Prayers are NOT enough, Rep Ferguson!

Jack Bernard, a retired SVP with a large national healthcare firm, has worked extensively with hospitals across the nation regarding cost containment and insurance. He was also the first Director of Health Planning for the state of Georgia.

“I ask you to join me in praying for their recovery, for healing and comfort for those who lost loved ones.” (Rep. Drew Ferguson, 2-18-18, after the Lakeland massacre)

Our Georgia politicians are shrewder and cagier than most. They will say just about anything to mislead voters about the truth, hoping you will believe them.
Yes, many of us certainly have prayed again and again, Rep. Ferguson, but, while we were praying, have you proposed any laws that would lessen gun violence? The answer is no.
Is it because you are afraid of the NRA or is it because you just do not care enough? At least you are not on the NRA payroll, receiving campaign funds like your predecessor, Rep. Westmoreland (and Sen. Perdue and many others).
Furthermore, I suppose we should all compliment you on being more devious than your predecessor. Cagily, you even oppose being asked questions about gun control by the American Family Association or the Project Vote Smart Voter Guide.
You just say you are against concealed weapons restrictions and, “We trust our citizens with the responsibilities to make their lives and families and communities stronger, more prosperous, and safer.”
Your statement is purposefully clear as mud. It is designed to ensure that you do not have to honestly state that you oppose any and all gun control legislation, regardless of how many children are slaughtered by automatic weapons like the AR 15 and other weapons of war, your true position.
Every time we have a gun-fueled massacre, you and your friends in Congress say we need to wait until we have complete information. After a period of time, the public and pundits move on. That permits you go back to business advocating for an unneeded wall and other right-wing ideological priorities. You conveniently forget all about gun control, at least until the next massacre when you once again say we can do nothing except pray and that the time is just not right to discuss the issue because a tragedy has recently occurred.
Representative Ferguson, many of us are praying. We are praying that men like you who oppose any form of gun control by incorrectly citing the Second Amendment will finally come to their senses. We pray that you will finally understand that you have a direct responsibility to prevent gun violence, especially against our innocent children. Our prayers have not yet been answered.
Many innocent men and women were praying in Charleston, S.C. and in Sutherland Springs, Texas when they were shot down not very long ago. Their prayers were not answered. Praying didn’t solve the problem. With gun violence, it never does, as the statistics prove. Per survey research, we are the most religious democracy and have far more gun deaths per capita than any developed nation.
Our God gave us a brain to reason through issues (and vote); that actually does help. So, what can we as a caring, religious nation do?
I will not go through each of the dozen or more specific actions that could be taken to lessen gun violence. They break down into several categories:
A. Tightening the myriad of known loopholes that permit criminals to obtain guns (like the gun show loophole)
B. Restricting the types of guns, ammunition, and related items available to the general public (for example, prohibiting semi-automatics)
C. Restricting where guns can be carried (schools, churches, and so on)
D. Construction of much more sophisticated data bases on gun ownership and sales, with substantial penalties for non-compliance
E. Expansion of funding community mental health services

Nothing will happen until all of us place pressure on our elected officials like Ferguson. If they are not sponsoring legislation to alleviate the gun problem, vote them out.

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