HOUSTON (FOX 26) - We have heard a lot of thoughts and plenty of prayers. Nevertheless, the members of the Triumphant Church are heading to Parkland, Fla. to support the victims and pray.
"We will meet with some of the survivors as well as with some family members which lost loved ones to this atrocity," said Pastor Timothy Dixon.
The congregation also plans to push for change. The group's departure is well timed. While there are debates about various gun control measures throughout the U.S., retailer Dick's Sporting Goods has announced its pulling assault style rifles, often called modern sporting rifles, off its shelves as well as high-capacity magazines. It is also banning gun sales to anyone under 21. Dixon's church members applaud the measures.
"We're not going to be able to stop every person but if we put some type of measure in place, I think we will make a huge difference," said Christi Steverson.
The retailer clearly has the same idea. It is also urging lawmakers to take those steps plus the following:
Require universal background checks that include relevant mental health info and previous interactions with the law. Ensure a complete universal database of those banned from having firearms and close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks.
Meanwhile, Katy-based Academy Sports + Outdoors says it is a supporter of hunting and shooting and selling guns legally, but is in favor of fixing the background check system. It backs the so-called "Fix Nics" bill before Congress right now.
Have we reached a tipping point on this issue? Plenty of time for church members to ponder that. The drive to Parkland will last around sixteen hours.
"I believe that the difference we'll make is worth the distance we'll travel." said Pastor Dixon.