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Rick Perry Offers His Solution to Gun Violence: Pray

by Published on
Rick Perry at The Response prayer rally, August 2011
Patrick Michels
Rick Perry at The Response prayer rally, August 2011

In responding to President Obama’s gun proposals today, Rick Perry offered us a glimpse of his views on public policy, the law and the governance of human affairs.

The Vice President’s committee was appointed in response to the tragedy at Newtown, but very few of his recommendations have anything to do with what happened there.

Guns require a finger to pull the trigger. The sad young man who did that in Newtown was clearly haunted by demons and no gun law could have saved the children in Sandy Hook Elementary from his terror.

There is evil prowling in the world – it shows up in our movies, video games and online fascinations, and finds its way into vulnerable hearts and minds. As a free people, let us choose what kind of people we will be.  Laws, the only redoubt of secularism, will not suffice.  Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help. Above all, let us pray for our children.

In fact, the piling on by the political left, and their cohorts in the media, to use the massacre of little children to advance a pre-existing political agenda that would not have saved those children, disgusts me, personally.  The second amendment to the Constitution is a basic right of free people and cannot be nor will it be abridged by the executive power of this or any other president.

At its heart, this distemperate statement is not a traditional defense of gun rights or the Second Amendment.  This is beyond just denying the evidence linking the abundance of guns to increased levels of violence or redirecting blame to some other social ill, (e.g. holes in the mental health care system) as the NRA has done. It is a recipe for anarchy and a total retreat from the duties and responsibilities of government.

When gun violence happens, well, chalk it up to evil demons. And you can’t do anything about “evil prowling in the world,” except pray and hope for the best. It’s the “Shit Happens” school of thought, shot through with some grade-school Calvinism. Horrific global warming-enhanced drought plaguing farmers and reducing the state’s already-dwindling water supply? Pray for rain. Poverty, war, economic calamity? Repent, pray.

“Let us all return to our places of worship and pray for help” — This is a directive almost detached from political ideology. It’s not conservative or liberal so much as an abdication of governmental and social responsibility. It feels like the last gasp of a politician who doesn’t believe in tackling the major problems facing the state or nation.

Forrest Wilder, a native of Wimberley, Texas, is associate editor of the Observer. Forrest specializes in environmental reporting and runs the “Forrest for the Trees” blog. Forrest has appeared on Democracy Now!, The Rachel Maddow Show and numerous NPR stations. His work has been mentioned by The New York Times, the Washington Post, the New Yorker, Time magazine and many other state and national publications. Other than filing voluminous open records requests, Forrest enjoys fishing, kayaking, gardening and beer-league softball. He holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Texas at Austin.

  • Paul

    This is Rick Perry we are talking about here. He is one of the most intellectually lazy politicians around. (And that’s saying a lot when comparing him to some politicians in Congress) If his only answer to the problems in our state is to pray, then he needs to be voted out of office. We need representatives in our state legislature and in the Governor’s office who are willing to work for the good of all the people of our state and govern in a manner that fixes our problems in a practical way.

  • http://www.facebook.com/david.rozycki.18 David Rozycki

    Even the Pope travels in a bullet proof glass vehicle…

  • http://www.facebook.com/jorje44 George Rice

    Hmmm – remember when he asked us all to pray for the drought to end?

  • radsenior

    Rick Perry has gone over the edge and sees himself as a “Grand PooBah” of the right! This TEA-type has moved into the realm of the religious right and is trying to position himself for another run for governor. Perry has proven his total disdain and contempt for the citizens of his state. Perry is truly a gross anomaly which has morphed into a failed facsimile of pseudo-intelligence. Prayer is an acceptable form for everyone to exercise and Rick Perry is not a preacher and not as religious as he should be. Perry has in fact turned his back on the most needy and does not want to expand Medicaid as required by the PPACA.(Health Care Act) Proving his incompetence and ineptness for his fiduciary responsibility to and for the citizens of his state has been his goal after his failed attempted run for the presidency. This “Streaking Texas turkey” failed miserably and now he is trying to position himself for another run for the governorship. Texas can do better. Do not sit on the sidelines and allow the few with the most power and stroke to make decisions that will effect you directly without your input. We must remember that money and power in the hands of fewer and fewer people with stricter less compassion has taken hold in many states and Washington is their next target. Do not sit on the sidelines and allow others to make decisions that will effect you, or your family directly, without your input. Get active in local, state and national politics and keep yourselves informed. We can make a great change in the 2014 Mid-term election!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Dicky-Neely/1129941993 Dicky Neely

    I’m not a prayin’ man but there is one thing I will pray for. I pray that we will be delivered from the demon called Rick Perry!

  • http://www.facebook.com/bernard.sussman.35 Bernard Sussman

    I thought prayer was Rick Perry’s remedy for drought. And what happened? Oh yeah, the drought spread across the state, followed by wildfires. Whenever Rick Perry doesn’t want to take responsibility, he tries to shift the blame to God.