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Sutherland Springs Church Shooting

Catherine Moster, Staff Writer

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In what USA Today calls “the deadliest year for mass killings in at least a decade,” 2017 has been a difficult year for not only the victims and families, but for all Americans trying to  understand and deal with such violence.

On November 5, a horrible and deadly mass shooting took place inside First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs in Texas. In such a close community, it comes as no surprise that the lives of the 26 people who were lost impacted the hearts of everyone living in Sutherland Springs greatly. However, it was not only the hearts of Texans that were hurt, but also the whole of America.

President Trump announced shortly after the shooting that he felt it was a “horrible act of evil,” and that it was time for Americans to “join hands.” He went on later to say that this was a situation in which gun control would not have prevented anything, and that we must focus on the mental state of the shooters who do these things.

Americans are indeed joining hands as multiple charities rise up to help everyone who was impacted by the shooting. Many have raised a considerably large amount of money through sites like GoFundMe, and the church’s website has a PayPal page for anyone who wishes to donate to do so. Blood drives had begun to increase shortly after the tragedy, and it is still encouraged to donate to help those who still need blood.

Devin Patrick Kelley, the gunman who killed 26 people, was found dead in his vehicle. He had one shot to the head from himself, and one in his torso and leg, from an armed citizen. Officials say he had anger directed at the church due to fights he had with his mother, who was a member there. They also confirmed that he did not have a license to carry his gun but had still owned four firearms. Friends told police that he was unstable.

At times like this, there is no way to ever be sure of what is to happen next. As people come together to pray, donate, and console those who have lost loved ones, one has to hope that the right initiatives are taken to help the mentally unstable and that government officials will make the best decisions about gun laws. This shooting, and all that have come before, was indeed a horrible act of evil, but the support that people have shown has truly been a sign that good will overpower evil.

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