To the editor: I am a National Rifle Assn. member who supports better control of guns. I am evangelical Christian and I believe faith generally improves the average person’s life. I am not sure any of us can prove that faith in God has any effect on gun violence.
Op-ed writer Phil Zuckerman disagrees with Mike Huckabee’s statement blaming the recent spate of mass shootings on “disconnecting from God.” He shows that using Huckabee’s logic, one can actually link a population’s faith in God to high rates of gun violence (he compares the rates of violence and religiosity between countries like the Philippines, El Salvador and Yemen, and less religious countries like Japan, Sweden and Canada).
Blaming gun violence solely on faith (or the lack thereof) does not make a lot of sense to me. Wouldn’t it be better to study the thousands of annual gun deaths in America, identify the primary causes and aggressively remove weapons from places with a high rate of violence?
Scott Rosner, Orange
To the editor: How to contend with proliferating gun violence?
Huckabee posits that it stems from too many people being “disconnected from any sense of identity with their creator.” The “God” that Huckabee deems to be his maker evidently isn’t the same one that I worship.
His deity seems to countenance the post-shooting thoughts and prayers of those who steadfastly oppose sensible, effective gun control laws. Mine inspires support for renewing the federal assault weapons ban and other prudent legislation that would dramatically reduce the incidence of mass shootings.
Sure, “disconnecting from God” may be a problem, but only if Huckabee is referring to a deity that condemns America’s gun-obsessed culture.
Roberta Helms, Santa Barbara
To the editor: Why do people kill strangers knowing they will probably end up killed themselves as a result?
Zuckerman believes people’s relationship with God has nothing to do with it. Unfortunately, he uses statistics to make his point, and everybody knows there are lies, damn lies and statistics.
Why do people kill people they do not know? Because their lives have no meaning. They rely on their private reason, and when it fails, as it inevitably will, they are left without purpose. They don’t care about themselves or anybody else.
God gives meaning to our lives.
Robert S. Rodgers, Culver City