Thoughts and prayers are absolutely needed in response to the Parkland, Florida school shooting with 17 students and teachers dead, 14 others wounded and countless numbers of people again traumatized. These horrific murders are just latest in a long string of mass shootings that have happened over the past couple of years. Five of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern American history have happened in the last 26 months. But praying is not enough; and it's way past time to turn prayers into action.
Action means to take responsibility. And responsibility must be called out. I believe the National Rifle Association and their gun-running sponsors are responsible for the death of the Florida children and teachers. I believe all those elected officials who refuse to support the common sense gun safety laws responsible for the death of those killed on Valentine's Day/Ash Wednesday.
I believe that elected officials who are too cowardly to ban the assault weapons that are used only to kill mass numbers of people and not to protect or hunt--a ban which a majority of Americans also support—are also responsible for this week's brutal killings. I believe that we should call our ourselves and our churches to uphold life by holding their elected officials responsible and accountable for this extreme and senseless gun violence that no other country in the developed world has.
This is not a political issue, but a moral crisis that must call out the nation literally to repentance. So help us God.
Jim Wallis is president of Sojourners. His new Audible spoken-word series, Jim Wallis In Conversation, is available now, as is his book, America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America. Follow Jim on Twitter @JimWallis.