At Least 26 Killed in Texas Gun Massacre
Dozens of Sutherland Springs, Texas churchgoers were shot to death during an 11:00 am service. As worshipers gathered at First Baptist Church in the small San Antonio suburb, 26-year-old homegrown terrorist identified as Devin Patrick Kelley, shot and killed at least 25 people and wounded 20 others.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott referred to the Sutherland Springs massacre as the "worst mass shooting in state history." Kelley was found dead in his vehicle miles from the church. It remains unknown whether his wounds were self-inflicted or sustained from a neighbor of the church who chased him with a rifle.
After serving four years in the United States Air Force, Kelly received a bad conduct discharge in 2014 following a court-martial for beating his wife and child. Pentagon spokesman Ann Stefanek, said served in Logistics Readiness at Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. "Kelley was court-martialed in 2012 for two counts of Article 128 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice: assault on his spouse and assault on their child," informs Stefanek. Military.com also reports that in addition to the discharge, Kelley was confined for twelve months and had a reduction to the grade of E-1.
Sadly, Wilson County, Texas residents are just the most recent victims of the U.S. weekly installment of horrific mass shootings. Despite this, due to government corruption, specifically, the funneling of millions of dollars into the coffers of legislators, the U.S. epidemic of gun violence will continue. 'Thoughts and prayers' are not enough! Ending gun violence requires action, legislative action. Tell lawmakers to save their thoughts, shove their prayers, and actually do something. Unless of course, it's "too soon" to discuss the U.S. gun violence epidemic.
After a full day of grieving and investigating, Wilson County Sheriff Joe Tackitt made the following comment during the national press conference: "Don't say it should have never happened because it does happen." Sheriff Tackitt seems grossly unaware that the reality of his statement highlights the problem!
Gun violence massacres do happen in the United States and it is a legitimate epidemic.
Simply brushing off gun violence as commonplace is unacceptable, especially from a member of the law enforcement community. This country will never rid itself of its gun violence tendency till lawmakers primary concern becomes the well-being of their constituents rather than the well-being of their re-election aspirations.
How many must die before cowards in office are willing to thumb their noses at the NRA? At some point, conscience and empathy must supersede selfish, personal ambition. With empathy, sound reasoning, and quality judgment missing from the White House, it is unlikely that leadership on the epidemic of gun violence will come from the current White House occupant Donald Trump.
While in Japan during a two-week Asian tour, Trump was asked by an American reporter, 'In light of the [Sutherland Springs,] Texas gun massacre, which gun safety legislative measures would you support?' Without consideration for the significance of 30,000+ people who are killed annually in the U.S. as a result of gun violence, Trump answered, 'This is not a guns situation...It's a mental health situation on the highest level.' Someone should sit Trump down and explain to him that absent Devin Kelley having a gun, 26 Texans would still be alive. Guns are the one constant between the massacres at Columbine High School Massacre, Virginia Tech University, Umpqua Community College, Mother Emanuel A.M.E., Aurora Movie Theatre, Pulse Nightclub, Vegas Country Music Festival, Sandy Hook Elementary, and EVERY other gun massacre.
This is not hyperbole, guns are weapons of mass destruction and these instruments of war ought to be highly regulated to prevent their calamitous destruction.
Among the victims killed on Sunday was Annabelle Pomeroy, the 14-year-old daughter of First Baptist Church's pastor, Frank Pomeroy. In a phone call to ABC News, Pastor Pomeroy (who was in Oklahoma during the shooting) described Annabelle as "one very beautiful, special child."