Texas: Why Shoot Churchgoers? by Sandeep Silas

A madness is overtaking humanity, I feel. Suddenly one fine morning a crazy man picks up a gun and goes on a killing spree for no reason whatsoever. The innocent people busy in their own affairs are subjected to cold blooded murder. This person is not concerned whether the victims are studying in a school, gathered for a religious prayer or just dancing an evening.

The murderer has no grudge against anyone of those persons. He has never even met them. Still, they fall prey to his madness and die an unfulfilled life. Why?

What happened in the Texas Church shooting on November 6, 2017 is utmost deplorable. It is seen from the reports that this man re-loaded his weapon several times in order to kill more people as if he was on a mission to eliminate the entire congregation. 26 people died and 20 were wounded. The First Baptist Church in Sutherland Spring shall never be the same again. It floors shall forever bear the blood of the worshipers who had gathered in the name of The Lord to pray and follow a good path in life.

Investigators work at the scene of a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, on Sunday Nov. 5, 2017. A man opened fire inside of the church in the small South Texas community on Sunday, killing more than 20 people.(Jay Janner/Austin American-Statesman via AP)/Austin American-Statesman via AP)


In a short time people forget such gruesome killings if none of their family members are involved. Only personal tragedies are remembered. This is the saddest part of life. Such immense human tragedies leave a tail of havoc in the lives of those who survive. Just imagine, one victim was carrying an unborn fetus, and the youngest child who fell to the bullets was only 1 year old.

Devin Patrick Kelly, the mentally disturbed shooter had escaped in the past from a mental health facility. He had also been convicted in a  Court martial proceeding. He worked as a Security Guard at Summit Vacation Resort in New Braunfels. All the more reason that his antecedents should have been checked before he could purchase and amass four weapons.


One of the weapons of Kelly. Courtesty: http://www.abc.net.au

Kelly was reportedly undergoing a dispute with his in-laws and one of the victims was his grand mother-in-law inside the Church. Even if he had a grudge with his wife’s family, it was no reason to kill people who were totally un-involved. It appears that the man was angry with the world.


Heather Cooper, 8, places her favorite doll on a row of crosses for each victim, after a mass shooting that killed 26 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 6, 2017. A gunman wearing all black armed with an assault rifle opened fire on a small-town Texas church during Sunday morning services, killing 26 people and wounding 20 more in the last mass shooting to shock the United States. / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images
Heather Cooper, 8, places her favorite doll on a row of crosses for each victim, after a mass shooting that killed 26 people in Sutherland Springs, Texas on November 6, 2017.
Photograph Courtesy: / AFP PHOTO / Mark RALSTONMARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images

“There is a fundamental problem in our society. ‘A culture of life cannot tolerate..gun violence in all its forms’. “We stand in unity with you in this time of terrible tragedy – as you stand on holy ground, ground marred today by horrific violence,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. (http://www.thetablet.co.uk/news/8027/0/)

I am tempted to quote from the Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard by the great poet Thomas Gray :

The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
         The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea,

The plowman homeward plods his weary way,

         And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
         The swallow twitt’ring from the straw-built shed,
The cock’s shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
         No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
         Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire’s return,
         Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
This is perhaps the most appropriate requiem to those whose lives were cut short by a madman who took the path of violence against fellow citizens for no reason.
Some questions the US authorities would like to address:
1. Why did the information about Kelly’s court martial and release from a mental health facility was not available through Internet with Gun sellers?
2. Why should assault guns be circulating amongst people? (At best weapons of self-defence should be allowed)
3. How come persons with mental health issues do not have a regular follow-up with the facility?
4. Why are there no restrictions on carriage of weapons inside Hotels, Places of Worship and Concerts?
The world has to remain a peaceful place for human life to smile. This is not only our concern but also our human duty to fulfill.