“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 18:10 ESV
On Tuesday, May 24, a gunman opened fire at a Texas elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers. The 18-year-old gunman is said to have purchased the two assault rifles he used in the carnage for his eighteenth birthday. Multiple survivors — the exact number was not released — were being treated at regional hospitals.
Sadly, mass shootings in American schools have become too familiar. In the last ten years alone, we have had a mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school on December 14, 2012, where 20 children and six adults were murdered. In 1999, a gunman killed 13 students and injured 20 others at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. On February 14, 2018, an expelled student entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. On May 18, 2018, a 17-year-old gunman murdered eight students and two teachers at Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas.
In addition to the stress related to the Covid pandemic, most parents are stressed about the safety of their school-aged children. Teachers are also stressed. Yesterday morning, my sister, a high school teacher in New Jersey, called me to pray for her because she was worried about her safety.
Despite all the mass shootings and the incessant gun-related violence that is wreaking havoc in this country, politicians in Washington refuse to take action to limit the proliferation of guns in our society. Even after the shooting on Tuesday, many republican senators made statements indicating they would not support the Bipartisan Background Checks Act that would expand federal background checks required for gun purchases, though 90 percent of the American public is in favor of the legislation. Yet many of these politicians readily admit that many of the mass shooters have mental illnesses and should not have been able to purchase firearms.
With an estimated 400 million firearms in circulation in America, this has become one of the most dangerous countries to live in. Yet, this can easily be changed by holding elected officials in Washington accountable and voting them out of office if they continue to put their interests over the safety of the public. At this point, the issue is not about a Second Amendment that was written in 1791, when the population of the U.S, was about 3,929,214. The Second Amendment was intended to protect the American colony against the tyranny of the British monarchy. Since that time, the US has become the most powerful nation on earth with an estimated population of 334,805,269.
The focus should not be to protect a 231-year-old archaic Second Amendment while gun violence is wreaking havoc in schools, churches, movie theaters, supermarkets, nail salons, train stations, and every other sector of our society. For the sake of our children, we need changes now. Now is the time for God-fearing believers to become mobilized against gun violence and hold their political representatives accountable. We cannot sit by the sideline anymore while our children are dying in their classrooms.
No parent should have to get the phone call their child was murdered in school. Going food shopping at a supermarket or going to a movie theater should not be a death sentence. The souls of the murdered children at Sandy Hook Elementary, Columbine High School, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Santa Fe High School, and Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, are crying out for justice. Let us not allow their death to be in vain. The tragedy of gun violence in this country transcends political affiliation. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents alike should demand action from the people they elected to represent them in Washington. A dead child is neither a republican nor a democrat. Violence is an equal opportunity destroyer. Death has no political party.
Having a prayer vigil is necessary to bring people together. But once the prayer vigil is over people need to get on social media to demand congress pass gun control laws. We should march to Washington and remind those politicians we can vote them out of office. Concerned citizens who are tired of gun violence in this country should start mobilizing in preparation for the midterm election. We cannot continue to allow 50 senators to hold the American people hostage and restrict the proliferation of firearms in this country while our children continue to die from gun violence.
Almighty God will judge us harshly if we fail to protect the children of this country from gun violence. In today’s text, Jesus makes it clear that God is partial to children. The safety and well-being of children are a priority to God. So much so that their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
Last week, 10 people were murdered at a supermarket in Buffalo, NY, because they were black. Their unfortunate demise is barely mentioned in the news a week later. This has become an all too familiar pattern. Mass shootings are forgotten after a week or so because of the frequency with which they occur. When is this ever going to stop? We cannot become numb to mass shootings. It’s time we say enough is enough and take action!
Questions for Personal Reflection
What steps are you going to take to prevent another mass shooting?
What do you think individual citizens can do to curb the proliferation of gun violence?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, my heart aches for the parents of the children that were killed in Texas. I know your heart is also broken. Please give us the courage to rise up and demand justice for these children by holding politicians in Washington accountable. Comfort the parents of those children and bless those who were injured. Please help us to change the gun culture in this country for the protection of our children and the safety of our society.