Bob Sparks: Praying for victims and for solutions going forward

Mass Shooting In San Bernardino Leaves At Least 14 Dead

On Nov.13, Islamic radical terrorists killed 130 innocent people in Paris. The world mourned with the French and offered thoughts and prayers. Some of us added the French flag overlay to our social media pages.

The perpetrators were bent on killing as many “infidels” (or Muslims if they happened to be in the vicinity) as possible. France, as a country, huddled together and shared their collective grief. Nearly all of America came together to mourn with America’s oldest friend.

On Dec. 2, Tashfeen Malik and her husband, Syed Farook, slaughtered 14 government workers in San Bernardino, California. When the reality of the carnage became known, this country reacted far differently than our friends in Paris.

It is safe to say that most Americans who believe in God may have looked upward and asked, “Why?” Others then offered thoughts and prayers to the victims and their loved ones.

It was both incredible and sickening to see such a normal human reaction openly mocked and demeaned by callous liberals and atheists. Their rebuke to those seeking and offering comfort was on the front page.

The New York Daily News, in true tabloid fashion, screamed “God Isn’t Fixing This” in letters large enough to consume most of the front page. That editorial on the news pages was in reaction to the public comments by prominent Republicans offering “thoughts and prayers.”

Democratic U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut took to Twitter to respond: “Your ‘thoughts’ should be about steps to take to stop this carnage. Your ‘prayers’ should be for forgiveness if you do nothing – again.”

Murphy is just one example of a full-throated verbal assault on the National Rifle Association, blaming the organization, and CEO Wayne LaPierre in particular, for the attacks. Again, the New York Daily News is speaking for those of that mindset.

“He’s a terrorist,” blared the headline surrounding a picture of Farook. Further down, the words “But so are these guys” hover above photos of recent domestic terrorists, whose names must not be remembered. Then, to the lower right, the paper posts a photo of LaPierre below the words “(AND this guy)”

What the Daily News and thoughtful people have in common is the outrage that mass shootings keep happening in this country. We agree that aggressive steps are necessary to prevent a wave of future attacks.
Those who think the guns are the sole problem also talk about “common-sense” gun regulation. What does that mean?

I am not here to defend the NRA (I am not a member), but look at Paris. France has some of the strictest gun laws in the world. Let that sink in for a moment and then ask what good did that do to prevent the terrorist attack?

The polls say a large majority of Americans support tighter gun laws. That’s perfectly understandable. Americans are looking for ways to make such killings stop.

Why didn’t gun control work in France? Because it’s easy to buy the weapons on the black market, then bring them across the open borders throughout Europe.

Let us say we pass French-style gun laws: How does that solve the problem? The ability of terrorists to bring themselves and illegal weapons across our borders is almost as easy as it is in France.

Fully securing our borders would be one way to prevent future terrorist attacks such as the one carried out in San Bernardino. It would actually keep bad guys and guns from entering our communities. Why does that never get beyond the talking stage?

“Common-sense” reforms should be open for discussion. For instance, is the “gun show loophole” resulting in guns getting into the wrong hands and used for criminal purposes? If it is a genuine problem, let’s talk.

We are now at an advanced stage on the danger meter. ISIS is attracting more followers in this country.

Another way to protect our citizens would be to do what it takes to defeat ISIS. It is tough to attract recruits to a losing cause. That will take commitment and leadership.

It is a sorry state of affairs when a terrorist attack causes liberals to forget who did the killing. Wayne LaPierre and those praying for the dead are not responsible for it. That belongs to Farook and Malik, and those who support them.

I will run the risk of earning the wrath of unhinged liberals and atheists by quoting from a piece by Emma Green, managing editor of the The Atlantic’s online site. Commenting on the obscene backlash against prayers for the victims, she wrote:

“The most powerful evidence against this backlash toward prayer comes not from the Twitterverse, but from San Bernardino. ‘Pray for us,’ a woman texted her father from inside the Inland Regional Center, while she and her colleagues hid from the gunfire. Outside the building, evacuated workers bowed their heads and held hands. They prayed.”


Bob Sparks is a business and political consultant based in Tallahassee. 

For more state and national commentary visit Context Florida.

Bob Sparks

Bob Sparks is a former political consultant who previously served as spokesman for the Republican Party of Florida, Department of Environmental Protection and the Florida Attorney General. He was a senior adviser to former Gov. Charlie Crist. Before entering politics, he spent nearly two decades in professional baseball administration. He can be reached at [email protected] and Twitter @BobSparksFL.


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