An 18-year-old gunman, brandishing an assault rifle, walked into Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24 and murdered 19 precious children and two remarkable teachers.

This horrific situation comes after other recent mass shootings, specifically, one targeting Black citizens at a local supermarket in Buffalo, New York, and another at a Taiwanese church in Laguna Woods, California.

In each incident, politicians, law enforcement and news outlets all reported the same message, “The gunman acted alone.”

While I understand the way in which that statement is true, I can no longer accept that conclusion. The gunmen don’t act alone; America helps pull the trigger.

Every time a mass shooting takes place in this country – and, by the way, there are far more mass shootings in the United States than in any other country in the world – we hear the same platitudes and feigned outrage. Then, nothing happens.

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) called on his Senate colleagues to do something meaningful this time. He asked from the floor, “What are we doing? Why are you here? This [mass shootings in schools] only happens here.”

Murphy lives near Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where a gunman, using an assault rifle, murdered 20 children and six adult staff members a decade ago.

Murphy’s question deserves an answer.

Lawmakers can no longer publicly lament the killing of America’s children but do absolutely nothing about it. Therefore, as a citizen of the United States and an ordained minister of the gospel, I add my voice to the throngs of my fellow citizens and Christians demanding action.

To my fellow citizens and disciples, Everytown for Gun Safety provides evidence-based recommendations and solutions that will reduce gun violence and save lives. From personal gun safety tips to legislative actions, Everytown is “the” authority when it comes to moving the needle on gun safety and sensible gun legislation.

We need to bolster their efforts in order to replace the National Rifle Association’s firm grip on Washington D.C. when it comes to gun legislation.

In addition to educating oneself with fact-based research and proposals, call your elected officials and demand that they pass sensible gun legislation. Demand that they pass universal background checks, mandatory training for anyone wanting to carry a firearm in public, and a complete ban on military-style assault weapons.

A majority of U.S adults support stricter gun laws, according to an April 2021 Pew Research Center report.  We must stop permitting a wealthy and powerful minority to dictate how we live. We must put people over guns.

Golden State Warriors basketball coach Steve Kerr – whose father, Malcolm Kerr, was assassinated in 1984 when Steve was a child – unloaded on senators’ inability and unwillingness to pass universal background checks, even when 90% of Americans support it.

Kerr said, “We are being held hostage by 50 senators in Washington who refuse to even put it to a vote, despite what we, the American people, want. They won’t vote on it, because they want to hold on to their own power.”

The coach went on to shout, pounding the desk, “When are we gonna do something? I’m so tired of getting up here and offering condolences to the devastated families. … I’m tired of the moments of silence. Enough.”

I agree, coach. Enough!

If we once again stand by and do nothing, then we stand culpable the next time an assault rifle is used to murder children and our fellow citizens. And to the crowd that wants to arm teachers and fill our schools with more police, that is not the answer.

Violence always begets more violence (Look at the per capita gun violence statistics in America compared to the rest of the world.) We do not want to turn our schools into a police state.

To adapt Jesus’ statement in Matthew 26:52, “Those who live by the gun will die by those same guns.” So, no, adding more guns and police to this equation is not the answer.

We must face reality: none of these shooters really acted alone. While they alone pulled the trigger, we have allowed them to gain access to weapons they had no business having.

If we possess the power to prevent access to those weapons and prevent more senseless deaths – and we do – then we must. If not, then we might as well accept our fate. We are helping pull the trigger next time.

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