Saturday, December 15, 2012

Why the Newtown CT Shootings Happened:
Mike Huckabee Vs. Me

So: Mike Huckabee says the Connecticut shooting happened because we "removed God from the schools."

What an imbecile.

Great Britain, Switzerland, Sweden, and West Germany all have no prayer in schools and are about as secular as they can get; their church attendance is a small fraction of America's. Last year, those four countries together had 105 deaths from handguns, while the USA had 10,728. 

No, it's not because we removed God from schools. It's because we removed reason from our thinking.

It's because by some pretzel logic we take a Constitution that guarantees armed militias and interpret that to mean that regular citizens can carry semiautomatic handguns and purchase what amount to be assault rifles. THAT'S why.

It's because we won't admit that the Constitution, written in an era of single-shot weapons, never anticipated the revolver, let alone handguns with 30-shot magazines. THAT'S why.

It's because so many citizens have learned to respond to real-life issues with knee-jerk ideology. THAT's why.

I'd like to see Mike Huckabee say this idiocy face to face with the parents of the twenty dead children in Newtown, Connecticut. I doubt he'd make it out of the room alive.

God gave us brains and reason. May we use them.

Mike Huckabee, for making political hay out of a horrifying event, shame on you. The Just Judge shall judge between us at the last day.


  1. Bravo! Thank you for this post. Jenna

  2. Yay! So true. Don't forget how popular culture and even US foreign policy presents violence as the best solution to any problem. It brightened my day to find this post.

  3. @Jenna / nina4667, and Ciss: Thank you for your encouraging words. And Ciss: You are so right; I might well address this in an ongoing way. Peace to all.

  4. Mark--

    I posted part of this on a previous page, not realizing there was more to your story!

    The poster is misleading in many respects. Just something over 8,000 people were killed by firearms in the US last year. Second, they were not all killed by handguns. Third, they were not all murdered -- the figure includes justifiable homicides. Fourth, comparing western Europe to the US mixes apples and oranges. The demographics of the respective nations alone invalidate the comparison to some extent. Fifth, citing absolute numbers of firearms fatalities skews the results (though not dramatically) because of the difference in populations between the countries cited. For example, the US has a larger population than all the countries cited combined. Sixth, the countries used for comparison are cherry-picked for low firearms death rates. There is a substantial number of other countries where the rate is much _worse_ than that of the US. Finally, it does not reflect the fact that the number of firearms homicides in the US has decreased to the lowest level since the 1960s, despite a huge increase in population (and number of privately-owned guns) since that time.

    A quick remark on the Second Amendment before going on to my next point. You misunderstand what was meant by "militia," and the purpose for the Amendment in the first place. It is evident from the surrounding discussion at the time it was adopted that the founders had in mind an armed citizenry as a fourth check on the power of the federal government. The founders likely would have believed a militia "well-regulated" by the federal government (such as the National Guard is) would have eviscerated the purpose of the Second Amendment. One implications of this is that the founders would likely have expected the citizenry to have their own "assault rifles" to give them parity with the feds. (But, arguably, they would also have expected citizens to use the weapons responsibly, as well.)

    In any case, I disagree that the availability of firearms, and particularly of military-style assault rifles is the root cause of horrible events such as the Newtown shooting. Firearms, and even what type are involved are only a facilitating (and aggravating) cause; the core causation starts much further upstream. But I will much more to say about this in my own blog later this week.

  5. BTW, Mark -- I would have signed up for your blog, but I don't have an account with any of the services offered, and don't want yet another account to something else. If I can sign in with just my email address, I would love to do it.


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