At our Sunday service Aug. 4, hours after the most recent mass murder in America, during our time of prayer and meditation, our worship leader asked us to turn our thoughts to the victims of the El Paso and Dayton shooting rampages.
It did not take long for my thoughts to turn instead to the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity and their enablers. My grief turned to anger, as it so often does in the face of this kind of cruelty and hatred and the shrugging of the shoulders of our political “leaders.”
At one time, there was a respectable group in this country that taught gun safety and offered certificates to young people after they’d proved they could safely handle a gun. It was called the NRA. That same group now fights against any and all sensible restraints on the sale of weapons: even deadly assault rifles meant for combat need to be made available to the general public. With no background checks. With no need for a license. In the face of justified objections from law enforcement. Because any restraints are “the slippery slope to taking away all our rights.”
Scott Jennings, hardly a left-wing liberal, in his Sunday column in your paper, proposed four sensible steps that Congress can take to protect our citizens from this madness: institute a red flag law; pass a law mandating universal background checks; ban high-capacity magazines and drums; and “pass an unequivocal resolution condemning white nationalism, racism and violence.” I heartily support this series of steps and I hope that all reasonable Kentuckians will, as well.
Eighty-three percent of American gun owners support expanded background checks for all gun purchases. The NRA spent $1.6 million lobbying against them. Why? Money, it seems, is more important to them than human lives.