Former President Barack Obama wasted little time before calling for gun control after 26 people were killed in a church shooting in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Sunday afternoon, he expressed his condolences and immediately politicized the tragedy.
“We grieve with all the families in Sutherland Springs harmed by this act of hatred, and we’ll stand with the survivors as they recover…” Obama tweeted, beginning his statement innocently. Then, he switched gears. “May God also grant all of us the wisdom to ask what concrete steps we can take to reduce the violence and weaponry in our midst.”
Obama is right to ask God for wisdom about reducing violence. The former president also deserves praise for such a humble stance in offering such a prayer. This is exactly the kind of finesse and humble perspective the leader of the free world needs to take in the face of such tragedy.
Inside this statement, however, the president smuggled in a political assumption. He equated violence with weaponry in asking God to reduce both.
Many churches have taken the opposite position. In the wake of Sunday’s shooting, some Christians called for church leaders to arm themselves, in order to “protect the flock.”
Others asked if every church is “prepared” to face such a situation.
Obama may pray that violence and weaponry be minimized, but some churches are consciously increasing the weaponry, in the hopes that it will decrease the violence.
Obama was far from alone in calling for gun control following the shooting, and his gun control tweet proved rather restrained compared to some declaring that the National Rifle Association had “blood on its hands.” Even so, his subtle insistence that getting rid of guns is the solution to such mindless hate shows exactly the kind of patronizing political correctness that got Donald Trump elected president.
With Trump in the Oval Office, and reports coming out that the Texas church shooter could not even get a gun license, the unceasingly leftist calls for gun control are likely to fall on deaf ears. If the shooter got his gun illegally anyway, and if churches defend themselves by investing in their own firepower, the answer is not more laws and fewer guns.
By all means, Mr. (former) President, pray for a decrease of violence in America. But don’t assume that your preferred political program is the only way of getting there — God works in mysterious ways.