As of the end of May 2019 there have been 148 mass shootings, 149 killed and 585 wounded in the USA. For comparison, in the USA, 2018 brought us 340 mass shootings, 14,751 deaths and 28,188 injured according to Gun Violence Archive. Other Western Developed Nations including New Zealand and Australia do not come close to this level of human tragedy.

The reasons for this degree of carnage? The NRA would have us believe because there are not enough guns for people to protect themselves. The ignorant shout mental health even though mental health studies posit only 4% or less as mental health being the major reason for murdering a large group of people. Nationalists proudly shout gun deaths are the price of freedom! Rigid Constitutionalists righteously pontificate the right of people to purchase and use weapons. The angry spouse or ex-partner feels justified in silencing his unfair wife or girlfriend because he feels slighted. The disgruntled employee or former employee demands revenge for being treated unfairly. A boy kills a girl because he wants to know what it feels like to kill someone. A would be movie star acts out a film carnage. A young man invades a Bible study of African-Americans intending to start a race war and make a statement of White Supremacy. Two boys feel bullied and demonstrate their power by murdering classmates. How about Make America Great Again!

Reasons. Excuses. Justifications.

It’s Monday. Three days after Virginia Beach. The news of the tragedy is off the front pages. We move on. Another day in Gun America. Time to go shopping. How about a latte’? Pack-up for another trip to Europe. Movie time with buttered popcorn. Let’s go water-skiing! Another soccer tournament. Party on!

The Democrat controlled House in Minnesota and Washington, DC pass comprehensive background check and Red Flag bills but both are crushed by the other party which controls the Senates. The President would not sign the bills anyway.

I show my age by citing “The Cruel War is raging”, “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream,… I dreamed that all the world agreed to put an end to war.” And from the Bob, “How many deaths will it take till we know that too many people have died?”

And Jesus, overlooking Jerusalem on his way to the Cross to die for us, not to take our lives, murmering “Would that you knew the things that make for peace.” And Paul in Romans 12: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

O, Jesus one more time: “Enough!” and “No more of this.” Do we believe it? Will we act? Is faith without works dead? No excuses!

Rev. Dr. Ron Letnes