Here we are again, another mass murder of innocents by a loser with a high-powered weapon. Everyone takes to Facebook and Twitter to send “thoughts and prayers” and argue for and against gun control/mental health funding. In a few days, the national attention will fade and the fewer than 700 people who call Sutherland Springs, Texas, home will tend to the local work of binding the wounds inflicted upon their community.

The Sunday rampage at First Baptist Church left 26 people dead, including an infant, a 5-year-old and eight members of a single family.  Thoughts and prayers won’t bring any of them back. They were thinking and praying in a church when they were slaughtered.

Thoughts and prayers expressed in the wake of senseless tragedy are mainly about making the sender feel better. I don’t know anyone in Sutherland Springs. Do you?

Sending thoughts and prayers with the click of the mouse is easy, and neatly separates words from deeds in a way the Bible decries as empty: “Faith without works is dead.”  James 2:26

Thoughts and prayers absolve the sender from the responsibility to act. The chronic carnage wrought by guns that get into the wrong hands is just too hard to solve by earthly means. It’s in God’s hands, now.

Which brings me to the same old disclaimer I type every time some loser murders innocents with a weapon no sane person needs: I am a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment. I don’t want to live in a country where the government has all the guns. I also don’t want to live in a country where mass shootings are becoming routine and the best response a nation that harnessed the atom, mapped the human genome and put people on the moon can muster is thoughts and prayers.

Shame on us all.