Prayers for the Victims of Las Vegas

Prayers for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting. More than fifty were killed and over 400 injured.

Stephen Paddock, the suspect in the Las Vegas shooting, is dead, apparently after killing himself as the police had located him in his hotel room and were preparing to enter. A person of interest, a woman, Marilou Danley, who was some sort of companion to Paddock, has been found outside the country and, according to the Las Vegas sheriff, is not believed to have been involved in the shooting.

We don’t know Stephen Paddock’s motives. According to NBC News, it is not connected to international terrorism.

Prayers for the victims and prayers for the first responders, doctors, nurses and others who are caring for the victims. Prayers, too, that those responsible for passing on information about this incident will not speculate irresponsibly on matters related to this tragedy. Prayers, too, that politicians, the media, and activists on the left or right will not exploit this incident to push their political or social agendas.

More than a political or social discussion, I think we need to have a discussion about culture in our country. I am told that, back in the fifties and sixties, kids used to bring their squirrel rifles to school after hunting in the morning and stash them in their lockers. But, no one thought about going to get their gun and using it when they were involved in some sort of fight or argument or altercation.

Today, we are faced with a mass shooting in America on an average of every single day. Sunday was day 275 of 2017 and there have been 273 mass shooting in the U. S. so far this year.

A mass shooting is defined as one where four or more people are shot in the same incident. Think about that: there is an incident in this country where four or more people are shot, on average, every single day. 

How did we get to this point? How can we turn this around? Yes, guns are readily available. But, why are they readily available to people who obviously have no business accessing them? Why are guns that can shoot several rounds at a time so easily available? Have you watched the videos from Las Vegas? It sounded like a machine gun was going off! How is it that this guy had access to those kinds of weapons?

And, regardless of access to guns, what is it about our culture that says that it’s okay to kill people when you have some sort of personal vendetta to accomplish or political or social agenda to promote? Why do people even think about shooting other people in these circumstances?

Pope St. John Paul the Great said that culture was the strongest force in human social life. What is ill about our culture that inspires such horror? We need to have that discussion.

Be Christ for all. Bring Christ to all. See Christ in all.

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