Las Vegas, NV has many nicknames, a few pejorative, most more amusing and fun. It’s an entire city for fun. The local economy is mostly based on games, amusements, gaming (we don’t often call it gambling), and recreation. Las Vegas will sing, dance, spin, deal, and cater to you. It will stay open all night for you, then offer you a buffet breakfast in the morning. It will welcome you. Last night it showed it will spare no effort to keep you safe.
Its police officers will direct concert goers to safety during a hail of gun fire. Its officers will locate, and subdue a shooter, within moments. Its hospitals will provide medical assistance and services second to none.
And, it will graciously accept your prayers and condolences for the heinous attack by a lone wolf (which usually means white) shooter lodged at the Mandalay Bay attacking concert goers across the street.
I’m simply wondering when, if ever, some of those who are offering those kind phrases will pair them with action, as is advised in James 1:23-25: “For if a man be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he shall be compared to a man beholding his own countenance in a glass…”
Are there really any questions how a person amassed a small arsenal in a state with few regulations on gun ownership? Are there really any questions about how many rounds he fired off in a state that doesn’t limit the purchase of ammunition, or high capacity magazines? Are there actually any questions concerning the origins of yet another mass casualty incident in a country wherein the Congress is discussing legislation to allow the general purchase of silencers? Was the disciple merely babbling when he wrote: “You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?” [James 2:20]
“There was fully automatic fire from an elevated position.” Yes, condolences are in order. They are appropriate for the family members of those slain in this act of violence. They are appropriate for the Las Vegas law enforcement personnel who lost one of their own, an off duty officer out for an evening concert. They are appropriate for families dealing with an injured loved one. However, the prayer half of the equation is, as the disciple said, empty without action.
But, we didn’t act after the tragedy at Virginia Tech, nor after the carnage at Sandy Hook Elementary School, not in the wake of the San Ysidro shooting, not after the tragic loss of life at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. [CNN] What can we conclude other than we are people who look at ourselves in a polished glass, without seeing our natural face?
When will we pair our prayers with our actions?
Crossposted at Desert Beacon, a Nevada blog