Today we are heartbroken that another act of senseless violence has brought mourning and devastation to the people of Dallas/Fort Worth and our nation. We grieve with the families of the shooting victims whose lives will never fully return to normal and pray for a complete recovery for the wounded. We also recognize that this is the 199th mass shooting this year in the United States. These events are tragic, but they are neither an accident nor anomaly. Shooting such as this has become a routine and predictable part of life for us.
We live in a country where there are more guns than citizens. When guns are so widely available and close at hand, terrible things can happen when individuals are set off by some event in their lives. Somehow the right to own and use a gun is considered more important than the right for children and adults to grow up and live in safe communities. We have made it easier to obtain and use a gun than to obtain a driver’s license.
God deplores violence in our homes and streets and rebukes the madness that leads to such destructive violence. Jesus calls his followers to be peacemakers and instruments of God’s grace. I recognize that there are no single or simple actions that would end gun violence, but the time has come when we must take action. Our response to this tragedy has to go further than simply “thoughts and prayers.”
We will only weep with those who weep, but we can call for action from our elected leaders to work at creating ways to reduce gun violence. We can dedicate ourselves to doing the work to remove the causes of such senseless tragedies like this. We can work with other people and organizations to build a safer world for everyone.
Grace and peace,