Texas Church Shooting Kills 26, Congress and President Send Prayers

Texas Church Shooting Kills 26, Congress and President Send Prayers

A Texas church saw the deadliest massacre in a place of worship, but is Congress doing enough?

A Texas church saw the deadliest massacre in a place of worship, but is Congress doing enough?

Text: Cassidy Morrison

The country was rocked yet again as another mass shooting was carried out, this time in a small church in rural Texas. 26 people were killed after Devin Patrick Kelley, 26, entered the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, about 30 miles east of San Antonio, and started shooting. It was the deadliest attack ever to take place in a house of worship.

Law enforcement officials have alluded that a motive will surface in the coming days, and that this did not appear to be a random act of violence. Kelley was later found dead in his car.

A former member of the Air Force, Kelley was discharged for “bad conduct” in 2014 and court-martialed in 2012 on two charges of assaulting his spouse and child. According to NBC News, he was confined for a year and reduced in rank to airman basic E-1 before his discharge.

Before entering the church at about 11:20, Kelley, dressed in tactical gear, began firing outside before continuing the massacre inside. A local resident confronted Kelley and pursued him when Kelley drove off. Law enforcement found Kelley after he ran off the road in his car. Inside the vehicle were multiple weapons. Under federal law, anyone who has been dishonorably discharged is not authorized to buy a gun.

Authorities said victims’ ages ranged from 5 to 72. Inside the church, 23 were killed, while two were found dead outside, and one person being transported to an area hospital had died.

While traveling in Asia, President Trump wrote on Twitter, “May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas.” Ted Cruz wrote, “Keeping all aharmed in Sutherland Springs in our prayers.” And thus begins the ubiquitous outpouring of “thoughts and prayers” that do considerably less than gun reform legislation.

Shootings like this happen all too often and should be met with the greatest sympathy for victims’ families. Yet, when will legislators understand that more must be done besides tweeting static messages of condolence? Why was this man, dishonorably discharged just three years ago, permitted to amass weapons? Perhaps most importantly, why does Congress allow the NRA to maintain a chokehold over legislation? More can be done apart from sending thoughts and prayers, and we can only hope that Congress doesn't prove once again that it is paralyzed in the wake of disaster.

Credits: Photo via Instagram

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