Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller. He is the author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus, and Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith.

Yo, America — How Many Mass Shootings Will It Take for You?

How many will it take? Is this seriously the kind of country you want to live in?


Yo America-

You woke up this morning to yet another news story of a mass shooting. Maybe you just glossed over the story since it seems like it’s a totally common news story for someone to just open fire in public and gun down a bunch of people.

Even my own child, 12 years old and only having lived here in the US for 4 years, has realized these shootings seem to happen all the time. “Daddy, someone shot a bunch of people again?” she’s asked me too frequently as I’ve tried to quickly change the channel. 

This time it wasn’t a school or a movie theatre, but a church. A young white male gunman entered a historic black church in South Carolina, sat down at their Bible study for a while, and then proceeded to kill nine people.

Just another day in America. “Home of the free” and “land of the brave” so they call you, but I’m looking at stories of nine people from last night who aren’t free anymore. They’re dead.

Today is the morning after one of these mass shootings, which means we’ll now enter our obligatory few weeks of saying how terrible this tragedy was before we go onto to change absolutely nothing.

To be honest, I’m starting to wonder if we as a nation are impressively stupid, because we react to these mass shootings like we would an earthquake or a tsunami– as if the fact people are getting gunned down every day in America is some unpreventable act of nature. A headline from the Onion said it most poignantly: ‘No Way To Prevent This’ Says Only Nation Where This Regularly Happens.

Mass shootings aren’t an unpreventable act of nature, they’re a product of a gun-slinging culture of death.

So, the question on my mind this morning America is: how many mass shootings will it take for you?

How many– please, list a number– will it take before you’re willing to at least have a civil discussion on guns in America?

How many will it take before you wake up and realize that we’re basically the only country this is happening to?

How many before you stop to wonder if well regulated militia is actually equal to well armed Walmart shoppers? Do we really think the founding fathers- writing about keeping a musket in one’s house- actually envisioned a day where we were all armed to the teeth and blowing each other away?

How many before you realize that people in other nations have life, liberty, and are free to pursue happiness– but do it without so many damn guns? Or, that they survive just fine with tight gun regulations designed to honor freedom and safety at the same time?

How many will it take before you reject the nonsensical talking points presented by the gundamentalists who insist that the only solution to our problem is for more people to go out and get more guns? It’s as if we learned nothing from the Cold War and are right back into a mindset of safety through always having superior firepower.

Why is it, America, that you seem so unwilling to have a national discussion on this issue, even though your own children are being slaughtered? Doesn’t that strike you as a bit odd?

How many will it take? Is this seriously the kind of country you want to live in?

It’s time to start asking these questions, America.

It’s time to have courage and force the discussion, even if they label you a communist, liberal, an enemy of the constitution, or whatever else they want to call you.

Because America is stumbling drunk on guns, and desperately needs help.

Yet, beyond these questions for America, I have a question for the Church in America: When will you stand up and take the lead on this discussion?

Benjamin L. Corey

Benjamin L. Corey

BLC is an author, speaker, scholar, and global traveler, who holds graduate degrees in Theology & Intercultural Studies from Gordon-Conwell, and earned his doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller.

He is the author of Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, and Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus.

It's not the end of the world, but it's pretty #@&% close. Trump's America & Franklin Graham's Christianity must be resisted.

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11 Responses

  1. I have read your article carefully and I agree with you very much. This has provided a great help for my thesis writing, and I will seriously improve it. However, I don’t know much about a certain place. Can you help me?

  2. Ah, U.S. idolatry. Worshipping at the altar of White Privilege and gun culture is deeply important, and White Evangelicals don’t mind the human sacrifices that are the cost of such idolatry.

  3. We will always have murderous lunatics in this world. But give a murderous lunatic numerous automatic weapons (tell me again why you Americans need an automatic weapon for personal protection or private hunting purposes?) and unlimited rounds, and you have a big problem. But to be honest, we in the rest of the world just switch the channel, shake our heads and say, “When will those stupid Americans ever learn?”.

  4. How is it that our neighbors to the north, Canada, who hunt more than we do, and have plenty of rifles, shotguns and pistols–but have no mass shootings? Answer: gun control. They have rules on what kind of guns, length of barrel, etc. And they enforce the laws. It won’t stop all shootings, but it will give the police something to work with to catch any perpetrators. And the fact he had two automatic weapons is scary. How in the world did he get them? Wake up America. It won’t be long and foreign govenments will issue travel warnings on us–like we do with third world countries.

  5. If this is the only country where violence is a problem, then why do you still live here, Benjamin L. Corey? Have you seen what is happening in countless countries around the world? This author is so clueless it hurts. Move to Pakistan if you think the US is so unsafe. Maybe Venezuela is more your speed. I can’t believe the ignorance of every paragraph in this article. We have gun laws; could you possibly not know that fully automatic weapons are illegal ACROSS THE BOARD! Criminals don’t care about laws; they break them. But if you think there is no crime in Mexico… I’ll buy you a bus ticket. You are free to express your opinion; thanks for nothing. Now try and learn some real facts before declaring that the sky is falling.

  6. For long I have had an intense dislike of guns, even as I was preparing to enter the FBI, as an in the field investigator, even as an Airman in the United States Navy and achieved Marksmanship level, I still had an intense dislike of guns. I could never be a politician because I would make ownership of guns illegal with severe restrictions and a circumspect view of the possibility of allowing gun ownership. The second amendment of the U.S. Constitution has it the right to bear arms WITH A WELL REGULATED MILITIA. The last part is generally discarded; is each person a well regulated militia?. That begs the question. One year, and I forget which one Great Britain made owning guns illegal, and even Bobbies carried no guns, only armed with batons. In that year, all of U.K. there were 19 killings by gun, in the United States 55,000 were shot dead. So, now I ask, why are not guns strictly regulated for God’s sake? Bob Foy

  7. Gun ownership is the the most sacred thing in the US.
    No amount of gun violence would be enough to allow gun control.
    It is integral to the US psyche.

    To non-USAians it is one of their foibles, peculiarities. All the US people I know are lovely people, but guns are a blind spot.

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