Don’t Tell Me to Pray: My thoughts on the latest U.S. mass shooting

Don’t @ me either.

Thousand Oaks. This is the sight of the latest mass U.S. shooting. Late Wednesday night, a gunman entered Borderline Bar & Grill in California and opened fire. According to reports, 12 were killed and many more were injured.

The gunman now identified as 28 year-old Ian David Long of Newbury Park, was found dead at the scene. This comes not even two weeks after 11 lives were lost at a synagogue in Pittsburgh on October 27th.

Here are some facts for you via Business Insider. We are 312 days into 2018. Of those 312 days, there have been approximately 307 mass shootings in the United States.

Yep you read that correctly. Let that sink in to your hearts and minds.

Something is wrong with this picture.

Now the question is a familiar one. Where do we go from here?

Legislation? Reform? Taking mental health and the health of our military who return home seriously? If it were up to me I’d say yes to all three. But I don’t have all these answers. Just don’t tell me to pray.

Don’t tell me to pray for the nation and pray for the victims and those affected. I believe in prayer. I wholeheartedly agree that it’s important, but I’m tired of prayers without action. I’m tired of the hashtags, I’m tired of the fake sympathy, I’m just tired.

Everyone knows and is quick to quote the verse that says, ….Faith without works is dead.” Yet, we’re standing still on this issue. Our actions don’t match our prayers. God rewards diligence and consistency. Not laziness and complacency. It seems like we’ve become desensitized to our own problems.

Let’s call it what it is folks. We have a problem with gun laws, gun access, and DOMESTIC TERRORISM in this country. Plain and simple. The Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit that tracks shootings in the U.S., defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people are shot. Traditionally, the perpetrators of these shootings have been white men. American citizens. Not Muslims. All of them, should be classified as domestic terrorists.

We go through this cycle every time. A mass shooting happens. We pray for a week, communities unite for a week, we hashtag it like crazy, and then differing opinions divide us until the next incident. Hypocrisy at it’s finest. #ThisisAmerica.

The takeaway is simple. The prophet Jeremiah said it best, “You cannot heal a thing by pretending it’s not there.” If we continue to act like this thing doesn’t exist, it will keep happening. More lives will be lost, more families affected. I don’t know when enough will be enough. I’m hoping sooner rather than later. But what I know, is that what we don’t repair, we repeat, and I’m tired of this toxic cycle. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired. Let’s use this as a catalyst and be productive. Let’s fight to bring about genuine change. This is why voting and staying informed, matters tremendously. We can’t afford for more lives to be lost.

JB

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