Wednesday, November 8, 2017

"Boycott the NRA on Moral and Religious Grounds" by Jim Walls, Sojourners

Terrorism: the purposeful violence against civilians, non-combatants, with the intent to create and foster social fear. One gun violence massacre after another has certainly created the fear that our families and children are not safe in their schools, our theaters, our concerts, and even in our churches. On Sunday in Sutherland Springs, Texas, 26 people were murdered while they were worshipping and praying. The victims spanned three generations, from an 18-month-old to a 72-year-old, a pregnant woman and her child, and more than a dozen children, including the 14-year-old daughter of the church’s pastor. Sunday morning indeed struck fear into hearts across America.
I believe these increasingly frequent mass shootings amount to terrorism of our entire populace by the gun industry itself and its principal ally, the National Rifle Association. Who benefits from these horrific orgies of violence and carnage like gunman Devin Kelly visited on the worshippers of First Baptist on Sunday? We see a clear pattern: Gun sales soar after every mass shooting. Why? The answer is the fear this terrorism creates. For some, it is fear of being the victim of a mass shooting like this one (despite that statistically you are more likely to be struck by lightning) and feeling that carrying a gun will give a sense of safety and control.
For others, mass shootings of this scale raise the possibility of new gun control legislation, and gun enthusiasts who fear this outcome stock up on guns and ammunition. Flooding our society with an endless supply of guns (there are more than 300 million guns in America, and the average gun-owning houshold has eight guns) and fighting any restrictions on their sale increases the chances that someone intent on violence for whatever reason can easily access vast amounts of weaponry designed to kill large numbers of people in a short amount of time.
The NRA is guilty of enabling the terrorism of gun violence massacres.

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