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Mass Shootings

Prayers and Action: A Preacher’s Position on Another Mass Shooting

I do not even know where to begin, I am so heartbroken. The latest school shooting in Parkland Florida is terrible, but what I find most tragic in all these mass shootings is the incredible lack of action. Let me say as a pastor, for the first time I am not excited about thoughts and prayers, I want action. I want somebody to do something. I want people to stop screaming at each other at what won’t work and what won’t prevent mass shootings, and let’s just try something. I am ready for a trial and error approach. Try one person’s plan, and if it doesn’t work, move to the next, and the next, and the next, so one day we will not have a school or concert or church or job place marred by horrific tragedy. The one truth we know in all of this is doing nothing is accomplishing nothing. Doing nothing is preventing nothing.

I cannot think of any other mass tragic events in America that takes dozens of lives per tragedy where our leadership and our nation says, “Bad people will do bad things,” and then takes zero action. Let’s examine our government’s response to other acts of terror on our soil.

Timothy McVeigh bombs the federal building in Oklahoma City and we acted. Congress and the President passed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 and the Victim Allocution Clarification Act of 1997. Also, the purchase of ammonium nitrate has been heavily regulated, and is now monitored by the Department of Homeland Security. No one said it’s just fertilizer.

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My Gun Control Conversion – A Preacher’s Position on the Orlando Mass Shooting

The massacre in Orlando at the gay nightclub over the weekend has left me, like so many, on an emotional roller coaster. I am heart broken one second and enraged the next. It has taken me some time to gather myself on even where to begin to discuss this situation. There is so much to say. First, I want to say how proud I am of my church, Sunnyside Baptist Church in Toccoa Georgia.

Entering church on Sunday, I was unaware of the shooting. It happened after I was asleep on Saturday, and getting the family ready for church, we did not turn on the tv on Sunday. In our morning worship service, we have a time where people can share prayer concerns, and we had a church member announce we needed to pray for the victims in Orlando. I pastor a theologically conservative church believing that homosexuality is against God’s word, but last Sunday, we knelt together to pray and lift up the LGBT community in Orlando and the loved ones affected by this horrific shooting. Disagreeing on moral issues does not have to equal hatred or bigotry. It doesn’t at Sunnyside and most other churches. I was proud to see my church show compassion and love to those in need, regardless of lifestyle.

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Reaction or Rhetoric – A Preacher’s Position on Mass Shootings

IMG_7154San Bernardino, Colorado Springs, Roseburg, Chattanooga, Charleston, Isla Vista, Ft. Hood, Washington D.C., Santa Monica, Sandy Hook, just hearing these names breaks my heart every time. These names stir deeply my emotional pool, and it is time to issue a call. The latest mass shooting in San Bernardino has me, along with the rest of the country and the world, saddened, but the national discussion that has followed this shooting has me angry, very, very angry.

Politicians, news media, social media, conversations with folks at the local coffee shop has me sick to my stomach. I now realize that most involved in the national discussion do not even really care about victims in these mass shootings, and very few, actually care about preventing mass shootings in the future. Politicians and pundits and media and average joes just use mass shootings to further their own agendas rather that addressing this problem that is costing lives and ripping families and communities a part.

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