Don’t offer your ‘thoughts and prayers’

Accept the reality of mass shootings: this is what you wanted

By Mike McGann, Editor, The Times

UTMikeColLogo copyDon’t bother sharing your “thoughts and prayers.”

The truth is, the slaughter of 49 innocent people in Orlando Sunday is exactly what you chose.

Just as you chose the slaughter in Charleston, Sandy Hook, Aurora and dozens more. You also choose the shootings in Coatesville which of late seem to be a monthly event.

Before you sputter in protest that you didn’t want anyone to get shot, you, a Republican majority in Chester County, have repeatedly voted for elected officials backed, cowed and funded by the National Rifle Association. They, in turn, have fought any limits on guns — Assault Weapons (oh, oops, in politically correct language, we must call them “long guns” rather than the more accurate “slaughter machines”), universal background checks and the like.

So, say what you want — but it’s just words. Your actions reveal your real opinion.

Don’t you dare mourn, offer prayers or condolences. You enabled this and need to own it. The blood is on your hands because this is the outcome you wanted.

And your sophisticated arguments such as “But, terrorism” are equally full of crap. The killer in Orlando was mentally disturbed, under FBI surveillance and expressed radical positions and had deep issues with gay people — but there was no way to stop him from stopping by his local shop and buying an AR-15 with an extended mag.

Before you spout off some laughable nonsense about Second Amendment Rights — just stop. It’s bad enough you’re lying to us, but, for God’s sake, stop lying to yourself.

The entire rights argument has been nothing but a big lie. Rights have never been threatened —  never. Despite the claims that President Barack Obama was going to take your guns away, the past seven years have seen more guns sold than during any similar period in history. Estimates suggest that there are nearly 300 million guns in America.

This is now and has been for a generation about nothing more than money. When the gun industry backed a hostile takeover of the NRA in the late 1970s, it was about selling more guns, regardless of the consequences. Follow the money.

Its been about using fear as a profit center and you fell for it. A cottage industry of lobbyists, media types, lawyers and public relations’ people have sucked up to the gun rights lobby like remoras, and they, too, profit from death. Your politicians — from state legislators to Presidents — either don’t care or are afraid of the NRA and take their money and vote for their narrow agenda.

And you keep voting for them.

So, no, you don’t get to mourn. No. No.

If you had any intellectual honesty, you’d celebrate the victims as surrendering their lives for the cause of freedom, but maybe deep down you know what a load of rubbish that is.

The blood is on your hands. Live with it — that’s more than the 49 victims in Orlando can say, or for that matter the thousands of others who will die in the U.S. this year. Or, most likely, the teen boy whom probability suggests will be shot to death this summer in Coatesville, probably with a gun purchased through a loophole.

Be honest. Own it. This is what you chose.

Can you live with that?

* * *

Meanwhile, in Harrisburg: the Roman Catholic Church is strong-arming politicians to prevent an extension of the statute of limitations for child molesters and the institutions and organizations that protect them.

Despite the fact that the state House of Representatives passed the bill by large and bipartisan margin, the bill to extend the statute of limitations — needed because so many of the victims were kids at the time and have only come to terms with what happened to them many years later — seems likely to die in the state Senate, as the Church and Archbishop Charles Chaput have ramped up efforts to battle the bill.

Church leaders have gone so far to as have elected officials attacked in their own parishes — overtly political behavior that should be illegal given the church’s tax-exempt status.

Again, just to recap: the Roman Catholic Church is working to protect child molesters and restrict the rights of their victims, kids, molested by priests.

I come from a Roman Catholic family (my great uncle was a priest), but long ago found the many contradictions, sexism and cruelty of the church incompatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ. But were I still a member, this would be the end for me.

If you continue to attend mass, continue to send your kids to Catholic schools, you’re supporting child molesters over their victims — consider that this Sunday when you’re sitting in your pew feeling all holy. Or, maybe you can vote with your feet — stay away. Pull your kids out of school. Let them know why.

You could continue to do nothing. But just like with the gun issue, don’t express sadness for the victims. Don’t say how awful it is.

Because you are enabling it, you own it.

Can you live with that?

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  1. Nathaniel says:

    The US has far more guns in the population and over 5 times as meany gun murders (not even counting suicides) as the next highest developed countries, Greece and Canada. Many guns, many murders: what a coincidence?

  2. Sally Braffman says:

    this was a brave, precise, and profound editorial. it is long past due and i thank you for being the one who brought this forward.

  3. Dave says:

    Oh Lord, I mourn, please comfort those who suffer from this tragedy. Only You can heal this nation and all the hatred on all sides of this issue.

  4. Kate says:

    Great column, Mike. Along with reining in the NRA (which as far as I’m concerned has become a terrorist organization) we need to rethink the 2nd Amendment, or at least its interpretation. No other developed country puts up with this kind of on-going carnage. I’m tired of being held hostage by the gun nuts.

  5. Vanni says:

    You are a wack job. To say any gun owner wanted this and it’s their fault and the bloods on their hands is ridiculous. I have a pistol. First thing I did when I turned 21. Bought it legally did my background check. I don’t have rifles or any thing just my pistol to protect my home. So I wanted people killed and it’s my fault? Your a hypocrite. As bad as your talking about the right your so far left like there is no inbetween. Then jump to some other stuff with the church. You my friend are a jackass.

  6. JamieMcV says:

    Great column, Mike.

  7. Peter David says:

    I support the protections afforded in the concept of the legislation BUT HB 147 is discriminatory. The Pennsylvania bill does not permit victims of government employees (public schools) to sue for past sexual abuse. It also requires a victim of future sexual abuse to prove that a state institution was “grossly negligent,” a much tougher standard. There are far more recorded incidents of sexual misconduct in publicly funded institutions, yet it appears as if the legislature is trying to shield public liability for sexual assault crimes – precisely what it is accusing the RC church of doing. These children are also victims and equally entitled to compensation. Privately funded institutions and publicly funded institutions must be treated the same for the legislation.

  8. Mike G. says:

    Hmmm…So I guess if one supports a constitutional right to bear arms, we now can’t mourn the loss of innocent lives by a Homegrown Radical Islamic Terrorist? You are way out of line Mike McGann. The gun was the tool of the crime, but it didn’t pull the trigger. The terrorist did. Oh wait, he wasn’t a terrorist. He was “mentally disturbed” as you say. I would suggest any murderer is mentally disturbed. I don’t think that’s some breakthrough discovery in the Human Psychology world. Take away a gun and a mentally disturbed terrorist killer might then use other means. Do you remember Timothy McVeigh? 168 dead thanks to a truck bomb. How about 9/11? I don’t recall an AR15 slaughter machines being used that day McGann. I am a lifetime gun owner. I legally possess them for the sole purpose of protecting my innocent children and anyone else ( including you) who may fall victim to the homegrown terrorist, the mentally disturbed, and any other cold blooded killer. ” This is what we wanted”. Really? Do you really believe that Americans who legally own guns and support our constitutional right want innocent people to die? These were someone’s children and that statement makes you sound like left winged, arrogant a–hole! I am not suggesting that our gun laws are perfect. Obviously they are not. This mentally disturbed Islamic terrorist should have never been able to purchase a firearm after being questioned several times by the FBI for suspected terroristic activity/threats. However, for you to suggest that people like me want mass murders and we “need to accept it” is insulting. No need for an apology. I won’t apologize for calling you an a–hole.

  9. Eileen says:

    I agree completely. I’m fed up with the Republican party bowing down to the NRA and refusing to pass even the most basic gun reform legislation. The only way to stop a bad guy who loves guns…is to vote him out of office.

  10. Marice Bezdek says:

    Thank you!!

  11. Wayne Braffman says:

    Thank you for your powerful statement giving voice to what so many of us feel!

  12. RJM says:

    Here, here!!

  13. Anonymous says:

    This article is bitterly skewed. To tell readers to “not bother sending [their] thoughts and prayers” and then wrongfully accusing them of “choosing” such a tragic happening is beyond any point of rationality and is just plain insensitive. You have just accused the tens of millions of Americans who vote republican each year of making the conscious decision to enable this tragedy. No, it is not the fault of those who follow a certain political ideology that fifty innocent people died this weekend. No, it is not the fault of the NRA that a young man decided to use his legally purchased firearm for mass destruction. It is the fault of Omar Mateen. He was the one who made the conscious decision to walk into that club that night and take the lives of those who he did. Please, before making such claims as telling such a large population of people that they are responsible for such a tragic event, consider whether or not what you are saying is warranted.

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