Randy Weeks

Published on June 8th, 2023 | by Randy Weeks


The View From The Balcony: “More Open Caskets?”

Nearly every week now there are senseless shootings in this “land of the free and the home of the brave.” According to the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS), “The United States is setting a record pace for mass killings in 2023, replaying the horror on a loop roughly once a week so far this year. The carnage has taken 88 lives in 17 mass killings over 111 days. Each time, the killers wielded firearms. Only 2009 was marked by as many such tragedies in the same period of time.” *

We repeatedly hear our leaders say, “Our thoughts and prayers are with you.” Lately, though, we’ve heard more and more that thoughts and prayers aren’t enough. I believe that to be true. In fact, I can invoke Biblical evidence to support that:

“What is the profit, my brothers, if someone claims to have faith but does not have works? The faith is not able to save him, is it? If brother or sister are naked and lacking daily food and one of you says to them ‘Go in peace; be warmed and filled,’ but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what is the profit? In this manner also faith, if it does not have works, is dead by itself.” (James 2:14-17, Disciples’ Literal New Testament)

Faith without works is dead.
Hear it again: Faith without works is DEAD!

What will it take for Congress to pass laws to help control the availability of assault weapons to the general public? I believe that something shocking has to happen, but how much more shocking can be had than innocent children mutilated and massacred?

In 1955 14-year-old Emmett Till was tortured and murdered in Tallahatchie County, Mississippi. His body was horrendously mutilated. Family and friends urged Till’s mother, Mamie Till-Mobley to have a closed casket funeral. She refused and said, “Let the people see what they did to my boy.”

After I posted my last column on Facebook (“Another Chapter Ends on the Emmett Till Case”) my sister, Nancy Weeks Park, commented, “Till’s mother’s insistence to have an open casket was instrumental in motivating civil rights action. [Largely because she saw pictures of Till’s maimed body, Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a Caucasian man on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, and the Civil Rights Movement was birthed.] We may have to view the remains of dead children pulverized by assault weapon bullets before some change their mind and pass legislation that restricts the sale and ownership of those firearms.”

I was thinking the same thing.
Assault weapons don’t cause damage like a pistol or a lower-grade rifle. Due in part to their velocity, bullets from assault weapons like AR-15-style weapons cause extreme damage to the victims. For example, instead of a hole in a lung that a non-military grade weapon would cause, the bullets from an assault weapon can cause internal organs to explode and leave significantly large exit wound. Think about that. Outside of the military—and I question that—who in the hell needs that kind of fire power? Why?
As a mental health professional, I am fully aware of the mental illness factor in mass shootings. If more reasonable gun restrictions were in effect, especially for assault-type weapons, no one, mentally ill or not, would have the easy access to weapons of such destruction. That would make a difference.

May 24, 2023, was the one-year anniversary of the bloodbath at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. Using an assault rifle an 18-year-old former student decimated 19 students and 2 teachers, all of whom died.

Do we need more open caskets and photos, enabling us to see the mutilated bodies of our children, for this insanity to stop? As horrendous as it sounds, that may be the only way for real change to come.

…and that’s the View from The Balcony.

Randy Weeks is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Shamanic Life Coach, an ordained minister, a singer-songwriter, and an actor. He grew up hunting small game, and though he no longer hunts, he still owns several guns. Randy may be reached at randallsweeks@gmail.com.


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About the Author

Randy Weeks is a Licensed Professional Counselor, a Certified Shamanic Life Coach, an ordained minister, a singer-songwriter, and an actor, who lives in Oxford, Mississippi. He may be reached at randallsweeks@gmail.com.

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