Never Again In Oregon Happens Again

It has happened again.

Mass shootings like the one today at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg happen too often and Oregon has not been immune.

Today, we offer our prayers for those killed and injured. We also lift up the families of those impacted. Still, we must also work to take steps that reduce gun violence this day so that there are no more days like this.

But we know there will be another day like this.

Oregon is fortunate in that, unlike Congress, our state legislature moved forward and adopted some common sense gun laws this past session providing more background checks.

We do not know yet the motive of the shooter today or the weapon used. What we do know that mass shootings like these do not occur with the same frequency in other Western nations and that access to powerful firearms meant for war is too easy.

It is also clear that the changes needed in our society to restrict access to weapons of war will not come easily or without great effort. So another day like this will come. And another. The mass shooting of children in Newtown could not even move Congress to take responsible steps urged by President Obama and by faith leaders.

Hope is not lost, however. The road forward might be difficult, but it is a road the American people must walk together to reclaim our safety from the NRA and manufactures of weapons and bullets that profit off the sin of mass murder.

As a minister in the United Church of Christ, as a father and as a university chaplain, my heart is once again broken but I remain resolved to work with other good people of faith to change the nature of our society.

Yes, I will pray. We should pray. I've been praying and asking God why another day like this has come?

The answer back from God is always the same: work harder. The Kingdom doesn't come easily or without sacrifice.

For my daughters and my students, I pledge to work harder.