God and Prayers Will Not Prevent More Gun Massacres

Most Americans are familiar with the term talk is cheap, and after another regular occurrence in America, they should be aware that Republicans talking about prayer isn’t just cheap, it’s utterly worthless; and that is precisely what it is meant to be.

It was interesting to see, yet again, that after the mass shooting at a Baptist church in Texas, a comedienne was raked over the coals for “talking politics” in the aftermath of a massacre. Apparently, Chelsea Handler should have followed Republicans’ lead and talked about prayer as if it is going to have any impact on stopping these uniquely American events. After several mass shootings every year and every Republican alive offering prayers for the victims, one can say without hesitation that prayers are not and will not stop senseless gun massacres; only politics will. Even Republicans’ base comprehends that flagrant truth.

Ms. Handler was assailed for writing:

Innocent people go to church on Sunday to honor their God, and while doing so, get shot and killed. What country? America. Why? Republicans.”

Like plenty of other Americans, this wasn’t Ms. Handler’s first attack on Republicans over their rejection of gun safety measures, but to be criticized for calling out the real source of the problem is, in part, why these senseless massacres will continue unabated and result in more calls for “praying” from Republicans who are complicit in the proliferation of guns in the population. The gist of the criticism Handler received is as common as American mass shootings:

The bodies aren’t even cold yet and you are politicizing them. You really have a dark heart.”

That particular comment had to have come from a Republican and likely a gun-toting evangelical to boot. Handler wasn’t politicizing the “cold bodies;” she was rightly politicizing the massacre and putting the onus for the event on the politicians responsible – NRA-funded Republicans. They are the first to offer “prayers for the victims” because that is all they will do to protect the NRA. They bear the responsibility for creating a society that allows a former bible studies teacher to don “combat gear” and acquire an assault rifle in what will never be a civilized society as long as Republicans exist to serve the NRA.

What Ms. Handler knows, like even half-sane Americans, is that only Republicans can prevent more “cold bodies” as well as more worthless offerings of “prayers for the victims” that serve no purpose whatsoever. Let’s face it, if “prayers for the victims” were ever going to solve the regular gun massacres in America, the last mass shooting would have been in Sandy Hook; there were nationwide prayers, and calls for prayers for the victims after 20 children and six adults were slaughtered by a white guy with an assault weapon, but those prayers didn’t prevent any more. And, one adds that “praying for the victims” after they are slaughtered is not going to bring them back to their families.

Look you phony Christians, your religion’s namesake, Jesus Christ, specifically commanded you to go in your house, in a closet, and pray in private. For dog’s sake, if Jesus Christ condemned fake Christians for praying in public to put on a “showy display,” then he certainly condemns going on television or releasing “official” statements or issuing “Tweets” as a “showy display” of your fake “prayers for the victims.” The only thing Republicans are praying for, especially after another gun massacre, is a continued flow of campaign money from the National Rifle Association for not taking a political stance to protect the people they claim to be praying for.

It is noteworthy to mention, while “the bodies are barely cold,” that there is a completely different response from Trump and his Republican facilitators when a terror attack is committed by a non-white suspect. Three white guys within a month commit a mass shooting and it’s all about “praying for the victims.” And yet one Muslim kills several pedestrians in New York and there are immediate calls for harsh action to prevent any more senseless killings.

There have been no Republican calls for action on gun violence or the proliferation of assault weapons in the population no matter how many victims or how many times they issue “calls for prayer for the victims” to “stop the evil.” Curiously, there were even calls for more religion in America after Las Vegas becauseAmerica needs god, not gun control;” as if the innocent Texas victims were not in “their god’s house” sincerely “praying to their god” when they were killed with an assault rifle.

America does need gun control and Americans have to start politicizing the bodies ad nauseam; and they damn sure need to make it painful. Because several times a year Republicans call for and offer prayers for the victims of gun violence and nothing changes because the NRA doesn’t want it to. Don’t believe it?

Immediately after the Sutherland Springs massacre Texas attorney general Ken Paxton called for more people to buy and carry guns to church and for more liberal open carry laws. It is noteworthy that in 2014 the NRA proudly announced that its 5-million nationwide members were endorsing Ken Paxton in his campaign to be Texas’ attorney general.  It should be no surprise that Paxton was quick to offer his “prayers for the victims” just prior to calling for more guns in church and looser open carry laws.

Texas’ governor also got in on the “god and prayers” for the victims as if that is going to prevent more mass shootings. Gregg Abbott said what Texans need is more god.

Texans were asking for god’s comfort, for god’s guidance, and for god’s healing for all those who suffered.”

Abbott, like his NRA-funded attorney general just called for a temporary “no-cost license to carry” and in June signed every pro-NRA gun legislation he could get his hands on. And like Ken Paxton, Abbott garnered a coveted NRA endorsement during his campaign for governor that included “all 5-million nationwide NRA members” support to govern Texas and promote more firearms in the population; including assault weapons like the one that slaughtered 26 innocent Texans worshipping and praying to their god for comfort, guidance and healing. If Abbott cared about his constituents, he would stand up to the NRA instead of sitting there signing legislation putting more guns on Texas’ streets.

Exactly as happened after Sandy Hook, Orlando, Charleston, Las Vegas, and countless other mass shootings, Republicans will spend a day or two criticizing what they call  “politicizing the tragedy” even as they continue to offer meaningless “prayers for the victims” and more calls for “god.” Even though god or prayers have proven impotent to stop these preventable massacres, the only people who can help stop the madness continue praying and saying “more god.”

There will be more calls for some sane gun safety measures that an overwhelming majority of Americans ardently support, and the NRA will watch its industry sell more guns, likely more assault rifles. And those victims’ families will grieve and mourn the senseless gun violence that claimed their loved ones without wondering why their god is not listening to all the Republicans’ prayers. The insanity of this abominable and regular situation is that as absurd as it seems, every one of the victims’ families will likely rush to the ballot box to vote for Republicans, the NRA and more of their useless prayers.

Republicans’ Focus Is Tax Cuts for the Rich, Not Gun Violence

In a scene right out of Groundhog Day, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan did exactly the same thing Republicans always do after mass shootings and domestic terror attacks committed by white guys; ignore the issue and change the subject.

Apparently, since Ryan offered up the typical Republican “thoughts and prayers” solution to a horrific terror attack that claimed 59 lives and injured 500-plus other Americans enjoying an outdoor concert on Monday, he had enough “gun talk” by Tuesday morning. If there is any question as to why nothing will be done to put a stop to these annual “pray for the dead” events, Ryan blowing off reporters’ queries about addressing gun violence should clarify why Americans will see more of guns involved in domestic terror attacks.

During a news conference Tuesday, when asked about Republican plans to forge ahead on an NRA bill to make killing Americans easier for the shooters to escape undetected, Ryan said he was focusing on tax cuts for corporations and the richest Americans. Ryan is more focused on helping the 400 richest families in America get richer, than the nearly 600 Americans impacted by the terrorist organization Republicans are closely aligned with and indebted to; the NRA.

Specifically, Ryan was asked if House Republicans were intent on passing a piece of NRA legislation making silencers legal in light of the deadliest mass shooting in American history. Ryan wouldn’t respond to the question because he can’t be bothered talking about gun violence when he had an opportunity to boast that Republicans are focusing on the need for corporate tax cuts; the only issue worthy of his time.

Ryan said he doesn’t know when the “Sportsmen Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act” (SHARE Act), the NRA’s bill to legalize silencers, will be next scheduled for a vote, because “right now we’re focused on passing our budget.

Ryan is lying. This week’s House Republican focus was interfering with women’s reproductive rights and voting to legalize silencers; at least until their handiwork allowed a madman to rain down death on innocent Americans in Las Vegas. Republicans did pass an extremist evangelical bill because next to tax cuts for corporations and the rich, nothing consumes Republicans more than controlling women.

After Ryan changed the subject from guns to the budget, he told the gathered reporters, with a “chuckle” no less;

“By the way, we’re bringing up our budget this week – I don’t know if you knew that. The reason we’re bring up our budget this week is because we want to pass tax reform, because we think that’s one of the most important things we can do to improve people’s lives. That is our present focus and the Sportsmen’s Bill is not scheduled.

For once, the reporters were not so easily put-off and they pressed Ryan asking if he “regrets passing legislation that President Trump signed” making it easier for mentally ill people to buy guns. Ryan “guffawed” and ignored the question by calling on a different reporter who asked a related gun safety related question. Defeated, Ryan answered by framing Republicans rolling back restrictions on “people with mental illness buying guns as about protecting people’s rights.”

Ryan couldn’t leave it at that and had to lie some more by feigning concern for mental health reform; something he said “is a critical ingredient to making sure we can try to prevent mass shootings.” He’s as big a liar as his standard bearer in the White House.

Ryan and his Republican cohort have perpetually supported healthcare and budget proposals that gut the “largest payer of mental health services in the country – Medicaid.” It is also noteworthy that Ryan has been a staunch proponent of eliminating the requirement that Medicaid covers mental health services. All of these “cuts” Ryan supports are for the sole purpose of funding greater tax cuts for the rich and corporations; the only thing, besides attacking women’s rights, that Republicans, as a movement, care about.

It’s painfully obvious that Republicans don’t want to talk about gun violence, or their part in advancing the National Rifle Association’s crusade to eliminate all gun safety regulations no matter what the people want or how many innocent lives are lost. Caring for Americans has not been a priority for Republicans for a couple of decades, at least, because all of their focus is on making a few hundred wealthy families richer except when they take time to attack women and help their NRA co-conspirators put more guns on the streets and in the hands of lunatics.

NRA and GOP Share Responsibility for the Las Vegas Terror Attack

As Americans go through the annual, and often bi-annual, uniquely American national day of prayers and thoughts for slain gun victims and their families, there is less attention from Republicans about the terrorist than normal because he was white. There is, however, some small controversy about whether a gunman killing 59 and wounding over 500 other Americans was really a domestic terror attack as if it makes any difference to the slain, the survivors, and their families. The regular offer of useless prayers from Republicans and gun zealots likely rings hollow to the survivors and their families after conspiring to put more assault weapons into the hands of madmen.

Apparently law enforcement is still determining if the Las Vegas attack was terrorism or just some disgruntled old white guy with a battlefield arsenal in tow; based on witness accounts of the attack, each and every one of the 22-plus thousand concert attendees on Sunday night were terrified beyond belief. And, if law enforcement is looking for extremist groups to connect with the shooter to make it a conspiracy necessary for a “domestic terror” designation, both the National Rife Association and Republican Party have offices in Washington.

Those two groups are solely responsible for the proliferation of firearms in the population by inciting terror to drive the public to arm themselves out of an irrational fear and belief that carrying firearms will keep them safe. Firearms, whether hand guns or battlefield assault weapons, are not for protection or defense; they are offensive weapons.

It is little wonder Republicans are making statements offering prayers, and it is likely they are praying the public will ignore their culpability in what was definitely a terror attack; the gunman wasn’t using easily-obtainable battlefield weapons to spread peace and joy. Although it’s true that the NRA doesn’t “always” write legislation to arm the population for war against other Americans, they do pay Republicans to pass their “model legislation” and threaten electoral death if they fail to toe the NRA line.

Since January, Republicans, including Trump, have toed the gun-fanatics’ line and were poised to vote on another one of the NRA’s long-wished-for legislative dreams – making “noise suppression” devices (silencers) legal. However, concerned that their culpability in the most recent terror attack will be further exposed, Republicans once again put off the vote; at least for the time being.

Apparently Republicans are concerned that legalizing silencers might bring undue attention to their part in helping maniacs kill other Americans easier. This “silencer” bill was put on hold before and the NRA was irritated because they claimed the restrictions on silencers is costly and unnecessary. Of course they don’t explain why the restriction is costly, but they don’t have to; Republicans do their bidding without question.

Republicans were gung-ho to pass the “silencer” legislation at about the same time a gunman opened fire on a congressional softball practice injuring Republican Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) and two police officers. It is worth remarking that if the shooter’s weapon was equipped with “noise suppression,” the body count could have been horrific and the madman may have walked away undetected. Still, Republicans knew they couldn’t possibly be seen passing legislation making it easier to kill and escape without bringing undue attention to their insane devotion to their funders at the NRA.

Republicans have another gun-proliferation measure in the works because it has been a major goal of the NRA for a long time; it is doubtful that this atrocity will be put on hold. The Republican legislation allows people the NRA has terrified to legally carry concealed weapons in “all jurisdictions” nationwide; even in states where concealed carry is banned. What that means is gun safety measures in states with prohibitions on carrying concealed weapons will be null and void if a person comes from a state that allows concealed carry without restriction. It is another “exception” to the Republican rule that “states’ rights” always supersede federal laws.

Trump was given undue credit for not “politicizing” the “tragedy” in his remarks yesterday and there are two good reasons he couldn’t possibly mention the  gun proliferation threat to Americans’ lives; the NRA would destroy him and he is responsible for putting more guns in the hands of Americans who should never be allowed near a firearm.

In February Trump signed a bill revoking Obama-era gun checks for mental illness. Signing the bill earned high praise from the NRA leading the gun-sales organization to issue a celebratory statement praising Trump as gun owners’ messiah. NRA-ILA executive director, Chris Cox said that Trump signing the “let lunatics have guns” legislation “marks a new era for gun owners, as we now have a president who respects and supports our arms.

The NRA has been terrorizing the public to believe if every man, woman, and child is not armed at all times, their lives are in peril. And it is not enough for every person to have a gun; even convicted felons, terrorists who are banned from flying, and people with mental disorders should be well-armed according to the NRA and Republicans in Congress. Now the terrorist conspirators want all Americans to carry firearms with high-capacity magazines and silencers, and they have to be allowed to carry them in schools, in church, while shopping, and at youth sporting events. Republicans draw the line at allowing 2nd Amendment rights in the Capital and the White House though because they know there are too many guns in the population.

The horror in Las Vegas was a domestic terror attack. Republicans and the NRA may not have fired the shots and terrified over 20,000 peaceful concert goers, but they are responsible for making it easy for the lunatic to gain access to enough battlefield weapons to kill 58 Americans and injure over 500 others. It doesn’t matter what the shooter’s motivation was and it doesn’t matter what his politics or religion were; he used battlefield firearms to commit mass murder.

Sadly, nothing will come from this terror attack except platitudes and offers of prayers from the same Republicans that made the massacre possible. It is tempting to place all the blame on the National Rifle Association because they have contributed more than anyone to the proliferation of guns, perpetuating these annual national day of prayer for victims of gun violence. But the NRA doesn’t get to vote in Congress; they only pay for those votes. That makes them co-conspirators with Republicans who are ultimately responsible for the increase in domestic terror attacks committed with guns.

One would think that because there was a conspiracy to instill terror in the population for the express purpose of selling weapons of war to lunatics committing acts of terror, law enforcement should have an easy task prosecuting this latest attack as what it was; a domestic terror attack aided by the NRA, Republicans in Congress, and the madman in the White House.

Image: Bloomberg