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After the shootings, prayers are not enough

8 9 0
11.08.2019

It’s difficult and painful to admit, but one of the countless repugnant aspects about the shooting massacres last weekend in the United States is not how surprising they were, but how grimly predictable they have become.

The extent of the carnage and the nature of the victims may change, but the blood-soaked garment continues to wrap itself around American society.

Tragically, just as inevitable as the horrors themselves are the hackneyed reactions from politicians across the party divide, but especially from those on the conservative right. Their “thoughts and prayers,” they rush to announce to the world, are with the dead, the injured, and their families.

Really? Politicians, your job is not to “pray” for the victims of gun massacres, but to make sure that gun massacres don’t happen again. If you don’t attempt to achieve the latter, the former are empty and hypocritical.

That so many of the elected officials who told us that they were praying and thinking so hard came from the Republican Party is acutely relevant, because their ties to the gun lobby, in its numerous and always generous and powerful forms, are deep and strong.

As such, these politicians can be relied upon to vote against gun control, even when the links between easy gun access and deadly rampages are proven beyond dispute.

But the pathology goes deeper than this, and conservatives aren’t alone in their inconsistency.

Democrats, ostensibly liberal and anti-gun, also send out their prayers but have done little when in power to curb gun promiscuity, or try to dismantle an American culture deep in military and macho vainglory, and in assumptions that........

© Toronto Star