Thoughts, prayers and pixie dust

Plain Rhetoric
By Bill McQuarrie
March 6, 2018 - 5:01am

IF THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS or even pixie dust were real and viable solutions to the problems we face, then the world would be a far better place.

There would have been no Auschwitz, no Killing Fields, no cancer, no hurricanes that destroy property and people, no pain and no suffering. But thoughts and prayers are about as effective as pixie dust when it comes to resolving the ills of mankind, especially when it comes to the Americans and their obsession with guns.

I own a gun; a bolt-action rifle that can hold three rounds and I mention this simply as a way of letting you know that I’m familiar with and not opposed to the concept of rifles. However, I am very much opposed to assault rifles. They serve no other purpose than a machine specifically designed to kill as many people as possible in the shortest amount of time. And, as it’s been demonstrated again and again in the States, assault rifles are very, very efficient at slaughtering humans.

Of course, as we’re often told, “guns don’t kill people, people kill people”. The same could be said about cars but in the case of automobiles, at least everyone receives training and must take and pass an exam before obtaining a licence to drive. Once on the road, there is a well-established set of rules and laws that dictate how you use that car. That in turn is backed up with a well-structured law enforcement system designed to make you obey those laws.

Sure bad guys still use cars in the commission of crimes and people are and will be injured and killed on the road. However, the mayhem is limited as a result of the laws and regulations in place. And the country as a whole accepts and supports that kind of safe driving and regulated system.

That’s an example of how training and enforcement can make you safer. Not completely safe as there will always be those intent on advantage and abuse, but safer than you would be if the only thing protecting you were thoughts and prayers.

So why do American leaders and the National Rifle Association believe divine intervention is the appropriate and only solution when it comes to preventing mass killings in America?

Perhaps it’s because American lawmakers are, in my opinion, a modern day version of palace eunuchs, protecting the interests of their masters at the NRA. Senators, congressmen and the executive branch are so addicted to money that they eagerly and willingly trade the lives of their country’s children for the cold hard cash from firearm lobbyists.

What makes that even more abhorrent is their willingness to shift culpability from their bank account to the shoulders of Christianity’s belief in thoughts and prayers. Praying to a god, any god has not and will not fix America’s Killing Fields.

This is not a fight about Second Amendment rights just like introducing seatbelt legislation years ago was not an attempt to take away people’s rights to drive. It is about greed that accepts killing children in their schools as part of an acceptable money making process.

If people fervently believe in an unadulterated Second Amendment then I think they have to say out loud that they support killing kids in their classroom because for them, having any kind of gun you want is more important than the lives of their own children.

There is a slight glimmer of light, though, and it comes from the determination and unforgettable eloquence of some of the teenage survivors of the most recent school shootings in Florida. They have caught the attention and action of corporate America, a group with the combined wealth and power base to easily ignore the NRA and force legislative change. And that gives me hope.

Every other civilized country in the world has solved this problem and did so without the aid of pixie dust. Instead, these countries had legislators with a conscience that put the safety of the people ahead of lining of their own pockets with gold.