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Praying for Las Vegas and gun control

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By Ernesto Tinajero

On Oct. 1 we had another horrific mass shooting in America. A 64-year man loaded with enough assault weapons for a battalion of Special Ops decided he could turn an outdoor concert into his personal shooting gallery.

There are so many dead, and the natural human questions is to ask why he did it. We don’t know. We will maybe learn more about his motivations soon enough. Though the motivation tends to direct us from an even more damning question of how he was able to do it. How does anyone get such a large arsenal of deadly weapons designed to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time? Assault means offensive or attack. They are not for personal protection. They are terrible for hunting animals. Their aim is to kill humans and to terrorize. The only reason anyone would have them is either because they lust for the power such weapons make them feel or they want to kill a lot of innocent people. We are all getting to know about those legal bump stocks and how to make deadly assault weapons more deadly. And this technology kills at an alarming rate. This will not be the last mass shooting in America. There will probably be more before Christmas. 

I am no fool. Nothing will change. Personal arsenals of military assault rifles will continue to grow as will the carnage of innocent lives. Sandy Hook taught me that our country’s love affair with guns and money is too powerful a sin to be broken no matter the amount of blood spilled. Politicians will offer up prayers to the victims and their families. But true prayer leads to action and the action defines the prayer. Many politicians will do little to stop the flow of assault weapons and actually want to weaken gun laws. Like the public prayer for show, which Jesus condemned, these politicians offer prayers to be seen as caring when they really lust only the green of money. They hope the easy distraction of the public will work its magic and they can get back to work of making more money. They will get their reward in the public pronouncement of prayer by an increase in political donations from the gun lobby. Profits before lives. They reveal their God of the Unholy Trinity… Money, Power, and Greed.

Many in the gun lobby will point to Hollywood that glories guns as a will to power. And they have a point. We do see the gun used to great effect in most of our culture and art. 

Yes, we less reject the rock of Cain and more are likely to admire the beauty of its bloodstain patterns. Yet, judging but the gun industry’s advertising, the only time gun lobby criticizes Hollywood is during the predictable and frequent mass shootings that catch the public attention. Now, a mass shooting in America has to be large and horrific to gain any traction in the media. Our local shooting by a 15-year-old boy who killed one classmate and shot two others was but a blip in the daily news. But, profits must be maintained; the God of Money-Loving has to be fed innocent lives and Greed must rule for the god of America now is not the Holy Trinity, rather the Unholy Trinity of Money Power and Lust.

Nothing will change but the predictable loss of life for no reason other than gun lust and greed. St Paul echoed his Lord Jesus by saying the love of money is the root of evil. We will continue to put our hands in our ears and say, “la, la, la … I can’t hear you.”

Ernesto Tinajero
Ernesto Tinajero
Art, says Ernesto Tinajero, comes from the border of what has come before and what is coming next. Tinajero uses his experience studying poetry and theology to write about the intersecting borders of art, poetry and religion.

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