The world recoiled once again in horror at the tragic news of another gunman who opened fire on defenseless, random people. The senseless act of violence occurred in late May in Uvalde, Texas, and the victims were nineteen young children between the ages of 9 and 11 and two adult teachers who shielded the students with their bodies. The shooter, identified as 18-year old Salvador Ramos, entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde unhindered and opened fire on the 4th grade students. He, in turn, was later killed by the police. It is the deadliest shooting at an elementary school in the US since the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting in Connecticut in 2012.
Uvalde is a city of 16,000 located just 90 kilometers east of the Mexican border. It is the kind of small town where everyone knows everyone, which makes the pain that much deeper among the surviving families. The incident raised multiple contentious issues in the US—gun control laws, school security, police response and procedure to name a few. It will showcase the divide among the Conservatives and Liberals once again. Changes in public policy could be the result, but no human power can bring those 21 lives back again. No government agency can make the families they left behind whole again.
There will be plenty of discussion once again on how to prevent mass shootings. Those conversations which hopefully would lead to reforms in policies are necessary. But ultimately, it wasn’t guns that killed those children. It was an 18-year old with evil intent in his heart who used a gun for murder. It is another sad reminder that man is a sinner and the result of his sin is a fallen and broken world (Romans 3:23). While new legislation and policies will help and are needed, because this is a moral problem, the only real answer is the gospel (Romans 1:16).
Most troubling for Western nations, particularly the US, where most of these types of random senseless killings happen, is that they seem to occur with alarming regularity. The pattern and scale we are seeing in the last twenty years alone has been frightening. Since the tragedy in Uvalde, a white nationalist shot at African Americans at a grocery store in Buffalo, New York, and another shooter killed three at a medical center in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The Washington Post counted over 200 mass shootings in 2022 alone.
Tragedies like these go straight to our core as humans. We must grieve with the families of victims. Let us pray that they experience the comfort and grace of God during this most difficult time. Let us intercede for the West, once the center of Christianity and Christian missions, to ask itself the hard questions and to turn to God for the answers. While the depravity of such sinful acts staggers us despite our exposure to wars, crime, and such, only Christ’s work on the cross is able to match and triumph over such evil deeds and wickedness.
- Let us lift up to God the surviving families and friends of the victims in Uvalde, Texas. Pray that the God of all comfort and the Prince of peace would blanket that entire community with His grace and love.
- Intercede for US lawmakers to arrive at a reasonable, practical, effective, and constitutional solution to the longstanding issue of gun control. Ask God for a spirit of bipartisanship to overrule any partisan politics in light of this national tragedy.
- Let us stand in the gap for the US. May this incident cause Americans to search their hearts and consciences. Pray for a spirit of humility and repentance that they might turn back to God as a people.
Every Nation is a global family of churches and campus ministries, of which Victory is a founding member.
We are called to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). This is the reason we value world missions as a church and persistently pray for the nations every month.
To learn more about the situation in the United States, you can check the news and resources in the links below.