Pray, Yes. But Then Act. | Sojourners

Pray, Yes. But Then Act.

Crowd Marching
Crowd marching, Vucicevic Milos /

Yesterday, two people armed in military-style gear shot and killed 14 people and injured 17 others at a holiday party in California. You’ve no doubt been watching the headlines and reading about people’s “thoughts and prayers,” but what is stunning is that it wasn’t even the only mass shooting yesterday. Four others were shot, one killed, in Savannah, Ga. Add it to the list of more than 350 mass shootings this calendar year.

The epidemic of gun violence in America has become the new normal. We can’t just blame it on the brokenness of the world, pray for peace, and move on, worried that anything more will be seen as politicizing tragedy. What is tragic is that those who have the ability to DO something about this crisis refuse to offer more than simplistic sentiments on Twitter before getting caught in a circular argument about our rights as Americans. It’s time for people of faith to respond out of their faith and work to stop senseless violence. As Nicholas Kristoff wrote in the New York Times today: “It’s not clear what policy, if any, could have prevented the killings in San Bernardino. Not every shooting is preventable. But we’re not even trying.” Common sense measures like universal background checks — which is supported by 85 percent of Americans — would be a good start.

Tell your elected officials that while the NRA may give them a positive rating — and bankroll their campaigns — they’re failing the American people by refusing to offer any semblance of common sense measures that could save lives.

“Thoughts and prayers” are not solutions for the 30,000 people who will be killed by a gun this year – we need sensible gun safety legislation NOW.

Join thousands of others calling for action