Prayers are not enough

There is an old joke where a man prays and prays for God to let him win the lottery. After years of praying, he asked God why have you forsaken me and deny me winning the lottery? The clouds parted and God said “It would help if you bought a ticket.”

After yet another gun tragedy, many have offered prayers in public places for the victims and their families, even in the halls of Congress. Being a religious man, I am all for praying, but after so many gun tragedies, it is time we “bought that lottery ticket” and take legislative action. The status quo is not working and legislators are simply not doing their job.

I have written variations of this several times and will have to write it again in the future as our Congressional representatives are too concerned with upsetting the NRA than trying to solve an obvious problem. For example, we have 300 million guns, one for each person in the US, and have over 30,000 gun deaths per year. Japan has an average of one gun per 100 people and had 27 gun deaths for the whole country last year. And, that increased from 8 the year before.

Yes, gun deaths are a mental health issue. They are also a lack of civil discourse issue, they are a drug crime issue, they are a violent entertainment issue, but make no mistake they are an access to gun issue. This is especially true for guns that can kill far too many at one time. But, mass shootings are only part of the problem – the bigger problems happen every day, suicides and homicides. 2/3 of our gun deaths are suicides.

There are measures that can be taken that will help if done holistically. We could begin with by unwinding the horrible legislation that Congress passed and Trump signed that allows 75,000 Social Security mentally health disabled people to be left on the OK to buy a gun list. We could also stop attacking the ACA and its Medicaid expansion which provide mental health benefits. These two practices fly directly in the face of calling gun deaths a mental health issue,

We could follow the lead of states with tighter gun laws and lower gun death rates and start conducting background checks on all purchases and have more elongated waiting periods. We could require gun safety training that must be renewed. We could encode all bullets to help with crime solving and finger print control weapons to prevent child deaths.

And, I am firm believer that no citizen should have fully automatic weapons or even semi-automatic weapons. These weapons have no place in a non-military person’s hands.

King Solomon encourages us to use our brains in Proverbs. Why would God give us this wonderful creation between our ears, if He did not expect us to use it? I have spoken before that people pray for miracles, but isn’t our brain a wonderful miracle that can help solve problems? We are the solution to the problem.

We must act. Our legislators must act. If they do not, we need to share our concerns and share them again. It is obvious doing nothing is not working.

22 thoughts on “Prayers are not enough

  1. Dear Keith,
    If someone is at your door starving, it would be a sin to say I’ll pray for you without handing over enough to feed the person for a few days.It is a sin not to enact legislation with sensible gun control restrictions because republicans are in the pocket of the N.R.A.

    The republicans are fast becoming the party of Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller, Roy Moore, apologists for White supremacists as per Ed Gillespie’s campaign in recent VA election, apologists for sexual perverts;for restricting voters’ rights, anti immigration, anti-climate change science, tax cuts for the rich and corporations, taking away peoples access to health care insurance, against any sensible gun control measures, etc. Is there just one issue that they are backing which can be factually proven to lift up the middle class and the poor?

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, thanks for your detailed comment. The anti-gun control stance by the Republican Party is a metaphor of hypocrisy. As you note, there are other issues that are mantra-driven that go against data and common sense, yet people are so tribal they choose to believe what they are told. It is the epitome of cognitive dissonance. When you have tens of thousands people visit a blog that speaks of a liberal conspiracy to cause gun deaths to gain gun control, we truly have reached rock bottom. Keith

  2. The gun problem is indeed terrible but I’ve had first-hand experience with the mental health issue. My husband was bipolar, got worse as he aged, and traveled to the U.S. from India while manic and unmedicated. Our son had to keep going to court to put and keep him in a mental hospital after he spent all our savings. He had to get his dad to agree to come back to India where he couldn’t constantly get at our bank account and continue to spend all our money. The mentally ill are set free at a certain time and fall through the cracks. If there’s no relative to take them they just wander the streets. In large cities, they sleep on the streets rather than go into shelters that are full of bugs and they could be killed. It seems they’re invisible to many people. I’ve read DT is all for cutting back on mental health spending among other things. If these mentally ill get ahold of guns we see what can happen. —- Suzanne

    • Suzanne, you have seen it first hand. What amazes me is 1 in five people will experience some form of depression or more. I remember when there was so much adamance if including mental health benefits in healthcare plans in the 1990s. As I mention above Trump and Ryan saying gun deaths are a mental health issue is just a distraction tactic. If you mean what you say, the why are you doing the opposite. Reporters need to hammer these folks with questions when they make statements like that. Keith

  3. You and I have blogged endlessly against the nutters who are running amuck with loaded weapons these days. So I will tell you another joke: After repeatedly asking God in his prayers for greater wealth the fellow tells his buddy he no longer believes in God because He doesn’t answer his prayers. His friend responds: “No” is an answer!
    Have a great day, my friend.

    • Hugh, no is indeed an answer. Like a parent, my belief is God feels proud when we use our brain to solve problems and help others. Here is a prayer – I pray God will get people to realize that guns must be tightly governed. Keith

  4. Note to Readers: I read a great article that included the following which I have paraphrased. For those who say more people are killed by cars than guns, a response is there would be more, but we govern cars with safety requirements – drivers must be licensed and renew such, seat belts and air bags are required and you can be fined for not buckling up, there are collapsible corners of cars to absorb the impact to protect the driver/ passengers and there are road rules such as speed limits, signs and traffic lights. Guns should be so governed.

  5. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    I sometimes feel as if I’m talking to a wall when I write about the need for far stricter gun laws than we have in this nation. Actually, I feel like I’m having my head beaten against a wall much of the time, for some Americans feel more strongly about their right to “bear arms” than they do their own children. But I refuse to “sit down and shut up”, as I have often been told when I tackle this subject. Friend and fellow-blogger Keith has written the best piece I have ever read, including my own, on this topic, and has given me permission to share it, so I ask you to please … PLEASE take a moment to read … and think about … what he says. Thank you, Keith!

    • Many thanks for stopping by and commenting.I am not hopeful with this legislative leadership that any action of substance will be taken, but we still must push.

  6. Hi Keith, I really sympathize with you. As much as I abhor guns, the 2nd Amendment is part of our We can debate with the gun nutters for eternity, but unless humanity raise it’s collective consciousness, gun or any other kind of (self) control (alcohol, drugs, sex etc) will be difficult.

    That doesn’t mean we stop trying, we’ll have to be patient until the humanity grows up. This may take awhile…

  7. What do Trump and the Republicans gain from 75,000 Social Security mentally health disabled people to be left on the OK to buy a gun list . More likely I should be asking what the NRA gain since all decision regarding weapons seems to revolve around them.OK they gain monetarily from new membership subscriptions but is it as much as they spent on having the issue debated and confirmed. Probably not. I suggest then that those costs were probably covered by the Arms Companies which will benefit from the extra sales.
    With all the wars in the world is this really who should be dictating Government policy?
    Well written as usual Keith.

    • David, many thanks. Your question is pertinent. One that also troubles me is the NRA has been able to prevent the funding of the CDC to study gun deaths, which the CDC wants to do. What are they afraid of? Keith

  8. Note to Readers: I periodically will paste a post in an email and forward to people. I may get a response or two back. This one has received more than a few supportive return emails. I also sent a slight variation to elected officials. Please feel free to copy and paste and tell folks it was written by some old fart. Many thanks if you do so. To be frank, it depresses me to have to keep writing this same kind of post.

  9. Note to Readers: I have mentioned on several occasions to count the number of gun stories in the paper each day for about a month. Today, was unfortunately a bad banner day. There were two new shooting deaths, two old shooting deaths coming to trial, and one story where two coaches as private high school were first suspended, then fired after one brought a gun to campus to settle their argument. That is five stories in one day.

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