Rick Perry at The Response prayer rally, August 2011 (Patrick Michels)

Rick Perry Offers His Solution to Gun Violence: Pray


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.