The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) joins the nation in grieving the senseless loss of life of six people—three 9-year-olds and three adults—in a mass shooting at Covenant Presbyterian School in Nashville on Monday, March 27, 2023.
We lament and are horrified by what seems to be a never-ending, cyclical nightmare. Gun violence is now the leading cause of death among children and teens in the United States, and it is long past time for us to take decisive and urgent action to bring an end to this scourge on our society. Our children deserve better from us.
Tragically, as a nation we find ourselves in an all-too-familiar position. The dates and places and faces change, but it is the same story, one that leaves us exhausted, frustrated, and distraught. Families are left shattered, and communities are devastated, as they search for answers and work to pick up the pieces of their lives.
Appallingly, we continue to respond with thoughts and prayers to circumstances that require collective and immediate action to end the gun violence wreaking havoc in our communities. The sacredness of prayer is diminished when we ask God to miraculously intervene in what is within our power to change, yet we refuse.
Comprehensive, common sense gun reform, including a ban on assault weapons, is the least we can do to change the trajectory of destruction that has visited innocent lives of all ages and ethnicities.
We don’t have to live like this. Children should never be afraid to go to school for fear they will be killed. Seniors should not hesitate to go grocery shopping for fear they will be shot. Parishioners should not be afraid to go to houses of worship in fear of imminent death.
We pray that this is the last statement we must write about a mass shooting. But it is up to us. Let’s get to work!