Even though the Newtown shootings ignited a passion for stricter gun control, from everything I see and hear it's going to be very difficult to pass meaningful legislation to prevent another tragedy.
Providing an opportunity for public school children to reflect on their unique values through a moment of silence does not need to violate the first amendment's prohibition on establishing a religion.
All the guns in the world will never "fix" the problem of fear. They will not rescue gun-supporters from a need to live in constant hyper-vigilance against our fellow human beings. In fact, they will result in the opposite: They will only increase violence, threats, fears and cynicism. Idols have a way of doing that.
In the end, I believe that the NRA will find out that the Rev. Canon Gary R. Hall, Dean of the National Cathedral, was correct when he said: "I believe the gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby."
We now find ourselves in a liminal space, knowing that this is precisely the time in which we, together, will either effectively address our country's obsession with limitless and needlessly violent weaponry, or slide back into our typically self-focused and detached existence.
Newtown, Tucson, Blacksburg and other communities where gun violence has claimed innocent lives have recently advanced the national discussion on how to curb gun violence, but black colleges have long been the unseen advocacy institutions working to end the same blight.
As Congress now wades into gun control issues in the wake of the Newtown slayings, a broader question becomes to the fore: Does America care enough about its children to do the right thing?
I am encouraging our students to talk vigorously about gun control and then to do something. I am asking them to be activists. I am causing trouble on our campus and it's about time.
First responders must be supported. It's critical that they remain at the top of their game -- for themselves -- and for all of the children and families that count on them during times of trauma.
We, as parents, can play a role in preventing violence at our schools. We are not powerless. We do not have to wait on institutions that are slow-moving and hard to influence -- specifically, the federal government and national media -- to care for America's children.
I hope I won't feel this way every time I leave my children in someone else's care now. I hope this overwhelming anxiety is not the new normal.
I left the building remembering why I love teens and have chosen to work with them. They are intense. They are emotional. They are capable of great connection.
When did we as a nation allow the right to bear arms to supersede children's right to bear dreams? There are more gun dealers in our nation than there are houses of worship. When did the hunger for weapons outstrip our hunger to glimpse God's dream for us as a people?
Do we want a God who is all-powerful or all-loving? We can't have both and be satisfied with a God who permits the Holocaust, genocide, war and tsunamis.
When I return to work on January 7, students and I will debate the viability of gun control. Invariably, one of them will ask me whether I believe teachers should -- as some politicians are now suggesting -- be allowed or required to carry guns while they teach.
As we enter 2013, the acute pain of the Sandy Hook massacre is beginning to recede. While some people yearn to move on, others vow never to forget. As part of the healing process, I suggest we do both. Action aimed at creating something meaningful can go a long way toward recovery.