Tuesday, May 14, 2019

CBN gets it wrong on gun violence

Victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting. Imagine the size of an exit wound from an assault rifle relative to the size of a six-year-old body.
via CNN.com
Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network has a reliable stable of deep thinkers. Deeply self-absorbed that is. Tuesday it is Will Maule who writes: 'We're Not Going to Give Thoughts and Prayers': 2020 Candidate Cory Booker Curses Prayer. Maule writes:
Democratic hopeful Cory Booker has issued some harsh words of criticism to those who vow to send “thoughts and prayers” in the wake of mass shootings.

The left has, for some time, sought to throw shade on Christians who insist that prayer is real and powerful, especially in the ministering of comfort and solace to those who are hurting in the wake of these tragic events.
Uh, no.

Presumably Mr. Maule sees everything in terms of evangelical zeal. This has nothing whatsoever to do with his belief in prayer. Cory Booker was not cursing prayer either. “My thoughts and prayers” have become a substitute for actually doing something about gun violence. The “prayers” part is as meaningless as the “thoughts” part.

As a survivor of gun violence what I want to hear is how people propose to prevent something like this from happening in the future. I do not have high expectations. Conservative Christians seem to be just fine with the carnage. They have great sway over the Republican Party which does nothing about gun safety.

Seven years ago, at the Sandy Hook Elementary School, someone fatally shot 20 children between six and seven years old plus six adult staff members. Imagine the relative size of the exit wound to the body of a six-year-old inflicted by a Bushmaster XM-15 (AR-15 style) assault rifle. That image haunts me. 20 dead kids did not motivate Congress to address gun safety. Instead of “thoughts and prayers” bullshit, how about some Christian outrage?

Nearly two years after the Las Vegas massacre we finally banned bump stocks which turn rifles into machine guns. The Senate refused to take up a bill (presumably scared shitless of the NRA crowd). Instead, the DOJ issued a final ruling in mid-December, 2018 to classify the devices as machine guns. It went into effect March 26, 2019. That is in the wake of 58 deaths and 422 wounded (plus another 300 injuries due to the stampede).

In 2017 nearly 40,000 people were killed by firearms, the most in 50 years. “Thoughts and prayers” don't seem to have much effect on our bloodletting.

I don't know where you live, Mr. Maule, but the thought of me carrying a pistol should scare the living crap out of you. I have a acute PTSD. It is incurable. It does not respond to treatment. It is the result of the competition of a bullet and body parts to occupy the same space at the same time (the bullet always wins). I could go off due to a passing vehicle with an overamped sub-woofer. Yet I can go into any gun store in Miami-Dade and, in a very short time, possess the WMD of my choice.

In the final analysis thoughts and prayers are just fine if coupled with the sentiment that Congress must act to prevent future gun violence. When I see Christians organized to effect changes in our laws I will be more receptive. Meanwhile gun suppliers in the Bible Belt are arming the rest of the country. From the streets of Chicago to the .45 that ended up in hands of the person who ambushed and shot me in New York City.

Why is it that the Bible Belt is at the center of the nation's gun fetish? Christians could change that in a heartbeat if they wanted to. They don't want to. Why is that Mr. Maule? Got any answers or are you content to offer misconstrued and nonsensical polemics?

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