Tags: Mass Shootings | prayer | shaming | gun | control

Conservatives Slam 'Prayer Shaming,' Knee-Jerk Calls for Gun Control

Conservatives Slam 'Prayer Shaming,' Knee-Jerk Calls for Gun Control

By    |   Thursday, 03 December 2015 11:35 AM

An outpouring from politicians sending their thoughts and prayers after the San Bernardino mass shootings has triggered an angry backlash over U.S. gun laws – with Thursday's New York Daily News front cover blaring: "God Isn't Fixing This." Underneath the provocative headline, the newspaper – which has campaigned for stricter gun laws – states:

"As latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes."

Many of the presidential contenders took to Twitter Wednesday to send their thoughts and prayers, as did House Speaker Paul Ryan. But Igor Volsky, writing for the political website Think Progress, tweeted some of the lawmakers also received thousands of dollars from the National Rifle Association or had voted against gun reforms.

And a backlash quickly grew into a hashtag: thoughts and prayers. Others weighed in too.

Another user slammed GOP politicians for only offering "prayer and tax cuts."

Still, there were plenty of tweets condemning all the "prayer shaming."

"After a mass shooting, it is very, very difficult to know what to do. Shaming people for prayer is not productive," wrote Emma Green of The Atlantic.

Others pointed out President Barack Obama, who has expressed frustration at Congress over its unwillingness to consider gun controls, had tweeted his "thoughts and prayers" in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo gun attack in Paris last Jan. 7.

Obama and two of his party's presidential hopefuls, Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, were uniform in their reactions to the latest mass shootings, calling for stricter gun control, with Obama telling CBS News: "There's some steps we could take, not to eliminate every one of the mass shootings, but to improve the odds that they don't happen as frequently."

The stream of shootings this year — including an attack last week on a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado that left three dead and a shooting in October at a community college in Oregon that left 10 dead, including the gunman — has only intensified the debate.

According to the New York Times, mass shootings are happening at a rate of more than one a day in the United States this year, defining such incidents as shootings that leave four or more people wounded or dead.

"Including the worst mass shooting of the year, which unfolded horrifically on Wednesday in San Bernardino, Calif., a total of 462 people have died and 1,314 have been wounded in such attacks this year, many of which occurred on streets or in public settings," the Times reports, citing compilations of episodes derived from news reports.

But John Lott Jr., president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, writes in National Review that comprehensive background checks and banning gun ownership on those on terrorist watch lists aren't helping either.

"Colorado had already expanded background checks two years ago. So had Oregon before the Umpqua Community College shooting in October. France also has a background-check system. So too does California, which experienced yesterday’s attack," he writes. "Yet, while the existing laws didn’t stop shootings of the very kind Clinton claims that they will stop, she uses these failures to justify imposing similar laws on the rest of the country."

He also blasts the notion of banning anyone from gun ownership who winds up on the terrorist watch list.

"Being on the watch list sure sounds bad, but it doesn’t mean that a person has been convicted of anything," he notes. "In fact, it is pretty easy to get on the watch list; you can be on it simply because the FBI wants to interview you about someone you might know."

"The error rate for identifying potential terror threats is probably similar to the error rate for background checks on gun purchases," he writes. "Over 94 percent of 'initial denials' for gun purchases are dropped after just a preliminary review. These cases were dropped either because the wrong person had been stopped or because the covered offenses were decades old and the government decided not to prosecute. The total error rate comes to about 99 percent. "

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An outpouring from politicians sending their thoughts and prayers after the San Bernardino mass shootings has triggered an angry backlash over U.S. gun laws - with Thursday's New York Daily News front cover blaring: God Isn't Fixing This. This has been on the cover far too...
prayer, shaming, gun, control
Thursday, 03 December 2015 11:35 AM
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