Another week, another mass shooting in America. At least 14 dead, another 14 wounded. And what are we going to do it about it?
Mostly offer our "thoughts and prayers" to the victims. And their families And the first responders.
Which, obviously, does precisely zero, nada, zilch to stop the next mass shooting. And it will come soon. Because the next one always does.
Only in America do we have this much gun violence. Why? Because we have way more guns per capita than any other nation. So we have way more gun deaths.
Responsible gun control is the answer.
Thoughts and prayers are useless. They accomplish nothing (if a person directly affected by a shooting is told you are personally thinking of them, then they might feel a little bit better, but this rarely happens).
So, please Americans, stop with the thoughts and prayers.
All these rote expressions of sympathy accomplish is relieve your guilt that you're not doing anything to stop the needless gun violence.
Support those calling for universal background checks and other reasonable gun control measures. Refuse to vote for politicians who mindlessly do the bidding of the NRA. Put pressure on federal, state, and local officials to prevent more mass shootings.
It's fine to feel for the victims. But if this is all we do, feel, we're being uncaring, not compassionate. One direct action to stop gun violence is better than a thousand thoughts and prayers.
20,000 gun laws already are not enough for you? Just be honest and say you want them all banned.
Posted by: JT | December 02, 2015 at 03:23 PM
In response to JT:
"The belief that there are approximately
20,000 gun-control laws in the United States has become received wisdom. The figure is cited by advocates, scholars, and the media with surprising regularity—an electronic newspaper search yielded more than 200 uses of the figure in the last five years alone. But as it turns out, there appears to be little basis for the number."
Clearly the 20,000 figure is more a product of advocacy than science. And however it was initially derived, the trend toward preemption of local laws has substantially reduced the total. The most informative answer to the
question of “how many gun-control laws?” is then “about 300 major state and federal laws, and an unknown but shrinking number of local laws.”
Rather than trying to base arguments for more or fewer laws on counting up the current total, we would do better to study the impact of the laws we do have."
Posted by: Chad | December 02, 2015 at 04:49 PM
Oh right, the 20,000 gun laws that are NOT being enforced because (specifically) ATF is so undermanned and underfunded they can't even dream of a day they could enforce what's on the books.
Your local police force doesn't want to take on the burden because, frankly, it's a lot to ask without the support federal government. Do you want to walk into a house you know may have small arsenal to "see" if they'd mind showing you their weapons and matching paperwork? If you're sane I'm going to guess you'd do what most law enforcement organizations are forced to do. WAIT UNTIL SOMETHING HAPPENS AND PRAY YOU CATCH THEM. Can you fault them? No. But you also can't pretend we have WORKING gun laws in this country and there for we have no need for more.
Our bi-partisan approach to all these laws has made them and the organizations responsible for them toothless and blind.
So no, saying we need more, better, stronger WORKING gun laws is not the same as saying = ban all guns. It's about demanding REAL laws (and creating the resources needed) to enforce them and support those tasked with enforcing them.
Posted by: Logan | December 02, 2015 at 06:53 PM
Great points. I will consider that high number (20,000) as being rhetoric. If the number is 300 I still think that's insane redundancy and probably nothing more than "feel good" laws that have been passed.
Can I ask what you think of the fact that all these shootings happen in "gun free zones"?
I also 100% agree with Brian's statement that prayers do nothing. For the 1st time in my life I have understood religion control. I don't think it's good but growing up in USA it always seemed crazy to suppress it. But if you want a nation of people that don't kill each other...then maybe it's one of the ingredients.? China for instance caps anyone with religious outbursts but we don't want that.
It's been a terrible day. Goodnight.
Posted by: JT | December 03, 2015 at 12:15 AM
Another day, another mass killing (2 Dec, 2015 edition)
I have a question: Why do guns get greater protection than people. I am registered as an individual and the state can find me very easily. Why, then, do I rate lower than someone’s Glock?
Defenders of the the 2nd Amendment rely on the Evangelical teachings of Christianity to defend gun ownership in the face of daily mass shootings. In 2013 the SJ published a column by Rob Toornstra is pastor of Sunnyslope Christian Reformed Church, in which he addressed gun control:
“In the face of a crisis, the immediate temptation is to call for change.
“Generally, those on the left side of the social and political spectrum tend to seek change to rules. They push for more restrictions on who can purchase guns or more control over the kinds of weapons a person can purchase. Meanwhile on the right are those who insist that the solution lies in changing the individual by teaching people to behave better, by improving morals or by returning to old-fashioned family values.
“While both sides may offer ideas that may help manage the evil in our world, neither approach will ever be able to address the root causes of the violence around us.”
He wrote that “rules can only restrain us. They cannot change our hearts.” Why, then, did God summon Moses to the top of Sinai? Why is most of the Old Testament and most of the new from John forward, little more than rules and injunctions on humans?
Is this the best answer he and those who hold the 2nd Amendment above civil relationships can give? Or do they say that we cannot know God’s intent and that there was a reason only He could know as to why they were called to Him? If so, we should honor the shooter, as we should honor all such people because they evidently are the agents of God.
He wrote that “When we realize that it is ultimately our guilt that is responsible for driving the nails through Jesus’ hands and feet, and when we trust that even so, Jesus prays for our forgiveness, we begin to grasp the love that God has for us.” Our guilt does not prevent us from imposing our own constraints in order to prevent the destructive manifestations of guilt; that is why communities exist. We impose restrictions on ourselves in order to reduce the level of violence that is inherent in our sinful natures; we impose collective restrictions on our sinful nature in order to assure that we all are able to live in peace with each of us having a fair chance of doing some good or finding a good and wholesome existence.
When fervor becomes evangelical it becomes dangerous.
I am concerned. In part because I fear that some gun owner will use his trigger finger to solve a problem rather than his head (as in Waco; as in San Bernadio; as in Roseburg). A second concern is the inverse relationship between civil discourse and advocacy of an untrammeled Second Amendment that occurs when an opinion such as this is expressed.
Though we are stuck with what we have, and which I accept (as a still civil member of society), we are not precluded from advocating for rational changes within the constraints of the Constitution. When we make a civil observation; rebuttal should also be civil.
I would have fewer concerns if I thought there was any positive relationship between one’s freedom of speech and the response of NRA types. There isn’t and that is why I distrust swaggering gun owners out of fear of those who would think with their fingers rather than with their heads. Hotheads I can deal with; hotheads with arms I cannot (nor should I)
Posted by: Richard van Pelt | December 03, 2015 at 05:48 AM
I am a gun owner and have a concealed weapon permit. I also favor meaningful background checks. I'd go a step further though and ban ownership of AK-47s, AR-15s, and any other rifle intended only for war and killing humans-- with the exception being law enforcement and the military. I know the righties won't turn theirs in but make it at least illegal to buy or own. If they get caught with one, make the fine very steep. The right will scream the Second Amendment except the founders had no idea the kind of weapons that would someday be justified under that Amendment. If we want to go to original intent-- let it go back to muzzle loaders...
Posted by: Rain Trueax | December 03, 2015 at 07:28 AM
I should add-- no gun control measure would have stopped these murders as they were also into making bombs. When people want to kill others, there are always ways. What makes them want to do that is the question as it is beyond my grasp. It's not just religion because millions are in those religions and don't want to kill. It's just a tough time in the world right now. Gun violence here but suicide bombings other places.
Posted by: Rain Trueax | December 03, 2015 at 11:58 AM
Why do you guys always make the assumption that making guns harder to get is going to keep bad people that want to kill people from getting them? Law abiding citizens obey laws. Criminals don't. And bad people love to target places where guns aren't allowed... like a government building. Easy pickins for these two... however they didn't do so well in round 2 vs the cops with guns. Didn't kill a single cop. Would it be harder for mass killers to plan out an attack if they didn't know how many guns were going to be in the place they want to terrorize? California is a state with very strict gun laws. And one of the heaviest populations of all kinds of people. Add a gun free government building, and you have the perfect target for people who have no respect for life to kill others their bible tells them to kill. Restrict guns, and you are at the mercy of 911 response time. The one time in your life your really wish you had a gun will be the time you need one and you don't have one.
Posted by: Dan Gellner | December 03, 2015 at 12:52 PM
"Why do you guys always make the assumption that making guns harder to get is going to keep bad people that want to kill people from getting them? Law abiding citizens obey laws. Criminals don't." is some of the dumbest shit I have ever read.
Why have any laws for anything? People who want to break them will, so why even bother? Criminals will just ignore the laws. I mean we still have criminals now so lets get rid of every law since they obviously do nothing durrr durr durr *poops pants*
Posted by: Salemander | December 03, 2015 at 05:52 PM
I'm beginning to wonder if Salem's mayor, Awesome Anna, might just be right; weed kills brain cells!
After reading some of the ultra liberal, war on the constitution nonsense here, I see that reefer madness is rearing it's ugly head out on South Liberty Rd.
Do you ever notice how cockamamie liberals react when someone just utters the word "abortion" or "marriage"?
"Why, that's settled law! Why are we even talking about that?"
But when it comes to the 2nd amendment to our constitution, the settled law thing just flys out the window right along with the brain cells and the doobie smoke!
I will look forward to Brian conducting seminars about how to strangle California ground squirrels with his bare hands after he turns his rifle over to clueless liberals.
Yeah, that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals! Lets see.....
Pot has been outlawed for decades up until just recently. To whom did this law affect?
Did it affect you?
Posted by: HarryVanderpool | December 04, 2015 at 02:17 PM
Harry, the "settled law" you're speaking of was settled in a various different way by the U.S. Supreme Court for a very long time. It is only recently that the 2nd Amendment was interpreted as an individual right, rather than the right of a "well-ordered militia."
So it isn't that gun control advocates like me want to do away with the 2nd Amendment. We just want reasonable restrictions on the right to own firearms, which is how the Supreme Court ruled until recently.
Posted by: Brian Hines | December 04, 2015 at 06:23 PM
OK. No guns. All the estimated 300 million of them circulating in the USA evaporate.
So? Terrorists will just use bombs like the Boston Marathon bombers or Tim McVeigh who blew up the federal building and killed 128 or so including preschoolers. You think the Islamic radical terrorists in San
Bernardino had all those pipe bombs in their garage for decoration?
Schizophrenics and disgruntled postal workers will also use bombs as well as knives, swords, clubs, cudgels, poison or even a vehicle driven down a busy sidewalk or into a crowd. You name it. There are many ways to skin a cat.
There is no end in sight of solitary crazies who flip out. ISIS terrorists will persist until the centers of their ideology, command, and funding are destroyed.
Posted by: yo | December 05, 2015 at 10:11 AM
What gets me with the Second Amendment is why does the right consistently ignore the 'well-regulated' part? Reasonable regulations are all most of us want.
Posted by: Rain Trueax | December 07, 2015 at 07:26 AM
"Why have any laws for anything? People who want to break them will, so why even bother? Criminals will just ignore the laws. I mean we still have criminals now so lets get rid of every law since they obviously do nothing durrr durr durr *poops pants*"
This is how a liberal responds when they are presented with facts.
Posted by: Dan Gellner | December 08, 2015 at 03:49 PM