Yet again tragedy has struck in the form of a mass shooting. This time in a high school in Parkland, Florida. By now, all of you know the details of the carnage: the number of dead, the shooter, the status of the investigation, etc.. Predictably, there have been calls for greater gun control laws and counter arguments that this had nothing to do with guns but everything to do with mental illness. These are the same reactions to shooting after shooting and nothing seems to change. It can certainly be demoralizing. The pointedness of those calling for gun control (which, as many of you know, I strongly favor) has increased which is a hopeful sign, but so much stands in the way. The truth, however, remains: As Senator Kamala Harris of California said: “We cannot tolerate a society and live in a country with any level of pride when our babies are being slaughtered.”
As I have said before, I do not agree with those who say that “thoughts and prayers” are passive things. But I do agree that they are not enough. Our faith should lead us to public advocacy work on behalf of common sense laws to protect our children and youth. The problem is too rampant and the deaths too needless and preventable. This epidemic of violence must end.