Enough with the empty “thoughts and prayers”

Enough with the empty “thoughts and prayers”
School should be a place kids go to learn, and not a place to die. (Pixabay Images)

That is the GOP answer to every tragedy, “thoughts and prayers, thoughts and prayers,” I am sick of hearing it. Has it dawned on anyone that just maybe God is saying, “I gave you a brain, fix this yourself.”

Praying is a good thing in my book. We should pray for comfort; we should pray for wisdom, we should pray for strength, asking The Almighty to illuminate the right path in our lives is a beautiful prayer.

Saying to people, and even worse, posting or tweeting “thoughts and prayers, ” to people who have lost their loved ones due to another senseless murder is an insult.

Do people think if they say “thoughts and prayers,” that they have given a problem over to a Deity to solve, and he or she will get right on it? It should be apparent to anyone with a brain; the problems are not getting fixed by a supernatural force

What Donald Trump and the GOP are saying when they utter the utterly empty line, “thoughts and prayers,” is actually, “hey, do not think for a moment I am going to address this problem.” It is a more socially acceptable way of telling those left behind, “screw off.”

The line pairs well with, “Now is not the time.” When is the time? According to the GOP, never is the time to address gun violence. In fact, the solution Donald Trump gave during his “listening” session, which means those who survived in Parkland had to listen to that bag of wind, is to bring more guns into schools.

Really? That is their lame solution?

Before anyone begins with the eye rolls and starts writing a reply or an email to say, “Well, here goes another leftie on a gun rant,” you should know I own a gun. I own a .45 caliber pistol. I own it for personal protection. I am on the receiving end of many threats.

Most of those threats come from the God-loving-wrapped-in-flag far right wing. I can show you a site on social media where nearly 100 people called for my death. It is not because of this column. The threats are because of my political involvements a long way from the words I write here.

I bought the gun because if one of the ignoramuses who writes the threats decides one day to make good on his words, then we will have an even playing field.

I like guns. I am an unrepentant mass murderer of clay pigeons and paper targets. I used to shoot skeet with a 12 gauge shotgun. In Illinois, I grew up hunting. I am no longer a hunter. After the military, if the game cannot shoot back it takes the sport out.

In the service, I earned my marksman ribbon with the M-16, the military version of the AR-15. The weapon is a shooter’s dream. Almost no kick, if one is light on the grip, the gun comes directly back on the target with each round. It is lightweight, simple to break apart, and easy to clean.

I loved going to the gun range. We shot at targets shaped like a man, rather than the traditional bullseye. The military used that type of image to get us used to see the shape of a man in our sights.

They did so because that is the sole use of the weapon, to shoot human beings. It is not for game hunters and is not for the sportsman. You do not use that weapon to kill quails or pheasants. It has one purpose, and only one goal: to kill another human being. It is an excellent weapon for hunting and killing humans.

If anyone tells you anything different, he or she are pulling your leg.

The manufacturers of AR-15s make a fantastic military weapon. They are in the business of maximizing the wealth of the stockholders of their company. The military market is a great market, but that is not enough for the makers of guns. The American civilian market holds much promise, and they have done a great job selling their products to the general public.

As is common in big business, they have no conscience and feel zero social responsibility for the havoc their products bring. They are about the money and protecting their market. That is what business school teaches; maximize the wealth of the stockholders, expand markets, and minimize costs. Business schools only pay lip service to social responsibility.

The GOP does not even pay lip service to social responsibility. All we will ever hear from the Republican Party is “thoughts and prayers” when a tragedy like this strikes.

Their solution expands the markets for gun manufacturers. The GOP used to be about law and order. It used to be about family values, and moral behavior, too. I have a hard time rationalizing dead children in classrooms as a family value.

Mark my words, there will be more mass murders in America. When they happen, the GOP will be back with the hollow words with furled brows. They will talk about mental illness and violent people, but that is all they will do is move their lips and shake their heads, and then stand in the way of any rational solution.

That is the GOP way, do nothing.

I have a prayer for the Republican Party I would like to offer. “May God open your hearts to those who grieve, may you discover empathy, and compassion for those who suffer, and take decisive action to help prevent future tragedy, Amen.”

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