over the past few days we’ve certainly been talking about any number of contributing problems.  Can we agree that we have to start somewhere?

obamaPresident Obama expressed this very sentiment earlier today – much more eloquently than I can.

We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this.

– President Obama, Newtown Memorial, December 17, 2012

It’s time for us to do better.