By Richard B. Patterson, Ph.D

In the aftermath of the Uvalde shootings, we are hearing lots of rhetoric but little actual hope that legislative steps will be taken here in Texas to better protect our families. 

Three years ago, after the Walmart shootings, we heard the same rhetoric. Three years later, it is easier to buy guns in Texas.

Most of us feel impotent in the face of escalating violence. Is there anything useful we can do? My answer is yes. 

Our vote is more important than ever. In addition, we should compel candidates to publish donations from gun organizations and manufacturers as well as their voting history on gun control.

Richard B. Patterson

We should demand that our representatives support legislation to permit victims of mass shootings and their families to sue the manufacturers of guns used in the shootings.

There is a lack of spiritual leadership in our country. We are therefore each called to look within and confront that within each of us that is violent or racist or sexist or any other form of prejudice. 

For those of us who practice any form of religion, we need to encourage our spiritual leaders to be more outspoken and to challenge each of us to truly live a spiritual message, not merely to mouth it. This would include spiritual leaders providing true guidance on the spiritual dimensions of gun ownership.

We have become a polarized society caught up in self-interest. If we believe in prayer, perhaps this is the most pressing issue.

Richard B. Patterson is a clinical psychologist in El Paso who has also published numerous books and articles exploring psychology and spirituality.