Following The Texas Mass Shooting, MSNBC Host Joy Ann Reid Encouraged Americans To Take Action

"My anger, commitment and fight...going right to D.C.”

At least 26 people are reported dead after a gunman opened fire in the middle of a Texas church service Sunday. The shooting occurred around 11:30 a.m., local time, at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, a rural town east of San Antonio of just 362 according to the 2000 census. The incident is considered to be the deadliest church shooting in U.S. history. 

While the full list of victims has not been released, the church's pastor Pomeroy told ABC News that he believes his daughter Annabelle Renee Pomeroy is among the deceased. 

"My heart is broken," County Commissioner Albert Gamez Jr. told CNN. "We never think where it can happen, and it does happen. It doesn't matter where you're at. In a small community, real quiet and everything, and look at this, what can happen."

The tragedy Sunday comes just over a month after a shooting in Las Vegas killed 58 people and in a year that anti-gun violence advocates state has seen over 300 mass shootings. On social media, as tributes and messages of support poured in for the small Texas town, TV host Joy Reid offered a message of activism for those who felt anguish over the fact that such incidents have become harrowingly commonplace.

"What do we do??" a user asked her on Twitter. "How do we keep from despairing?"

Her response was shared widely by others on the social platform. 

"What you do is refuse to accept this as normal," she wrote on Twitter. "You fight is every damned day, Harriet Tubman style."

For some, the fight includes working to reform gun laws on a federal and state level. The organization Everytown for Gun Safety works to end gun violence through supporting legislation that closes the loopholes in the background check process, educating people about responsible gun ownership and working to pass laws that prevent domestic abusers from obtaining firearms. Founded as a partnership between Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Everytown counts over 3 million supporters across the country, including parents who lost their children in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. 

In the wake of the devastating incident five years ago in Newton, Conn., the families of those affected by the Sandy Hook shooting have continued to be a powerful voice in the effort to reform gun laws. Through their organization Sandy Hook Promise, the group hopes to honor the victims of gun violence by preventing such tragedies in the future.  

"My thoughts are in Texas," Erica Lafferty, who lost her mother in Sandy Hook, wrote Sunday on Twitter. "My heart was buried with my mother 5 years ago. My anger, commitment and fight...going right to D.C."

Cover image via REUTERS/Sergio Flores.


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