News headlines in the aftermath of the Texas church shooting

In the wake of the Sutherland Springs church shooting, people were quick to offer their prayers to the victims. However, that didn’t sit well with some.


On a calm Sunday morning in a house of God, the unthinkable happened.

26 churchgoers in Sutherland Springs, Texas were slaughtered when a gunman entered the building and opened fire. Half of the victims were children. A pregnant woman and her unborn baby were among those killed.

The awful tragedy has revived, once again, the long-running debate over gun control. However, in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, it was a different issue that dominated many online conversations: prayer.

The Controversy

It all began when House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement about the shooting via Twitter, saying:

Replies to the tweet ranged from statements of emotional support to criticism about GOP opposition to gun control legislation. However, it was a particularly scathing reply from actor Will Wheaton (best known for his role in “Star Trek: The Next Generation”) that garnered the most attention:

The Backlash

The tweet immediately generated a wave of backlash from religious and non-religious folks alike, with critics calling his statement “unnecessary,” “intolerant,” and “tremendously insensitive.”

One fan expressed particular disappointment in the actor’s decision, saying: “As much as I love you, some people can only offer prayers. Don’t hate them.”

Wheaton quickly backtracked and apologized for his choice of words, tweeting: “Hey, real actual people of faith: I hear you. I apologize for insulting you, in my rage at Paul Ryan’s refusal to address gun violence.”

Texas mourners praying

Mourners gathered in prayer after the shooting.

Are Prayers Effective?

Beyond raising some eyes, the viral exchange was effective in sparking a wider debate across the political and religious spectrum about the power of prayer.

Every major tragedy these days generates a flood of messages expressing “thoughts and prayers” for the victims. But how effective are such sentiments, really? Do prayers do anything constructive?

Many religious folks stand by the power of prayer as a positive force, something can make a real difference in people’s lives. Prayers may help the victims’ families begin healing, boost the injured in their recovery, and ensure the deceased safe passage to the afterlife.

Vice President Mike Pence gave his thoughts on the merits of prayer, saying: “Right now I truly believe that covering those families in prayers is making a difference in their lives, and it will continue to support those families and that community in the days ahead”.

However, cynics see the situation differently. They argue that offering prayers after a tragedy is simply a strategy to make people feel better about themselves – a meaningless gesture that accomplishes nothing other than making the prayer-giver feel as if they’ve contributed something.

Prayers Become Political

Many Democratic lawmakers reacted angrily to their colleagues’ calls for prayer in the aftermath of the shooting. Among them was prominent Senator Elizabeth Warren, who offered a sharp response:

Senator Chris Murphy also offered criticism, insisting that “cowardice to act cannot be whitewashed by thoughts and prayers.”

Where Do We Go From Here?

Prayer is central in the lives of many. It seems silly to condemn people for offering prayers, especially in times of great sadness, tragedy, and loss — such reactions are only natural. 

But at the same time, if prayers are all we can muster in the face of such senseless violence, then perhaps some of this frustration is understandable. If prayer hasn’t stopped the violence yet, chances are slim it will suddenly become an effective deterrent.

So, what can we do? How do we end the bloodshed? That’s the million-dollar question, the answer to which obviously eludes us.

Maybe we should pray on it?

 

213 comments

  1. Christopher Holloway says:

    I have noticed that I am not the most eloquent speaker in this group or the most educated but I also feel that I speak openly about certain topics. This is one of them that is close to my heart because people don’t use common sense here.
    Gun control? What would we be controlling exactly?
    Would we control the bullets, the actual gun or who can own a gun. Well thats go with the theory of who can own a gun of any size or shape for a moment. We make more restrictive laws limiting guns from certain people. Fine right? Safer?
    NOT really. Who’s the vile syco’s that’s killing these innocent people? Its criminals, people who don’t follow the laws that are already there that were made to safe guard people like you and me.
    If we make more restrictive laws that would hurt those who love guns for protection, the 1 amendments and for hunting for food for their families will become angry and I agree with them. We’re punishing them for what criminals are doing.
    Criminals will STILL kill people with guns that they can and will find illegally anyway.
    A man dies of diabetes yesterday and we don’t get angry at a spoon or a fork do we? Do we ask for spoon control? No we say that it’s either his fault for leading to this or a health issue but we don’t blame the spoon or fork or plate for his death.
    You see friends we can’t blame for gun for these attacks on people in TX but lets get them the help that people need with their mental issues.
    People like my girlfriend suffer from mental illness and she’s one of the best people on the planet but she’s afraid of getting the help she needs because many people are uneducated to help her or they’re just looking to get rich. Lets start helping our fellow Americans.

    1. J says:

      Gun control? Knife control? Home Depot truck control, nitro control. Controlling an “object” has minimal to no bearing on ppl that break the controlling laws”. Weapon of choice is not the issues. Corporate & government control is. The law that states only a drug can prevent or cure. is a large part. A weak mind poisoned by the chemicals pollutants in this world permits sick ppl to do as they do. Most (maybe all) of these terror attacks are perpetrated by ppl on drugs in one form or another. A weak mind can be influenced by the egotistical greedy & the laws set forth. There is no one set cause of all the mass hatred & how it is forced upon others. The entire infrastructure of how the ppl in power thinks & tells us what is good or not using laws MUST be changed. Who wants to tip the apple cart as we all become complacent in our way of life as told is “safe” by government flawed science. Greed & stupidity can not be regulated.

      1. reveran mary says:

        yup, anything can be made into a killing weapon, even rocks which are made evidence by the muslims, so what are be suppose to do, lived in padded rooms, isolate?

        1. Parson Golden says:

          Too many Americans actually argue that banning assault weapons is pointless because without them, criminals would just use knives or cars—as if without guns, knife people would be equally dangerous. Certainly people killed people before guns and will continue to do so even if the supply of guns goes away. But you are missing the simple fact that assault weapons (as defined in the 1994 AWB) make it a lot easier to kill more people at once than knives or cars or trucks or hatchets. It is obvious that making it more difficult to kill someone is a good thing. Groups of people who are attacked can have time to escape unscathed or with less severe injuries, people can see the knife wielder, or the car coming, not everyone, but it is far more efficient to figure out where the truck is coming from, than to figure out where the shots are coming form. Gun control doesn’t have to eliminate violence to be successful. A reduction in violence is still a success.

          1. John Owens says:

            The fact that most violence is committed by people who identify as Democrats should be discussed. Most murders, thefts, rapes, and fraud are committed by people who identify as Democrats. Most of the people in prison identify as Democrats. Ergo, if we can reduce the number of people who identify as Democrats, we can reduce ALL MANNER of crime, AND mental illness.

          2. Linda says:

            Really John? Most criminals are democrats? How about Bernie Madoff? How about all those people that tricked people into bad investments and stole thousands of people’s retirements and savings for emergencies? Yes, people that are republicans have caused so much financial devastation they’ve pushed uncountable people to suicides? How about all those failing businesses we were kind enough to bail out that instantly gave multi-millions to the CEO as a bonus for running the business into bankruptcy, and you want to say the democrats are the problem? John, you have to admit there are at least two sides to everything.

          3. Chuck says:

            John is correct Linda……. I work in finance/law. On the low end of the spectrum, poor Democrats commit most all ordinary crime. On the high end of the spectrum, Democrats commit most all white collar crime. Its a fact.

            Our wrecked economy is also the product of Leftist policy. Show me a city destroyed, and Ill show you a city run by Democrats.

            My second job is as a mental health/substance abuse counselor…. Liberals make up 80% of that as well.

            In fact, 95% of all mass shooters and presidential assassins in US history were Democrats (or Communists). All the mass shooters from the beginning of the Obama administration alone, were Democrats and all on SSRI psychotropic medication.

          4. apics6510 says:

            John Owens, that comment has nothing to do with any of the previous comments. I answered reveran mary and pointed out why her assessment was incorrect. You comment is meant to deflect conversation and take it in a different direction. Please produce a verifiable source for your comments that less Democrats would equal less crime.

          5. Parson Golden says:

            Linda, Chucks wild accusations without sources have no meaning When accusations are claimed as fact and are not sourced they are of no more consequence that the rants of a 6th grader on a school yard.

          6. John Owens says:

            Linda, Chuck knows what he is talking about. Parson is getting upset because he doesn’t want you to learn to face the truth about democrats. Just google some on it. I’m not making it up. Nearly ALL mass shooting are committed by Democrats. Not conservatives. And not saying Roy Moore is guilt, but HE was a democrat when he supposedly committed the acts of which he is accused.

          7. Parson Golden says:

            Nope, Parson is not upset, claims without sources are just opinion. Parson is laughing…

          8. John Owens says:

            apics– took me thirty seconds to google these up: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/jail-survey-7-in-10-felons-register-as-democrats/article/2541412 ( this is ONE) the next is a different one, verifiable at the Universities of Pennsylvania’s and Stanford’s websites.

            Professors from the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University, found that in some states, felons register Democratic by more than six-to-one. In New York, for example, 61.5 percent of convicts are Democrats, just 9 percent Republican. They also cited… that 73 percent of convicts who turn out for Presidential elections would vote Democrat.

            The study looked at three states which are reminding convicts that they can vote after leaving jail: New York, New Mexico and North Carolina.
            •New York: 61.5 percent register Democratic, 9 percent register Republican
            •New Mexico: 51.9 percent Democratic, 10.2 percent Republican
            •North Carolina: 54.6 percent Democratic, 10.2 percent Republican

            (research by two academics, Marc Meredith, of the University of Pennsylvania, and Michael Morse, then of Stanford University. They published a paper in the January 2014 edition of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science)

            ” “[In New York] ex-felons who are registered overwhelmingly register as Democrats. Of those discharge records that match to at least one voter file record, 61.5 percent match only to Democratic voter records. In contrast, 25.5 percent match only to voter records with no affiliation or an affiliation with a minor party, while 9 percent match only to Republican voter records…

            Registered ex-felons in New Mexico tend to be overwhelmingly Democrat: 51.9 percent match to only registered Democrats, 18.9 percent match to only registered Republicans, 21.7 percent match to only individuals registered neither as Democrats nor Republicans, and 7.5 percent match to multiple individuals who affiliate with different parties”

            Nov. 18, 2013 – Marc Meredith, PhD 
            Michael Morse”

            ” Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, PhD, Senior Scholar at the School of Policy, Planning, and Development at the University of Southern California (USC), stated in the article “Study Criticizes Laws on Felon Voting, Democrats, Blacks Hurt, Analysis Says,” by Gregory Lewis, published Aug. 25, 2004 in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:

            “With an election so close, anything that can help your party is good. Sadly, a disproportionate number of felons are African-American and tend to vote Democratic.”

            Aug. 25, 2004 – Sherry Bebitch Jeffe, PhD ”

            I COULD GO ON AND ON, APICS, BUT I’M SURE YOU GET THE IDEA.

            Have a great weekend, all, and be ever vigilant.

    2. J says:

      Common sense? A term that is subjective & can be skewed by personal phaneron. If 9 out of 10 ppl commit a bank robbery. it will become “common” for said act to occur. To the criminal they are taught, trained, educated the most “common” ways to commit a crime that maximize destruction. There is no set value or rule for “common” to apply unless it is statistical.

      1. Rev paul collins says:

        Agreed I just saw a. Video of a kid with a gun and a hatchet and a knife coming off like a racist we can’t control gun sales people need to be more educated a bout guns and safty

      2. reveran mary says:

        common sense might be subjective but rationality, & logic isn’t, which is what these demons liberal demoncrats don’t have.

    3. John Smithkey says:

      This comment is related to Christopher Holloway’s comment. Christopher, do not downgrade yourself! You are a good writer! You do not have to be an eloquent writer or speaker to be a good writer. I enjoy reading your blog comments. I am an RN, and I really like your comparison using the diabetic illness and “spoon control”!! Your comments in your contribution where presented very well. I’ll​ pray for your girlfriend too! She should not feel ashamed or embarrassed about her mental Illness. Keep up the good writing! Have a blessed evening! John Smithkey III RN BSN

    4. dotwilson@comcast.net says:

      Prayer is received by the Holy Spirit that permeates everyone and everything. Prayers are effective and have good result for the souls we pray for even though they are not answered in the way, and at the time, that we would like. Souls are helped by prayer here and hereafter. Prayer never fails.

      1. Quasihedron says:

        2 hand working accomplish infinitely more than 2 thousand hands praying.

        1. John Owens says:

          Absolutely true, but if one person works AND prays, it will help their work continue. I’ll tell you all a secret– God does not need our prayers. The prayers are for OUR sake. They help us stay focused and de-fragged.

        2. J says:

          2 hands working VS more than 2k praying? This is the mindset that fails to understand what prayer is & how it works at the universal or the sub-atomic levels (physically speaking). Let-a-lone how it becomes one with metaphysical energies. Prayers MUST be compatible with universal energies to perform a human desired effect. All prayers will me “A” destination. the reason copious prayers appear NOT answered is how they are sent & with conflict. IE: What one fears most shall be thrust upon them.
          – – –
          Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
          Watch your words, for they become actions.
          Watch your actions, for they become habits.
          Watch your habits, for they become character.
          Watch your character, for they become your destiny.
          Watch your destiny, for it’s set by your thoughts.
          – – –
          What one thinks, feels & believes is all a form of prayer and calls to you what owns you.

      2. reveran mary says:

        yeah, the people who think that prayers don’t work, don’t understand how prayer works, they mistake God with Santa Clause and think that they can pray a letter to Santa God or what they want.

    5. Vincent says:

      You are a very good writer and speaking your mind is never wrong. I grew up and heard this phrase “if you outlaw freedom only outlaws will have freedom.”

    6. Rev. Ida M. Grossi, M.Div says:

      Excellent post.
      You are correct in your argument and I agree with you.
      After all, David killed a giant with a stone.

    7. Dan Anderson says:

      John Owens and Chuck – Regarding your claims, citation, please. To just claim without anything to back your claims up is empty.

      Christopher Holloway – Spoons are not designed to kill. Firearms ARE. Also, many times, Type 2 Diabetes is NOT caused solely by what and how much we eat. A person who has been on corticosteroids for a year or more are far more likely to develop it as these steroids are highly stressful on the pancreas and other organs.

      Probably one of the best way to reduce this hostility humanity seems to have in the west is not only firearms control but also teaching a good form of Sociology which shows the commonalities and connectedness we all share, instead of thinking we are only individual.

  2. Dan Anderson says:

    I do not see prayers as being beneficial in this situation, given they were already praying in church when this happened. What would be far effective would be to have education on weapon safety as well as firearms requirements, which would include training, testing and licensing, as well as insurance requirements.

    Remember, the Second Amendment applies to a “well-regulated militia” and does not talk about anyone OWNING firearms. I doubt most seriously that any of these people who committed these horrific crimes of slaughtering humanity belonged to any militia.

    1. J says:

      This is a VERY complex topic of why Prayer appears to fail. One MUST understand what a prayer is, how it is done & what constitutes a “prayer” in the eyes of universal love and how it dances with universal energy that we all bring (or call) to us. (copious ppl will ride this how their ego (phaneron) may teach them. Good, bad, right or wrong, prayer DOES work, but it must be in tune with universal (godly) love. When personal energy is out of sync we become life forms that blow in the wind to (what seems like) random events. (There is no such thing as random in the laws of cosmic energy) events that may or not be liked. If one jumped off a building, does universal laws care who you are? No, the (Emotional, mental, physical & spiritual) laws apply equally across the board to all. Depending on energies drawn to us the results will be according to where we are in-conjunction with godly energy. Who is to know who is blowing with the random wind or on a controlled path? (The ppl that were interviewed why they NOT attend services that morning). A walk thru the valley of death or in the garden of Eden? This planet (& each one of us) are only as healthy as its inhabitance. An unhealthy society the planet will reflect that. Floating with the wind? Biblical books need to be read & understood, as an owners manual for the human mind.

      1. Linda Happenny says:

        Thank you! I think people forget is their INTENT to where it is going to or if they pray with a loving heart. Some pray on ego. I don’t have the answers to gun control. I do know that people with mental health issues are not getting proper treatment.

        1. J says:

          Western / modern lifestyles are one of the big causes of sick minds. Western cures are NOT the answer (and is a crutch) to maintain humanities current path of the copious unhealthy choices that keep humans in a catch 22 spiral. This mentality will cause the extinction of the humans reign on earth.

          1. Linda Happenny says:

            Wow! Who told you that? Millions of people believe and practice Western/modern lifestyles.If you send out energy out, the universe gets it out to where it belongs. That includes prayer, Meditation, etc. Thousands of years of practice, does it look like extinction of the human race is gone?

    2. J says:

      See no prayers helping? Most ppl who see how prayer fail to protect. Fail to see alllllllllllllll the energies set forth into motion days, weeks, months or even decades in the making to permit these things to happen. To look at the concert, church or school being shot up & prayer working. One must look at the negative energy that set this copious events in motion from the conception of the human race. To keep it simple, prayer works IF EMPLOYED as intended. “What one fears most shall come upon them”. All the fear ppl have B4 & during the concert can be a form of “prayer” (energy draw). Looking at the after math claiming “prayer NOT work”. is setting MORE energy to ppl involved for prayer to NOT work. This can be a form of a prayer. A setup / start to a next event.

    3. John Owens says:

      Dan, you said that about a militia (and it does refer to a militia), but the government and press demonize the peoples’ militias, and the Amendment clearly says, “right of the people” to keep and bear arms. Not right of the police, or right of the National Guard, or right of the Military, but right of the People. That has to be read in context with the time– this was the time of Minutemen– people who took their rifles to work with them so that if the alarm was sounded, they could go to war to defend their neighbors immediately. Militia, by definition, is local, as in community, or town, or county. Maybe state, but not ever national, in our country. The amendment definitely DOES talk about PEOPLE owning firearms. You cannot rationally read it or interpret it any other way.

      1. Quasihedron says:

        When one buys a gun license, one registers for the Militia as mentioned in the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution. Thus, as it says, you will be “well regulated”.

      2. Parson Golden says:

        The people can own firearms, the Supreame Court has determined then ownership of hunting rifles, shotguns, revolvers are indeed protected by the the second amendment. They cover all of your reasons, real and imagined for needing a gun. The same court also said that the 2nd amendment does not need to apply to the ownership of military style weapons and the Govt is free to ban them.

        1. John Owens says:

          No. The government is free to ban what WE SAY it is free to ban. We are not subjects of our government. We are citizens, and we OWN the government. The Bill of Rights says nothing about hunting or sporting and the context was revolution, so they were thinking of shooting soldiers of an empire. The Supreme Court does not determine to which kinds of guns I am entitled, and left-wing socialist agitators do not, either.

          I am, of course, opposed to civilians having hand grenades, grenade launchers, selective-fire carbines, and full autos. I am also opposed to citizens having missiles and bombs.

          There are civilian versions of many military weapons– the M14, the M1, the M16, FNFAL, UZI, DAEWOO, GALIL, and we are entitled to purchase, possess and fire them. If the state and local police have access to something, the citizens should have the same access. There is a reason for that, and that is why it is in our Bill of Rights.

          1. Bob says:

            John, the Supreme Court is the final arbiter in how we are to interpret the Constitution. They have determined that the State can restrict the types of arms that are available to the public. The citizens can, of course, change this, but it would take amending the Constitution. Unless, of course, you do not accept that the Supreme Court has the final say on Constitutional issues.

          2. Parson Golden says:

            John Owens, read the decision from District of Columbia vs. Heller. Justice Scalia clearly said, that. “The Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” he wrote in Heller. Specifically, “the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons,’” such as “weapons that are most useful in military service—M–16 rifles and the like.” .

    4. Eric Roberts says:

      Hi Dan,

      In 1984 (DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA ET AL. v. HELLER) , the Supreme Court affirmed that citizens do have the right to own firearms. (https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf)

      There are already existing Federal and State rules and regulations, which vary by State, including back ground checks, training, etc…

      1. Quasihedron says:

        Regulations can be strengthened or loosed, as society dictates.

      2. Parson Golden says:

        That same court acknowledged that the government has the right to control access to any particular firearm, and is within it’s rights to ban military style weapons.

        1. John Owens says:

          But the court thinks EVERYTHING is in the rights of the government. That’s why we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights– to limit the powers of government.

        2. John Owens says:

          Yes, that court is wrong, because government, per sé, has no rights. I am being moderated to Hell and back and it has to be politically motivated since I am not emotional, crude, insulting, or profane. Please stop.

          1. Parson Golden says:

            Wait what? You are actually saying that the same constitution that you claim gives you your 2nd amendment rights, and the same constitution that defines the three branches of power that gives the Supreme Court the authority to define that constitution is wrong because you feel that the court does not have the right to define the Constitution? Huh?

            And if you claim that the moderators here are selecting you out, then take it up with them.

          2. John Owens says:

            I just said that government in and of itself has no rights, but only responsibilities. They have a right to fulfill their responsibilities. The court cannot just decide something and it be binding because they decided it. It has to ACTUALLY be Constitutional. The Supreme Court is supposed to be limited to interpreting the Constitution and the Amendments. In recent history they have gone beyond their constitutional mandate on several occasions (as have the other branches). All branches of government are only able to do what the people permit them to do. Like the wages of members of Congress– I don’t think they are overpaid if they do their jobs, but they hire staffers to do all their work, and the Constitution does not really speak to that. Therefore, we can make them change their habits, IF WE TRY.

            The Constitution does NOT give me rights. Humans are endowed with rights by their Creator. The Constitution LIMITS the Federal Government, and that includes the Supreme Court. They cannot tell me that the Amendments provide for me to have free speech of which they approve, or private property that they do not want, or weapons, but only for hunting or home defense. That is what I am saying.

            Without trying to suck up, I enjoy discussing these things with you.

          3. Parson Golden says:

            John Owens
            You little play on words is not germane to the conversation. The court expressively said that lawmakers could decide what weapons we the people can own. If lawmakers choose to do their jobs all Military style weapons could be banned.

          4. John Owens says:

            Define military style, Parson. Is that the way they look, or the way they fire?

    5. Randall Worcester says:

      Explain exactly how “education on weapon safety” would do anything to stop these senseless shootings? I believe these shooters already know that when the trigger is pulled a cartridge explodes and a bullit comes out the barrel and can kill any living thing it hits.
      Licensing? The shooter in San Bernidino, Sandy Hook, Las Vegas and sadly many other shootings had passed a gun safety course and answered 20 questions on required paperwork, then had to pass a background check before they could purchase the weapons they used in the killings. So what law could have stopped them? Even a mental health check prior to purchasing weapons wouldn’t help! For some reason these people are sane one day and insane the next. I don’t know how to solve this but I don’t see any law or laws stopping these killings

      1. Dan Anderson says:

        Randall – while it would not eliminate all of the “senseless shootings”, the reduced availability of firearms and increased requirements would make it less likely that so many people would be killed per year, either by mass shootings or accidental shootings, especially by children.

        Are you familiar with the requirements, for example, for a citizen in Japan to own a firearm?

        http://yarchive.net/gun/politics/japan_gun.html

        I think you might find this interesting.

        Interesting side note: Japan is one of the safest countries in the world regarding crime. One can walk down nearly any street in Japan and not fear for your life.

        1. John Owens says:

          If you’re scared here, I’m sure Japan will welcome you, if you have any marketable skills. I can walk down nearly any street in the US, and not fear for my life.

          1. Dan Anderson says:

            John – there are quite a few areas in the U.S. where even the police fear to tread, so to speak, at different times of the day – Watts, CA., Harlem, NY, the Southside of Chicago and many others.

            Japan DID welcome me for more than 14 years. If it were not for a combination of events IN Japan (economy and natural disasters), I would still be living there.

          2. John Owens says:

            That’s great, Dan. I’m sure I would love Japan. I actually liked Red China, down in Fuzhou, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Not that they are the same. I know that. I would enjoy living in the country more in either of them than the city, but that’s beside the point.
            My point is, if that seems like a better place, that would be the place for you. I’ve been a lot of places, and decided the place where I raised my children and buried my loved ones is the place for me. I do not want it to be like another place. If I did, I would go to that other place, and let those who like it here live in the place they know and love.

            Since you lived there, you know we are not just like the people of Japan, and I am not speaking of diet, fashion, housing, the outer physical characteristics, but the mindset, philosophy, historical outlook. What works there will not always work here, and vice-versa. Their history is not our history, and their gun laws will not be used here. To speak of it is a moot point. Japan can be wonderful, I agree. But we cannot be Japan, nor should we.

    6. reverand mary says:

      that is because we all have free will, even the bad nut cases, who gave up his reed will to evil. unfortunately their will be those who suffers because of others evil decisions, but we can’t take away our freedoms because of this, just like God won’t take away our free will in our lives.

  3. Chuck says:

    The people bashing prayer in this situation are doing so because they have a pre-conceived agenda (gun control) and are talking about it before the bodies even go cold. Also, the sort of people that make such online comments are politicians (Left in this case) and Hollywood who have a seething dislike of faith. Forget those people.

    As far as prayer is concerned, it is effective if done in the right way, but many pray as if they are talking to someone on the phone who doesn’t answer.

    God is not going to come save you from some whack job no matter how much you pray. Because the two main laws of our universe are free will and non-intervention…..it is for US to make the world better. However, the trick is we have to do it as a collective force, because prayer after all, is thought, and thought is the first step in creation. If youre sitting in a house right now, that house was someone’s thought before it became solid. The same goes for more abstract concepts and outcomes.

    If we pray like we are writing a letter to Santa Claus, it will get us nowhere. However, if we pray in a way that looks inside of ourselves to connect to our Creator and make it known what kind of world we want to be in, it has an effect……especially if done in large numbers. We have a universal soul of sorts, and all people are “related souls” if you will. Reality manifests to the expectation of the observer, as in quantum physics. The world never seems to really change because we all generally expect to see/experience the same thing in the next moment….. its like sitting through hours of horrible television, forgetting the remote control is right next to us. Its a lethargy of sorts.

    Example…….. you know that warm cheery feeling we experience in the week before Christmas (even for non-Christians)….that is the result of mass thought, and we can all pick up on it like we had an antenna.

    We can have the same effect in our world through mass thought (prayer). Evil people who would do horrible things would become more and more the outcast, if the general spirit in the air was that of light-hearted good. And they would eventually realize their horrible deeds have no lasting effect, and are therefore pointless….they would be outnumbered. Obviously, there are mentally ill people in the equation as well…. but many are ill as the product of an ugly world to begin with.

    It would take large effort as a whole, and not letting anyone divide us…..why do you think politics, media, etc CONSTANTLY divide us by race, sex, religion, etc, etc……. because Satan has no interest in seeing us come together in common cause and defeating him.

    So……………. connect with your Creator in silent meditation, express what you wish the world was like, and watch what happens. It will be subtle, but you will certainly notice it.

    1. J says:

      Gun control (abuse) is only for law abiding ppl. Spoon control is only for healthy eaters. There is no overt way to regulate stupidity & ignorance. The operators sick / egotistical mind that employ these weapons of destruction (self or others) follow no laws or rules other than to satisfy their greed.

    2. John Smithkey says:

      WOW!! I really enjoyed and agree with Chuck’s comments! He really made two important points that deserves our full attention. First, we must respect, and take into account two important laws that Chuck wrote about. These two laws are “free will” and “non-intervention”! Free will gives us each the right to do as we wish. Whether right or wrong. For example​, a person can either take the Bible and read it and learn about Jesus and possibly obtain salvation. Or he can take the Bible and hit someone in the head and commit a robbery! The law of non- intervention is more difficult to explain. Here is a simple example: I could pray for my neighbor boy to have a safe walk to school in the morning. But if he becomes careless and runs into a street and gets hit by a car, my pray cannot prevent that accident from occuring! My prayer did not intervene and stop the accident! Chuck makes another good point by advising that we should not pray like we are asking Santa!! We should pray more by using or hearts instead of praying like we are reciting a Christmas list of “I want, I want!! Thank you Chuck for a great contribution to the blog!! Everyone have a blessed upcoming week! John Smithkey III RN BSN

      1. Chuck says:

        Thanks John…..The non-intervention part is a bit harder to grasp. Your example was good though. Free will and non-intervention are the laws of the Universe, but here on terra-firma Earth, we also have laws of nature…they are neither good nor bad, they just are. The ocean can provide for us, but will also kill us if we are not careful. A child may wander off a cliff and die, but not because the law of gravity wanted the child dead.

        So in the end, it really is about us, and our own efforts. Our Creator will intercede if we connect the right way….while not physically, the Creator will manifest through US. And every person doing their little bit, inspired by good, adds up to total change.

        I once heard it explained very well by someone….they related us and our reality to a hologram. Each tiny little pixel in a hologram is a complete picture of the entire hologram……sorta like tiny pictures making one giant picture, but its all the same picture. If just a few pixels change picture, you don’t notice. But, if enough of the pixels change, the whole hologram picture begins to change in a way that can be seen.

        Another piece of intelligence I have read deals with the Ego vs. the Self. The Ego is the flesh & blood us walking around, reacting to our environment constantly. While the Self (or true self) is our soul. To make a long story short, once we start listening to our true selves, we are doing the bidding of our Creator….. because they are one in the same, though we have forgotten that through earthly/material distraction and anxiety. This is where real prayer comes in….because we are trying to connect to our true selves, and our Creator at the same time. If we could do this in large numbers, it would begin to become visible in our world.

        As strange as it sounds, I often have a wishful daydream that the power goes out in our world, and we are forced to deal with ourselves and others…….and that maybe this would help us connect to our Creator without distraction. One could argue, “why didn’t that work in say the Middle Ages?”….. but I think we are of a different mindset now, where we would make some progress. Just a strange thought.

        1. John Owens says:

          This is deep stuff, revealing deep thinking. This is one good reason to come to the blog. Too often it’s just mindless leftist goon-babble and incredulous rightist reaction to it. This is good stuff.

        2. Amy Todisco says:

          Right on, Chuck. I really appreciate your comments.

          1. Chuck says:

            Thanks Guys 🙂

    3. Jim says:

      Well said, Chuck. That was spot on!

  4. drrgrivera says:

    UNLESS YOU ARE INDESTRUCTIBLE AND FASTER THAN A SPEEDING BULLET,
    IN A MILITIA OR NOT, YOU BETTER OWN A FIRE ARM.
    ARGUE MEANINGS OF LEGALITY DESIGNED BY PEOPLE WHO CAN LOOSE AN EYE AT THE STRIKE OF A PELLET GUN, SLINGSHOT OR PEA SHOOTER…WORSE A GRAIN OF SAND, WHEN THE BULLETS START FLYING BECAUSE OF A DIAGNOSED OR AN UNDIAGNOSED HUMAN BEING,
    REVEALS WHY SOCIETY WILL PERPETUATE THEIR OWN INHERENT PROBLEMS.

    WHEN PEACEFUL METHODS FAIL, YOU BETTER STAND READY TO FIGHT AGAINST THOSE WHO WILL…
    HURT THOSE YOU LOVE THE MOMENT YOU DROP YOUR GUARD.
    THAT IS ALL PEOPLE NEED FOR YOU [TO DO NOTHING OR
    SOME REALLY DUMB LIKE THINKING: DISARMING PEOPLE IS THE ANSWER.]

    DECLAW A CAT, YOU DON’T WANT SCRATCHING YOU BECAUSE HE’S [YOUR PET] RELEASE HIM. YOU HAVE SENTENCE YOUR CAT FURTHER IN THE WORLD OF CATS.
    IT DOESN’T BOTHER YOU. YOU’RE NOT GETTING SCRATCHED. THAT IS A LIE OF IGNORANCE.

    THE [LETTER] OF THE LAWS ARISING FROM OUR HUMAN CONDITION
    [IS] A PUNISHMENT OF LEARNING WE CAN NEVER ESCAPE WHILE IN THE HUMAN CONDITION. HISTORY AND EVERY DAY EVENTS PROVE WE ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT OVER AND OVER. WE ARE NOT GOING TO LEARN!
    DON’T BE FOOLED BY MOMENTS OF TEMPORARY PEACE. IT SIMPLY MEANS THAT YOU HAVE NOT HAD IT HAPPEN TO YOU. WAIT.

    READ WORLD HISTORY, THOUGH MANY THINGS ARE INTENTIONALLY LEFT OUT.

    1. Beth K says:

      We have to decide where the Second Amendment ends – or if it does. Yes, certainly we allow handguns, shotguns, and hunting rifles. But, really – do you think for one second that even if everyone in the Las Vegas venue where that shooting happened had been armed with a handgun, they would have had a chance against someone using what was designed to be a weapon of war – to mow down hundreds of people per minute – who was hundreds of feet away? No, more likely had everyone been armed, there would have been far more casualties as a result of frightened people firing toward… anything. Why do we allow individuals to own weapons of war, with the ability to return them to such with a simple device? If we’re going to allow weapons of war, as many people believe one purpose of the Second Amendment is to overthrow a tyrannical government, do we allow all of them? As it is, fully automatic weapons are heavily regulated. Shouldn’t we allow anyone to have them? How about bombs? How about bombers? We allow individuals to own and fly airplanes, subject to licenses and regulations? How about tanks? The guns on a tank are merely larger automatic weapons. What sorts of bombs do we allow? Should individuals be permitted to own nukes? Why not?

      If you draw the lines somewhere before individuals owning nukes, where do you draw it? And, why.

      1. Parson Golden says:

        Good comments Beth, it actually is not that difficult. We only need lawmakers to do their jobs. The Supreme has decided that the 2nd Amendment allows civilians to keep guns, no argument there. That decision was part of District of Columbia vs. Heller. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that the Second Amendment gives citizens a right to own weapons “in common use at the time.” Justice Scalia said, however, that not every gun meets that definition. “The Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” he wrote in Heller. Specifically, the Heller opinion cited “the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons,’” such as “weapons that are most useful in military service—M–16 rifles and the like.” So the Gov’t is completely free to ban lead sprayers. It will not solve the problem but it is a start. So that is low hanging fruit to draw a line. You can also institute an open healthcare system that supports mental health and drug dependency, that certainly would not increase gun violence but would help lower the suicide rate which is included in the gun violence statistics.

        1. John Owens says:

          A return to more conservative values would lower the suicide rates.

          1. Linda says:

            We can institute mental health w/o drug dependencies, unless they have schizophrenia or significant neurological disorder. Helping with better coping skills for resolving mounting conflict and frustrations would go a long way and could be offered by just a trained facilitator once a diagnosis is made. It could also reduce drug dependencies and tons of benefits for the communities.
            A return to conservative values lowers suicides? How? Traditional families? Not if they’re dysfunctional. John, what could be better to detour suicides than addressing their mental health?

          2. John Owens says:

            Don’t just be stubborn, Linda. EVERYBODY knows that a child from a family with no dad in the picture is statistically much more likely to be in trouble, make bad grades, use drugs, and end up in jail. EVERYBODY knows that. If they don’t, it is only because they won’t admit it.
            Children who grew up in traditional homes didn’t need safe spaces, because they were USUALLY better adjusted. Yes, it lowers suicide. Look at the statistics. If you are a liberal, you are supposed to LOVE statistics. That might not apply if those statistics tell you something you don’t want to hear, though.
            Strong families raise strong, RESILIENT individuals. That is not propaganda or fantasy or myth. We WATCHED the space shuttle explode while we were in school, and had no counselors, didn’t go home, no psychologists, no safe spaces. People were OBVIOUSLY better equipped for life then–.
            We are now reaping the fruits of the liberal dreams, with weak, insane, useless people, who were malformed and maleducated through no fault of their own, and all the liberals can think of is to throw more money at the problems, rather than address the roots of the problems.

            Just because a family is traditional doesn’t mean it is dysfunctional. If it isn’t traditional, it is almost always dysfunctional, and it creates dysfunctional people.

          3. Linda says:

            John, of course traditional values are ideal but we don’t live in a perfect world, right? It is often impossible to foresee infidelity, drug use, domestic violence, death, and other issues before marriage. If you’re from a functional traditional family and your marriage is one also, you hit the jackpot.

            My family was traditional, lower socioeconomic, had infidelity, domestic violence, and highly dysfunctional but they stayed together. I always loved them and know they always loved me. My situation was far from ideal but gave me compassion, understanding, and how to overcome hurdles that people from ideal families probably can’t even imagine.

            Luckily I always did very well in school, put myself through college, got a few amazing jobs, became financially stable, and can thank several people for being corner stones in my life that allowed that to happen. I shutter to think what would have happened if I had not known them or had significant learning disabilities. Many from my neighborhood were far less fortunate even though fundamentally they were far more capable. We can thank the conservative mindset for their oppression and lack of support in investing in them to make the world a better place.

            Politically I am in the middle of the road and vote both ways. IMO, liberals focus on compassion, conservatives focus on accountability, and both are important. Having conservatives in their ivory towers making policies for the common man often lacks any understanding of the real world in which most of us live.

          4. John Owens says:

            Linda, in case you haven’t noticed, LIBERALS also inhabit the ivory towers, know nothing of the real world, and LIBERALS are more likely to think they know best how to control our lives. Have you listened to Nancy Pelosi? Diane Feinstein? Hillary? They don’t have enough sense to have driving licenses or even to walk down a street without an escort. You must also remember that the only real long-term difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Democrats want to hurry into socialist totalitarianism and Republicans want to move into it very slowly. That’s it. Most of the big politicos all go to the same country clubs, sex parties and bath-houses, Bohemian Grove and all that unsavory stuff. They will lambast one another on the news, then have lunch together and go to one another’s parties.

            Now, as for your dysfunctional family– no family is perfect nor does anyone expect it to be. The members fight, they disagree, they take sides, they fool around, they are human in all respects, but because they are a family, somehow the family members usually come out okay– flawed, but okay. Like you, like me, like most people we know. There was something about that family unit that magically gave us something not everyone has. It’s something we can’t really quantify, but it’s there, just the same. That’s why the traditional family unit has survived so many millennia– because those who do not practice it eventually adopt it or die out.

          5. Linda says:

            Okay John, you’re right, there are democrats in ivory towers too, that fail to understand financial implications of their suggestions. BTW, those people aren’t smart enough to drive? Really, you’d go there? Unfortunately, there are political extremists on both sides. Yet it tends to be the republicans that are blind to the oppression of our poor because they are struggling so much to give businesses a fighting chance, especially to compete with foreign businesses too. Nowadays it wouldn’t surprise me if the government required a permit to put down a stepping stone, so they get more money. I suppose government over imposes on businesses and neglect needs of the poor, causing both sides to blame each other. The truth is, if they could just spend existing tax revenues more efficiently and put proper incentives into their programs that had penalties for wasting money and rewards for saving money, without harming the goal of the program, that would be a step in the right direction. All this arguing between the left and right might be smoke and mirrors of the real problem, no one in government knows how to handle the money. I think that most of us are hoping that Trump’s redeeming virtue is he will address necessary infrastructure, remedy poor trade agreements, and take measures to have more financial responsibility and accountability. Although he is brilliant, he has to make tough choices, is use to overriding those he consults if he wants, too concerned about his image, and has very poor diplomacy skills. I’m hoping for the best.

          6. John Owens says:

            Linda, you are a little more to the left than I am, but not very far. I like the thoughts you have put down here. I will be gone now for the weekend.

  5. Wm. S. Kinsland says:

    Actually, I can understand fully the frustration and anger of those respondents who say that prayers accomplish nothing, etc…as they see it, prayer falls into the same category as “Talk is cheap”. Understandable if your only view of prayer sees it as a bunch of empty words recited from a text or recited mindlessly as part of a ritual (…not wishing to demean read or recited prayer or ritual)…..For truly spiritual people, prayer is much more….it is a whole way of life that pervades and infuses and informs EVERYTHING THEY DO EACH DAY…ALL DAY LONG!

    Prayer is the process in which we become aware of God’s immediate Presence in our minds and hearts…and we open our minds and hearts to His/Her Love and Wisdom….and ACT accordingly!
    In the Epistle of James, we read: “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.” (James 2:17).

    We offer “thoughts and prayers” to those who have suffered tragedy…if that’s all we do in response to tragedy then, indeed, it has little meaning. If, however, it moves us to do concrete things to reduce the probability of such tragedies being repeated, then it is like the “good tree” that “bears good fruit…thus, by their fruits shall you know them” (Matthew 16-20).

    Thus, in response to the tragedy at Sutherland Springs…and Las Vegas…and Sandy Hook…and Columbine…we send our “thoughts and prayers”…then we roll up our sleeves and go to work improving our own communities in reaching out and caring for mentally ill people, in reducing poverty and hatred and bigotry and sexism and all other such things that all too often lead to tragedies such as these.

    May I close with a quote from St. Teresa of Avila: “Christ has no body but yours,
    No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
    Yours are the eyes with which he looks
    Compassion on this world,
    Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
    Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.”

  6. James says:

    There will never be complete peace. If you take away an individuals right to defend themselves, you have created a victim. The only way to remain safe was to be prepared to defend yourselves, and let everyone know that you can!

    1. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

      Correct. Best way to concentrate on your prayers is to be armed and have other armed people ensuring that no one will attack you while praying. An armed people is a free people. Criminals prefer unarmed victims. My prayer is for people in the US to wake up and stop listening to the left-wing lunatics who want to take away everyone’s guns.

      1. Dan Anderson says:

        Marion – I am afraid you are completely wrong in your assumption that “left-wing lunatics want to take away everyone’s guns.” Gun control is not absconding with firearms, but just insuring that people know what on earth they are doing with them, including the proper and safe handling of all weapons, as is done in Japan. The same applies to automobiles with proficiency testing, written exams periodically, insurance coverage for operators as well as proper maintenance and upkeep.

        Regarding the comment about “an armed people is a free people”, I question that as well. Look at, for example, Japan. What firearms do they possess? Very few do. Yet, they are a free people with one of the safest track records for criminal activity in the world.

      2. John Owens says:

        I’m with you, Marion.

      3. John Owens says:

        If Japan is so wonderful, I’m surprised more Americans don’t move there. Rather than try to make THIS country like THAT one, why not move to THAT one?

  7. Linda says:

    A well regulated militia are regularly trained and organized “civilian” soldiers, trained in the use of firearms. These are citizens not affiliated with the government, and deemed necessary to protect the people from the government’s inclination to abuse their power and do what they want.

    Gun control would have very little, if any, effect in stopping murderers. Guns don’t kill people, people do. Promoting early identification signs of a mentally disturbed person possibly prone to violence, to urge people in their lives to confidentially alert a psychiatric counsel to have the person brought in for a free evaluation. Then confidentially provide free mental health resources for that person to resolve their issues and have continuing mental health support would be a positive step to stopping the massacres and other violent crimes.

    Saying “our prayers are with you” lets them know their situation has deeply touched us and although we can’t physically be there, we have not abandoned them, as we mourn with them in our hearts. I live a few miles from the Pulse Nightclub and the Orlando area was absolutely shattered after the massacre. Seeing on the internet how numerous people from all over the world had us in their thoughts and mourned with us was so touching, beyond what any words can convey. People well beyond our town cared about what happened here… and that was powerful.

    1. Lisette says:

      Funny thing, though, Australia likely has just as many loonies and psychopaths as we do, but they don’t have the gin violence we do. It seems to be directly related to their decision to ban most gun ownership. It appears to work when adopted on a national, not state or city, scale.

      1. John Owens says:

        Lisette, the population of Australia is like, equal to North Dakota or something. No way they could possibly have as many loonies and psychopaths as we do. If not for New York, Chicago, Detroit, and Los Angeles (all democrat-controlled, with strict gun-laws) , we’d have one of the lowest murder rates in the world. It doesn’t work. You are being fed lies by socialists who want us all disarmed so they can kill as many as they want.

        1. Parson Golden says:

          John, gun violence is measured at incidents per 100,000, the country’s population is a moot point. Lisette is correct.

          1. John Owens says:

            Not so, Parson. She didn’t say “per capita” or any other qualifier, and it is ALL beside the point, unless you want to go to Australia. This isn’t Australia. We don’t have any marsupials, except opossums, and we don’t have mass gun confiscation, and we WILL NOT have it, so what they do in Australia is a MOOT POINT.

          2. Parson Golden says:

            Wrong John, She said “they don’t have the gin violence we do” and by any measure she is exactly correct.

            You said “the population of Australia is like, equal to North Dakota”

            You are wrong, the population of North Dakota is 757,952 (2016)

            The population of Australia is 24.13 million (2016

            Population studies are indeed made per 100,000 people.

          3. John Owens says:

            Parson, I read what she wrote, and since you looked up those population figures FOR me, as I knew some anal retentive person would, you made my point for me, and you are just being argumentative for argument’s sake. I am going to take a very late lunch.

      2. Linda says:

        As I’ve said, gun control works in SOCIALIZED countries… but capitalism has a different mindset. Capitalism promotes exploitation and each person supports themselves no matter what. Big corporations are eager to support savvy political candidates having their interests, even at huge costs to the disadvantaged. A well regulated militia protects those with less financial persuasion by securing a means of force against a CAPITALISTIC government’s tendency to gain abusive power over the common people for their own greedy outcomes.

        Socialized governments focuses on harmony between the government, corporations, and people. It seems more compassionate, with little, if any intention to exploit anyone. This has great advantages for making it easier to impose strict gun control. Yet it probably supports some complacency in ambition and seem rather oppressive to businesses by imposing extensive social responsibilities.

        Forming unions and such are all steps taken before breaking out the militia. It is a last resort, but always good that politicians who are inspired by the financially privileged and selfish people, know it’s there and legally protected.

      3. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

        After the gun ban went into effect in Australia, crime increased as people could not defend themselves. You have to look at the overall crime rate, not just at one kind of crime. Criminals still have guns in Australia. However, many criminals opt for knives instead of guns. Governments and criminals prefer unarmed victims. Now, classes are available in Australia on how to protect against knife attacks. These don’t work out so well for the elderly, women, and disabled people. We don’t have as many classes in the US like that because the majority of states have shall-issue concealed carry laws. A gun is a great equalizer.

        Gun control does not work because criminals don’t pay obey the law.

        Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

        1. Parson Golden says:

          Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti
          Please post a source that indicates crime increased as people could not defend themselves. That claim is absolutely untrue.

  8. rabbi jim says:

    Prayers don’t stop bullets from flying. Wake up people and melt down the guns. Make cheaper cars with the steel. rabbi jim

    1. Tom says:

      rabbi jim…good thought…Tom

      1. Linda says:

        That seems to work in a socialist society, but the root of a capitalist society is greed. People in government could take from the poor and give to their rich buddies that give them the money to get their political office. They are already testing limits of seizing assets now… check out the greedy eminent domain and civil seizure cases. They can take property from you through eminent domain laws, give you what “they” think it is worth to sell to a developer that will build something like a condominium association to raise their tax base. Angry civilians are keeping that at bay. Civil seizure laws say they can pull your car over, ask how much cash you have, and if it’s a lot they can just take it, citing you “probably” got it from illegal activity or plan to use it for such, and not even arrest you. It is up to you to prove otherwise. If it is only a couple thousand dollars, it costs more for an attorney than what they took so it often goes unchallenged. The police dept. can spend it on anything they want. Imagine if they know all the civilians have no way to stand against them, so they seize both your homes and all your cash…. what will you do?

        1. Tom says:

          Linda…all of what you say does occur…the problem in the world today is that people have their egos tell them they have to be defensive, and it is not true…we all have and will live hundreds of times…the more caring and loving you live your life, without greed, violence, etc, the less you will suffer in the future…i find it somewhere between disingenuous and hypocritical that church-going, gun advocates ignore the fact that Jesus did not carry a spear…please think about it…i wish you peace…Tom

          1. Linda says:

            Tom,. I get what you are saying… I am inclined to believe in reincarnation also… but no one knows this for sure. This life is our only guarantee. People who choose to be unjustly greedy at others great expense have to realize there are repercussions for their actions. Are you really willing to throw your family to the wolves and reward those that did it unjustly?

            Sufis say, if an enemy comes into your camp and you kill him, you are guilty of killing one man. If you let him go and he kills 20 people, how many murders did your failure to act let happen? Sometimes we have to choose the lesser of two evils, lest the greater evil prevails. All it takes for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing. If we hadn’t taken a stand, we would be speaking German and hailing Hitler now.

            Maybe your next life will be better because you did something in this life to guide the world on a better path. I’m not even saying to use the guns but the fact that we have them keeps a capitalistic government more honest. Or to really start a controversy… I’m not opposed to considering a socialist government, because gun control has proven to work with that mentality… but I know that suggestion would go over like a lead balloon.

          2. Thomas A. Blumenthal says:

            Linda…thank you for writing…I understand what you are saying…the problem is that almost everyone lives in reaction to what other people have or will do…that is not good spiritual living…to feel guilty about one murder is the same as for many murders…it is something that is never justified…someone rather well-known said to turn the other cheek…if you do this, things may not seem great in this lifetime, but they will be “better” in the next…the lesser of two evils is still evil (and, by the way, I do not believe there is any such thing as evil…there is karma, and a limited amount of apparently free choice in this life)…the only “value” in this life is to be caring and loving, regardless of the apparent outcome…I do not understand why we keep reincarnating, instead of staying in the peace of God, but we do, so our object is to create as little negative karma as possible, which is to be as caring and loving as possible…as I have said before, Jesus did not carry a spear…peace…Tom

          3. J says:

            There is a pro & con to carrying a weapon. Altho Jesus took his path to be as HE chose. This personal choice to make a public statement to the masses is a great point. To let egos run the world & enslave others in fear is unacceptable. I personally find it unjust to let a crime flourish (stand by while A-holes abuse an Amish’s horse) because they can & know the Amish will do nothing. Good Karma for helping a fellow traveler (tampering with their path) or bad karma for decking the horse abuser. Who shall make the call when the $$$ changers tables need tipped over & then mitigate ones Karma. In a perfect world, all arms should be laid-down as Jesus displayed.

      2. Tom says:

        J…respectfully, there is no spiritual “pro” to carrying a gun…there is only ego reaction/gratification…Tom

        1. J says:

          @ Tom… Spiritual pro to carrying arms? As a stand-alone view there is much truth to said perspective.

          1. John Owens says:

            Tom’s all caught up in the ether, J. Everything physical is an ego construct to him. I don’t know how all the spiritual stuff can be anything but ego, but that’s his take, anyway.

        2. Tom says:

          J…thank you for your comment…the only real truth is spiritual…the rest is ego gratification or discomfort…peace…Tom

    2. J says:

      @ Linda… To do or not to do… it can be a tough call. Phaneron abound.

  9. Tom says:

    There is no good reason for there to be any guns in the world…the fact this will be difficult to achieve is not the point…and what Will Wheaton said would be perfectly acceptable, if he did not attack Paul Ryan…and people should not just have “thoughts and prayers” for people who have suffered tragedies…if everyone had care and love for everyone else there would be no guns…aside from the complete vacuum of action from Congress on all major issues, it should be against the law for gun manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, financial institutions, and all other business institutions to contribute to “politicians” in any way…then “politicians” would not avoid acting against the institutions that are destroying this country…nothing is being done about violence in this country, except for a president who is going to provoke it…and we are so immersed in the “value” of science and technology, we are teaching our children nothing about being human beings…those who know anything about history (and there are fewer and fewer who know or care about it) know that empires/countries do not go on forever…we are looking more and more like the late period of Rome…Tom

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      EXACTLY NO GUNS for ANYONE INCLUDING POLICE of ANY KIND ANY WHERE, YEAH RIGHT, DUMP the ORANGUtRUMP DOTAR !!!

    2. TigerMoon2 says:

      Tom, that’s an excellent post, and spoken from one who sounds to be truly involved with mankind, as opposed to politics. Bright blessings to you, sir.

  10. Tom says:

    Once again i object to “moderation” (censorship)…Tom

  11. Linda weeks says:

    When I was in high school, all the guys had their hunting rifles in racks in their trucks in the parking lot and their pocket knives on them at all times. There were no school shootings and no one would have ever thought of using these tools as weapons against another person, just because we were upset with them or mad at the world. There were a few fistfights, but those were few and far between.
    Why is it different now? I think it’s because we, as a society, have glorified violence. In the media, it is shown to be the usual response, and a smart solution. We have allowed our culture to be permeated with violence.
    What do we do? Take away guns? I remember when people made zip guns from normal readily available materials. So taking away guns won’t stop people from hurting people. It may, however stop them from hurting so many people at once.
    Mental health issues? If you, or your family, choose not to address your needs, or if u choose not to take the meds you need, you should be put into a supervised situation, where u can’t hurt yourself or anybody else. It’s not a popular view, but it seems compassionate both for the person and for any potential victims.
    I believe in personal responsibility. We each need to teach our kids responsible citizenship, and, yes, turn off the tv, and the radio when violence is glorified. I have no patience for parents who don’t do their jobs.

    1. John A Anderson, CD says:

      In a similar vein, make it so that if you do a crime like this, you become a non-person, and your name is removed from ALL sources readily available. IOW, remove the ability to become famous. Going to school, I was ALWAYS armed, but there were no accidents. It’s the chance to become famous that is increasing the occurrences.

    2. Linda says:

      “Mental health issues? If you, or your family, choose not to address your needs, or if u choose not to take the meds you need, you should be put into a supervised situation, where u can’t hurt yourself or anybody else. It’s not a popular view, but it seems compassionate both for the person and for any potential victims.”
      Thank you. Unfortunately, recognizing early signs of mental health issues are rarely addressed as a viable deterrent to violent crimes.

    3. Parson Golden says:

      Linda, your comments are a little bit “pie in the sky”. I am glad your memories of high school are so good. But the first school shooting on this continent occurred in 1764, when 4 men entered a schoolhouse near present-day Greencastle, Pennsylvania, shot and killed schoolmaster, and murdered nine children. Beyond that beginning in 1840 there have been multiple school shootings in every decade. Tell me what years you went to high school and I will send you a list. It is not different now except that there are more school shooting per decade than there were 100 years ago. I agree with your premise that Mental health issues contribute, Single payer healthcare would help there. You are however incorrect that reduction of guns in America will not help. A man with a zip gun is far less a threat than a man with an assault weapon as defined by the 1994 AWB.

      Too many Americans actually argue that banning assault weapons is pointless because without them, criminals would just use knives or cars—as if without weapons we would be equally dangerous. Agree people killed people before guns and will continue to do so even if the supply of guns goes away. But they are missing the simple fact that guns make it a lot easier to kill more people at once than knives or cars or trucks or hatchets. Some guns specialize in it. It is obvious that making it more difficult to kill someone is a good thing. Groups of people who are attacked with other than guns can have time to escape unscathed or with less severe injuries, people can see the knife wielder, or the truck coming at them, not everyone will get out of the way, but it is far more efficient than figuring out where the shots are coming from. Gun control doesn’t have to eliminate violence to be successful. A reduction in violence is still a success.

      1. John Owens says:

        The pie in the sky is thinking we are ever going to disarm or be disarmed. Not going to happen.

  12. James says:

    Socialize countries are very similar to communist countries. They are limited by the govt. They are not capable of what the USA is capable of doing. Please stop comparing apples to oranges…. Why does politics have to become the topic of every subject?

    1. Linda says:

      I’m curious how socialized countries are limited by the government? Almost every civilized country in the world is socialized… Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South America, Mexico, and many more. We are not internationally ranked in the top 10 countries. Norway is ranked #1. Internationally we ranked 32 in healthcare… behind Columbia. I truly love America, land of great diversity and lots of resources. Being a capitalistic country isn’t bad… it keeps us on our toes and promotes a survivalist mentality… but not too much compassion. It’s here to stay for our lifetime.

      1. Parson Golden says:

        Linda, I believe that James is tying the word Socialize to the European Socialistic as in Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, which of course were communist states. That is not the current intended use of the word as most of us use it today. Webster’s dictionary defines socialism as a form of society in which government owns or controls major industries. Marxist theory says socialism is the transitional stage between capitalism and communism. The type of socialism seen in more progressive countries than our is a Democratic socialism as seen in Scandinavia and other countries in Europe. Those governments support paid sick leave, universal health care and higher education for all citizens. It is a twisted play on words intended to be a conversation stopper, so personally I seldom use it.

        1. Chuck says:

          News flash……… Monarchy is re-packaged Imperialism…….Socialism is re-packaged Monarchy. All forms of “socialism (Nazism, Communism, National Socialism, Democratic Socialism) are all slightly different flavors of the same thing, invented by the same people. Cancer is cancer, whether it be brain, lung, or otherwise.

          I recommend looking up her Royal Heinesses “Fabian Society”. They invented modern “socialism”. Notice their coat of arms is a wolf in sheeps clothing. That’s not a coincidence.

        2. Linda says:

          Parson, thank you!!! I thought Democratic Socialized countries was the only kind of socialism. Now I understand why some people are so passionately against it, if they think it is almost a form of communism or a transition into it. I hope to remember to specify the democratic kind in the future.

  13. Gilbert Mason says:

    RESPONSE TO THIS ARTICLE:

    Just to address the title and its implication. Obviously no it is not enough, but that’s not the point of saying it. It’s not like saying it has some magical power that’s going to fix everything, nor is that the expectation. People of faith truly believe that their prayers will have a positive effect on the ones affected in the incident.

    There is this underlying angle to the narrative that is attempting to say that most Republicans are Christians and are pro-gun, therefore their response to the incident is “thoughts and prayers” while keeping their head in the sand about gun control. Not true. Many Republicans are not Christian and want better controls on obtaining a firearm.

    It’s important to think about the phrase “gun control”. We absolutely should have better controls on obtaining a firearm. No doubt about it. But that does not mean remove all firearms from law abiding citizen that have the responsibility and intent on protecting fellow citizens. If you don’t already know, the attacker was killed by an NRA member that teaches proper firearm training. He used an assault rifle to stop the attacker. Now, imagine all firearms were banned let’s say 6 months ago. The attacker would probably found a way to obtain an illegal collection of firearms and not only carried out his attack, but would have continued the rampage since he had even more firearms in his car, and the NRA member would not be able to stop him.

    To conclude, the attacker was able to obtain firearms illegally because the currently controls in place were not properly conducted. We need better gun controls, but we are not going to remove them from law abiding citizens that save lives.

    1. John A Anderson, CD says:

      From a Canadian point of view, THAT is the crux of the problem. Canada has had gun control in place for several decades now, with EXTREME punishments for breaking those controls. As a result, there is ALMOST no black market here for long guns (rifles, shotguns, etc.) Pistols and small weapons are illegal, unless grandfathered in, and there is a black market for these. To buy a long gun, you need to take training, and pass police checks, regardless of whether or not you are or have been military. Having the training helps, but the ready access to firearms is a big part of the problem.

      1. Gilbert Mason says:

        It’s a luxury to have a country on the southern boarder that works with your country to make it difficult to smuggle weapons. Too bad the one south of the US doesn’t.

  14. Darrell Lee Wright says:

    During this tragedy, we have already heard the words “Gun Control” once more. We know the USA government will never take away Gun Owners rights and tragedy will happen once more. The key to discovering what really happened occurs when we understand the Psychology of the main people involved.

    What were the issues that lead to this event? Rumors? False Accusations? Possible Criminal Activity (rather true or false) reported to Authorities?

    We do not have all the answers. And our opinionated news programming offers no solutions just propreganda.

    I do not stand with the Shooter in this scenario, but I question why he was at his mother or mother-in-law’s church. Before we can make a rational opinion on the subject, we need both stories. Only then will proper laws be created to avoid conflicts such as this again.

  15. Linda says:

    Their prayers indicate they feel their pain and shock, their thoughts are for a way to bring comfort to those affected. Even though some can take action and some not, how is there no positive energy relaying they are in unison with them spiritually in their time of sorrow? The guy in the article just wanted everyone to only push for gun control… so didn’t he dismiss everything else?.

    I’m curious how gun control advocates would get all the firearms in the US from EVERYONE and keep them out of here. Remember, McVeigh made a bomb with fertilizer and there are 3D printers that can make guns too. No one has a plan for absolutely no firearms. Additionally, didn’t God put lethal weapons as self defense into nature? Go mess with a rattlesnake nest or a baby cub and tell me God didn’t put deadly repercussions into nature to insure their self preservation. This encourages respecting appropriate boundaries lest they go extinct.

    First and foremost, I am an advocate of mental health, detecting early signs of disturbing behavior and rehabilitation. An article about an interview with the Texas shooter’s ex-wife claims he had put a gun to her temple for a speeding ticket. That and lots more is a red flag for mental health evaluation, rehabilitation, ongoing monitoring and support. Lots of people knew he was a loose canon. Read more here: https://www.inquisitr.com/4615666/texas-shooters-ex-wife-gives-first-interview-says-devin-kelley-threatened-to-murder-her-entire-family/

  16. Keith Maxey says:

    It would appear to me that prayer already failed in this case and many others. The prayer commonly called the Lord’s Prayer concludes with “deliver us from evil”. Perhaps this expression doesn’t apply here or has another meaning such as “deliver us from temptation” as evil in French carries the idea of “awakening” sensually. One the other hand the prayer “thy will be done” puts things back on divine plans. Either way if seems the expression “thoughts and prayers” is more a gesture of good will than something that might make a difference. Peace to all who suffer.

  17. Chuck says:

    Another thought to share…

    Those who bash prayer as worthless are the same sort of people that will only believe what the world of science can “prove”. They are the people who want to see results NOW, and have no thought beyond the immediate here & now that can be detected by the 5 sense world. Considering the “5 sense world” is something like only 3% of our Universe (according to quantum physics), it is a very narrow view.

    Its the same mentality that has made us a “find the cure” culture, rather than a “find the cause” culture. We look for fast remedies and answers.

    If we took even the slightest bit more energy in trying to improve upon our collective prayer as a whole, the results would speak for themselves. Because thought becomes reality, especially on a larger scale (together).

    So, no…..prayer isn’t going to turn back time and stop a mass shooter from doing what he did. However, if we really brought unified prayer into our lives, people like this shooter may not have found themselves at a point in life where they would make such a horrible plan to begin with.

    Unfortunately, we have a world that wants what it wants, when it wants it. And so the knee jerk reaction is more government oversight to gun ownership, etc……without ever thinking of where these added restrictions could lead to down the road. Give the Government an inch, and it WILL want a mile.

    “Those who would trade some of their liberties for an added amount of security, deserve neither” – Benjamin Franklin

  18. Geoffrey Allert says:

    In this case, Yes. The brave individual who stopped this evil. should be praised. Not for the tool that he used, but for his courage. I do not condone the use of firearms, but in this case it may have been justified. I don’t expect that everyone will agree with me, but he did the right thing given the circumstances.

    1. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

      Certainly this NRA instructor did a great service to the community by stopping the killer. Better yet would have been a state law that was not so ambiguous as to make people think that it was illegal to be armed in a church. If even 10% of the congregation was armed with a concealed loaded pistol the killer would have been stopped much sooner and more people would be alive.
      It is never right to shoot someone except in self defense or in defense of country.
      All it takes for evil to succeed is for good people to do nothing.

      1. John Owens says:

        I stopped by the ATM at my bank Monday morning. I noticed there is a NO FIREARMS ALLOWED sticker on the glass entry door. I just laughed and shook my head. If there is no metal detector, I concealed carry everywhere I go. Does anyone think a bank robber will read that sign and then leave his firearms in his vehicle? Total insanity.

  19. Bob says:

    Prayer is effective in providing some emotional relief to those praying and to those for whom the prayers are given. From a purely practical perspective prayer does not result in any recognizable change. Politicians are charged with making changes that will have a noticeable effect on society. Clearly, if the perpetrators in these events did not have weapons capable of firing hundreds of rounds/minute, the damage they could inflict would be significantly reduced. At some point we will have had enough of the carnage to recognize that there is no real purpose in allowing general availability of such weapons.

  20. Craig says:

    I thought the subject was prayer not gun control….

    I agree with everyone up there who say that prayers can’t stop bullets. That is not the purpose of prayer. Sending prayers to friends, family, even strangers, yes, you’re not going to erase the hurt they are enduring, and you are not going to reverse what has been done. However, what you are accomplishing is attempting to reach out to another person, trying to understand their tragedy and ultimately connect with them.

    Can it be proven there is any real positive outcome? Certainly nothing quantitative at our present level of tech for measuring that kind of thing. Though there have been experiments done to try to prove these things.

    However, for the person offering prayer, at the very, very least, you try to put yourself in that other person’s shoes and send your good thoughts to them. Maybe it’s a selfish thing just to make yourself feel better about another’s bad situation, but in the end that may still benefit others–if it calls you to action to fight for something like gun control, or maybe to donate time or money to disaster relief, etc. Again, at the very least you attempt to connect with others and perhaps in the future, you’re in a position to really try to help people. And that’s never a bad thing.

    On the other hand, science has proved that absolutely everything in the universe is made of energy. Physical objects, light, everything is ultimately energy. Which means thoughts have energy–you are expelling energy to produce thoughts which in turn have an effect on you. Indirectly it may inspire you to help others. However, in the conscious act of prayer, you send thoughts/energy toward others in an attempt to help. You are willing energy toward another, and who says that isn’t physical in a sense? We can’t quantify it, but if I expend energy there is an outcome somewhere, whether it’s mental or physical.

    When you encounter a person, you can get a feeling as to whether they seem happy or mad or sad. You pick up on body language, words, etc,, and you react to that person–it affects you in some way. If someone is positive and upbeat you tend to like that person, and feel better for being around them. The reverse is true too–if someone is angry, gruff and rude, do you feel better being around them? We do react to the energy of other people, and who’s to say it doesn’t go beyond that.

    That famous person from that religious book was supposedly able to heal people. Did he do that by operating on them? Or did he expend energy in some way that reached into a person and was able to positively affect them?

    1. Chuck says:

      Great comment Craig. You said everything is energy…..I found my faith through “science” in a rather round about way……or I should say, it was the start of my coming back to faith. Out of nowhere, I started reading up on Quantum Physics, and it opened my eyes. Everything is energy, but you could also say everything is frequency or vibration. Everything we perceive is made of atoms which vibrate at different rates, including us. Humans are mostly water as well, making our vibration that much more important.

      So, they found that the lower frequencies caused people to be depressed, anxious, etc….while higher frequencies had the opposite effect (delta, alpha, theta waves etc.).

      So prayer if done right, can cause one to vibrate higher. The same for meditation, which is in reality prayer. Higher frequency raises one’s consciousness as well, and their connection to their creator. The frequency actually changes one’s molecular makeup.

      Ive seen experiments where they introduce varying frequencies to a slide under a microscope. The molecules exposed to low frequency seem mundane….the molecules exposed to higher frequency seem to come alive, and even demonstrate more complex forms, making them capable of more as well. You can re-create this more observabely using sand and a speaker…check out this vid

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvJAgrUBF4w

      Now, if we ALL were to work on this raising of our frequency through positive prayer, we would certainly see change. The kind of change that creates a world where mass shooters don’t exist, because they don’t feel the need to.

      1. J says:

        @ Chuck… Well stated in physical terminology. Exact same theory applies in the Metaphysical world

  21. Amanda says:

    I am from Texas. Specifically, from the same South Texas region this shooting happened in.

    All I’m going to say is that everyone knew this kid had a “screw loose”. I’m sure everyone in his family prayed, on it.
    I’m sure everyone looked at his actions and life mistakes as he got older and insulted him in the sweetest way “well, bless his heart.” We all know that translates to “Holy crap!!! What’s wrong with that slow kid”.

    Let me explain what prayer is… Prayer is good wishes, explaining to god why you need comfort bc the situation or the day at hand unfathomable.
    God demands we act in that discomfort, to deconstruct with the horror of truths, and provide services and charity to eliminate violence, hunger, hoplessness ect…
    God gave us powerful talents to overcome shortcomings.

    So should we pray… Yes… Our conversations with God will guide us to take direct actions to be of service…
    But there is no point in prayer if you not willing to act.

    1. Wm. S. Kinsland says:

      AMEN!

  22. Bob Ryden says:

    If God has the power to comfort people after a disaster, he also has the power to stop the disaster in the first place. Given that he DIDN’T exercise that power, it follows that he CHOSE to allow it to happen. Why would anybody then turn to him for comfort?

    1. Tom says:

      Bob… what you have said is basically true…the comfort should come from our Self accepting that everything happens exactly as it is supposed to happen…peace…Tom

    2. John Owens says:

      Mankind chooses to follow their own desires rather than God’s laws, so He just lets us wallow in our own misery for the present.

    3. J says:

      GOD (LOVE) is NOT a “allow or disallow”. The environment and all surroundings are a direct reflection of the health of the inhabited. There is love & then there is all else. (or the absence there of). GOD / LOVE will NOT intervene when the environment (years / decades leading up to and at the point of) is to be “LOVE” and the minds that send out energy to follow a part that is NOT GODLY.

      1. Bob Ryden says:

        I’m not sure what your point is, J, but let me state mine more plainly: I cannot understand or accept the unwillingness of Christians to hold God accountable or bad things when they are so quick to give Him the credit for good things

  23. Chuck says:

    This topic/thread made me remember an article I read, and for the life of me I cannot remember the title or author. But its worth explaining anyway…..

    The article spoke about humans being probably the only species on Earth not fully connected to each other through what is known as “mass consciousness”, or being inter-connected through mind and soul. The article very interestingly connected this to the part of the story of the Fall of Man, in which the animals all of a sudden wanted nothing to do with people anymore, and for the most part still don’t (wild animals anyway). So while animals seem to have (at least generally) a connection to other members of its species, we do not, and we simply bump into each other.

    Birds can fly in flocks and change direction together on a dime, animals travel together knowing where they are going, etc. If you observe animals long enough, youde be convinced they are reading each other’s minds. They’ve found monkeys in an area that learn a new skill, and other monkeys of the same species all of a sudden know the skill as well, even though they are hundreds of miles away. A colony of ants knows exactly what it is doing at all times….interestingly, …. they lose this and become confused if the queen ant is killed.

    The idea being, that we lost our connection not only to each other, but to our Creator as well. The article went on to say that in rare instances they have found groups of people that seem to have this mass consciousness to a point, but always in places where daily prayer/meditation are used….like monestaries (Buddhist/Christian).

    The conclusion was that if everyone used prayer regularly with similar goals in mind, there would be great effect. Also, even if no guidelines existed….if people were to simply quietly pray/meditate with the goal of connecting to consciousness and Creator, the goals would lay themselves out without direction. We would start doing things more in unison, and group goals would become evident.

    Being a Gnostic Christian, I am of the belief our abilities were taken away/watered down by the Demiurge (Old Testament God/Satan), so as to make us more controllable. However, we DO have the ability to gain these abilities back.

    Even more interestingly, another article I read spoke about DNA being the link in animals and us, in terms of having this mass consciousness, acting almost like a chemical antenna. And wouldn’t you know it……. humans all of a sudden in history had their DNA shut down primarily. We went from 12 strands of DNA to just 2 strands. They call the turned off DNA, “Junk DNA”….. Gee, I wonder who is responsible for that?? An entity that wanted simple 2-strand slaves with no connection (or barely any) to each other and to the TRUE Creator.

    http://www.wisdom-square.com/images/reptiliandna.jpg?w=240

    Mass shooters exist because they are isolated…..even more so than the rest of us generally are.

  24. Parson Golden says:

    Those that would like to do something real, instead of pray are faced with several obstructions that are widely spread, but seldom thought out,

    1. Gun Control Violates The Second Amendment-
    In fact it does not, in District of Columbia vs. Heller (the often touted claim that SCOTUS says we that we can have all the guns that we want), Justice Antonin Scalia struck down the District’s ban on handguns, holding that the Second Amendment gives citizens a right to own weapons “in common use at the time.” Justice Scalia said, however, that not every gun meets that definition. “The Second Amendment does not protect those weapons not typically possessed by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes,” he wrote in Heller. Specifically, the Heller opinion cited “the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of ‘dangerous and unusual weapons,’” such as “weapons that are most useful in military service—M–16 rifles and the like.” .

    2. Gun Control Doesn’t Work-
    The problem with this repeated argument is that it lacks definition, gun control can mean a number of different things: more stringent background checks, bans on high capacity magazines, licensing requirements, etc. So making the general statement “gun control doesn’t work” without referencing a specific proposal is a means to deflect from the issue.

    3. People Are The Problem and They Will Harm Others With
    Too many Americans actually argue that banning assault weapons is pointless because without them, criminals would just use knives or cars—as if without weapons we would be equally dangerous. Agree people killed people before guns and will continue to do so even if the supply of guns goes away. But they are missing the simple fact that guns make it a lot easier to kill more people at once than knives or cars or trucks or hatchets. It is obvious that making it more difficult to kill someone is a good thing. Groups of people who are attacked can have time to escape unscathed or with less severe injuries, people can see the knife wielder, or the car coming, not everyone, but it is far more efficient than figuring out where the shots are coming form. Gun control doesn’t have to eliminate violence to be successful. A reduction in violence is still a success.

    4. We Need Guns For Protection From Criminals
    Contrary to what the NRA would like you to believe, gun control does not require disregarding the Second Amendment or taking away all guns. Doing so would be logistically impossible. The conversation is about limits, not abolition. We can place logical limits on gun ownership (certain types of guns or a total number of guns, or capacity of those guns) and still arm ourselves against criminals. Take assault weapons, Despite the attention they get they are not a leading killer of the innocent. They account for only about one or two hundred a year out of over 16,000. Nonetheless, every year people are killed by assault weapons who would not have died if the perpetrator had a gun without “military style” features. There is little evidence that assault weapons are more essential for self-defense than a shotgun. Statistics tell us that assault weapons are far more frequently used for assault than for protection.

    6.We Need Guns For Protection From The Government
    Regarding the argument that guns are necessary to for protection from government tyranny, gun control does not mean taking away all guns. But even if there were some battle in the modern United States of government versus civilians, what good would guns, even assault weapons do, against the United states military? The military has tanks, drones, aircraft carriers, missiles, cyber warfare capabilities, far-reaching surveillance, and more. In the arms race between government and civilians, civilians lost a hundred ago.

    5. The Only Thing That Stops A Bad Guy With A Gun Is A Good Guy With A Gun
    There is no dispute that law enforcement officers and sometimes even civilians use guns to stop bad people with guns. But once again, the question is not whether a gun can be used for good; the question is whether the protection guns provide equals or outweighs the danger. Polls show that a majority of people believe owning a gun makes them safer, but the available evidence indicates otherwise.
    FBI data as recently as 2014 showed that almost eight times as many people were killed by guns in arguments than by civilians using a gun in self-defense. Multiple surveys, including the National Crime Victimization Survey, show that guns are used to commit crimes about ten times more often than they are used to stop a crime. And an analysis of hundreds of shootings in Philadelphia found that people carrying firearms were about 4.5 times more likely to be shot than those not carrying, likely due to unnecessary conflict escalation. So on balance, guns make situations more dangerous, not less. Furthermore studies have shown that it will takes law enforcement longer to get control of a shooting situation if they arrive and there are multiple “good guys” with guns. Let along the potential for shoot outs in public venues when a good guy with a gun, think another good guy responding to an incident is a “Bad guy” with a gun.

    When broken down in detail, the most common arguments against gun control share similar traits. They are based on cherry picked evidence, hypothetical situations that don’t happen in reality, and flawed reasoning.

    1. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

      You must be getting your “statistics” from pro-gun-control politicians. In fact, it is not necessary to shoot a criminal to deter an attack. Most often, the criminal sees that the intended victim is armed and runs away. This happens millions of times a year. The FBI counts only actual shootings. Besides, given the way the FBI has behaved recently, anything coming from them is suspect.

      Remember, when seconds count, police are only minutes away. If you do not protect yourself, maybe no one else will. If you want to be unarmed, that is your right. But don’t try to limit the rights of others according to your preference.

      Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

      1. John Owens says:

        Amen, Marion.

  25. Bill Fox says:

    Everything today seems to be someone else’s responsibility. Soft target, gun free zones are where the murderers go to look for vulnerable targets. We have options. Don’t go to soft targets, Avoid insecure areas. Reduce exposure away from home and harden home from criminals. Get a license, learn to use, and carry a firearm. Take a course in self defense. Pray that God protect you and lead you away from harm.

    1. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

      Good advice. Another idea is to try to avoid crowded areas. It’s not always possible, but if you avoid crowds you are less likely to be attacked by terrorists and other thugs.

  26. Herb Meister says:

    And, what about the innocent people killed in Manhattan by a truck? The truck was licensed and registered, as was the driver. That didn’t help the victims one bit. Gun control laws are just as useless. If someone is determined to commit murder, no law is going to stop them. The Lord helps those who help themselves. Instead of bothering your elected officials regarding legislation the won’t make it out of the starting blocks, take a self defense course.

    1. Dan Anderson says:

      Herb – personally, I find your comment a bit faulty. Are you saying that no gun control is fine and preferable to having some sort of responsibility clause to owning firearms? That is pretty much saying, then, with a lack of control of firearms, that teens and pre-teens should be able to purchase firearms as well, that they must be responsible enough.

      What do you say about countries like Japan and England, Australia and others, who have made far more controls over the ownership of firearms who now have just a small percentage of deaths and injuries from gun violence than before?

      While strict gun control laws may not eliminate any gun violence and death/injury, it very well could reduce dramatically the numbers involved.

      I look forward to your argument rebutting my statements.

      1. Chuck says:

        In places like England and Australia, nothing really changed after passing gun law/confiscation….other than murders from knives and other weapons rising. Intent to harm is intent to harm. Also why terrorists use vehicles to kill people over there.

        However in places with basically no gun laws (like Switzerland, where every household is given an assault rifle by the government), they have barely any gun violence.

        In America our gun violence seems exaggerated due to first, our population size…and also because we have a culture & mental health problem in this country.

        We promote garbage culture (or Hollywood does), and a high rate of mental illness…… almost EVERY mass shooter since all this started (around the Obama election) was on an SSRI psychotropic medication such as Paxil, Prozac, etc, etc. These drugs turn you into a zombie capable of anything, AND highly suggestable. …….they all also happen to be registered Democrats ;)…..so maybe that should be looked into by the Left before they want conservative Christians to give up their guns.

        1. Parson Golden says:

          Chuck, please post a source to your comment that nothing really changed in Australia. According to Fact Check .com “In fact, the most recent government report on crime trends in Australia says, “Homicide in Australia has declined over the last 25 years. The current homicide incidence rate is the lowest on record in the past 25 years.””

          Source: http://www.factcheck.org/2017/10/gun-control-australia-updated/

          1. Chuck says:

            Parson Golden…..I just looked at your link. And you think those charts demonstrate any kind of marked change in homicide rate?? Theres barely any real difference from year to year. And I bet if the charts went back even further, it would all basically look the same as well.

            Another piece of information for you. Sites like Factcheck, Snopes, Metabunk etc are not valid sources of information. I’m in finance, and once worked for a major British based public relations firm here in NYC. These websites are for profit PR contractors that only take Liberal clients, and specialize in Left leaning agenda, more specifically that which comes down from United Nations goals.

            Yes, Liberalism takes its marching orders from the U.N…..or The Empire, as we Star Wars fans call it. The UN wants everyone on Earth disarmed except for police and military, so that they can control the world stage.

            Originally, Bill Clinton wanted to create a “Ministry of Truth” to act as a gatekeeper for all information, to determine if it was true or not (which would be run by the UN).

            Fortunately, enough people read George Orwell’s “1984” and knew it would be a dictatorship nightmare. So instead, they funded all these “fact checking” websites to act as if they were independent sources. And people have essentially fallen for it (like yourself).

            Even Wikipedia can be changed for the right price.

          2. John Owens says:

            Victorian crime and murder rates rise higher
            Samantha Hutchinson
            The Australian
            12:00AM June 16, 2017

            The murder rate has jumped by almost 30 per cent in the past year in Victoria, where a violent crime wave continues to worsen and incidences of robbery, carjacking and assault are on the rise.

            The state’s overall crime rate rose by 4 per cent in the year to April to 543,391 offences in figures compiled by the Crime Statistics Agency.

            Violent crimes including murder recorded a 28 per cent jump to 69 deaths, while the CSA recorded almost 3000 cases of ­aggravated robbery and steep rises in the crime rates in some ­regional areas, including Ararat, the ­Latrobe region and Greater Shepparton…

          3. John Owens says:

            Parson, you are quoting someone else. If you just google Australian crime rates for yourself, you can educate yourself on it, rather than being spoonfed pablum.

          4. Parson Golden says:

            Gee Chuck, I love it when you can post crap, when asked to post a source for your crap, you can skate around it and not do it, then when a source is posted that debunks your crap, you simply state that the widely accepted source in fact not valid, and offer more unsubstantiated “facts” that the sources are promoting a “left leaning agenda”. Without a valid source to back up your comments, you have nothing but propaganda on your side, you sir are a fraud.

          5. John Owens says:

            I posted, Parson, but Joseph or someone is moderating and not sending it through.

            November 15, 2017 at 2:44 pm

            Victorian crime and murder rates rise higher
            Samantha Hutchinson
            The Australian
            12:00AM June 16, 2017

            The murder rate has jumped by almost 30 per cent in the past year in Victoria, where a violent crime wave continues to worsen and incidences of robbery, carjacking and assault are on the rise.

            The state’s overall crime rate rose by 4 per cent in the year to April to 543,391 offences in figures compiled by the Crime Statistics Agency.

            Violent crimes including murder recorded a 28 per cent jump to 69 deaths, while the CSA recorded almost 3000 cases of ­aggravated robbery and steep rises in the crime rates in some ­regional areas, including Ararat, the ­Latrobe region and Greater Shepparton…

          6. John Owens says:

            The moderator allowed it through, and it is much more current than what you are referencing. There is also a chart there, which makes it easy to read and understand.

          7. J says:

            @ Chuck… Wiki & copious other sites can be changed. Citations, references and sources are invaluable to secure some form of “possibility” of accuracy.

        2. John Owens says:

          I quoted the Australian, but the moderator is holding it for now. Just google it.

          1. Parson Golden says:

            John Owens:
            I did so, perhaps this from the Government of Australia? Or is that fake news to you?

            http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide.html

            “The percentage of homicides committed with a firearm continued a declining trend which began in 1969. In 2003, fewer than 16% of homicides involved firearms. The figure was similar in 2002 and 2001, down from a high of 44% in 1968.”

            Read more at https://www.themonastery.org/blog/2017/11/texas-church-massacre-are-prayers-enough/#peJvgDWeY61GpcUO.99

          2. Parson Golden says:

            Gee, 69 deaths in Victoria, vs. More than 33,000 people die in firearm-related deaths in the United States every year, according to an annual average compiled from C.D.C. data.. See the problem?

          3. Parson Golden says:

            The modrperator is likely holding it because your link is behind a paywall so the information you offer cannot be verified.

          4. John Owens says:

            Those are 12 and 15 years ago, Parson. Did you notice that?

          5. Parson Golden says:

            Thank you, I did not notice that, here is the 2014 update, latest years Australia publishes statistics for. http://crimestats.aic.gov.au/NHMP/1_trends/

            In the 90’s the homicide rate was a little over 1.75/100,000. in 2014 it was 1/100,000. Following the National Agreement on Firearms, the number of deaths by firearms in Australia, initially declined slowly.

            Overall homicides immediately saw a decrease of less than one per 100,000 persons. Over the medium term homicide by firearm dropped from 1/200,000 to 1/670,000. (Alpers, Philip. “Guns in Australia — Firearms, gun law and gun control”.)

            Between 2010-2014, gun related homicides across all of Australia had dropped to 30-40 per year. Firearms in 2014 were used in less than 15% of homicides, less than 0.1% of sexual assaults, less than 6% of kidnapping/abductions and 8% of robberies.(Statistics, c=AU; o=Commonwealth of Australia; ou=Australian Bureau of. “Main Features – Key Findings”. http://www.abs.gov.au.)

            Since the 1996 legislation the risk of dying by gunshots was reduced by 50% in the following years and has stayed on that lower level since then.

        3. Parson Golden says:

          John Owens:
          I did so, perhaps this from the Government of Australia? Or is that fake news to you?

          http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide.html

          “The percentage of homicides committed with a firearm continued a declining trend which began in 1969. In 2003, fewer than 16% of homicides involved firearms. The figure was similar in 2002 and 2001, down from a high of 44% in 1968.”

          1. John Owens says:

            Did you notice your stats come from BEFORE the gun confiscation? And my post was not behind a paywall. I copied it from the page which was free.

          2. Parson Golden says:

            Thank you, corrected in my post above. (waiting moderation)

          3. Chuck says:

            Forget Australia…..how about America. It is a FACT that American cities with tight gun laws have the highest homicide by gun rates (Chicago, Detroit, etc.). So obviously, gun laws only take guns away from law abiding citizens….in case you didn’t know, criminals don’t follow gun laws.

            Secondly, almost all national gun confiscation in history has been done by dictatorships in order to disarm the public….Nazis, Communists, etc. America is the OPPOSITE of such places.

            We have guns in case government becomes tyrannical, and needs to be put down when they start violating the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

            Sooo….. seeing as we have an ever increasing tyranny in America, and that same tyranny wants to take guns away……well, you do the math.

          4. John Owens says:

            Parson, why don’t you talk about gun control in Mexico, our nearest neighbor to the south? Pour out some statistics on the violent crime rate in Mexico, and use that as an example. Civilians in Mexico are absolutely forbidden to have firearms OR ammunition.

          5. Parson Golden says:

            Because Mr. Owen, my comments are regarding your comments about the crime rate in Australia vs the US in a post ban era. You are attempting to derail the conversation by pivoting to Mexico and US Cities. You cannot make an untrue claim, and when called on that claim, simply divert the argument elsewise. At least not and keep me in the conversation.

          6. John Owens says:

            I’m sorry, Parso,

            What untrue claim did I make? Can you cite it? (Oh, I left the N off your name on purpose, since you left the S off mine. I was not the one who brought up Australia as a wonderful example of how gun confiscation creates Utopia. I brought up Mexico as a counter to it, though. If you can’t deal with it, I understand. It doesn’t fit your narrative, just like the news article I cited regarding Australia’s crime rate doesn’t. Now, YOU are deflecting regarding Mexico.

            I told you, citing stuff doesn’t make things true or not. You can find sources that say anything you want to cite. Truth just IS, and doesn’t care what you say or think. You are starting to unravel a little bit. Best take a break. I cannot devote all my time to these discussions. I have to do them between other tasks.

      2. John Owens says:

        Dan, I’m not Herb, but I noticed your post and see room for expansion of your knowledge.

        You DO know that many many more people are killed by medical accident and malpractice than weapons, don’t you? Should we crack down on clinics and pharmacies?

        Do you also realize that most gun crimes are committed by members of ethnic minorities? Do you think then that we should more strictly police the minorities committing the crimes? Or, would that be a violation of their civil rights? Like, oh, I don’t know, stripping me of my right to keep and bear arms?

        Australia is not the crime-free paradise you think it is, and neither is Japan or England. Crime has become WORSE in Australia since all the honest people turned in their weapons. (Only the honest people did, you know.) You are being sold an ideology that is full of falsehoods. They are also not gun-free, but that is not the point that I wish to make.

        I am sure that those three countries are accepting visas, so if you think they are better places than this country, I encourage you to go there. It is very wrong to say we should try to make our country more like other countries. That is like telling a Swede he should behave more like a Japanese man, or vice-versa. It would be rude, opinionated, and judgmental, and patently impossible.

        1. Parson Golden says:

          John, certainly many more people die from medical accidents and malpractice, but laws are enacted and root causes are identified and dealt with, it is a completely separate issue to the issue of gun violence, making the comparison is a tool to deflect from the issue. As for your ethnic minorities comment, that is an attempt to deflect to a create a common enemy. Ethnic groups are Americans and gun control laws would help all groups. Please cite a reputable source for your comment that “Crime has become WORSE in Australia since all the honest people turned in their weapons” And encouraging people to leave the country when they are interested in dialog to solve real problems is disingenuous.

          1. John Owens says:

            Parson, using words like “disingenuous” is disingenuous. My comment about ethnic minorities was to illustrate how MY civil rights are equal to THEIRS, NOT to criticize THEM, so NO, I am not deflecting or trying to create a common enemy AS YOU ARE.

            You think the 2nd amendment is the common enemy. It is not. The common enemy is leftist thinking. The crime and insanity we experience are the results of a generation and a half of liberal policies, which have trapped minorities in poverty and herded them into government housing, dissolved families, spread venereal diseases, catastrophically increased unwed motherhood and dependence on government handouts, encouraged criminal behavior, and created more mental illness.

            As for citing sources, if I cite anything or anyone refuting what you are saying, you will just reject the source. Disingenuous. You can find someone to reference anything, true or not.

          2. Parson Golden says:

            John Owens
            You cite a real peer-reviewed source that stays on topic with real statistics and I will not reject it.

          3. John Owens says:

            Ok, Parson, who “peer-reviewed your “fact-checker”? You know that’s how false reports become common knowledge, don’t you?

      3. Herb Meister says:

        I have no problem with restrictions regarding private citizens owning assault weapons. I firmly believe that no private citizen has a legitimate need for any fully automatic firearm. Where my objections start is when politicians like Hillary Clinton start making campaign promises to “disarm America”. I am an honorably discharged Regular Army veteran. I am a NRA life member. I make no apologies for what I am. The root of the problem is not with law abiding, gun owning citizens. I have no problems with thorough criminal background checks. Waiting periods for purchasing are just fine. But, when politicians try to calm the populace with legislation calling for permits and registration fees and blanket bans for certain types of weapons, they’re trying to violate the US Constitution. The Second Amendment protects us from government tyranny. It’s a “safety valve” to ensure that we will always have a government of, by and for the people.

  27. Linda says:

    Can anyone else see the elephant in the room? Maybe I am missing something? If we focused on “mental illness control” in a compassionate way, wouldn’t gun control eventually be a non-issue? If early signs of violent behavior was more instantly and widely recognized as a sign of possible acute mental illness that could escalate into horrific events, would acting on that instead of passing it by greatly diminish such tragic outcomes as the Texas church massacre? What else would have a greater impact in stopping such deadly devastation by individuals?

    Isn’t the Kingdom of God within us? Shouldn’t we call that Kingdom of God to come out of us as “we individually do” His will on earth as it is in Heaven, so Heaven and earth can become one? Is prayer a way to make that call? Is that call gun control or helping the mentally ill? If we focused on helping the mentally ill, wouldn’t that help to deliver us from evil?

    1. Parson Golden says:

      You make a valid point, countries that have a progressive healthcare system for their citizens have a lower number of gun deaths per 100,000. It is an easy statement to make since virtually all free nations have healthcare for its citizens, and virtually all free nations experience lower gun deaths per 100,000 than the US. But in some twisted form of logic we think that healthcare is a privilege and gun ownership is a right, and then blame “mental health issues” for gun violence.

      1. John Owens says:

        The twisted logic is thinking that other countries are so much better than ours, when their people are much more likely to immigrate here, than our people are likely to emigrate there. Actually, gun ownership IS a right, in the BILL of Rights, and healthcare is only a socialist concept. You mean either medical insurance, or medical services. It cannot be a right, because that means you can COMPEL someone to give it to you, regardless of your ability to pay or their desire to provide. THEREFORE, it CANNOT be a right. You have an absolute right to own a firearm. You do not have a right to TAKE one from someone else.

        The mental health issues of which you speak are the result of liberal policies being in place for the last 50 years. Those policies will now begin to be reversed.

        1. Linda says:

          John, an aggressive approach preventing violent crimes by addressing mental illness is in the best interest of EVERYONE. Those unable to work due to violent crimes are not just the physically injured, it’s also people with children, siblings, fiancés, or parents maimed or killed with a severe “crippling” mental state. Many get PTSD, which only gets worse with time. These issues affect their ability to support their families for years, if not a lifetime. People everywhere are afraid of public places or to be in crowds. How’s that for business?. The tremendous financial impact from violent crimes far outweighs the cost of prevention by addressing mental health.

          Conservatives can’t have it both ways. They want everyone to be accountable for their own needs, including healthcare. Yet all businesses make money at the cost of job related health issues on their employees. They need employees to “do” the job but don’t want to compensate them for imposing permanent problems on them. Businesses want it for free. Hypocrites. Privileged conservatives have an unjust sense of entitlement. Billions have had some degree of their health stolen by their employers. Why can’t we all contribute to healthcare, with big businesses paying more because they benefitted from damaging people’s health?

          1. John Owens says:

            You seem to think that if big businesses pay out money, that cost is not going to come back on the consumers and employees. That’s not how it works. If they pay 35% corporate taxes, anyone who buys anything related to that corporation pays that 35% tax FOR them. That is what socialists cannot seem to grasp– If you go up any amount on anything, the people who WORK are the ones who pay for it. That doesn’t matter to those who don’t– they aren’t working or paying, anyway. The corporation doesn’t care, they just go up on their prices and hold back on their wages. Their shareholders don’t care, because they get paid anyway. The only ones it hurts are those who work, WHICH ARE THE VERY ONES ABOUT WHOM THE SOCIALISTS CLAIM TO CARE SO MUCH.

            And STOP saying healthcare, please. That is a bullshit term for an unlimited amount of government subsidies and freebies. I don’t need “healthcare”. You don’t either. You need to take care of yourself, sure. Sometimes you need a cast, an ex-ray, stitches, medicine, a shot. Those are definite, FINITE things that can be understood and limited.

            “HEALTHCARE” is another word for socialism. If you care about peoples’ health, teach them not to fornicate, steal, murder, use recreational drugs, drive fast, pollute the air, and litter. Teach them to bathe and brush their teeth and dispose of waste in an environmentally conscious manner. Teach men and women that if they are going to make babies they should provide a loving environment and shelter for those babies. That would pay huge dividends toward health, mental health, and crime, which are all related.

            If you want to prevent crime and mental illness, reinstitute the family values we had as a society before the government started the “war on poverty”. Back then, everybody had two parents, unless one died. There was less crime, less mental illness, less suicide.

          2. Linda says:

            No John, I want employers to pay for what they are using up or taking for their benefit and people to be compensated for what they are giving their employers. The businesses want to be paid if anyone takes something from them, so why allow them to impose permanent, often chronic, health issues without any compensation? What makes them entitled? If the government would use the taxes they get now much more efficiently, stop buying off votes in the house and senate for a particular bill, change incentives to save money instead of to spend more, stop giving away billions in foreign aid, and other foolish fiscal behaviors, we could reallocate funds to healthcare subsidies without going up on taxes. Subsidies implies there is accountability on the individual also, as they have to pay too. It would not be free.

          3. John Owens says:

            Linda, I would like what you are saying to come true, but government cannot do anything efficiently. They can’t run a railroad. They can’t run a medical care system. They can’t even build highways efficiently. Local governments can’t operate a water and sewer system in a healthy and efficient manner. The EPA cannot perform an environmental cleanup. Land management cannot manage land.

            Sure, if an employee is hurt or made chronically ill at work, the employer should be responsible for that. That is actually a biblical principal, in the Torah. I am personally opposed to subsidies, but I suppose if EVERY single person got the same medical care, the rich and powerful would see to it that we all got GREAT medical care. However, history tells us it will never work out that way. You would always have lazy, selfish, or otherwise irresponsible people sucking up the benefits while the chronically ill and needy suffer and die waiting for them. God bless you for caring, though.

          4. Linda says:

            John, we CAN become financially efficient by implementing proper incentives. Those that save money without hurting their program are rewarded and those that waste money will be warned, then fired. Now there are actually incentives to waste money! Elected officials we are unable to warn or fire, should have their waste of money behavior posted very visibly in many public arenas all over our nation. If their constituents don’t care because they receive the benefits, then that state will be the butt of jokes on prime time TV. ridiculed elsewhere too, and that senator / representative has no shot for any office beyond that one. Our government could run itself more capitalistic. We may have to make the line of authority more decentralized because we’ve increased our population so fast. If things like that don’t work, then we may have to face the fact we have reached the Peter Principle level, where our expansion in population and complexity has raised beyond the ability of a leader to adequately run our country effectively. I’m sure no one wants to think about that, and Americans are known for never giving up hope and overcoming.

            BTW, you do know that Donald Trump, a conservative, is for universal healthcare like Canada, right? He acknowledged that it would be impossible for him to implement such a transition in one or two terms of office but still asserts that we need to attend to the health of our people.

            Also John, you previously said you had seen the Challenger explode on TV in school and was able to deal with it fine. You must realize:
            1. You are not like everyone else
            2. That is not a fair analogy to being in the Texas church massacre or personally witnessing any other lethally violent crime with the intentions to seriously hurt, maim or kill.
            3. You had no personal connections to the victims of the Challenger.
            4. The rocket accident didn’t trigger any previous rocket accidents where someone close to you had died.
            Considering issues like that make a huge difference.

          5. Parson Golden says:

            Linda, his mind is made up you cannot confuse him with facts. When they blame real solvable issues on 50 years of Liberal Policies, there is not point in continuing the conversation.

          6. Linda says:

            Parson, John is actually proving my point, that investments into aggressively addressing mental health issues, with results oriented techniques, would resolve a lot of problems beyond prevention of violent crimes. John claims lazy people would just take advantage of the system and suck all the resources from those that really need it. But those “lazy” people have issues too… and psychological diagnostic tests can amazingly tell when someone is lying for an advantage. It has a diagnosis, malingering. Of course there are priorities for resources but many would not need a therapist. A facilitator would work, at far less costs… perhaps even use volunteers. Having “lazy” people feel good about themselves, ready to work with a purpose, increasing self esteem is a win – win for EVERYONE.

            As for gun control, I think the 2nd amendment is a must to balance the powers in a capitalistic country. However, aggressive mental health intervention for early signs of disorders leading to violence would make these violent crimes far less pervasive. Even so, my position is that obviously gun control works in a socialized country but would be very oppressive for the common man in the US. Communism would probably be better than strict gun control if allowed in a capitalistic society. Many financially privileged people would implement politicians to give them the right to take as they pleased from the disadvantaged. Our capitalistic government is truly a remarkable piece of art, yet the only way it will work is if the regular people are given a way to “balance” the powers given to the government. The 2nd amendment is our last resort and good the very wealthy and the government know we have it. Terrorists would just use bombs anyways, as they do in some socialized countries.

            I have posts being held by the moderator… I wonder why?

          7. John Owens says:

            Damn, Parson, two adults here trying to have a conversation and you’re just trying to be scrotum.

  28. TigerMoon2 says:

    As a Wiccan, I believe that prayers can generate a certain amount of energy into a concern, depending upon how many actually pray vs how many only say they will.. but I think that much stronger energies that can affect real change comes from more effort, such as marches, protests, signs and shouting the words. At the very least, don’t tweet your intent to pray, tweet the prayer itself, and maybe, TWEET IT IN ALL CAPS!!! Outcome = Effort ( + Intent & Will, in terms of Wicca). I, personally, don’t believe in mythical beings, but I believe in the energies that are generated by invoking their names. Those names that have been invoked the most, been around the longest, etc. generate more energies. For me, praying is in the form of spellcasting. But, I seldom ask for certain outcomes. I, instead, ask for it to result in what is best for all concerned. Because I also believe that what you do toward others comes back to you threefold. This comment is my own opinion, and not necessarily the opinion of all Wiccans. So, if you are Wicca and disagree, that’s fine, too. We all follow our own paths to enlightenment.

  29. R. A. Snow says:

    I am an ordained minister and a life member of the NRA and the USCCA(United States Concealed Carry Association). I have a license to carry concealed in Massachusetts and I carry everywhere the law says I can (and sometimes where I can’t). ‘Gun-free zones’ are easy pickings for criminals. I pray for victims’ recovery and well-being. Prayers won’t stop a madman or a bullet, that’s why I carry. If I’m ever in a situation where there is an active shooter near me, I have at my disposal a way to put a stop to the situation. I’ll pray afterwards.

    1. J says:

      Carry or not… I’m ok with that.. But, as for prayers (not necessarily will) but CAN stop a madman. Understanding the balance of all energy involved, metaphysical & physical flow of energy can be altered, deflected & stop a mad-humans.

  30. Rev. Bet Bailey says:

    TigerMoon2, I am thinking about your ideas. If prayers are energy, then the more people who pray would be a group who would be wielding the most power, and might expend the most energy. If a lot of people thought the same way, for instance, if a huge group believed that what you put forth comes back to you threefold, then that seems to me to be Intent. If most of we Pastors all worked toward raising our vibrational levels, maybe we could change society for the better. If we all run around quoting misquotes and listening with our mouths open, we fragment. Now who do we know who would like us fragmented?……
    Thanks for your ideas. Merry we meet.

    1. TigerMoon2 says:

      I cannot recall where I read this some years ago, and so cannot verify it, but I did read about a large group of witches in Britain who channeled their energies into turning back a German bombing raid. The German bombers did abort the mission, but who can really say why? Again, I don’t think it’s enough to just pray. I believe intent and belief than you CAN affect change, is tantamount to success. I’d hate to think that the reward, that the kinds of energies that you put out comes back threefold, is behind the intent. I don’t think that’s how it works. I think the intent, which is the outcome, the change you’d like to see, is motivated by concern, rather than the rewards. But if you Pastors all worked toward raising your vibrational levels, how could that not be a plus? But keep in mind that there are different ideas in just what changes society needs to make to become better. In my opinion, the universe’s energies requires balance to keep on spiraling. It’s why everything has it’s opposite. When it comes to good and evil, we understand that we simply cannot eradicate it. But we can certainly focus on trying, to keep the balance, to keep society from becoming so awful that too many perish. I sometimes wonder if population vs sustainability has anything to do with the sheer volume of deaths that occur in these times, whether by natural (maybe not normal, but natural) weather patterns, wars, or mass shootings/bombings, etc. Understanding just how universal balance works is as difficult as trying to understand how time-travel would work. But I do know that we simply cannot have a ‘perfect’ world. That it does no good to pray for ‘peace on earth’ because the earth could not sustain it. Have you read Stephen Baxter’s ‘Manifold: Time’ ? There are many truths in it (note the Carter Catastrophe put forth by John Leslie in 1996 in ‘The End of the World’.) And to keep in mind the old proverb/prayer to recognize and accept the things we cannot change. The ‘Wheel of Time’ may spin for a long, long time, but it will not spin for eternity. Merry we meet, Rev. Bailey, and merry we part… and merry we meet again.

      1. John Owens says:

        In the story of David and Goliath, David was not afraid to go fight Goliath, wearing only his everyday clothing, armed with only his sling and probably his staff. Now, as he crossed the brook on the way to the field where they were to meet, he chose FIVE stones to put in his pouch. He was prepared. He had been preparing since childhood. He had previously killed a bear and a lion with the same weapons. Did he have faith? If you listen to most churchy folk, he should have just stood among his ranks and prayed Goliath would have a heart attack.
        When Goliath came out, David RAN toward him, telling him the buzzards would eat him, and when he got near enough, he flung his stone. No telling how many thousands of times he had done that, but never at a giant who had been a warrior from his youth. When Goliath went down, David continued running and used Goliath’s own sword to behead him. That way he knew the giant would not recover consciousness. Prayer is good. Prayer helps us search our own souls as to our motivations and fears. Sometimes, God actually listens to people and helps the helpless, but He nearly ALWAYS helps those who have preparation and are willing to act.

        1. TigerMoon2 says:

          Owens, I’ve seen your posts dozens of times throughout this thread, and it’s been all I could do to restrain myself, reminding myself that you’re as entitled to your opinion as I am to mine. I was really hoping you’d skip a reply to mine, but you seem to have no such restraint, nor a limit to the sheer volume of opinions one can make in one thread. Fairy tales hold NO sway with me. Take a break, why don’tcha?

          1. John Owens says:

            Hey, Chump. Stay as ignorant as you want. I have to go offline for the weekend. Other things to do. Mess with me, I’ll mess back. You started it. So YOU STFU if you like. I’ll be back Monday, and embarrass you then.

          2. Dan Anderson says:

            John Owens – Silly me! I thought this was a discussion panel, not a petty attempt at insult board. Instead of getting your hormones all out of whack, how about calming down this weekend and then, if you feel calm and mature enough, maybe then it would be a good time to discuss this subject in a mature manner.

        2. TigerMoon2 says:

          Owens, you’ve made 45 posts in this thread alone, and, until now, I restrained myself from replying to any of them, though I disagree with all of them. Yes, I counted them in order to see just how big your ego is. Please cease and desist.

          1. John Owens says:

            Bite me, Tiger. It’s an open blog. You didn’t answer because you have no words worth speaking. I won’t give the blogs over to people like you. If you think you are so damned superior, you should go to a MENSA blog.

  31. Parson Golden says:

    Oh, come on, there are many sources to validate the source at Fact Check. Fat is that gun death in Australia are a fraction of what they are in the US. And country wide they are not on the rise. Snopes is one to verify that as well, but you choose not to like them either, The Australian Govt is another,
    http://www.aic.gov.au/statistics/homicide.html
    but maybe they make up “alternate facts”? The ABC News affiliate is another, http://www.abc.net.au/news/factcheck/2016-04-28/fact-check-gun-homicides-and-suicides-john-howard-port-arthur/7254880. Oh but they are a new outlet so of course they lie too.

    Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the United States’ gun-related murder rate is 25 times higher. And, even though the United States’ suicide rate is similar to other countries, the US’s gun-related suicide rate is eight times higher than other high-income countries. -Harvard University, https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/u-s-firearm-death-rate-ten-times-higher-than-other-high-income-countries/. Oh, but they are a University, so they must be liberal! That study was published online Feb. 1 in The American Journal of Medicine. A Peer Reviewed journal.

    According to the University of Sydney School of Public Health,
    The firearm homicide rate in Australia is .93/100,000, the firearm homicide rate in the US is 10.54 / 100,000. Oh, wait another liberal university!

    So I guess this is all just fake news?

    1. Parson Golden says:

      This was directed at John Owens, not sure why it fell out of order.

    2. Chuck says:

      Guess what……… even “national statistics” are not accurate anymore, thanks to Liberal bias.

      Example 1) US law enforcement has a list of crimes they are not to report in their systems if commited by illegal aliens….. everything from DWI to domestic abuse. Why? Because its not PC to report such crimes. I know police in Texas that have been given these orders, as well as New York.

      Example 2) In Europe, many countries are ordering police to not enter crimes committed by Muslim immigrants, or not enter them into the police system. I have German cousins that confirm this on a regular basis.

      So, why in the hell would I trust a Liberal government to publish that which disproves their BS theories??

      1. Parson Golden says:

        Hmm, well the “Liberal government” currently has a Republican President, Republican House an Republican Senate, so just who is the “Liberal government”?

        Claims of cover-up and conspiracy theories regarding US law enforcement not reporting crimes needs to be sourced or it is untrue. You European claim is simply a diversion to inflate your flat argument.

      2. Linda says:

        Chuck, I think your sources are questionable… because it infringes on the jail system running smoothly. Even if they didn’t report it, they would have to arrest them. No officer would put a drunk back on the road. Going to jail, there are checks and balances to make sure no one escaped. So all the arrests minus people bailed out or released equals the existing population. Who said it was politically incorrect to arrest anyone guilty of a crime, like DUI? There’s no logic in that. How is that politically incorrect? You’re saying 1+1 does not equal 2.

        How can you say gun control doesn’t work in Canada, Australia, most of western Europe and New Zealand? Parson is right, it DOES work because they are very sophisticated and not a capitalistic country. They’re not better than us, we’re not better than them… that is totally subjective. Aggressive mental illness programs in the US is needed, not gun control. Therefore the statistics only prove that. Guns don’t kill people, people do.

      3. Dan Anderson says:

        Chuck – please give actual citation for your claims of the police not able to report crimes supposedly reported by Muslim immigrants in both the U.S. and in Europe.

        Why are you pretending that this has anything to do with politics? I believe you may want to actually do a bit of research into your claims. Texas is a liberal state?

        Out of curiosity, do you believe, also, that Muslims are responsible for acts of terrorism, including actions like suicide bombings, etc?

  32. GT Kelliher says:

    So many people say, “All we can do is pray!” The Best thing we can do is pray. Always! Pray for the living. Pray for the spirits of those who have crossed over. A prayer for one person; for anything, is a prayer for all. This is the most powerful tool we have other than forgiveness and ultimately Love.

  33. Joe Santisteban says:

    Prayer is good and needed after the fact, but it will not stop a bad person from doing what they want. A good person can stop a bad person, but only if properly armed. I am a 30-year military veteran, a retired cop, a board member of the Crime Stoppers, a member of my Church board, and a Range officer. Based on my training and experiences, my best advise is to have someone legally armed in church. There is no way to deter someone from doing what they want and plan on doing — unless you can stop them from completing their plan! Our pastor agrees.

  34. Rev. T. Lightning Bolt says:

    How can you pray right, if you don’t know the truth as to what you are even praying to?

    “There is only one true god!” christians spew this out their mouths without even know in the facts!
    in Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness:
    So clearly “God” is PLURAL! You don’t even know what you pray t in the first place, so how can your prayers work in the second place!

    You people claim to be a people of faith but you DO NOT BELIEVE!
    That a is why your leaders have been able to run Satanic pedophile rings right here in the land of the free! Your children are free!
    Hell, the Native American children have been “free” for centuries!

    Do unto others, as you’d have others do unto you! Find out how it feels!

    Justice!

  35. John Owens says:

    Linda, if you name me ONE socialist country that might be pleasant, I’ll name you five that are Hell-holes. Socialism is a totalitarian system where the government tells the people what to do and the people have no choice. You are talking like a brainwashed college student.

    1. Linda says:

      John, I traveled the world long ago, in a previous job, and see benefits in both capitalism and socialism. How can I be brainwashed when I have first hand experience in socialized countries? The best country is subjective but the US wasn’t “internationally” ranked in the top 10 last time I checked. America has many tremendous qualities because it is capitalistic, and to protect the common man from greedy tendencies to gain an advantage by the financially persuasive privileged, which capitalism promotes, the 2nd amendment is a must. Even so, most socialized countries are wonderful in their own aspects too and most are not totalitarian. What do you have against Canada, Western European countries, Australia, and New Zealand, to name a few, where gun control works just fine?

      1. John Owens says:

        I also have firsthand experience in socialized countries, and I have worked with Cubans and Poles (from communist Poland) and Russians, and Mexicans. No person immigrating here from a socialist country wants THIS country to be like the one from which they came. They still want the freebies, but not the shortages and long lines.

        There’s an example: MEXICO , absolute gun ban in Mexico. How is their murder rate? How is their gun control working?

        How about Venezuela?

        Cuba has total gun control.

        How about Zimbabwe?

        I’m pretty sure Brazil is very strict on weapons, and Argentina.

        I’ve been to red China, too. I used to live in Scotland. I worked many months in Puerto Rico. Visited Mexico many times, and not as a tourist.

        I don’t have anything against any of the countries you mentioned, but I do not wish to live in any of them, NOR DO I WISH TO USE THEIR CURRENCY, OR ACCENT, OR CLOTHING, OR CUSTOMS. In short, this is the USA. THOSE people immigrate HERE. OUR people, by and large, do not emigrate THERE. A LOT more Canadians, Kiwis, and Aussies come HERE. Why do you suppose that is? We are not going to become more like them. If their lifestyle appeals to you, by all means, join them. No one begrudges you that, but please do not try to bring it to us like some kind of missionary. We don’t want it.

        1. Dan Anderson says:

          John – Please educate us about how it is that Japan, a Social Democratic state with gun control, has one of the lowest crime rates in the world. Please, also, explain how it is that even during the time of the Hanshin Earthquakes (yes, plural), that the crime rate still remained low and that how, when relief supplies came in, that people remained in line, orderly, keeping a sense of order and peace, even though they were in such dire straights.

          I look forward to your response.

      2. Linda says:

        John, John, John… I never said I wanted to make the US socialized, although I wouldn’t be all that opposed to it either. The point I was making is that as long as we are a capitalistic country, then the 2nd amendment has to stay in place without any added gun controls because that is the only way capitalism will work. IOW, the 2nd amendment is a done deal.

        I am truly amazed at how our forefathers constructed a government with such a beautifully balanced powers that actually makes capitalism a viable and thriving melting pot of people. It is clearly a rare jewel.

        That being said, it does NOT mean that socialized countries are garbage and we are far superior. Both have pros and cons and to think one is perfect and the other is all bad is ludicrous. The US is different than them but I think we can still be genuine allies with many of them.

        Why do so many people want to immigrate here? One is they have a very limited option of where to live. We have one of the most liberal immigration policies I’ve ever seen, and the least retribution for illegal residency too. It is next to totally impossible to gain residency in Norway and other leading countries. Our country is so large and so diverse it is difficult to spot who is illegal. Most people of other countries look so similar that if another nationality goes there they are noticed right away. Our country’s opportunity is amazing, because of capitalism, because we have so many natural resources, and because our huge middleclass makes us one of the largest competitive marketable populations if not the largest.

        Now about Mexico, lets forget about the gun control issue because we both agree the 2nd amendment has to stay w/o any added gun controls. To blame Mexico’s problems on socialization is unfair. You were there and had to have seen the vast corruption. It is so extensive and endured so long, I don’t see any way to rectify it now. Many years ago they arbitrarily decided what their currency exchange rate would be, instead of allowing free market to do so. They came to see the error of their ways too late and when they transitioned to the free market rates they were financially devastated. The same thing happened to Venezuela, who were also oil rich and now suffering from dropping oil sales because countries like us are drastically reducing oil consumptions. Many foreign businesses working in those countries before the conversion rates were made by the free market, made a fortune there and took it home to their country to spend it. The money devalued so fast from the conversion to free market rates, companies left before their 30 – 60 day purchase orders were to be paid because they were worth pennies on the dollar. Blaming all that on socialism is like blaming capitalism for the housing market fiasco followed by a depression here. Cuba, Poland, and Russia are communists or just transitioning out of communism so its apples and oranges.

        Again, the point is that socialism is different than capitalism. Neither is all bad or all good. Capitalism is unique, a wonderfully constructed masterpiece. We are fortunate to experience it first hand while it is successful. Its competitive nature creates sharp, aggressively assertive, self reliant individuals that learn to be survivors when faced with adversities. Even though it has great qualities, we are only fooling our self if we claim there are no adverse effects from it either.

        1. Linda says:

          An aspect you seem misguided John, you already use the clothes, language, religious beliefs, and customs of those other countries unless you live on a reservation, live in a Teepee, your wife is a squaw, you wear moccasins with rawhide clothing and you speak a Native American language. I find that doubtful since you obviously speak English, as from England, and you referenced Biblical teachings brought here by Europeans, and your traditional values seem European to me as well. John, you have no Native American ways of life and almost all of what you have came from the countries of which you claimed you wanted no part. Think about it.

          1. John Owens says:

            I didn’t say I want no part of those countries. They are wonderful places to visit. I would like to go to former Yugoslavia, Catalonia, the Basque country of Spain, the Mediterranean, a few select places. When it comes to war or trade, a reliable ally is a good thing to have. I don’t want to LIVE there. They are different. I don’t belong there. I don’t even belong in New York City, or Atlanta, or Los Angeles, although I can function quite well there. I just don’t see any earthly reason why people who come from those places would want to change ours to be more like them. It is even more insane to hear a US citizen use the example of some other country to try to warp this one into being more like another one, when people are still trying to come here by the hundreds of thousands.

            I heard the president of Mexico on a clip saying it was cruel for the US to send Mexican citizens back to Mexico. I know what he meant by that, but it sounded like he was saying Mexico is a cruel place to live (which it often is).

          2. Chuck says:

            You are incorrect about John’s reasoning. What Liberals refer to as “diversity” actually destroys diversity. We should be able to go to a country and feel like we are ACTUALLY in that country. If I go to a European country, I don’t want to feel like I am in an Arab country…… if I go to China, I want to feel like Im in China……If I go to America, I want to feel like Im in America.

            The false Liberal version of diversity is the equivelant of uprooting the Botanical Gardens, just throwing all plants into one area so you cannot even tell what is what.

            This planet is a living library, and Liberal “diversity” wants to destroy it. We learn from different cultures, peoples and values. It all means nothing if thrown together into a big meaningless mess.

          3. Linda says:

            John, I’m sure Mexico will miss Mexicans here illegally, because they were sending money back home, untaxed, while using free public services here. IMO, this, dropping oil prices, and legalized marijuana here is surely putting a huge dent in their leader’s corruption revenues. We can’t blame some nice guy for coming here to feed their family, but we can’t afford to take on the problem. Mexico looks like a capitalist country w/o the 2nd amendment.

          4. Linda says:

            Chuck, I guess your preference is to live and experience one culture, and I’m sure you can find it somewhere in the US. I think diversity is wonderful. There is an Asian section near me, a Spanish area, as well as different stores from other nationalities peppered all over town. I love to visit them from time to time. I love cultural diversity instead of the same thing over and over, which gets boring when you’re use to diversity. BTW, what would be an indication of American culture if it isn’t diversity?

  36. Chuck says:

    EVERYONE………. I’m noticing a common theme here.

    Nobody can have a valid argument unless they have a “valid” source, which almost always boils down to either a government source, or a corporate news source (who work for the government).

    Therein lies the problem…….. Government LIES! Especially these days, when 90% of government employees are Liberals, and wish to cover their insane logic from being exposed as nonsense.

    You want to know the truth about something??…go ask a local!!!!…..

    Im a New Yorker…… we have the most severe gun laws in America. And guess what……. we have a great deal of gun related violence, as well as violence that COULD have been stopped, if it were not a friggin crusade to get a pistol permit in this state!!!!!!!!!

    So, here we have a situation where the “King” is evil, but all “valid” information comes from the King.

    1. Parson Golden says:

      See Chuck, actually you are part of the problem. Indicating that everything that comes out of the Government is a lie is in itself a lie. Claiming that valid sources are lies is a lie. Claiming that the “corporate news source” works for the government is a lie Where you get the idea that 90% of Gov’t employees are Liberal is a piece of data I would like to see.

      Lastly, New York does not have the “most severe gun laws in America” not even by the slanted NRA standards, California, New Jersey and Massachusetts have stricter gun laws then NY.

      Just making claims that everybody lies is not in fact how we make laws and govern. Most of us use fact based research, and admit when our research is wrong, take steps to understand the difference and make decisions accordingly.

    2. Linda says:

      “Nobody can have a valid argument unless they have a “valid” source, which almost always boils down to either a government source, or a corporate news source (who work for the government).

      Therein lies the problem…….. Government LIES! Especially these days, when 90% of government employees are Liberals, and wish to cover their insane logic from being exposed as nonsense.

      Read more at https://www.themonastery.org/blog/2017/11/texas-church-massacre-are-prayers-enough/#fPktjgySCbZkYC5F.99

      Chuck, I am a proponent of the 2nd amendment but how did you conclude government statistic’s lie and the corporate news works for the government? I’m not saying it is false because IDK. I’m just wondering how you know.

      Journalists and news shows are very competitive for ranking and recognition, and to be the journalist to expose this would be a huge step to the top of the ladder. It would mean millions in additional ad revenues. If it is a liberal conspiracy, a democratic reporter would even expose this because the personal rewards are just too enticing. FOX news would have surely aired this on their network. I do streaming TV and read some current events online so did I miss it? If it was never broadcasted, why would any journalist refuse to capitalize on it? Journalists do anything for a story, even go to the middle of active war zones. If you got the info underground, then I would be highly suspicious of its veracity because it would seem like they were afraid of being sued for slander.

  37. Rev. Valerie P. Lucas says:

    Is prayer enough? Sometimes, it is all you need. Sometimes, it is not. God works in mysterious ways. If prayer worked every time, exactly the way WE wanted it, it wouldn’t be prayer, would it? It would be something scientific. Something provable to all people at all times the same way.

    Many years ago I found myself in really horrible emotional turmoil over a crisis that involved myself and some other people. I was so distraught I could barely function. I found a piece of paper with the number of a prayer line I had never used before. I was sobbing as I dialed the number, almost in hysteria. When I punched the 3rd digit of the phone number a TREMENDOUS unshakable peace came over my entire body. It totally enveloped me. A person did come on the line and prayed with me, but the descent of, for lack of a better word, grace, started way before they even answered. This crisis situation went on for weeks, but the peace and calmness and love I felt all around me gave me complete comfort the whole time. I simply could not entertain a negative thought.

    I do believe in prayer because of that experience. I pray for many people often. I actually watch the news to see WHO to pray for. Someone in a capsized boat, kidnapped children, a missing or captured soldier – people in an active shooting. I do believe prayer makes a difference. Huge difference. If you were out there hanging onto a capsized boat in the dark ocean, wouldn’t you want prayers? A stranger followed me to my car on a dark, Winter night when I was a young woman. There were no lights where I parked. As I began to get in the car he pulled a large gun out of his jacket and stuck it at my throat and attempted to kidnap me. I could have really used some prayers that night. I did get away at the last minute; the very last minute. I bring this up because you might think I am against gun control, but I am for it.

    But of course, it’s “pray and move your feet”. Prayer isn’t the only answer; its part of the answer. We as human beings evolving need of course to act, too. But what I have noticed – and I am sure this is controversial to some – is that 99.99% of these random, violent massacres in the US are committed by men. Does this mean men are inherently evil? No, I don’t think so. But I have also noticed, as many of you have, that most of these men seem to have a really serious mental diagnosis. So here is my point. Lots of women own guns. And lots of women have severe psychiatric diagnoses. But mostly men are doing the massacres. You can’t solve a problem on the level it presents itself. Guns, no guns. The argument could go on forever. I believe we have to come in from another level. And there are many angles to be contemplated, for sure. An author I read somewhere said bullets are men’s tears. Now THAT makes sense to me. Men – not all men – but men especially with deep emotional/psychological issues speak with their guns. Of course not all men with deep psychological issues, But isn’t one, one too many? They are expressing something huge and horrible in their souls that has been repressed, in the only way (they believe) they can. There is something in our society about the way men are raised that I believe needs to change. Again, I personally am for gun control. But guns are a symptom of a much bigger problem that needs to be addressed in many different ways.

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