Yet another reason to be glad former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is not our President.
Today, Huckabee took to Fox News to express his opinion that the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting happened because we took God out of schools.
Watch here if you dare (courtesy of Think Progress’ youtube):
Never one to let a chance to politicize a tragedy pass him by, Huckabee doesn’t want to talk about guns or male violence or the culture of violence he participates in on Fox News. No, he wants to blame the victims of the crime by suggesting that if they had let his God in His Way, this wouldn’t have happened. If we had God in our schools, they would not be a place of “carnage”.
Huckabee desperately grasped at straws, explaining that if we took every gun away, someone who wanted to destroy us would just get a bomb, so there’s no point in regulating guns. Because, you know, bombs are everywhere. But, FEAR always shuts them up on Fox. He was sure to get in there that laws don’t change these things, hearts do.
And then this:
Neil Cavuto: How could God let this happen?
Mike Huckabee: We’ve systematically removed God from our schools. Should we be so surprised that schools have become a place for carnage because we’ve made it a place where we don’t want to talk about eternity, life, responsibility, accountability?
This premise is based upon the idea that God is a vindictive God, and one who does not exist unless you are praying, otherwise, how could God, if she/he is real, go missing from schools just because prayer is not allowed?
Speaking of responsibility, Huckabee should have said that God did not let this happen. We let this happen, with our refusal to face reality after each horrifying act of mass gun violence over the past two years alone.
Also, I don’t know what schools Huckabee went to, but the schools I attended most certainly did discuss responsibility and accountability. What does that have to do with a shooter, who was not attending that school? He was the son of a teacher, not a student. How does what they cover in class have any bearing on his actions? Does Huckabee think that His God disappears when people enter school, that faith dies at the doorstep? How absurd. Further absurd is the idea that without his God, there is no morality. This is a belief of conservatives, but it’s clearly not true (see statistics re Red states versus Blue states).
Huckabee ended by saying that if we let Him (God) in on the front end, we wouldn’t have to have Him show up on the back end. This is how he justified getting around talking about changing our NRA-dictated gun laws.
I don’t know how Huckabee would explain the shootings in religious schools. Did God let that happen, too? All I know is this is a weak excuse to avoid discussing the obvious. America has a problem with her gun laws. They aren’t working.
Huckabee is politicizing this tragedy by suggesting that gun control should not even be a topic of conversation. This is yet another example of how the gun culture has become so extreme that even the hint of discussion must be stamped out before it’s begun. Rational discussion will not be had — if you call for a discussion on gun control (not gun banning, gun control), you will be flamed en masse until you rethink voicing your opinion. This kind of intimidation is wrong, and it has contributed to the extremism we see in the gun culture today.
Of course, Huckabee’s justification is not only offensive, but incorrect. Laws, in fact, do have some correlation to the number of gun deaths, whether this is causal or not is up for debate:
States with stricter gun control laws have fewer deaths from gun-related violence.
Last year, economist Richard Florida dove deep into the correlations between gun deaths and other kinds of social indicators. Some of what he found was, perhaps, unexpected: Higher populations, more stress, more immigrants, and more mental illness were not correlated with more deaths from gun violence. But one thing he found was, perhaps, perfectly predictable: States with tighter gun control laws appear to have fewer gun-related deaths.
A real discussion must be had about our gun laws, and no transparent attempt to avoid the obvious is going to cut it this time. If Mike Huckabee’s God disappears because he’s not allowed to pray out loud in school, that sounds like a problem with his belief/faith, not a problem with our schools. And it’s certainly not responsible for today’s tragedy.