My Take: We continue to make human sacrifices at altar of guns, their makers

For the 33rd time (Jan. 22) this year, a mass shooting has taken lives of innocent human beings whose only mistake was being in the way of bullets fired from a gun and usually one that was meant to kill in war.

What I am about to say will be controversial and many will assert that it is unfair, over the top and extremely judgmental, but I will say it anyway. My hope is that honest reflection will result in some degree of acknowledgement that this has validity.

It has been many centuries since human sacrifice has been practiced and today that action, for all statistical purposes, is non-existent especially in modern nation states. The exception to that, in my view, may be the United States. The definition of human sacrifice is “the offering of the life of a human being to a deity or to appease a god or gods.” The Old Testament repeatedly warns against idol worship, which is worshiping anything other than God. Human sacrifice can be seen as an attempt to win the favor of a god, gods or deity. So how do I justify my view that the U.S. engages in human sacrifice through idol worship?

I see it in the fact that the Republican Party and a significant share of the public who identify as Republicans (though certainly not all) have three “gods” or “deities” that they worship and for which they are willing to tolerate human slaughter.

One is the Second Amendment. It holds a place in their heart and minds that is roughly akin to religious theology or even dogma. It has god-like or idol status and Republicans genuflect at the altar of the unconstrained application of the Second Amendment.

The next deity is the National Rifle Association. Just as human sacrifice was used to placate the gods and avoid angering them, these Republicans through inaction facilitate mass shootings and refuse to take needed action to prevent these disgusting acts of violence. Why? Because Republicans do not dare risk the wrath of the NRA or its members. To do so would or could put at risk campaign contributions, their political power and even their positions in government.

The third god is the gun lobby and the gun manufacturers who fund it. The dollars that flow to Republican political figures from these two groups require a payment — just as fertility or victories in ancient wars often required a payment by human sacrifice. In America, the payment is refusing to pass laws that will dramatically reduce the incidents of mass shootings and thereby allow gun manufactures to make enormous profits from the blood of innocent children as well as adults without threat of legal exposure.

As many more people pass into eternity from mass shootings, will this nation continue to simply offer thoughts and prayers? Will these Republicans continue supporting insane and anachronistic interpretation of the Second Amendment and support politicians who refuse to take action? Will this nation continue to tolerate mass murder on a near daily basis? Moving away from inaction is where our thoughts and prayers must be focused.

— Richard Herbig is a resident of Hamilton.

This article originally appeared on The Holland Sentinel: My Take: We continue to make human sacrifices at altar of guns, their makers