Knee-jerk rush to judgment fruitless


A funny thing happened to me Monday morning. I was unfriended on Facebook.

I sure you’re asking yourself why that was funny, or why that even matters to you, but in the context of what I did to merit that, I find it funny.

I posted a one-word response to a “friend’s” almost-gibberish post railing against the NRA and its approval of the items used during the recent shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs.

The word I typed: And.

I typed it because I wanted to know why it was important that my friend relate that the National Rifle Association was foursquare behind the items used by Devin Patrick Kelley.

I agree that this was the most heinous act I’ve heard perpetrated in some time, at a church no less. What was puzzling to me, though, was what did the NRA have to do with it? I asked a question, because I wanted to know the relationship between killing churchgoers and the NRA.

The response was to be unfriended. (The gentleman in question was a former bail bondsman, so I’m also puzzled.)

All of this is to say that in a rush to judgment about an act, blame starts getting assigned based on agenda, not where it belongs. You would rightly assume that guns are again in the spotlight, with numerous people claiming that proper gun control would have prevented this tragedy.

You also would rightly assume that conservatives are being drug through the mud for not wanting to pass any more gun control measures. There have even been attacks on the lack of background checks, which are untrue, and the power of prayer, which is frankly ignorant.

Two very important things are missing in the above information: no condemnation of the shooter, and actual information about the attack.

As hard as it may be not to rush to judgment, or to seek solace in a rage-filled outcry, there needs to be a time to get the proper facts.

More to the point, though, is that regardless of your stance about guns, this action was perpetrated by a person. Whether or not it was done with a weapon that the NRA approved of, or if the shooter had passed a background check or not, or if even a background check is required, Devin Patrick Kelley, for whatever reason, made the decision to kill.

Passing the blame around is fruitless. It seems to me that time would be better spent offering care and solace to the victims and their families — the people harmed by this tragedy — than to seek a salve for our own consciences by railing against the heavens.

Tony Farkas is publisher of the Madisonville Meteor.