After the Las Vegas massacre a mere 37 days ago, I, among many others, said that thoughts and prayers from the public and politicians alike—no matter how genuine and supportive—are not enough. Sadly, yesterday, the inadequacy of words alone proved to be all-too-true, as Sutherland Springs, Texas experienced the worst church shooting in this country’s history. At least 26 men, women, children and one unborn were murdered and 20 others injured during their sacred Sunday service at the community’s First Baptist Church.
What to do now is clear, but by no means easy.
- We must stop attacking each other, and start attacking the hard issues that affect us all.
- We must stop labeling each other.
- We must stop only assigning the “terrorism” label to events involving Muslims—when in fact, terrorism and deranged criminals both intentionally carry out horrific slaughters. The harm is one and the same.
And perhaps most of all, we must stop thinking that the threat from abroad is greater than the threat from within.
Words alone are failing us. We must demand that our leaders take action, rooted in facts—like the fact that a history of domestic violence, not race or religion, is a common thread among mass murderers, including yesterday’s shooter, Devin Patrick Kelley. If we don’t, I fear that I’ll be writing you again in another 37 day’s time.
This is the time to work together as allies. Because above and beyond all other identities, there is one we all share—that we are human.
Joyce S. Dubensky