My heart is shattered today at the news of the pure evil demonstrated last night in Las Vegas.
My prayers and deepest sympathies are with our hurting nation right now, and especially the victims and their loved ones.
I’ve been hard pressed to peel myself away from the news to write this post.
The level of atrocity and horror that is belching across our television airwaves today is enough to make you want to build a bunker and not come out until the second coming.
There was one thing I was not expecting today though: and that’s what I found when I scanned social media today.
Honestly, I have been so sickened at the response by much of the public – and much of my Facebook newsfeed.
Instead of calls for prayer and compassion for the victims of the shooting, there is outcry for gun control reform.
Instead of numbers and addresses for blood banks to donate the vital lifeline so desperately needed in Vegas right now, there are email addresses and phone numbers to “flood” our congressmen and women about gun control.
Instead of comforting bible verses or religious images, there are political cartoons, using the pain and tragedy of others to parody and promote their stance on gun violence.
Instead of sorrow, and compassion, and empathy, there’s rage and outcry and defiance.
And it is disgusting.
Now is the time when we need to be uniting, offering compassion, seeking peace and offering prayer and support.
The behavior on display today by much of the public is nothing short of a disgrace.
Almost as bad as our athletes kneeling during the national anthem.
I wonder what those athletes, protesting police brutality, would have to say to the plain clothes, off-duty police officers who stuck around and risked their lives at the concert, directing people to safety, shielding people with their bodies, and willing putting themselves in harm’s way, all for the protection of strangers.
I wonder what they would have to say to those first responders who – in ten minutes – blasted down the hotel door of a known gunman with automatic rifles and went in, coming face to face with almost a certain death, to save others.
I don’t want to get into anything political. Not today. Not ever, really. So I’m going to just let you come to your own conclusions on that.
But in response to the uproar of gun control opportunists, selfishly using this tragedy for their own political agenda, I have just two things to say.
First: shame on you. Have you no heart? Really.
Guns are not the problem.
There, I said it.
It’s not the guns: It’s the person pulling the trigger.
It’s mental illness.
As a survivor of anorexia – a mental illness – I will be the first to tell you, that mental illness is the absolute culprit behind the destruction. – Be it inflicted on others, or in my case, on oneself.
It doesn’t matter if the weapon is a gun, a box cutter, rented trucks, homemade bombs, anthrax, or food– the weapon does not commit the crime: the person does.
Just ask 78 pound, anorexic me. I was using food – or rather, the lack there of — as my weapon to destroy my own life.
It was the mental illness. And I had to go to inpatient treatment to literally kick the demons out of my life.
A man who would calculatedly open fire on a helpless, innocent crowd of people from a perfectly located hotel room, 32 floors up and two football fields away is mentally ill.
And as a result, there are thousands of people who are left in the carnage, both physically and mentally.
And I agree: rapid fire, automatic weapons – like machine guns – should never be in the hands of anyone, other than the members of our armed forces and law enforcement officers.
But it is a pretty naive view to think that gun laws will keep guns out of the hands of bad guys.
It’s a tough issue. And what about other weapons? What do we do about mentally unstable or brainwashed people seeking to acquire fertilizer or other ingredients to make homemade bombs, or renting a truck to drive through a crowd? What are we to do then?
What price are we willing to pay in loss of freedom and privacy to reduce threats at the hands of mentally unfit people?
How far do we go as a society? It is a messy and complicated issue.
But right now, in the wake of this ghastly episode, our focus should be on one another. On the hurting. On the healing. On the hope.
Not on furthering one’s political agenda.
I was going to close in my own prayer for this nation, but I was so moved by President Trump’s remarks today, that I’m going to let his words take us out tonight.
And regardless of your opinion on our brazen leader, I invite you to read his sincere words with an open heart.
“In times such as these, I knew we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness. The answers do not come easy. But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest space can be brightened by a single light and even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope.
Melania and I are praying for every American who has been hurt, wounded or lost the ones they loved so dearly in this terrible, terrible attack. We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace, and we pray for the day when evil is banished and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear.
May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost, may God give us the grace of healing, and may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on. Thank you. God bless America.”
“Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.”
– George Orwell, “1984”
In the wake of the horrific massacre in Las Vegas Sunday came the inevitable cry from the left: “Ban guns! All of them!”
A 2015 article with this title from self-admitted “anti-gun liberal” Phoebe Maltz Bovy makes the predictable argument that somehow violence will be erased from society if only those nasty pieces of machinery were eradicated. She is one of a group who is “quietly convinced that guns are terrible.”
These are the people who did not grow up in a “gun culture” (as Bovy terms it) and simply cannot – or will not – grasp the concept that guns are a tool. “It’s not about dividing society into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ gun owners. It’s about placing gun ownership itself in the ‘bad’ category,” Bovy writes. “On the pro-gun-control side of things, there’s far too much timidity. What’s needed to stop all gun violence is a vocal ban guns contingent. Getting bogged down in discussions of what’s feasible keeps what needs to happen – no more guns – from entering the realm of possibility. Public opinion needs to shift. The no-guns stance needs to be an identifiable place on the spectrum, embraced unapologetically, if it’s to be reckoned with.” [Emphasis in original.]
Bovy’s position picks up steam with every gun-related tragedy, and needless to say it’s reaching a shrieking crescendo after Sunday’s massacre. There is no doubt in the mind of liberals that the weapons themselves leaped from the floor and caused the horrific deaths and injuries. No human intervention was necessary.
Critics of this column will quickly point out the sheer amount of destruction caused by Stephen Paddock would not have been possible had Paddock not had access to the cadre of high-powered, fast-shooting weaponry he did. They are undeniably correct. Some terrorism is beyond the scope of individual defense.
But is this a reason to trash the Second Amendment? Of course not.
Progressives have never, ever answered one simple question when it comes to the notion of gun control or gun bans, to wit: How do you keep firearms out of the hands of criminals and madmen? Whatever sick motivation Paddock had, he prepared long and thoroughly for his actions. Laws and bans would not have stopped him.
But this makes no difference to politicians, who are of course using this tragedy to spout ignorant twaddle solely designed to further push their Constitution-weakening agenda. The very last thing politicians want is firearms in the hands of the people, because as long as those stubborn knuckle-dragging troglodytes insist on being armed, the government can never get too big.
Progressives have tried to discourage the relevance of gun ownership, believing that in our civilized age, we don’t “need” guns. But when the chips are down, people know what’s important. They know they need to protect themselves – not just from the threat of criminal madmen, but more importantly from the threat of an unconstitutional government determined to disarm its citizens by whatever means possible (the first well-documented step on the road to tyranny).
Attorney and constitutional scholar KrisAnne Hall asks, “Do you trust those in government, now and forever in the future, to not take your life, liberty, or property through the force of government? If the answer to that question is ‘no,’ the gun control debate is over.”
The horrific death toll from the Las Vegas massacre is but the tiniest grain of sand when compared to the estimated 262 million people killed just in the 20th century by “democide” – death by government. And – surprise – those people had been disarmed first. This, of course, is why the Founding Fathers included the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights.
As the Firearms Policy Coalition noted in a press release, “[T]he Second Amendment’s guarantees are not a matter of convenience, nor of need, nor even of want. The basic human right to armed self-defense against unjust force is precisely why our Founders enshrined it into our Constitution – to protect it against the capricious nature of popular opinion, the momentum of the mob, and those who would seek to limit it to a watered-down, second-class privilege for some.”
Generally, those who won’t admit to the benefits of an armed society have the most to gain from disarming that society and don’t care what everyone else has to lose. Those who oppose the Second Amendment are either evil or stupid. The politicians are arguably the evil ones, since they’re so busily engaged in dismantling this impediment to their ultimate power grab.
But the progressives are the stupid ones, because they live in a perpetual state of denial. They deny anything bad could ever happen to them in which a firearm might change the outcome. They deny people have evil intentions above and beyond the “he had a rough childhood” defense. They want decent, peaceable people disarmed because of the crimes of the wicked.
Progressive seem to hold a belief that no one should be able to defend himself and a naïve confidence that evil can be stopped by removing tools. Believe me, if guns aren’t available, thugs and murderers and terrorists turn to other means to kill: acid, knives, vehicles, etc. Do we ban shoes and underwear because of shoe-bombers and underwear-bombers? Do we ban airplanes because of 9/11? Do we ban vehicles because terrorists are now using them to mow down crowds? How far do we take this, folks? Firearms at least give victims a fightin’ chance of surviving and taking out the murderer.
One leftist sarcastically noted, “Sure, you can’t stop a madman, so let’s at least make sure they are well-armed.”
No, dear, you’re wrong. You can’t stop a madman, so let’s at least make sure there’s a chance his targets are well-armed. It is – literally – the only prayer to stop him.
Sow the wind, reap the whirlwind, folks. Gun-free zones are dangerous enough. For God’s sake, we don’t need a gun-free nation.
Media wishing to interview Patrice Lewis, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
My analysis of the Las Vegas concert murders will be a little different than whatever else you’ve read on it:
1. It doesn’t center around the shooter, Stephen Paddock.
2. It offers the real reason.
3. It offers a real solution.
In America, tragedy separates politicians from elected leaders. Politicians address their base. Leaders address the problem. Gun control is a perennial Democratic Party favorite. What it says is, “We want to let those who vote for us to continue to engage in self-destructive, community-destroying and violent behavior, live out their fantasies in public, no matter how far disconnected from reality, but we want to limit the destruction such people can inflict upon others while they do so.”
Leaders, on the other hand, seek to understand the underlying issues and work to solve the problem within the confines of constitutional government. Oh, and their solutions really do solve the problem.
Which brings us to Las Vegas. People love puzzles, and that’s what this has become. The question is, what could possibly have motivated Paddock to murder 58 strangers he’d never even met, and to injure hundreds more?
At this point in the news cycle, many people would be happy to find a pathway from ISIS to the killer. That would explain what happened. Wouldn’t it? He was radicalized. There! We gave it a name.
Radicalization is the gun-control myth all over again. “Oh, that explains it. When we eliminate ISIS, the radicalization pathway will be eliminated. Then we can continue on with our lives as we always have.”
No, and no. No, the radicalization path will not be eliminated, because another one will quickly emerge. And no, you cannot carry on with your life as you always have, because that is what has caused the problem.
But if the radicalization path can’t be eliminated, surely we can intervene before tragedy strikes, right? Between law enforcement and America’s intelligence agencies, we spend hundreds of billions of dollars annually trying to do just that. Summarize it as this: By knowing everything about everyone, we will stop bad people from doing bad things, before they act.
So, how has that worked out, America? There are millions of people who fly today who don’t remember when you could walk onto an airliner without identification and without passing through a security gauntlet. The 9/11 hijackers, by the way, went through one. Many months before 9/11, the FBI was notified by flight instructors of curious students who didn’t care to learn about takeoffs and landings; they just wanted to fly. No investigation ever happened. 9/11 did.
As a secular culture, America and most of the West is incapable of understanding what it faces. That makes it defenseless, pure and simple. You’re not going to defend against something you don’t believe exists. This mindset insures that the defenses you do erect won’t work.
It is impossible in today’s world to be an educated person without understanding that the supernatural realm exists and that it influences human behavior in the natural world. It was a major part of what Jesus taught, but even churches today rarely touch upon the subject. Hence their powerlessness to act in the modern world.
In the aftermath of great evil, always the secular world’s explanation evades the facts. “No, he was prescribed powerful drugs. No, he had mental-health issues. No, he had a troubled marriage, breakup, career, or other extenuating circumstances.” So do lots of other people, but they react differently.
Some years after I came out of the Cold War era, I had an opportunity to converse with a noted environmental attorney fresh from a big Supreme Court victory. He asked about what work I had done. I related the conversation with a Russian fighter pilot, who had been ordered to shoot down a civilian airliner over Siberia. The pilot argued that the plane was a civilian airliner, but he followed his orders. The plane made an emergency landing on a frozen Siberian lake.
The attorney was silent for a time, looking at me. Finally he said, “If what you are telling me is true, then everything I have believed about the Soviet Union over my entire life is wrong.”
“That’s right,” I said. The two-hour conversation ended.
That’s where America and the West’s secular leaders are today. Everything they have believed about the supernatural world and pure evil is wrong. It exists. It influences human behavior, sometimes in terrible, terrible ways. Yet to accept what they see happening before them and move onto real solutions, they would have to acknowledge that their view of the world for most of their life has been wrong.
The question for us today is: How many hundreds, thousands, maybe millions of innocent people will die in outrages we can’t yet even imagine before our secular world leaders admit that pure evil exists, and that the only weapon against it is what Jesus taught his followers? Perhaps the question in front of that one is: Will the Christian church disavow secularism, and return to what Jesus taught? For therein is the world’s hope.
Pelosi’s push for gun control: ‘Background check is a compromise’
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