(RNS) — It has been every week for the reason that Membership Q capturing in Colorado Springs, the place 5 folks had been killed and at the very least 18 others had been injured.
Let’s not transfer on.
Raymond Inexperienced Vance. Kelly Loving. Daniel Aston. Derrick Rump. Ashley Paugh. Allow us to nonetheless hold the names of the useless in our minds.
It may be tough to maintain monitor of all of the lives misplaced, and it’s tempting to maneuver on. Earlier than we might absolutely grieve the lives misplaced in Colorado Springs, in spite of everything, there was one other mass capturing at a Walmart in Virginia, the place a person fatally shot six co-workers, then took his personal life. Right here in Philadelphia, the place I stay, 4 children had been shot as they had been leaving college. In all there have been greater than a dozen mass shootings within the U.S. for the reason that capturing at Membership Q on November 20.
However it is crucial to not transfer on from the assault at Membership Q in Colorado. Right here’s why.
The Membership Q capturing was a focused assault on the LGBTQ group, on the eve of Trans Day of Remembrance, a day on which we honor the transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming individuals who have been (far too usually) the victims of violence.
The capturing at Membership Q is tragically harking back to the mass capturing at Pulse nightclub in Orlando six years in the past, the place 49 folks had been shot and killed and 53 others had been wounded. It’s a reminder that the LGBTQ group continues to bear a disproportionate quantity of hateful gun violence in America.
2021 was the deadliest 12 months on file for trans and gender non-conforming folks within the U.S., and sadly, this development continues to play out in 2022, particularly amongst trans ladies of coloration. Whereas simply 13% of the U.S. trans inhabitants is estimated to be Black, 73% of the recognized trans murder victims had been Black ladies.
Communities which were traditionally marginalized, reminiscent of African Individuals and LGBTQ of us, bear a disproportionate quantity of the gun violence. For a few years, weapons have been the highest explanation for loss of life of African American youngsters, who’re 10 occasions extra more likely to die than white children. However in the course of the pandemic, weapons grew to become the commonest explanation for loss of life of all American youngsters. Anybody who claims to be “pro-life” can not ignore all these lives misplaced to weapons.
Since 2009, the U.S. has had practically 300 mass shootings, outlined as 4 or extra folks shot and killed at one time. However whereas these mass shootings catch the headlines and seize our hearts, mass shootings account for lower than 2% of our total gun deaths. If you take a look at the opposite 98% of the gun deaths in America, which regularly don’t make the information, you see marginalized communities carrying the burden of the violence.
On December 14, we’ll bear in mind the tenth anniversary of the bloodbath at Sandy Hook Elementary College in Newtown, Connecticut. That was a novel tragedy, as a result of it impacted largely white children in a New England city, and it broke our hearts, because it ought to. Twenty-six folks misplaced their lives that day … 20 of them had been between six and 7 years previous. After Sandy Hook, many individuals stated, “By no means once more!”
However we have now let it occur repeatedly.
Although the victims at Sandy Hook had been completely different from these at Membership Q, the 2 shootings had a number of essential issues in widespread: Each had been dedicated by younger, white males of their early 20s, and each had been dedicated utilizing military-style assault weapons, that are nonetheless authorized on the streets of the USA. These weapons are designed for one function: to kill as many individuals as potential as shortly as potential, and that’s precisely what they hold getting used for.
It’s time for change.
We will’t save each life, however we will avoid wasting. We will make it tougher for somebody crammed with hatred to kill. Each nation on the earth has people who find themselves violent, hateful, mentally ailing or racist. However that is the place the USA is exclusive — we enable hateful folks unimaginable entry to weapons, together with weapons of battle.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as soon as stated: “It could be true that the legislation can not make a person love me … however it might probably restrain him from lynching me.” You’ll be able to’t legislate love. We can not make fascism or homophobia unlawful, however we will make it tougher for folks to kill.
So allow us to pray for the victims in Colorado Springs, and in all places else. However allow us to additionally honor their lives by taking motion to finish gun violence, for everybody.
(Shane Claiborne is an activist, writer and co-director of Red Letter Christians. The views expressed on this commentary don’t essentially symbolize these of Faith Information Service.)