This week we mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy as we prepare to mark the one-year anniversary of the massacre of school children in Sandy Hook.
Do Americans put more faith in guns than in God? It is idolatry to worship false idols but the NRA and their allies tell us to trust in weapons as the last refuge of safety. Scripture tells us to trust to God "though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult." (Psalm 46 NRSV)
Arm the teachers, cried the NRA after Sandy Hook. That will stop the massacres. Then came the shooting this year at the Navy Yard where 13 died. Even soldiers at a military compound are not safe from gun violence.
President Kennedy had the best security available of his time and still a gunman took him down and changed history. Later, President Ronald Reagan would be a victim of gun violence. Power and privilege cannot always protect.
The NRA, once a respected hunting organization, has become over years the last defense of terrorists, child killers, and political extremists. Their money and influence controls the debate over how to combat gun violence in America. They are powerful. Yet they wield their power not in defense of the most vulnerable but in support of the most violent. In the end, they have become the greatest obstacle of the Prince of Peace and the Prophets of God who called for weapons to be turned into plowshares.
President Kennedy once said: "Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future."
The NRA must shoulder some blame for the shooting at Sandy Hook that took so many children from us. That day so much hope and promise perished. Every day since gun violence has taken more Americans in senseless acts that could have been prevented if common sense gun control measured proposed by President Barack Obama had been enacted. Even a majority of NRA members supported President Obama's proposals. Tragically, the NRA's allies in Congress put their faith in guns instead of God. That is simply sin. So each day more children die.
Lord have mercy.