What else did we expect? Guns and violence

The Very Rev. Gary Hall’s, Dean of the Washington National Cathedral, sermon on John the Baptist and Sandy Hook school shootings and all the death that continues. From Huffington Post:

It has been a year since the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and as we observe this anniversary, I find that these two questions frame my perception of the year we have been through. A year ago, I stood in the pulpit and declared my own and this cathedral’s resolve to stand with and for the victims of gun violence and to use our energies to mobilize the faith community to pressure our legislators for action to curb the epidemic of deaths brought about by guns in America. In the phrase that will no doubt be the opening line of my obituary, I said, “The gun lobby is no match for the cross lobby.”

A year later, pretty close to nothing has happened. By the estimates of the Center for Disease Control, another 32,000 Americans have died by gun violence since December 14, 2012. There have been mass shooting around the country, even in our own Washington D.C. Navy Yard. There has been almost no legislative action in response to these deaths. “Are you the one who is to come, or are we to wait for another?” “What else did we think we had a right to expect?”

One year after Newtown, I ask, as you do, “Why has nothing happened?” And in response I hear not an answer but William Sloane Coffin’s question: “What else did we think we had a right to expect?” If we don’t care at least as much as the gun lobby, if we don’t become, in the president’s words, “obsessed” with curbing gun violence, what right do we have to expect that things will be any different, even after the next mass shooting or wave of urban gun deaths?

Past Posts