What concerns me more is what’s happened to our ability as people to have honest disagreements about such things.
Every time we have one of these mass shootings – and it gets worse with each one – we’re seeing the phenomenon of some people making a simple expression of sympathy for the victims, which is immediately followed by other people trashing said expression of sympathy – a trashing that’s quickly rewarded with fawning media applause.
Take a look at how the Huffington Post celebrated those who ripped the Republican Party’s simple offer of sympathy to Florida. It’s mostly an embed of tweets, and you know how that goes, but I’ll sum it up if you don’t want to click.
GOP says, “We’re with you, Florida.” Twitter trolls proceed to rip the sentiment and essentially accuse the GOP of willingly letting kids die in order to keep NRA money flowing into their coffers.
This, of course, is the basic extension of the recently trendy phenomenon of ripping people who offer “thoughts and prayers” whenever there is a tragedy. I value prayers more than thoughts, but I’ll never turn down any positive sentiment on my behalf.
What these people are doing is a) casting aspersions on the idea of prayer having any value; and b) insisting that caring sentiment is worthless and the only thing that’s welcome is the pushing of a pre-determined agenda to which you must sign on, or be excoriated as a heartless monster.
I do not support additional gun control measures because I do not believe legal access to guns is the cause of the problem. If you think legal access to guns is the cause of the problem, I expect you to disagree with my position.
The problem comes when you refuse to accept the sincerity of mine, and that’s what we see happening now in widespread fashion. The default position of the gun-controllers is that anyone who disagrees with them a) considers the occasional mass murder the price we pay for our inalienable gun rights; or b) is putting the political interests of the Republican Party ahead of kids’ lives because the NRA money is so vital.
Aside from the fact that the NRA doesn’t give Republican candidates nearly as much money as people seem to think, these positions are simply vulgar on their face. They suggest that not only can your position not possibly be wrong, but that no one could even conceivably think it’s wrong, and as such anyone who doesn’t support it must be in favor of murdered kids.
This is furthered when, every time there is a shooting, we’re told, “Enough is enough.” That implies that gun control opponents were willing to accept a certain number of deaths as a necessary consequence of having gun rights, and asserts that with this latest shooting we surely have now surpassed the limit.
That’s about as ghastly as a notion can be.
If I don’t think legal access to guns is the problem, then why would I suddenly support gun control because there is another shooting? I think the corruption of people’s spirits is the problem, and I think the solution is a return to submission before Jesus Christ. So with every shooting, I become more determined to push that agenda, because it’s the one I believe in.
If I thought your agenda was correct, I wouldn’t need any more shootings to support it. I would just support it. But I don’t. More shootings aren’t going to get me to support a “solution” that I don’t think will solve anything.
If you want to argue the merits of your position as superior to mine, give it your best shot. But if you want to sit there and accuse me of knowing gun control would stop the killings, but just not caring enough to get behind it, then I can’t see why I would want to talk to you.
And yet that’s pretty much the character of this entire debate, which is the primary reason we’re not getting anywhere.
Get the complete collection of Dan’s books for the low-price of $49.99! Dan will sign all copies . Order the 4-pack of Powers and Principalities, Pharmakeia, Dark Matter and Backstop.
Or order individually for $15.99 each!
Powers and Principalities (2009): Twenty years ago, Clay Bender saw the face of spiritual evil with the naked eye while attending a party. Now, Clay’s terrifying spiritual gift returns, showing him that a supernatural threat is looming – one that could threaten everyone in Royal Oak. As the community grapples with bizarre electrical disturbances and a horrible train derailment, only Clay can recognize the true nature of the strange events, and he and his two closest friends have little time to battle the city’s demons – even as all three are forced to face their own. (Buy Now button for signed hard copy: $15.99. Amazon button for digital download: $2.99)
Pharmakeia (2010): Kyla Spears is being warned – in terrifying dreams – of grisly and violent tragedies looming for young people in Royal Oak. But her spiritually gifted friend Clay Bender is reluctant to help, and her feelings for one charming young man threaten her newfound spiritual integrity and her ability to face the truth about what’s really behind the threat. (Buy Now button for signed hard copy: $15.99. Amazon button for digital download: $2.99)