May 25, 2022
Nineteen elementary-school aged children and two adults were murdered in Uvalde, Texas yesterday, while in school for their last classes before summer vacation. I write this in tears as I witness another tragic mass shooting. Over and over, it’s just as devastating, heart-wrenching, nauseating, and painful as all the other recent mass shootings that killed innocent victims in our country.
By now, the story of gun violence and mass shootings in America are not an anomaly –it keeps happening with alarming frequency. The list from just the past decade includes supermarkets in Buffalo, New York and in Boulder, Colorado; a train rail yard in San Jose, California; a birthday party in Colorado Springs, Colorado; a convenience store in Springfield, Missouri; a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; churches in Sutherland Springs, Texas and in Charlestown, South Carolina; a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, a FedEx warehouse in Indianapolis, Indiana; a music festival in Las Vegas, Nevada; massage parlors in Atlanta, Georgia; a Waffle House in Nashville, Tennessee; a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida and a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado.
Sadly, because of mass shootings, school names in America have become familiar to us, such as Sandy Hook Elementary, Stoneman Douglas High School, Santa Fe High School and Columbine High School. According to Education Week, which tracks school shootings, there have been 26 school shootings resulting in death in the U.S. in 2022. Unbelievably, in ten years since Sandy Hook, gun laws in the U.S. haven’t changed much.
We must pray for wisdom and a strong desire to ACT. Things must change! We pray for the families, friends and communities of the victims. Pray for comfort. Pray for relief of the unimaginable pain they are suffering and will suffer for years to come. But we must take action and engage, push and drive Congress to establish gun laws that protect children, our families, friends, loved ones and communities.
As United Methodists, we recognize that gun violence has become an all-too-frightening phenomenon. Now more than ever, let’s stand together in “Our Call to End Gun Violence.” (2016 Book of Resolutions, #3428)
Please act now. Call the Capitol switchboard at 202-224-3121 and demand action to prevent gun violence and enact lifesaving gun legislation.