By the time this letter makes it to publication, we may have already collectively forgotten that this weekend, 29 people died in two different mass shootings in less than 24 hours. This “new normal” is an aberration, and is frankly not normal at all. According to the World Health Organization, the U.S. has 25 times more gun homicides than other high-income OECD countries. This is not normal. It doesn’t have to be this way.
A study from Johns Hopkins University reveals that a 1995 Connecticut law that instituted background checks was associated with a 40% drop in gun homicides and 15% drop in suicides. While a suite of gun violence prevention bills would further reduce deaths, institution of universal background checks would mark an important first step. Furthermore, 92% of Americans support universal background checks, illustrating the political will for this type of policy.
This February, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019 passed the House and moved to the Senate, where it has been stalled for over five months. The Republican majority has refused to take up this bill, despite the fact that 86% of Republicans support background checks. This is unacceptable on a number of levels. Despite widespread support for this bill, politicians are not responding to the demands or needs of the American people. This is not normal.
So what do we do? Hold our breaths every time we walk into a movie theater, high school, college campus, Walmart, nightclub, bar, music festival or office building? Lament the fact that your little brother is in high school, your older brother lives in Ohio, and your friend used to work at Walmart, all places recently ravaged by gun violence? Instead, let’s begin by passing this legislation. Call your senators. Let them know that this legislation is desired and necessary. Many people are hesitant to call, citing nervousness or uncertainty. Don’t worry. You will be put on the phone with a kind and overworked 23-year-old who has heard it all. This bill will not save every life from gun violence, but if it saves just one, as it is more than projected to do, isn’t that worth it?
Call your senators today and demand that they pass H.R. 8: Johnny Isakson — 202-224-3643; David Perdue — 202-224-3521
There will be more and more shootings in America. Why? Because God is no longer in the public square. He has been successfully removed through political correctness. Because the source of this is evil in men’s hearts, there is no legal solution. No banning will solve anything. Children being raised in single-family homes, many families never darkening the doors of our churches and synagogues. Others worshiping gods other than the Lord God Almighty, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Creator, The Savior, The Redeemer. There is no simple solution, although politicians will offer simple solutions up, and people will fall for them. The answer is changing the hearts of man with the love of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.
Finally, if guns were taken from law-abiding citizens (always a possibility) and then all guns were confiscated (not a chance in hell of happening), criminals will always have guns. Then, every place in America will become gun-free zones. Where do the criminal, insane shooters prefer to go kill people? Gun-free zones. What will then happen? These shootings will increase geometrically...to the surprise and shock of good-hearted citizens who fell for the moronic politically correct liars calling for gun-grabbing; Robert Francis O’Rourke, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Eric Swalwell and others (all Democrats).
The future is bleak. There is no simple, “If we do this, our problems will be solved.” solution. Changing the hearts of man to this evil we now see, didn’t happen overnight, and reversing the evil in the hearts of man won’t happen overnight. But, because politicians will be in the driver’s seat of change, we will see changes occur without a change in the problem.
As a daily reader of Scripture, I know what is prophesied to happen in the future. It will be very ugly. Read John’s Revelation and see for yourself.
My thoughts on our most recent incidents run from deep sorrow for the victim’s families to absolute disgust for the shooters.
All the commentaries and opinions overlook one very key fact: we are all one race – the human race.
Eye color, skin tone, hair style, geographic origin and ethnicity are the exterior “paint job” that allows us to identify each other. In a hospital operating room, everyone’s heart, brain, lungs and other major organs all look and function the same.
Our national motto “e pluribus unum” speaks of many individuals united as one people. Society has focused on our differences through market segmentation and social media groups.
In response to these shootings, humans lined up to give blood and organs were donated from the causalities so that other humans could live. Red, yellow, black or white, we are precious humans.
Please let the sacrifice of these victims awaken our hearts to look beyond the “paint job” and love and care about our neighbors.
Douglas H. Winnette
How many more people have to die before something is done about gun control? I know, I can hear it now: Second Amendment, Second Amendment! Let’s be realistic. At the time the Second Amendment was added to the Constitution, the guns were muskets or one-shot rifles. There were no assault rifles, bump stocks or multiple-shot magazines. The only reason to have these is to kill and kill quickly. Why would an everyday person need them? We need commonsense legislation: extensive background checks, waiting times while these checks are completed, no assault weapons, no bump stocks, no multiple shot magazines, and all the loopholes closed. There should be buy-back programs for those already out there. I’m not against all guns, just the ones that should only be in the hands of the military or the police.
It seems Congress is too busy bickering and trying to one-up each other to get anything done. Some of them seem to be too afraid of the NRA and Trump. We sent them to Washington to represent us, not the NRA. I wonder how many of them accept money from the NRA and the gun lobby for their reelection fund.
Now whenever I am in a public place such as a restaurant, I look around to see where is the best place to hide in the event of an active shooter. Also, I do more shopping online rather than going to a store. I worry about my daughter and granddaughters as they go to school. Will they come home or will they be part of the next 48-hour news story? Will they just be a statistic? Our elected officials only want to send thoughts and prayers to families devastated by these people who are angry and just start killing to get attention. We need people who will do something. Use your vote to let people know this is not acceptable. Don’t vote for just a party. Vote for someone who will stop this gun violence. Otherwise it will just continue.
We have been slammed with “anti-gun” dialogue due to two well-promoted acts of violence, but not a word about the 42 shootings in Chicago last week over a two-day period. We don’t need more laws, only enforcement of existing laws and maximum sentencing for violations!
Life is precious. Any time needless loss of life occurs, we all should reflect on causes and cures. The MDJ’s 8-11-19 editorial focused attention on the two mass shootings the preceding week, wondering: “Can mass killings ever be prevented?” But, the focus turns to the El Paso shooting by one accused of being a white supremacist and cites 49 deaths from 2000-16 allegedly at the hands of white supremacists. My concern is that this editorial opinion may leave the impression that white supremacists are the major perpetrators of mass shootings in the United States. A fuller view of just a few of the other well-known mass shootings during the period 2000-19 clearly dispels this notion: 1. Ft. Hood, TX, 2009, 13 killed by an avowed Muslim terrorist; 2. Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newton, CT, 2012, 26 killed (20 being children), by an apparently mentally disturbed young man; 3. Rt. 91 Harvest Music Festival, Las Vegas, NV, 2017, 58 killed, no motive established; 4. Thousand Oaks, CA country & western bar frequented by college students, 2018, 11 dead (excluding the shooter and a policeman accidentally shot by another officer), no conclusive motive but seemingly not racial; 5. Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, FL, 2018, 17 dead (students and faculty), no indication of racial motivation; and 6. Dayton, OH (cited in the editorial but not characterized as extremism), 2019, 9 dead (excluding the shooter), even though by an apparently extremely left-leaning individual.
These non-white-supremacist mass shootings accounted for 134 dead, nearly two times the 71 deaths cited at the hands of alleged white supremacists (49 from 2000-16 plus 22 in El Paso in 2019). Of the 205 total deaths (134 + 71) in all of these shootings, the two commonly attributed themes seem to be: 1. disturbed individuals who account for about 65% and 2. extremists on both sides of the political spectrum who account for only about 35%. But, the overarching point is that causing the wrongful death of an innocent person, much less large groups of innocent people, reflects the evil of man’s heart. Just as an inanimate gun does not kill, neither does a radical ideology kill. It is the person full of evil intent that causes the horrible deaths when mass shootings occur. Until man’s heart eschews evil, such senseless violence will continue.
Speaking with Extra News’ Renee Bargh, Oprah Winfrey said “that the spat of mass shootings occurring in America are a result of the country’s disconnect with faith and church, which once provided people with ‘values about a way of living and being in the world.’” In Hebrew, Aman means certainty and Amen means to confirm!
In Timothy P. Carney’s book, “Alienated America,” he says that “the unchurching of America is the root of America’s economic and social problems. And secularization is harming the country as a whole.” The Gallup “Well-Being Index” found that very religious people have better lives than similarly situated nonreligious people.
Justice Potter Stewart in the Abington case warned about setting up secular humanism as the state religion. He said that “he failed to understand how children choosing to recite a prayer in public established a religion. He added that requiring them not to do so went further toward violating the establishment clause than letting them choose.”
The data from Mr. Carney’s research also found that nonchurchgoers are more depressed, more likely to be in poverty and more likely to die of despair. Even religious people needs community. “Trying to believe without a community of believers,” author Mary Eberstadt wrote,” is like trying to work out a language for oneself.”
Mr. Carney writes that “there is something about the blend of America and religion that creates the best environment for the mutual flourishing of shared norms and individual liberty.”
John Adams said, “ We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
Loneliness is currently the most important health risk for Americans. Dionne Warwick’s song written by Hal David, and Burt Bacharach points us in the right direction. “What the world needs now is love, sweet, love. It’s the only thing that there is just too little of!” The cure is quite simple!