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End Gun Violence With Random Acts of Love

Janis is a licensed professional counselor in Washington, DC. Areas of specialty include grief, loss, life transition, and trauma recovery.

Replace Violence With Love

Inside this heart is all the love you need.

Inside this heart is all the love you need.

Shootings Continue With No End in Sight

I'm sitting in my living room watching news coverage of the latest mass shooting at a mall in the United States. The city of El Paso, Texas now has the unfortunate notoriety of being home to the 249th mass shooting in 2019.

This poem article was originally published in 2014 after another mass shooting at a mall. I was prompted to express my reactions creatively. My poem I read today is eerily identical to the tragic circumstances and to my reactions to it. However, my emotions are more intense as I grapple with the fact that nothing has changed. At this rate, it is likely we will continue to witness more gun violence in our country unless action can be taken to eradicate this plague. I'll continue to hope that love is the answer.

Random Acts of Gun Violence: When Will the Bloodshed End

I've been lately moved to tears by the increasing number of violent acts in our communities, ending in the taking of precious lives. With each airing of a news story about a shooting, a massacre, an urban or global act of terrorism, or domestic incident involving family members, I cringe with grief.

I grieve along with many others, all over the world, who are affected by the sudden loss of a relative, a friend, or even a stranger, seen as a fellow human being.

I can no longer remain silent in my tears about these tragedies. So I express my feelings by writing about the atrocity of these random acts of violence involving guns. We call them "random" but even when they are provoked or premeditated, the results of those often fatal violent acts still have an element of randomness to each death that follows.

When horrific deaths happen in malls, workplaces, schools, churches, military facilities, nightclubs, concerts and private homes, it forever changes our perceptions of safety and routine. The unpredictability and unexpectedness of these incidents causes one to feel like a random target. It seems as though the violence can pounce and swoop in, taking any life, anywhere, and at any time, regardless of the setting. As the old saying goes, "You just never know."

Hands Locked in Love

Hands are joined together, locked in love, symbolic of solidarity, diversity and acceptance.

Hands are joined together, locked in love, symbolic of solidarity, diversity and acceptance.

Random Acts of Love: A Solution to Random Acts of Violence

The random killings of innocent people we hear about everyday prompted me to write the following poem. It is my attempt to dare dream of a way out of the daily reports of violent tragedies plaguing our society.

It will take a lot more than arguments about gun control to solve and address an epidemic which has its roots in broken emotional attachments, detached souls and spiritual bankruptcy. It will require a lot more than a psychological assessment which cannot measure or predict the impulsiveness of an angry person who acts without warning. It will take hard conversations with prevention as the goal, as we attend to the underlying issues that drive some people to devalue life.

If only the solution to random acts of violence involved random acts of love. Maybe then, the constant breaking news reports that continue to assault our souls almost daily will begin to decrease.

A Poem to Stop Random Violence

"Random Violence, Random Love" (JLE)

Unbridled anger flowing through the hand of a shooter

Unhappy with his life, takes another

Shattering the assumptions of safety for all

As they shop in a popular mall

A random act of violence

Using a gun as the culprit

Added to the flurry of pointless acts

Having caused the innocent to run in pacts

When will it end, this sudden violence

Hitting families like a heavy rain filled with tears

Losing loved ones, much too soon

Snuffed out lives, gone before noon

Where is the love, any to spare?

Only love can heal this atmosphere

Just to lock eyes, extend a hand

Embrace someone and shake a hand

Offer at random, some love today

Smile at a stranger who comes your way

Perhaps we'll find the common sense solution

As random acts of love are set in motion

Open your heart to receive a random act of love

To ease the pain and soften the haunting anger

Let agape love wrap around you like a warm blanket of peace

And make the random acts of violence cease.

Celebrate Kindness and Love by Giving of Yourself

Take some time to commit a random act of love or a random act of kindness by celebrating "Random Acts of Kindness" during the month of February. Try to make it a habit beyond February to smile, extend a helping hand, take a few minutes to listen, or offer a hug to someone in need of support.

Organize a youth group, church organization, or group of neighbors to go out into your community and commit random acts of kindness and love. Check out the video below and see if it inspires you to put your giving spirit in action.

Random Acts of Violence: Solutions

Make a Difference

© 2014 Janis Leslie Evans


Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on August 04, 2019:

Thank you, Dawn! I appreciate your visit.

Dawn Sylvester on August 04, 2019:

Well written Cuz! You're right, the only solution is Love.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 22, 2014:

Thank you so much, DDE, for reading it.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on February 22, 2014:

Random Acts of Violence Random Acts of Kindness and Love Poem, is a beautifully written and shared hub with a combination of emotions.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 17, 2014:

Thank you kindly, Writer Fox. Glad you enjoyed your visit!

Writer Fox from the wadi near the little river on February 17, 2014:

Your poem conveys a wonderful message which is sorely needed in the world. Keep writing these powerful pieces! Enjoyed and voted up!

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 12, 2014:

Thank you so much, Eddy. It means a lot that you stopped by. I appreciate those comments.

Eiddwen from Wales on February 12, 2014:

Powerful and full of strength janshares. Loved it and voted up for sure.

Enjoy your day.


Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 11, 2014:

Yes, Audrey, so much to be done. But if you smile at a stranger and he smiles back, a change has occurred. Thanks so much for stopping to read and pin.

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on February 11, 2014:

Too much violence, Jan, and so many changes needed. You are right in that more love can replace these incidents. Fewer drugs, more parents and teachers caring, gun control, reaching out to troubled members we know. Great ideas and food for thought. Blessings. Audrey. Pinning.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 11, 2014:

Quite sad, tobusiness. The only solution I can think of is love. God's agape love will win someday. Actually, God's love wins everyday. We have to keep sharing love in the midst of the violence. Maybe we can prevent a death. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 11, 2014:

Thanks! Glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by.

Jo Alexis-Hagues from Lincolnshire, U.K on February 11, 2014:

Hi janshares, what a beautiful thought, a random act of love. I really don't know how this problem can be solved, but until children can learn to love and respect themselves they cannot love and respect others. Too many youngsters feel that they do not have an investment in society, therefore they have nothing to lose. How sad is that?

This hub is just awesome.

mylindaelliott from Louisiana on February 11, 2014:

Random acts of kindness - awesome idea.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 09, 2014:

Lula, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It was so nice of you to take the time to visit and leave a profound comment. Peace.

Lula Raye on February 09, 2014:

Hello Janis,

A heart on fire with excitement and Passion has a huge magnetic power. Many thanks for sharing.

With Grace and Peace,

Lula Raye

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 09, 2014:

You are right, Lisa. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

Lisab on February 09, 2014:

Janis-your poem causes one to stop and think about what each of us can do to try to change these acts of violence into acts of respect for life and kindness for all.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 08, 2014:

Thanks for coming to visit this one, Suzanne Day. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on February 08, 2014:

Gorgeous poem and I liked your introduction to it. Yes, sudden killings can be quite shocking and makes us question just what the heck is going on in our society and why. Voted up and interesting ;)

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 07, 2014:

Yes, very sad, Jane Arden, sad truth. Thank you for stopping by to read and comment.

Jane Arden on February 07, 2014:

Beautiful hub and excellent poetry even though it is all so sad. It's a shame we don't all follow the 'golden rule' - do unto others as you would want done to you - Alas - I feel it will get worse before it gets better.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 06, 2014:

So glad it touched you and helped you focus on good after hearing that story. Unbelievable and sickening. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a nice comment.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 06, 2014:

Thank you, MsDora. It's so hard not to feel and speak out if you're human. Appreciate the visit.

Sheri Dusseault from Chemainus. BC, Canada on February 06, 2014:

I found this very touching. On the news this morning they showed a video of thugs letting people kick a homeless man in the groin for three dollars....whf!!!! Sometimes it is hard to stay positive in this society, but I know that most people(like you) are kind....and we must show that to others and ourselves. Thank you for this....it has helped me this morning!

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on February 06, 2014:

Jan, I can identify with the grief of losing lives daily at the hands of irresponsible people. The appeal in your poem is heartfelt. God job!

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 05, 2014:

Thanks for the love, Jodah, peace and love hugs back to you. You definitely are feeling me. I appreciate the visit, kind comments, votes, and the sharing!

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 05, 2014:

Aw shucks, word55, very kind words and testimony about what God wants for us and what we are called to do. Thank you for reading and commenting.

John Hansen from Gondwana Land on February 05, 2014:

Jan I can tell from your writing and the emotion contained withing your words, how much all these 'random acts of violence' throughout the community affects you. It is a terribly sad situation and gettng worse. We have to all take a stand. Hugs and love to you today....and voted up and shared.

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on February 05, 2014:

Allright Jan. You get a hero's welcome for expressing and sharing such touching concern. This is how God wants us to react. We just need to slow down, pay attention, be courageous, ready and willing to help others. Maybe our winters will get better again. -:)

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 05, 2014:

Thank you for your visit, Eric. Profound comments.

Eric Wayne Flynn from Providence, Rhode Island on February 05, 2014:

Energy dictates actions, positive energy can cure all our woes. Positive work here.


Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 05, 2014:

Thank you for sharing this hub, Audrey, very grateful.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 05, 2014:

I appreciate that comment, Jeb. Thank you for stopping by to read it.

Janis Leslie Evans (author) from Washington, DC on February 05, 2014:

Thank you much, Audrey. I appreciate your visit and comments. It truly did come from the heart.

Jeb Stuart Bensing from Phoenix, Arizona on February 05, 2014:

Wow! You have wrote a very impressive expression of compassion, concern, and hope for the betterment of all people.

Audrey Howitt from California on February 05, 2014:

Such a heartfelt piece--I wonder too if and when we will find acts of love taking the place of violence--

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