What Utter Nonsense: San Bernardino

by CJFosdick on December 15, 2015

A newspaper about one day after the tragedy at San Bernardino had a big, front page headline that read, “God can’t fix this.” This referred to the attack in San Bernardino by two radicalized terrorists who killed 14 people and wounded 22 others. The article proceeded: “Only more gun control could have saved the victims.” It was a definite slam against religion as well as conservatives, as it showed pictures of several GOP Presidential candidates who said “Our thoughts and prayers are with you..

Then a TV interview between a liberal and a conservative on Fox News had a debate on this headline. As expected the conservative defended those who reached out the grieving families by saying, “My thoughts and prayers are with you”, saying this was not the time to bring up gun control just a day or two after the shootings and upheld the religious quote.

The liberal argued that the conservative had completely contradicted herself by saying that she condemned the idea that tougher gun laws would have stopped the shootings, then turned around and approved of the idea of people telling those grieving that their thoughts and prayers are with the families, comparing the reference to God with gun control — just two different ideas

What utter nonsense! This is like comparing the light and power of the sun with a 25 watt light bulb. A person’s religion for that person is a very powerful force, one of the main motivators of that person’s actions. Religion has united countries, has provided countries with standards of behavior, taboos people must avoid, and is the glue that holds that society together. There are millions of Americans who believe in God, something like 70% to 80% of the population of the United States. The need for more gun control is an idea. It is one of the issues Americans grapple with. The need for more gun control is an idea either shared or not shared by the majority of Americans. It is one issue among many that concern folks today, but it certainly does not have a powerful force of people’s actions as religion does, nor does it motivate a person’s basic moral values. It is an idea only, not a guideline for person’s moral and ethical behavior.

Going further, when someone says, “My thoughts and prayers are with you”, it is meant to console the grieving who lost love ones, to let them know people care and want to help them. It is universal and often used; President Obama even said this about San Bernardino. To tell the same brokenhearted people, “More gun laws might or would have saved your loved one” is a real downer. It makes someone feel worse. It points out that our country could have, should have done more to protect those killed or wounded in San Bernardino. To compare one’s religion with an idea like needing more gun control is, at best, very shallow and trite. They are not the same at all. In fact one reason ISIS is so hard to beat is the very fact it is based on religious beliefs and not just an idea to be debated. People will die for their religion; not for just an idea like gun control. I have never heard of a man willing to give up his life to get more gun control.

Of course there are some ideas people have died for. Freedom is one, so it is hard to make a rule to cover all circumstances. For example, a person could very well fight and die to protect the Second Amendment of our Constitution, the right to keep and bear arms.

The newspaper had every right to take a stand on the need for more gun control. It was all right to run down the belief in God as the newspaper did. Americans have the right of freedom of speech. They also have a right to worship as they please. Now these are ideals worth fighting for and dying for. But I believe that it wasn’t very smart and certainly was not considerate two days after this terrible tragedy. Like I said, do this was “utter nonsense.” It is like comparing one grain of sand on the beaches of the world with the strength, force, and energy of a powerful ocean.

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