On Friday, in response to the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon in which Christians were targeted and murdered, Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey minced no words in his concise message to Christians and those who believe in the values of Western Civilization: buy guns.
Ramsey issued his statement on Facebook, linking it to aNew York Post article headlined, “Oregon gunman singled out Christians during rampage.” Ramsey pointed out other recent mass shootings as he posited that the targets were the same: Christians and defenders of the West. His post read:
As I scroll through the news this morning I am saddened to read the details of the horrible tragedy in Oregon. My heart goes out to the citizens of Roseburg — especially the families and loved ones of those murdered.
The recent spike in mass shootings across the nation is truly troubling. Whether the perpetrators are motivated by aggressive secularism, jihadist extremism or racial supremacy, their targets remain the same: Christians and defenders of the West.
While this is not the time for widespread panic, it is a time to prepare. I would encourage my fellow Christians who are serious about their faith to think about getting a handgun carry permit. I have always believed that it is better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it.
Our enemies are armed. We must do likewise.
Tennessee Rep. John Ray Clemmons, D-Nashville, who joined State Senate Minority Leader Lee Harris, D-Memphis on August 31 to file a bill that would exempt events held in public parks and major sports venues from the “guns-in-parks” law, thus banning handgun-carry permit holders from going armed to those venues, whined that Ramsey had chosen the road of the radical right. He issued a statement reading:
Rather than lead the General Assembly’s bipartisan efforts to improve public safety by removing guns from the hands of criminals and addressing the serious mental health issues confronting many in our state, Senator Ramsey unfortunately chose the road most traveled by the radical right.
There is an eerie absence of logic in his statement that ties one’s Christian faith to firearms ownership that is offensive to all religions. Senator Ramsey is essentially saying that we should all run out and get a handgun carry permit to prove how serious we are about our Christian faith. Not only must we have a state-issued ID to vote, must we now have one to prove our religious faith?
Senator Ramsey’s inciting statements in the face of a national tragedy are all the more alarming when you consider them in their historical context. Things have never ended well when any leader has asked people to take up arms in the name of their religious faith. This type of rhetoric is counter-productive to our efforts on so many levels.
In the end, I am sure Sen. Ramsey will get the national headlines he was seeking, but it will be the rest of us Tennesseans who will suffer the humiliation and pay the price for his words.
Of course Clemmons has problems with Ramsay expressing his defense of Christians; Clemmons is the same guy who helped delay a bill urging mothers to have ultrasounds before they had abortions.