Like you, I awoke yesterday to the horrible news of another mass shooting, this time in Las Vegas. As of this writing, 59 are dead and more than 500 were wounded.
Can anyone explain to me WHY a civilian needs to be able to legally own enough high-powered automatic weapons to shoot almost 600 people? We are the ONLY civilized nation in which this is true, yet a significant number of people still parrot the National Rifle Association’s protestations that, somehow, we are safer because of all our guns. DO YOU FEEL SAFER?
I love my new church, but it is painful to me that, as people arrive on Sunday morning, we have a security detail to check women’s purses and any other bags before they enter the sanctuary to worship God. As a kid I was taught NEVER to go into my mother’s purse even to get a piece of gum. As I stood on the steps greeting people on Sunday morning, the search felt so wrong, like such an invasion of privacy. I understand why churches are doing this, but is this really the kind of world in which we want to live? Apparently, the NRA thinks it is.
Other civilized countries have made different choices, and their rate of violent crime is much lower than ours. In Las Vegas, and the rest of Nevada, however, it is legal to walk around with a machine gun, thus there was nothing illegal about the shooter having almost 20 rifles in his hotel room. No permit was needed for him to carry guns openly into the hotel, and, as is the case in many states, police are not permitted to ask to see his license until AFTER he has committed a crime.
Once again, politicians whose souls are wholly owned by the massive dollars of the NRA, offer their thought and prayers. Those prayers are blasphemous. The Bible talks about how sinful it is to bless the hungry when you could feed them (James 2:15-17). Well, that is no different than when we pray for a mother whose daughter was shot dead with her grandchild in her womb and then do NOTHING to make these horrors stop.
The prayers of the NRA-owned politicians are BLASPHEMY in God’s ears, as are your handwringing and head shaking if we don’t swamp pro-gun politicians with our outrage. They rightly think we don’t care, and, frankly, until it is one of our children, partners, or parents who are massacred, I am not sure we really do. If we did, we would have done something by now. Calling our senators and representatives is the least you and I can do to prove we care. Share this with your conservative “Christian” family and friends and invite them to do more than pray.
Rev. Michael Piazza