In the United States, there's something more important than the lives of little children.

On Sunday morning at 11am, a congregation gathered inside First Baptist Church, an unassuming white building with a burgundy door, in Sutherland Springs, Texas.

The parishioners ranged in age from two years old, to 72, and as they prayed they likely planned their afternoons, and daydreamed about what the upcoming week would hold.

Annabelle Renee Pomeroy, 14, might have been thinking about school, and was probably looking forward to her dad returning home from Oklahoma later that day.

Annabelle Renee Pomeroy. Image via Facebook.

Perhaps the older members of the parish were more mindful, letting the words of their minister wash over them, breathing in that distinctive church smell of old wood and burning candles.

And as they all stood still in their pews, deep in their own thoughts, they would have heard the first shot.

They probably turned around, wondering what the noise was.

The shot was fired by a 26-year-old, dressed in full combat fear, whose name does not deserve to be remembered.

Police say the gunman shot two people outside the church, before entering the morning service at approximately 11:20am.

With a rifle he is thought to have purchased legally from Academy Sports & Outdoors store, he opened fire inside the small church, killing at least 27 innocent civilians. The youngest victim, reports say, was five years old, and the eldest 72.


LISTEN: Just over a month ago, the United States saw their most deadly mass shooting in modern history. 

We do not know yet what that five-year-old boy wanted to be when he grew up, or what was on his wishlist for Christmas. We can never comprehend what is lost when a child barely able to read, loses their life. The dreams. The ambitions. The friendships. The stresses. The turmoils. The love. The heartbreaks. The hopes. It is all simply unquantifiable.

As news of the latest mass shooting broke, the largest in Texas history, people all over the world sent their thoughts and prayers.

But today, prayers achieve nothing. At least 27 people were murdered while they prayed. And what good did it do them?

"Our hearts are with Texas," First Lady Melania Trump tweeted.

"May God be w/ the people of Sutherland Spring, Texas. The FBI & law enforcement are on the scene. I am monitoring the situation from Japan," President Donald Trump tweeted.

These people do not need Donald Trump to pray for peace.

They need him to legislate it.

Two women outside the First Baptist Church in Texas. Image via Getty.

It will be five years next month since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, the deadliest mass school shooting in history. Of the 27 casualties, 20 were children aged between six and seven.

Despite proposals for a thorough background-check system, or federal and state gun control legislation, precisely nothing changed.

It was then, in 2012, that Congress decided this was behaviour they accepted. That the murder of children was a fair price to pay for the second amendment right to bear arms.

Trump has condemned the shooting as "an act of evil". The man responsible will be positioned as an outlier, a lone wolf and most likely mentally ill.

But what happened on Sunday, at a small church in South Texas, was the logical and inevitable conclusion of a culture where guns can be purchased as easily as a can of a coke.

This was the last post the gunman published to Facebook:

Image via Facebook.

"One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and we all take off our shoes at the airport," John Oliver famously said. "Thirty-one school shootings since Columbine and no change in our regulation of guns."

Today, we mourn. We try and comprehend the unimaginable and senseless loss of life. But ultimately, we feel exasperated.

The people with the power to ensure a tragedy of this scale does not happen again, are not listening.

We are sad, but today we must also allow ourselves to be angry.

"We join hands," President Trump said in a press conference on Sunday night. "We lock arms and through the tears and the sadness, we stand strong..."

He might as well have finished his sentence with:

"Until this happens again."

You can listen to the latest episode of Mamamia Out Loud, here.