A Facebook Thread, the Day after the Newtown Tragedy

Original Poster (OP): Instead of praying just when there is a tragedy, why don’t you try praying every day. The world would be a much better place!! Also, guns are not the problem, sick and evil people are the problem. If someone wants to kill one person or many, they will find a way! A gun isn’t the only thing you can kill someone with!!

  • X: AMEN, [OP]. Well said! In fact, I’m going to share this.

  • Me: Yes, but it’s extremely hard to kill twenty people in a few minutes without a gun. Not saying that fact should necessarily lead us to regulate in any particular way. But we should at least acknowledge that guns make it easier to kill people. Each year, there are about 30,000 gun deaths (about the same as car deaths), with a little over half of those being suicides. As you point out, many of those would occur through other means in a world without guns. But maybe many wouldn’t. I think it’s important just to have an open mind - neither disposed to knee-jerk regulation nor to an assumption that guns themselves aren’t a problem. We’re all united in being sickened by this and other mass killings. I really think we could be united in pragmatically looking for ways to prevent tragedies like this one. That might include better mental health surveillance, better resources, better security, reduced press exposure, and, perhaps, regulations restricting access to weapons and ammunition that are peculiarly useful for mass killing. But our commitment to these things should not be ideological. If it works, let’s try it. If it doesn’t, let’s move on to another strategy. The truth is that we don’t yet know what mix of things will work - and assumptions either way are only that.

  • OP: Did the terrorist on 9/11 use guns, he could use a car, bomb etc. I could go on and on!! We have always had guns in our culture! The tragedies started happening when we took prayer out of schools, started being politically correct and stopped going to church and taking our children to church! Instead of complaining about guns, we all need to get on our knees and beg GOD to forgive us for taking him and his son Jesus Christ out of everything and realizing that GOD knows best NOT MAN!!

  • Y: You are awesome [OP]!!!!! Never lose that fighting spirit!!!!

  • Z: [OP] - I agree a million percent!!!! Thank you for your insightful post!!!! Those are my thoughts exactly…

  • Me: [OP], you’ve made a testable, empirical assertion about the causes of gun violence. As someone who puts solving the problem of crackpots killing scores of people every few months ahead of any particular ideology, I’m open to looking at the evidence for your assumption - but I’m doubtful that general religiosity has much to do with the maniacs who murder children. Frankly, I think a refusal to look at the evidence about what could save the lives of kindergartners is deeply immoral.

  • X: ….and some people just have A LOT of book sense but absolutely NO common sense!!!

  • OP: Mr. Turner, i think you lack alot of faith and for that I feel for you! I don’t really care what you think for I know GOD exist and that if America doesn’t start to realize what the “Real” problem is and go back to our faith and realize that Jesus Chris IS our Savior, our country will continue on the down spiral we are in and more tragedies will continue. I will keep you on my prayers and may The Lord have mercy on us all!!

  • Me: You have about as much evidence concerning my supposed lack of faith as you do for believing that if most people were Christian maniacs would stop murdering children. I guess I’m naive, but I honestly thought we could unite around practical solutions to mass killings.

  • OP: Like I said, I will pray for you!

  • Me: I just don’t see any conflict between Christianity (or any other religion) and also searching for earthly ways to stop the mass murder of children. I just can’t believe that’s a reason to pray for the salvation of my soul. Seriously, to do anything else strikes me as deeply, deeply immoral. Sorry to extend this thread, but I can’t honestly believe that we ultimately disagree that we ought to look at all our options to prevent mass shootings of elementary school students. But if we do, I’ll just leave it at that.

  • OP: When you take God out of places, such as schools, it leaves the door wide open for evil to enter. It is time for people to take responsibility for their actions and stop the blame game. That sick man pulled the trigger, the gun didn’t start shooting all by itself!