Posted by: minnow | September 1, 2019

Your Thoughts and Prayers are Blasphemy

I will believe your thoughts and prayers are sincere when you denounce the hate filled rhetoric of the current administration. I will believe your thoughts and prayers are genuine when you begin to point out the problems of systemic racism, xenophobia, and poverty which are tearing our country apart. I will believe your thoughts and prayers are serious when your votes prove you expect your political leaders to solve the problem of gun violence in the United States. I’ll believe your thoughts and prayers are heart felt when you stop stigmatizing the mentally ill by blaming metal illness every time a white male opens fire on a group of innocent people. I’ll believe your thoughts and prayers are serious when you write letters to your state legislatures, US Representative, and US Senators demanding stricter gun laws. I’ll believe your thoughts and prayers  are heart felt when your thoughts and prayers grow hands and feet and protest voices.

You’ve heard it all before–the US has a gun violence problem. But while the president’s latest ploy is to blame mental illness the truth is, unlike every other developed country with mental illness or violent video games the US has access to guns. Even though poll after poll shows a majority of Americans want stricter gun laws the president talks big and then listens to the NRA. Even though the Democratically lead House has passed multiple bills to curb gun violence, the Republican lead Senate–controlled Mitch McConnell–refuses to act on the will of the people.

Over his career, Mitch McConnell has received $1.2 million dollars from gun rights groups and the NRA has consistently given him an A rating. Can you imagine how many bills you’d have to squash over the course of 35 years to get straight A’s from the NRA? Senator McConnell, if you’re watching, on August 31, 2019, near Midland and Odessa, Texas at least 5 more people were killed and 21 more people were injured from yet another mass shooting in the United States. Their blood is pooling at your feet.

51 innocent people were gunned down in August alone. According to the Gun Violence Archive the US has seen 281 mass shootings since January 1 resulting in 305 deaths. That’s more mass shootings so far this year than we’ve had days.  Even so, those horrific figures don’t begin to tell the full story of gun violence in America. To do that we would need to count those killed during domestic squabbles, accidents, home invasions, and suicide. That total is nine thousand nine hundred thirty-eight.

Maybe part of the problem is we are actually numb to it all–numb to parishioners killed while they pray, numb to students shot in school, numb to shoppers slaughtered while buying school supplies. One of Saturday’s victims, a 17 month old girl, was hit in the face by a bullet fragment. She was airlifted to Lubbock and is currently in stable condition. Her parents are probably numb from shock–but yeah, the rest of us…the rest of us are mostly desensitized.

Of course, some folks continue to push back. These are using humor to point out the hypocrisy of politicians and their supporters sending thoughts and prayers while refusing to actually do what they could to change a situation for the better. But, humor just doesn’t work for me any more, not when we’re talking about the difference between life and death. Your thoughts and prayers, for yet another group of people torn apart by preventable gun violence, are a blasphemy against the Creator. I will not pretend civil conversation, calmly discussing the Second Amendment while innocent lives hang in the balance, is an option any longer.

I want change and I want it, yesterday. I want laws put in place to stop hateful people from getting their hands on guns. I want people held accountable for selling and owning guns that are used to commit a crime, and for using guns to kill innocent people. I think guns should be registered and owners licensed and insured. I want weapons of war–assault style rifles and hand guns with large capacity magazines–taken off store shelves and city streets. I want back ground checks, and red flag laws, and waiting periods. If it’s costly to own and operate a motor vehicle that is involved in an accident, it should be very expensive to kill a person with a gun, even in self defense.

At least 5 people are dead in West Texas. And since McConnell didn’t bother to call the Senate back in session after El Paso or Dayton we shouldn’t expect him to do so now. What the public needs to do is start counting down the day to when Mitch McConnell and his A from the NRA cronies can be voted out of office. As of this writing there are 429 days until November 3rd 2020. Make them count.

 


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