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BY DANIEL WILLIAMS

September 4, 2019


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Mitch McConnell at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference
How many more names will be added to the list before Mitch McConnell acts on guns? - via the Washington Post

Today’s Washington Post included a full-page editorial calling on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to take action on gun violence. Below a short comment, the Post printed a necrology of the victims of more than thirty-five mass shootings in the past twenty years.
 
“What if there was a mass shooting in the United States not once or twice or four or six times monthly, but every single day, a big one, the kind that electrifies social media and squats for days on Page 1 - would that be enough to move Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell from his insistent inertia on gun safety? Would any volume of bloodshed convince the Kentucky Republican that Congress faces a moral imperative to act? Thirty-eight people were slain in three such shootings in August - in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, as well as West Texas - and still Senate Republicans and President Trump refuse to act.”
And I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who from now on die in the Holy One.” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them. - Revelation 14:13 (NRSV)
The names of hundreds of victims of mass shootings printed in black and white is a sobering thing to take in. The list included in the Post’s editorial was not comprehensive, but it was all the more striking for that fact. Hundreds of names, and many more, all victims of a societal plague that key leaders in our government seem committed to enabling. 

Each and every victim of mass shootings and other gun violence was loved by someone and gave love in return. That love lives on, as followers of the risen Christ are reminded in the resurrection. But that love is dishonored by our society’s refusal to change our laws in order to better prevent gun violence and to change our culture to end the glorification of violence.
 
The deeds of love and justice follow those who died in tragic acts of violence. It is our duty - all of us, whether we personally knew a victim or not - to keep their love alive. The author of 1 John exhorts us: "Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action." We must not love just with words or speech, but with deeds and truth.
Mitch McConnell must take action on gun violence. And we must take action to inspire him to do so. Contact the Majority Leader today and tell him to honor the lives of the victims of gun violence by taking action!
God, our hearts are broken with pain at the senseless deaths caused by gun violence. Families mourn, children live in fear, and some in our nation respond by arming themselves with more guns with greater capacity to end life. Our disconnection and alienation has caused some to turn to guns for protection and safety. We ask that you touch our hearts with your love, heal our brokenness, and turn us away from violence toward peace. Help us to transform our own hearts and to seek peaceful ways of resolving our differences. Let our hands reach out and connect with those who feel alone, those who live in fear, and those suffering from mental illness. Let our voices be raised asking our legislators to enact gun laws to protect all in our society, especially those most vulnerable. Let our pens write messages demanding change while also scripting words of hope and transformation. We ask this in the name of the God who desires that we live together in peace.  Amen.
(by the Sisters of Mercy)
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