It’s Tuesday morning and I am going through my file of sermons to review what I have preached in response to previous mass shootings. I have found eight sermons that were written in the aftermath of a mass killing: Virginia Tech, Pulse Night Club, the killing of the Amish Children, Sandy Hook, and San Bernardino, to name a few. I’m sick of angry men armed to the teeth. The current killer had over twenty automatic and semi –automatic rifles and pistols. Please tell me how a civilized nation allows this to occur over and over. Who needs twenty automatic weapons?
We are being told that Stephen Paddox “acted alone”. Don’t believe it. There is never a “lone gunman”. Stephen Paddox had many co-conspirators. It takes the actions of thousands of people to put a killer in a hotel room with twenty weapons. Many people are guilty of this, and every other mass killing.
Congress will almost certainly have a moment of silence. They will tweet out their prayers for the victims and call for calmness. Then they will rush to the bank to cash their NRA blood money. More than half of members of congress receive money from the gun lobby. They are bought and paid for by the NRA. Nothing will be done. It will be forgotten until the next worst mass killing in America. How many children and innocent victims will die before anything is done? The answer is it doesn’t matter how many die as long as NRA money keeps rolling in.
The gun industry will see profits soar. Mass killings are great for their business. The day after the Las Vegas shooting, gun sales were off the chart. The industry does not have the common decency to ask for a moratorium of guns sales while families grieve. Nope! It’s business as usual. The business is death.
The American people who accept mass killings as a way of life share the blame. Why are we more outraged over an NFL player taking a knee than gunman shooting up a concert? On Sunday, I watched angry white men burn NFL merchandise in protest. Where are they today? Has their voice gone silent? Where is the outrage? Are they the ones that are driving up gun sales? If our source of outrage is a few football players taking a knee, we need to repent. We are lost.
Let’s not forget Fox News and talk radio. Twenty four hours a day they broadcast anger and rage. Their profit comes from convincing white men that they are under siege. They cultivate a culture of anger. No doubt about it, Alex Jones will convince many that the tragic event was a government conspiracy. Sean Hannity will somehow blame Obama. Pat Robinson will find a way to blame the homosexuals. It’s enough to make me hopeless.
Lastly, I am to blame. I feel hopeless and helpless. Hopeless and helpless is simply not allowed. People of faith cannot allow ourselves to be passive. We must use every stubborn ounce of energy we have to make whatever difference we can make. We can say a prayer for the victims. We can vote out of office those pro-death politicians who claim that life may be sacred unless you are killed by a bullet. The gun lobby will not be passive. The NRA will not slow down. Nor can we. We can pray; we can act; we can vote; we can resist. What semi-automatic would Jesus buy? There is only one answer.