Opinions

Shannyn Moore: Until the next mass shooting, stay safe out there America ... and remember to pray

"Prayer shaming." It's a new term invented by self appointed victims of absolutely nothing but their own pomposity. So, a bunch of people got shot? And? Well, we'll be real upset until the next bunch of people get shot, which may only be a few hours or days.

The Twitter feed fills up with lawmakers giving their "thoughts and prayers" and I roll my eyes. Without action, their thoughts and prayers are to make themselves feel better. It's become a verbal tick to turn to in times of tragedy. As Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut put it: "Your 'thoughts' should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your 'prayers' should be for forgiveness if you do nothing -- again."

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say America has a problem with guns. I know. This is really sort of speculative on my part since the Centers for Disease Control hasn't touched firearm research since 1996. Congress threatened to pull the agency's funding when the NRA accused the CDC of "promoting gun control." Well, it's easy to figure out when the only checks that Congress will support are the ones coming into their campaign coffers. Need proof? Just hours after 14 people were gunned down in California, the Senate, including both Alaska senators, voted down background checks for guns purchased online and at gun shows. They also voted against preventing people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing weapons.

You know who scares our lawmakers more than a terrorist with unfettered access to weapons? The NRA, that's who. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas has received more than $2.5 million in expenditures from the NRA. The NRA gets what it pays for, and Don Young it gets cheap: $104,650 in expenditures.

We can't have information compiled and studied about a major health threat (Breaking news: Bullets are a health threat) because the gun manufacturing lobby is afraid it may hurt their profit margins.

The gun issue reminds me of religion. When people get fundamentalist about it, no good can come. As an Alaskan, I see guns mostly the same way I see chain saws. They are tools. A chain saw, used properly, can heat your house. A gun, used properly, can fill your freezer. You may notice a child is incapable of starting a chain saw. That may be why we don't hear about toddler chain saw accidents. The more normal it is to hear about another school shooting, or mall, movie theater or market, the more freedom we lose.

Last week a Planned Parenthood clinic was the arena for an anti-choice demonstration by a man with a gun. It wasn't a surprise. The clinic has been a verbal target by politicians, preachers and pundits for years. The acts of violence -- bombings, arson, shootings -- have been carried out by unhinged haters. Doctors and health providers go to work wearing bulletproof vests in order to provide a constitutionally protected right -- in America. It's insane. A Republican lawmaker from Denver, Rep. JoAnn Windholz, said that Planned Parenthood is "the real culprit" for what happened. She said that "we must start pointing out who is the real culprit," and that Planned Parenthood is the "true instigator of this violence." I wonder if Rep. Windholz has flying monkeys and worries a house may land on her. Sadly, she wasn't the only elected official blaming the clinic for the five-hour standoff that ended with three funerals.

There have been false claims about body parts being sold and multiple investigations that have debunked such claims. A Fox TV mouth stated, "Nobody wants to talk about who has the higher body count: the doctors at Planned Parenthood or the jihadists." No one in the media was certain if they could call it terrorism or not because, well, his name didn't sound Muslim enough. "We still aren't sure of his motives." Really? Do you think he is just fed up with the low cost of yeast infection medicine or his herpes test came back positive?

Part of the defense for some has been, 'Well, Planned Parenthood provides other health services 97 percent of the time.' That's true. I have been a recipient of that care and am grateful for it. But what if they didn't. What if all they did was abortion and their name was "Planning for NOT Parenthood EVER R Us." Oh, and just think what a money maker that would be because they wouldn't be spending 90 percent of their time trying to prevent pregnancies! Get a grip, people. We have a right to bear arms, and a right to an abortion. I swear, when women have to open carry to get a Pap smear, things are going to get real.

This week the Senate, including Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, voted to defund Planned Parenthood and against a bill to block terrorist watch list people from getting guns. We must have an election coming up, and nothing says pro-life like keeping women from health care and putting guns in the hands of terrorists.

Until the next mass shooting, stay safe. Thoughts and prayers. Thoughts and prayers ...

Shannyn Moore is a radio broadcaster.

The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at)alaskadispatch.com.

Shannyn Moore

Shannyn Moore is a radio broadcaster. You can hear her show, "The Last Word," Monday through Friday 4-6 p.m. on KOAN 95.5 FM and 1080 AM and 1480 We Act Radio in Washington, D.C., and on Netroots Radio.The views expressed here are the writer's own and are not necessarily endorsed by Alaska Dispatch News, which welcomes a broad range of viewpoints. To submit a piece for consideration, e-mail commentary(at)alaskadispatch.com.

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