Along with almost every American, I was shocked and deeply saddened by the mass shootings in Orlando last month resulting in 49 deaths. We are still shocked even though we have had far too many senseless and horrific incidents of this kind over the past several years. When you think about it, one such incident should be enough to get our nation’s full attention.
However, I am afraid that we have become somewhat insensitive about what has been happening. We are shocked when a mass killing happens, but that shock subsides with the passing of time. These mass murders have happened in schools, at parades, in churches, in movie theaters, in other public places and now in a crowded night club. Forty-nine innocent victims were slaughtered by a single man using a rifle, one designed for military use and intended to be used by our military to kill enemy soldiers. The deranged killer also had a Glock handgun. He had a huge amount of ammunition.
My prayers go out to the families of those persons who were killed and to the survivors who were in the club. I have read with interest the comments by public officials and some aspiring politicians and find some of them saying pretty much the same thing. Fortunately, most have taken a strong stand against hate and terrorism, regardless of the source, and those are to be commended. It’s time, however, for action and not just words. Without any doubt, it is high time that we all get together as a nation – join hands – and work to find a workable solution to a growing and extremely dangerous problem. It is a national crisis that demands prompt attention by Congress.
We also have to recognize that public comments made by prominent public officials must be of a nature that are both reassuring and calming to all citizens in our country as well as being a stern and strong warning to those in and outside the United States who would do us harm. We have seen comments of that sort from President Obama, Gov. Scott of Florida, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio. Each of those officials are to be commended for what they said and how they said it.
I believe we can all agree that this is no time to play political games. To use this tragic occurrence as a means of achieving personal gain of any kind is totally inappropriate and wrong and should be strongly condemned. Putting our country first is certainly not too much to ask of our public officials and political candidates. In fact, that should be demanded of them.
My thoughts and prayers today are for our national and local officials, and for all non-elected leaders, as they jointly seek understanding as how best to curb the acts of gun violence, hatred and terrorism. My specific prayer today is that one day – and very soon – such violence, hatred and terrorist activity will end once and for all. We must include God in the problem-solving efforts and that is an absolute necessity. I firmly believe with all my heart that God is the only answer!
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