Almost immediately after mass shooting deaths and injuries, the area becomes a media circus and crime scene. Law enforcement agencies swarm the area. Reporters start asking victims how they’re feeling.
Later that day fearful relatives and friends flood the crime scene asking anybody who’ll talk to them if they know anything about the victims or the wounded.
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:5
That same day, or possibly the next, an outpouring of compassion and sympathy for the victims and their families blossoms. It spreads throughout the community quickly touching every heart. Friend or foe. It matters not whether the victims are students, Blacks, soldiers, Muslims, co-workers, senior citizens, gays, Democrats or Republicans. The effusive sympathy and care for the shooting victims and the wounded binds the community together in uncommon fellowship and unity–all with one goal: to relieve suffering and unite in one voice of grief and resolve that they’ll, “come through this tragedy.”
‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:39
Where was all this care and compassion yesterday? Where was the love and resolve to be united with neighbors?
Right after a tragedy you might have seen a gun-totin’, second-amendment-loving truck driver serving a meal to a Muslim family. Or a Left-wing liberal providing shelter for a right-wing Republican family for the night.
A few weeks after the tragedy passes, however, folks return to their “normal” judgmental, prejudiced, politically correct, intolerant ways.
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who [insult you and] persecute you.” Matthew 5:44
On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 we witnessed members of the legislature gathered together on the steps of the Capitol singing “God Bless America”. After the song they returned to their fighting and arguing.
After a mass shooting the compassion, love and kindness lasts long enough for the community and families of the loved ones killed or injured to get through the tragedy and begin putting the pieces of their lives back together.
We probably won’t see the same kind of genuine unity again until after the next mass shooting.