Bringing Life Into Focus

Photo taken 20 minutes before shooting.

Photo taken 20 minutes before shooting.

Within minutes of arriving home from the 41st Annual Gilroy Garlic Festival, my kids were viewing social media posts about a mass shooting where my husband and I had been wandering around just minutes prior. I have heard many similar stories. Others, like IC’s own Traci Schulte, experienced this tragedy first-hand.  The memories of that day and night will remain with us all for a long time to come. However, the thought of being remembered more for a mass shooting than for our beloved festival gave rise to #GilroyStrong and many acts of kindness; heart-warming stories of neighborly love, good will, and support for those injured and for families who lost loved ones in this senseless tragedy – a tragedy made even more painful because the three innocent lives lost were so very young.

When our community’s tragedy was followed by two more mass shootings within days, the national conversation once again turned to commentary about how to “fix” the problem of violence across America.  As I listened to “experts” and pundits, I found their answers to what ails us gnawing at my soul. While I think we do have a moral obligation to have important conversations about gun control, banning of certain arms, security measures, mental health awareness and even HIPAA laws, it was days before I heard anyone publicly say what my soul was longing to hear: We are a nation that does not value Life.

My friends, there is an undeniable link between the violence that may have destroyed forever our children’s and our own happy memories of the last weekend in July...and the violence of the abortion industry. In the last 50 years, we have seen a dramatic increase in the promotion of abortion. We have also seen a dramatic increase in violence. When we champion the taking of Life when that Life is inconvenient, imperfect, unwanted, or originating from a crisis, we de-value ALL Life.

Is it any surprise that we have birthed a culture of death when we grieve the loss of children’s lives at the hands of a gunman yet we fight for and even applaud the killing of innocent children at the hands of the abortionist?

We have now experienced this violence first hand. It hit us hard at the heart of our community.Isn’t it time for all of us who seek to create a culture of Life to speak gently but honestly with our family members, friends, and neighbors? The only thing that will truly “fix” our nation’s problem of violence is the recognition that we are ALL made in the image of the one, true God. Until every Life is honored, because we bear His image, no Life is sacred.And if no Life is sacred, we will continue to see discontent give way to violence.

While I am proud of our community’s #GilroyStrong response to this recent violence, I am prouder of each of you who recognize that unless we uphold the sanctity of every human Life, from the moment of conception until natural death, and until we acknowledge the Creator who is the Author and Finisher of ALL Life, our nation will continue to suffer the consequences of policies stemming from elected politicians who spread a culture of death in lock-step with the abortion industry.

I am sure you have given this problem some thoughts of your own and I would love to hear from you.  Thank you for your support of Informed Choices. We must do all we can to combat this violence --


and it begins with our commitment to uphold Life for ALL.

With you for LIFE!

Christine Vatuone

Christine Vatuone