On Saturday, shots rang out in an Allen, Texas outlet mall. When the carnage was over, nine were left needlessly dead and more were injured. Of course, Texas republicans offered the obligatory “thoughts and prayers” but alas, those thoughts and prayers failed to bring any of the innocent dead people back to life.

So, at least one Republican official, State Representative Keith Self, felt the need to add further insult to the injured and dead by suggesting that God is responsible for the murders and we should be thankful.

When asked about the futility of “thoughts and prayers,” Self responded:

“Well, those are people that don’t believe in an almighty God who, who has, who is absolutely in control of our lives. I’m a Christian. I believe that he is.”

So, God is in control.

If that is the case, then God must really hate Americans. If he is in total control, then he must want Americans of any temperament or mental handicap/disease to have easy access to those weapons but not in the rest of the world.

Self then dug his hole a little deeper …

“We have people though, with mental health that we’re not taking care of since this nation made the decision that we were gonna close the mental health institutions. Many of these situations are based on that, uh …”

Except Texas, led by Republican Governor Greg Abbott, cut mental health funding again last year with the full support of his Republican majority legislature. In 2021 and 2022, he reportedly cut about 200 million from the mental health budget. 

Abbott has also expressed his “embarrassment” after, in 2015, another state sold more guns than Texas. 

Self then went on to manufacture some word salad that essentially tried to say “let’s not get all political” after more people were needlessly killed.

But avoiding the issue, in itself, is “getting political.” It is the politics of deflection and distraction. While Republicans in Texas and other states consistently push envelopes to give people unfettered access to murder weapons, and instead manufacture one “crisis” after another about drag queens, gay beer, and the fear of kids learning about our actual history vs. a whitewashed and sterilized version.

He then finished up by circling back to prayers and insisting that is the only thing that can help.

But what would actually help is reforming our gun laws in a sane and bipartisan way. Of course, we can debate the specifics and come to reasonable conclusions. But, as it stands now, we can’t even have an adult conversation about the subject because of representatives like Keith Self and other Republicans who refuse to do anything but recommend saying a prayer.

But even the Bible tells us that isn’t enough.

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? – James 2:14”

America is not unique in having people with mental health problems and bad temperaments. America is not unique with the fact that many citizens enjoy violent video games and other forms of entertainment that right wing gun zealots like to point to every time another senseless mass shooting murder spree occurs. America is only unique in the respect that there are more guns in America than in any other country and that we are the only nation who subjects their citizens to being targets for those millions of guns. At some point, even Republicans have to own up to the fact that unfettered access to weapons of war do not make us safer, in fact, it makes every single American less safe.

You can check out Keith Self and his refusal to do anything to prevent needless murders below: