“We have tragedies, horrifying tragedies such as this, happening in America today with much greater frequency because God is largely removed from our culture … we have been kicking God out of the schools, and we have been kicking God out of the public square."
-Then-Baptist Pastor (now Congressman) Hice after the Sandy Hook, Conn. shooting
Congratulations, Pastor Hice, you are now a Congressman. Given your videos, speeches, NRA participation and website, you obviously still believe prayer in schools and courthouses is the sole answer to mass shootings and that is why we have had so many more mass shootings since Sandy Hook, 1607 with 1,846 resultant deaths.
Let’s examine your premise.
Per a 2015 Pew survey, the United States is more likely to deem religion important over similarly economically advanced nations. Per another 2015 Pew report, “About twice as many or more Americans say religion is very important in their lives compared with the share of people who say this in Australia (18%), Germany (21%) and Canada (27%), the next three wealthiest countries.”
According to a Dec. 22, 2017 Gallup poll, 80 percent of Republicans self-identify as either highly religious or moderately religious. We also have many more gun deaths per capita versus these same nations. For example, according to a 2016 New York Times article, our gun homicide rate is over five times that of any European nation.
So, does God just not like us so he made Americans crazier than other nationalities? Or, has God given us (including extremely ideological Congressmen like you) a brain to analyze the situation … but we have simply decided not to utilize that God given wisdom?
In your YouTube performance entitled “Jody Hice on Gun Rights,” you look like you know how to handle that rifle, Pastor. Would you shoot to kill regardless of the Ten Commandments?
I am not very religious, certainly not like you frequently claim to be, but I just want to throw this alternate premise out there, Pastor. Could it be that God wants us to consider reasonable gun control, rather than prayers alone? Or, does God just want us to overlook the fact that over 100 American children age 0-14 are unintentionally killed each year by firearms, according to 2015 research from Harvard.
There are many good sources which analyze both the issue and how Americans think about it from a policy perspective. A particularly good source is the Harvard Injury Control Research Center studies, particularly its surveys.
Using the scientific method (which you may not believe in, Pastor), just maybe we can determine what these other nations are doing that America is not in order to lower gun violence. Certainly, surveys show that taking effective action is what the majority of Americans want our politicians like you to do … instead of misinterpreting the second amendment to mean nothing at all should ever be done by government to lessen gun violence.
A Gallup poll from Oct. 11, 2017 found:
-60 percent of Americans now want existing laws to be stricter
-about half of Americans want new gun laws (60% of women,42% men)
-70 percent want all guns registered with the police
Congressman, it is time you actually did something rather than just preach. In fact, it is past time for all your fellow Congressional “do nothings” to move forward on gun control.
Here are just a few of the many actions that can be taken: eliminate private purchases of guns at gun shows (done without any background checks); reinstate the ban on military style semi-automatic assault weapons; have a waiting period of 30 days before a gun can be purchased; strengthen background checks; improve the Federal data base; register every gun with local law enforcement; enact laws mandating that anyone who is mentally ill cannot own a firearm; increase community mental health outreach, including domestic violence efforts; restrict where guns can be carried (i.e. not schools, churches, etc.); mandate that each state restrict gun sales to those legally able to purchase alcohol; and heavily tax ammunition as we do alcohol and cigarettes to 100% fund the above measures.
Congressman, eventually people will get tired of your pompousness, procrastination and self-righteousness. Eventually, voters will understand that you have a personal responsibility for the mass shootings occurring on your watch. On that day, you will be voted back into the oblivion of right wing radio from whence you came.