Recently, we lost our dear friend Dale Sands to a senseless and outrageous act of violence.

Sands was a man who loved God, was devoted to his family, worked hard and served others. The obvious question is "Why?"; why should the life of such a man be cut short in such a horrific way? But since this happened, deeper questions are also plaguing my mind. I hate the act that has taken the life of my friend, but the challenge before me is not to hate the persons who committed the act.

I can tell you what I do hate, though. I hate the circumstances that create humans who so disregard their own lives and the lives of others that such a heinous crime could come from them. I hate a culture that glorifies death. I hate that I, and so many like me with stable lives and "normal" families, have stood aside while segments of our community walk a living death with no hope for the future. This atrocity has caused me to ask myself what can be done, individually and collectively, to address this gaping wound in our city that I have been able to turn an indifferent eye to up till now. God have mercy on us all.

Amy Punkay

stay-at-home mom

Baton Rouge