Here’s a thought: Since we don’t wait one second to condemn and move against foreign terrorists who act violently here or abroad, especially if we learn there were things we could have done to prevent the act or greater loss of life, let’s not wait now in light of what happened in Las Vegas. We should respond accordingly and immediately begin a discussion on future prevention.
Here’s another: Since we don’t wait one second to condemn and move against corporations who pollute the environment or put out products that kill people, especially if we learn there are laws we could pass that would prevent the damage in the first place, let’s not wait now in light of what happened in Las Vegas. We should respond accordingly and immediately begin a discussion on future prevention.
Another one: Since we don’t wait one second to condemn and move against people of color who commit crimes, of whatever gravity (let alone if one were to kill 58 people), especially if we learn there were things we could have done to prevent greater loss of life, let’s not wait now in light of what happened in Las Vegas. We should respond accordingly, and immediately begin a discussion on future prevention.
Still more: There are priests, pastors, counselors, family, and friends available to grieve with, hold, help, console, and be with, those who lost loved ones. That is always being done. That people need to grieve, or that the moment is solemn, is no excuse to not begin immediately (like we would in every case noted above) moving to prevent something like this from happening again. To say we have to wait is a cop out. It is a way of not talking about the very thing that needs talking about. It is a way of not doing, the very thing that needs to be done, now. Why people would want to wait, is beyond me. If the issue were abortion, or a terrorist attack, or moving against the LBGT+ community, fundamentalist/evangelicals would have wanted to act and talk about it, yesterday.
A final thought: There is a reason we don’t hear of these types of events in other countries (or rarely): they have strict gun control laws. And guess what, people in those countries still hunt, still target practice, still collect guns, and still have what any reasonable person would consider “freedom” as to responsible gun ownership and use. If a person needs more than that, then join the military or law enforcement (right, except most these guys are cowards—but you get the point). Quit offering us your “thoughts and prayers” when what you need to offer is your “yes” to reasonable gun control laws.
A prayer: Lord, let us not be like the priest and Levite who passed by, on the other side, most assuredly offering their “thoughts and prayers” for the man wounded and left for dead, as they went on their way. Lord, rather, let us be like the hated Samaritan whose thoughts and prayers were embodied in action, in flesh, just like how you came to us; he acted immediately to “bandaged” the beaten man’s “wounds.” Lord, let our actions be our thoughts and prayers. Help us to see that without those actions, our thoughts and prayers are actually indictments against us. Amen.
A final prayer: Lord, America herself seems to be wounded and beaten, which might be why these events continue to happen; she is left on the side of the road, even though she imagines she is strong and powerful. Let us not pass her by but offer our help, our immediate help. Help us to bandage her wounds, help us to prevent these types of events in the future, even as those who claim great religious piety pass by, offering their “thoughts and prayers” instead. What happened in Las Vegas, happened, in some sense, to all of us. Help us to resist the desire to be admired for our solemnity and piety (Lord, I thank you I am not like the tax payer…”), and to act, for both the immediate wound and any future ones as well. Amen, and amen.