A Brilliant Idea??? Hardly …

On Thursday, June 1st, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin provided the solution to one of America’s biggest problems:  gun violence.  Why is gun violence one of our biggest problems, you ask?  Well, consider briefly just a few statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

  • From 2011-2015, the annual average of gun deaths in the U.S. was 33,880; the daily average was 93.
  • For every one person killed with guns, two more are injured.
  • America’s gun homicide rate is more than 25 times the average of other high-income countries.
  • Black men are 14 times more likely than non-Hispanic white men to be shot and killed with guns.
  • When a gun is present in a situation of domestic violence, it increases the risk the woman will be killed fivefold.

bevin-2So now that we are all in agreement that something needs to be done to reverse this trend, let us consider Governor Bevin’s proposed solution.  Bevin announced that his anti-violence plan will involve encouraging prayer-groups to patrol certain blocks in the West End area of Louisville  several days a week, every week for a year. The groups will consist of three to 10 people, and will commence nightly at 7 p.m., according to the Louisville Courier-Journal. The groups will make their way through the city streets, praying as they walk.

“I’m going to ask you to walk that block, do it at the same time every single week,” Bevin said. “I’m going to ask you to stick with your block all year.”

GASP!  What brilliance!  Give this man a gold star!  Why didn’t the rest of us think of that?  Why hasn’t Congress mandated prayer groups in every city?  And the Brady Campaign … why, they have been seeking solutions to gun violence since 1974! Here I have been advocating for stricter gun laws, for a ban on assault-type weapons, for an end to the NRA … and all along, I missed the simple solution that was right under my nose!

The reason Congress, President Obama, President Bush, the Brady Campaign and others, as well as myself never considered Bevin’s idea is because … it is without a doubt the stupidest, most asinine idea anybody has ever proposed for reducing and preventing gun violence!

First … we have a tenet built into our Constitution that calls for ‘separation of church and state’.  Ours is a secular government and for any government official to recommend religion as a government-backed solution to a national problem is wrong.

Second … dozens of major religions are followed in the U.S.  Which religion should these wandering groups be?  Jain?  Rastafarian?  Sikh?  Christian?  Jewish?  Which?  Not to mention that there are a number of agnostics and atheists, as well as secularists who are equal citizens.

Third … and most important … what the Sam Heck good is that going to do???  The man who gets mad at his wife for cooking his steak too well done and in a moment of rage pulls a gun … is he going to run out the front door and try to find one of those roving cults to talk him out of it?  The drug addict that needs money for a fix and decides to rob a convenience store … is he likely to be swayed by a group of people spouting religion?  No, no and no.

Even people who are very religious are shaking their heads over this one.  As one commenter put it, it is akin to teaching abstinence to reduce teen pregnancy.  Citizens and religious leaders alike walked out of the governor’s meeting early and in disgust.  One attendee, Reverend Clay Calloway, left saying, “The only thing I wish was present was a barf bag in front of my seat so I could throw up.”  Another, Joe Phelps, called it a ‘political ploy’, and said, “I believe in prayer. That’s not the answer here and for him to reduce the problems of violence to getting people to go pray for a block is an embarrassment to Christianity.”

Since Governor Bevin said he did not necessarily intend this ‘project’ to receive state funding, it appears to me that it is, indeed, a mere political ploy.  Kentucky is a part of ‘Bible belt’ America, and perhaps Bevin hoped to win brownie points among all those white evangelicals, but the bottom line is that his proposal belongs in the trash and they should actually dock his pay for wasting his time on such rubbish.

Let us be perfectly clear about something.  People walking the streets chanting their prayers will not likely stop even one single murder.  The only thing that is going to reduce gun violence significantly is to reduce the number of guns in the hands of citizens.  PERIOD. The United States has the highest per capita gun fatality rate in the western world for one reason only:  it has virtually no gun regulation.  Mentally ill people can legally carry concealed weapons.  Almost anybody over the age of 18 can purchase a firearm.  Even a convicted felon can purchase a gun in certain venues.  This is madness!

An interesting, unrelated story about Bevin … in 2014 he ran against Mitch McConnell for U.S. Senate.  During that campaign, he attended and spoke at a pro-cockfighting rally in Corbin, Kentucky. When criticized for it, he claimed that he did not realize what the event was.  Tell you something about the man?

And for the record, Bevin is not the only one in a state government who is delusional.  In Pennsylvania, for example, a bill is under consideration to make gun owners a protected class of citizens!  The bill, if passed, would no longer allow employers to forbid gun owners from having their guns with them while at work, although it may be limited to outdoor areas. And a new law in Georgia will make it legal to carry concealed firearms to university-sponsored tailgating events.

I must ask, as I have asked so many times in the past … what is this bizarre fascination with a piece of steel that people are willing to sacrifice human life, even the lives of their families, to keep a cold piece of steel under their shirt.  I will not ever understand … I do not wish to understand.

27 thoughts on “A Brilliant Idea??? Hardly …

  1. Pingback: Kentucky Governor Strikes Again … | Filosofa's Word

  2. Hmmm … a controversial subject here; for sure. I grew up in the 1960’s and prior the 1950’s. I have always been intensely interested in understanding pastoral subjects. I am not a Christian, per sec. I have personal knowledge of God. I feel no compunction to either spread it to others.

    However I am more than willing to discuss, if asked. I believe in the Golden Rule. Love thy neighbour as they self and to unto others as you would wish, for them to do unto you. Which actually, is far older than Christianity. I do not see any correlation between God or guns? I believe in universal love. For me, God has no religion, building or books. Those are all products of people.

    I wonder how many of those events of gun violence, are psychological operations? Operation MKUltra was one started by US after WW2 bringing in German doctors, from the camps. They were already learning how to “brain wash” people into doing things, when given a trigger. For a while Dr. Ewan Cameron was running this MKUltra.

    If only the Police or Authority have guns. Then you have the beginning of a Police State. Something the founders of US constitution seemed eager to prevent? I’m a Canadian. I do not own a gun nor wish to. I do not fear death. You do not see an of these people with guns running amok, in Gun clubs or shooting ranges? I would not wish to see a police state. Violence of any sort, is an uneducated approach to any problem. It should be a last approach for a solution. During the American Civil War, it was discovered how the economy boomed, while waring on their neighbours. The bankers wanted to fund the Union. President Lincoln ordered the printing of the Greenback. Because the bankers offers of loans were so onerous with the interest sought.

    The bankers, through the Federal Reserve Bank. They now own the American economy and war is very profitable. President Kennedy tried to take away the power of the Fed. Look what happened to him. Look what happened to President Lincoln. Sound familiar? These international bankers keep funding the wars and the politicians who will do their will.

    “War is a Racket” by Maj. General Smedley Butler

    Cheers Jamie

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  3. Well being theist I would have to support the broad principal as being theologically sound. However I am minded back to the 1960s and long haired folk with flowers painted on their faces going around putting flowers in gun barrels! And I see kind of kind of similarities.
    But now it’s semi-official.
    Gotta love the irony.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah yes … I was a bit of a ‘flower child’ myself in the 60s. Actually lived in San Francisco for part of that time, too, though I never stuck flowers in the barrel of a gun 🙂 But yes, the concept is about as useful as this one. But heck, if this idea works out well, perhaps we could apply it to other problems as well. For example, poverty and hunger … send a group of people to say a prayer in front of the homes of the poor. Or … ah … perhaps it’s best if I don’t get started on this thought process … it can only lead to ugly thoughts! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

        • I loved Peter, Paul & Mary … still do, in fact … they are at the top of my ipod playlist! Jefferson Airplane, the Rolling Stones, and of course, the Beatles! My parents were fairly strict, so I was not allowed to go down to Haight-Ashbury and hang out, but once I spent the night with a friend whose parents were … shall we say, less observant. So, that Saturday we donned our flowered bell-bottom pants and headed to the train station to catch a train to Fisherman’s Wharf, from where we could walk to the center of the activity. Well, by the time we got our tickets, the train had started to leave the station, so I jumped on … but my friend Amy stood on the platform crying, afraid to take the leap. So … I did what any friend would do … I leaped off the moving train which, by this time, was gaining momentum and going … oh, perhaps 30 mph. Only broke a couple of bones, but that was the end of my career as a flower-child. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Awww, that’s a lovely story Jill. The sweet side of the 60s. Bless you both.
            Jefferson Airplane, Iron Butterfly, Steve Miller (my hero-then) Band, Steppenwolf, The Byrds & on the East-Coast……For some light cheerie music…….The Velvet Underground!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. A “brilliant” idea that doesn’t cost any money, doesn’t provide any training, that doesn’t require any action or thought on Bevin’s part. Not only does he insult the intelligence of his constituents, he is lazy – while expecting OTHER people to devote hours a week working his non-plan.

    By the way, when Republicans say the church should take care of the poor, I hope far-right Christian church members understand THEY would then be personally responsible to care for the poor – no matter the extra cost or time required.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Somehow I do not see so many of the so-called ‘Evangelical Christians’ actually going out and doing good things, like bringing food to the poor, paying the rent for a disadvantaged family, or taking pregnant mothers to their doctor appointments. Talk is cheap, and actions speak far louder than words. That said … yeah, while there may well be power in prayer for those who believe in it … it isn’t going to solve the problem of gun violence in the U.S.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Dear Jill,
    The problem that these idiots don’t get, is that most of the crime that folks would prevent would mean that the gun had to be loaded, ready to used and somewhere on one’s person. Ask any police officer. If the gun is in the house and you were being robbed at gunpoint, that gun is just as likely to be used against you or stolen.
    It is most likely to be harm someone by accidental usage.

    I happen to believe in prayer but God expects folks to use the brains He gave them. This preacher needs to pray for wisdom.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well said, my friend! Too many times I have read of a child finding a loaded gun in the drawer of a nightstand or elsewhere and killing a sibling, parent, or even himself with it. I actually feel safer with NO gun than I would with one! And … people have tempers … anger or alcohol and guns simply do not make a good pairing! And yes, I always heard that ‘God helps those who help themselves’. How do such idiots as this make it to high-level government positions? …. oh wait … look who’s in the White House. Sigh.

      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Jill, this is yet one more example of overlooking the reasons for a problem and prescribing a solution that is off the mark. Gun deaths are due to multiple reasons, but people with access to guns is one of them.

    Taking this a step further, 2/3 of those gun deaths are due to suicide. And, a home with a gun has a much higher rate of having a suicide therein than one without.

    So, these folks might want to look at the causes and suggest meaningful solutions. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree … I think this governor was looking for an easy fix that wouldn’t cost the state any money and he could point to it and say, “look what a wonderful thing I did”. Though only a fool would actually believe this would work. But then … there are a lot of fools in government.

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  7. I’m telling you, the inmates have escaped the asylum and are running loose on the streets!! My first thought was that these groups would make an excellent target for some nut-case even if he’s a bad shot. From the sublime to the ridiculous.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Just more insanity in a country already half-crazed with fear. Are those praying vigilantes going to recognize real danger or just shoot any hoodie-wearing person of color like Trayvon? How scary would this idea be if you lived there? They would scare me! And I don’t live in a bad neighborhood, wear a hoodie or have skin darker than milk. Imagine what a mother would have to say to her children about the dangers posed by those vigilantes in today’s world. I wonder how the police feel about arming citizens and having them patrol…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t think the wandering prayer groups will be carrying guns, though I cannot say for sure. But yes, I suspect they will incite more violence rather than calm it. I see no benefit to this plan whatsoever.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Like you Jill I don’t like guns. I always thought though that if the US feels the Constitution is being interpreted correctly that all could bear guns and not just a militia, then perhaps a way forward would be to st least limit the amount of guns a person could own to one per adult in a home. That could then be further limited by type to a revolver of 6 bullets that have to be fired manually. No automatic weapons. People can only shoot one gun at a tie so should only need one. That should satisfy the constitution and stop the NRA moaning tthouh they might make a case for a hunting rifle I suppose. In that case I suggest limiting them to a single shot flintlock rifle to give the animals a chance.
    xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I fully agree with all of your ideas. Of course, I would prefer that guns be only in the hands of military and law enforcement, but that is about as likely as me waking up and being 20 years old again! But all of your ideas share one thing … they are common sense and reasonable. We no longer live in the age of reason, we now live in the age of chaos.

      xxx Cwtch Mawr xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. What wasn’t mentioned is the hazards these people walking in dangerous neighborhoods face. The thugs don’t care if they’re praying, especially if the thugs are high on something. Also, often stray bullets cut down anyone in the vicinity. People can say they’re fearless and God will protect them but I think God expects us to use the common sense he gave us. —- Suzanne

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