*** Thoughts and Prayers appears as track #5 on JJ Voss' upcoming album 'Come Along With Me' scheduled for release on March 20, 2020.

We're only 3 weeks into 2020 and the list of mass shootings in this new year is growing rapidly. Is sending out 'Thoughts and Prayers' really the best that we can do?


As we digest the breaking news of another massacre where the frequency is increasing and the body counts grow, I think we all feel the common emotion of helplessness. We do our best to digest the carnage, log in to our audience to let the world know that we’re thinking about the victims and we put our faith in the hopes that something, somehow will change.


Once the bodies are buried, the shell casings are swept up and the blood has dried we turn our focus towards the elephant in the room. Common sense regulations aimed at reducing the number of military style weaponry available to untrained, unstable civilians. This focus quickly degenerates into holding absolute a paragraph in a document that was written over 229 years ago (a document that has been amended over 27 times to evolve with the world). A stark example proving change is HARD.


I am optimistic though. I believe our children are our best hope to finding concrete solutions to this problem. It’s unfortunate that we as adults haven’t found the diplomacy, wisdom and courage to deal with it ourselves, but I suppose not many of us "adults” have experienced the smell of gunpowder and death at our elementary schools growing up. We played dodge ball at recess. We didn’t have to rehearse active shooter drills.


This is an uncomfortable topic. It should be. Until we have the courage to deal with that elephant, the best we can do is offer our Thoughts and Prayers.


JJ Voss (Jan 18, 2020)