Once again, J’accuse. America writ large - its institutions, organizations, and individuals - has once again failed its citizens.
Laurie Roberts (The Republic/azcentral.com) tweeted:
After Texas church massacre, God help us. #sutherlandspringsshooting azc.cc/2AafOqw via @azcentral
Here’s the Roberts column in full.
A week ago, Devin Patrick Kelly posted a picture of a semiautomatic rifle on his Facebook page.
“She’s a bad bitch,” he wrote.
Certainly a deadly one.
At 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, Kelly, dressed in all black and wearing a ballistic vest, walked into the First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, with his “bad bitch” and opened fire.
Twenty six dead, ranging in age from 5 to 72. Another 20 wounded.
It was the fourth deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, tied with Sandy Hook. It comes just a month and four days after the deadliest shooting, at the Route 91 Harvest Festival Las Vegas.
Four of the top five gun massacres have occurred in the last 18 months.
There will be calls for a tightening of gun laws.
There will be calls for a greater commitment to mental health treatment.
There will be grieving and there will be the usual “thoughts and prayers” and there will be a brief national fistfight.
And there will [be] … no change.
Last Sunday, one of the pastors at First Baptist, Pastor Frank Pomeroy, delivered the sermon at First Baptist of Sutherland Springs. He told the church faithful to trust in God’s plan, no matter how hard it might be.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely, or lean, on your own understanding,” he said.
On Sunday morning, Pastor Pomeroy’s daughter, Annabelle, was among the 26 killed. She was 14 years old.
Tonight, I’m praying, God help us.
For surely, we cannot, will not help ourselves.
There are two things wrong with those concluding lines. One is the “god thing.”
In a reply to Roberts’ tweet. Frannyjean weighed in on the god thing:
Leave god out of it. This was in a church AGAIN; obviously god was there and allowed it to happen. Enough with the god thing. It’s guns.
The second thing is “cannot” vs. “will not”. Roberts cannot have it both ways. “Cannot” implies helplessness. America the great, the “sleeping tiger” feared around the world, is helpless to protect its own citizens here at home? That is the great lie promoted by NRA, the gun lobby, the firearms industry, and their shills in congress.
That leaves “will not” which implies moral and criminal culpability.
In another reply to Roberts’ tweet, Toby @PhxGingi concluded that
It’s time to admit that as a society we’re ok with mass killings as we lack the moral, ethical & political will to stop them #GunContolNow
As I wrote after the Las Vegas shooting, just over a month ago, in J’accuse: Our national failure and disgrace:
I accuse, then, most of all, the United States of America for its failure as a nation. I accuse the USA of failing “to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity …” I accuse the USA of inflicting unjust injury on its citizens. I accuse the USA of fostering domestic discord. I accuse the USA of harming the general welfare. I accuse the USA of the dishonest equation of guns and liberty. I accuse the United States of America of accepting and condoning the deaths of its citizens.
Sure, have a heart. Cry for the departed. And then cry again for our country.