Further Reflections on the Florida Massacre and the Gun Debacle

Further Reflections on the Florida Massacre and the Gun Debacle February 19, 2018

Having reflected on the various comments posted on my original and second blog post about the killing of students at Parkland High recently, certain things should be added. I was heartened to see the response of the high school students themselves demanding change in the gun laws in Florida. Maybe the millennials can force our recalcitrant politicians to take actions. To the naysayers who insist this will not make any difference, I will say you are very wrong. Take for instance what happened in Connecticut after the Sandy Hook massacre. The state took action, and legislated much stricter gun laws. The result? Gun violence has gone down markedly in that state ever since, from all the reports I’ve seen.

Secondly, better mental health screenings are important but they certainly won’t solve this problem everywhere. Why not? Because the issue is not just mental health, it is sin or wickedness! There are plenty of wicked people who don’t show up on mental health screenings, and who are perfectly lucid. One needs moral screening not just mental health screening. Here’s one place ministers and rabbis the church and the synagogue could do more to help our malaise.

Thirdly, to those who say we need less government, just the opposite is the case. If you paid attention to the report as to why the FBI and local law enforcement dropped the ball on this one, the number one reason was— they don’t have enough employees and time to sift all the forms of social media, or follow up all the leads, however urgent to do their jobs properly!

Fourthly, if you really want to drain the swamp in Washington, then stop electing candidates who are deeply indebted to the NRA. For example, take the pathetically weak response of Marco Rubio in Florida, who has received $3 million dollars in campaign contributions from the NRA, or…. for instance our President who received far more than that. In fact, stop electing the whole list of candidates who get an A+ rating from the NRA, because they will do little or nothing about gun violence in this country.

Fifthly, after all the nonsense about the interpretation of what ‘a well ordered militia’ means in our founding documents, I would point out that the Founding Fathers had at least enough sense to be talking about a situation where we did not have a democracy, and could not vote and were actually facing a foreign tyranny. Remember ‘no taxation without representation’, and even what little representation we had in places like the house of burgesses in Virginia was limited to just the social elites, male social elites, white social elites? This is not the case today in America. The real problem is that many Americans today are spoiled rotten, want rights without the accompanying responsibilities, and only about half or less than half of the given electorate get out and vote!! You can’t expect change in a democratic society without getting out and voting. It’s not good enough to vent on social media or even march on Washington if you don’t bother to use the power of the voting booth.

Sixthly, what really needs stopping altogether is PACS, political action committees running ads for candidates, and buying and paying for candidates of whichever party. We need a shorter campaign season, free ad time on TV for the registered candidates, and the like. This is one of the most stinking parts of the ‘swamp’ which messes with our democracy, but it is futile to expect those very politicians who owe so very much to PACS to vote to change the laws of the land, banning such campaign contributions from— major corporations as well as PACS with special interested. Take for instance the current opioid crisis. Partly it has been funded by drug companies paying millions and millions to campaigns for candidates at all levels who will be ‘congenial’ to their views on drugs. I could mention as well the distortion and out right lying by drug companies as to what percentage of persons are likely to get addicted to such pain killers.

We have lots of problems in our country. And at the end of the day laws can help some, reform of social practices can help some, better participation in our democratic processes can help some, but more than anything we need a change of heart, a revival in our nation, that will change the moral corruption and spiritual degradation in our society from the inside out. We should all pray for that. We should look in the mirror and see how each one of us is part of the problem. We should each start the change by draining our own swamps……by the help and grace of God.

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