After Texas Church Massacre Paul Ryan Claims ‘Prayer Works’

Nov 8, 2017

By Michael Stone

Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan insists that “prayer works.”

Ryan, speaking with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on “The Ingraham Angle,” complained about the “secular left” while defending his empty call to prayer after the Texas church massacre that left 26 people dead.

Immediately after the massacre Ryan asked for prayers via Twitter:

Reports out of Texas are devastating. The people of Sutherland Springs need our prayers right now.

The tweet was met with widespread criticism, with many rightly seeing it as an empty and facile gesture meant to satisfy the gullible without doing anything concrete to address the tragedy. When asked about the criticism by Ingraham, Ryan said:

It’s disappointing, it’s sad, and this is what you’ll get from the far secular left. People who do not have faith don’t understand faith, I guess I’d have to say. And it is the right thing to do is to pray in moments like this, because you know what? Prayer works. And I know you believe that, and I believe that and when you hear the secular left doing this thing, it’s no wonder you have so much polarization and disunity in this country when people think like that.

In other words, Ryan, responding to criticism about his failure to act to curb gun violence, blamed the “secular left” for not understanding the magic of prayer.

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35 comments on “After Texas Church Massacre Paul Ryan Claims ‘Prayer Works’

  • Prayer does not do a damn thing. Never has never will — Oh, wait, yes it does. It allows assholes to act as if they are doing something, when in fact, they are not. It is unverifiable bullshit and people who think differently should pray for me to stop putting forth my opinion. The day i stop railing against this idiocy is the day their “prayer” has worked.

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  • @OP- Ryan, speaking with Fox News’s Laura Ingraham on “The Ingraham Angle,” complained about the “secular left” while defending his empty call to prayer after the Texas church massacre that left 26 people dead.

    I think the effectiveness of prayer in keeping GUNS away from deranged individuals, as a substitute for properly enforced regulation, is only too obvious to all except the seriously deluded, and the deceptive, feckless, posing, bought stooges, of politics!

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  • People who have faith may know what it is like to have faith, but that is not to say that they understand it. To understand it, they would need to be able to step back from it (so to speak) and regard it objectively, noting what it consists in (e.g. accepting something as true without the benefit of evidence, or accepting something as true on account of attachment to an emotion that accompanies it) and thus being able to place it in context and relation with all other understandable features of human existence. People of faith, however, resist all attempts to analyse faith itself, considering it virtuous and of supreme importance precisely because it is held without the benefit of evidence and understanding. The faithful must, after all, remain constant in faith.

    People who lack faith can, if they have reason to spend the time on it, consider faith (as professed by others) objectively and understand it quite clearly as a form of unwitting self-deception or delusion.

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  • @OP – It’s disappointing, it’s sad, and this is what you’ll get from the far secular left.

    Ah! The badge label of “authority or dismissal” argument appealing to bias! An unmistakable feature of the con-man or the non-thinker!

    People who do not have faith don’t understand faith, I guess

    I think he has explained it!
    Those who don’t have “faith” don’t understand the process of rationality and evidence of “faith thinking” – because it does not have any – and he just guesses – from biases and muddled pre-conceptions what his audience wants to hear!

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  • Ryan is one of the most despicable turds in American life. He is colluding with big business, is corrupt to the core, is very sick. A poster child for religion.

    My only regret in being an atheist is that I have to accept that the Ryans of the world will probably never know that they are hypocrites and evil. No punishment after death. He belongs in Dante’s Inferno – somewhere. I like the Inferno because that work is about justice. That justice is all-too-elusive in the real world. I sometimes wish that this non-existent God were real and would rise up and tell all these assholes that they are serving the Devil! But alas, I am a strong atheist.

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  • 1 Prayer didn’t help the poor sods in the church, who were busy praying when they were shot. I suppose that prayer helped them through the Pearly Gates, but how about their praying families who have to live the rest of their lives dreaming about the violent horror every single night? Will God intervene to wipe out the memories?… I doubt it.

    2 Those of us who have struggled for much of their lives to free themselves from the irrational faith with which we were shackled, understand faith better than most. The typical non-believer of my acquaintance has a better grasp of Christian doctrine and other dogmas, than most believers, in addition to an objective view of religion, forged from long-term efforts to step outside of their faith structure…to see our faith as others see it (apologies to Robbie).
    There are no grounds for Ryan’s assertions.

    Incidentally lads, do try to avoid ad hominems and angry outbursts, we don’t profit by sinking to their level.

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  • People who do not have faith don’t understand faith,

    Rational people who have recognised the failures of “faith-thinking”, are well aware that god-gapology, is the patch, confidently stuck over ignorance, which gives all-knowing assurance to the gullible, ignorant, “know-it-alls”, of faith! – and a platform of “authority” for the deluded or charlatan posers, who (mis)lead them!

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  • A new study finds that there is no link between religiosity and whether people are more intuitive or more logical in their thinking.

    Instead it concludes that religiosity is entirely the product of nurture and peer pressure i.e. the religious are created, or brainwashed, into religiosity rather than having any predisposition to it.

    I have to say I take this with a pinch of salt because I think intellect has a great deal to do with how one resists any attempt at being brainwashed into believing in sky pixies. The stupid swallow it all hook line and sinker and the smart see through the nonsense. However perhaps this survey didn’t include IQ in its testing.

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  • Arkrid Sandwich #9
    Nov 9, 2017 at 7:14 am

    I have to say I take this with a pinch of salt because I think intellect has a great deal to do with how one resists any attempt at being brainwashed into believing in sky pixies.

    There is of course a circular element in this, insofar as the fundamentalist religious, actively retard the mental development of their children, and glorify “faith”, while denigrating, evidence based reasoning, learning objectivity, and “materialist” science based education!
    There are plenty in the US, homeschooled or church schooled in stupidity!

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  • I don’t think intellect is enough to resist brainwashing as a child. These ideologies have pernicious subroutines built in that are designed to send thoughts running in circles. It’s like setting a con artist in front of a nice polite wealthy old lady. She doesn’t stand a chance against the slick bastard. By the end of the day her bank account will be empty. She never saw it coming and she has no defense strategy in place. Child-like.

    What I’d like to see is a study of children with attachment disorder and how resistant they might be to ideologies that are introduced by others around them. If they already have no trust and doubt everything around them, will they also doubt the existence of the invisible man in the sky? No shortage of subjects for our study out there.

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  • I think there are striking parallels between religion and what is happening in American politics today. We as rational secular people see the danger in religion but in trying to oppose it we are not helped by our lack of understanding of why people are religious in the first place or why some resist childhood indoctrination and others don’t. Without that understanding we can’t easily choose the best methods or arguments to use against the faithful.

    In the same way we can see the incredible danger that Trump and his supporters pose to not just America but the world. However we also struggle to understand why anyone supports him or couldn’t see through his lies from the start. Again, how do we best oppose what we can’t understand?

    In both cases we need to better understand the opposition before we can decide how to resist or oppose them.

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  • Laurie

    I don’t think intellect is enough to resist brainwashing as a child.

    No amount of intelligence can defend a child against indoctrination. Due to the process of over-imitation, evolved to keep us, particularly premature primates, safe, all children accept what they are told as gospel. All are indoctrinated. It is only from puberty onward that that the opportunity to discover and use countervailing evidence to unpick the early stuff, somewhat, exists. (The cleverest need the smallest amount.)

    Fundamentalists, the hyper dogmatists, so struggle to contain risky exposure to countervailing evidence that they hijack high school curricula, create closeted universities to preserve that hideous confection in their child’s head until the start of intellectual decline from age 25, when they can rest easier.

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  • I still can’t pinpoint exactly when but having been brought to the UK when I was five, the clash of cultures helped. If I hadn’t stayed up and watched Monty Python, for the nude bits at first, while my family were at weddings every weekend, when a little older, things, again, might have been different.

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  • Wanna see the pinnacle of cognitive dissonance mixed with a huge dose of idiocy?

    Hans Fiene is a Lutheran pastor in Illinois. I was reading about him on another site and I had to keep swallowing down the bile as i got further and further into his “opinion”.
    He speaks about the Texas Church slaughter and he explains that this is not the time to be criticizing religion for the failure of prayer to protect them.

    It may seem, on the surface, that God was refusing to give such protection to his Texan children. But we are also praying that God would deliver us from evil eternally. Through these same words, we are asking God to deliver us out of this evil world and into his heavenly glory, where no violence, persecution, cruelty, or hatred will ever afflict us again.

    SO he concludes that the folks in the church….. their PRAYERS WERE ANSWERED!!!

    Despite the horror that madman made the saints of First Baptist endure, those who endured it with faith in Christ have received his victory. Although the murderer filled their eyes with terror, God has now filled them with his glory. Although he persecuted them with violence, God seized that violence and has now used it to deliver his faithful into a kingdom of peace. Although this madman brought death to so many, God has used that death to give them the eternal life won for them in the blood of Jesus.

    And here we have the fundamental difference between the believer and me.
    In this shit bag’s estimation, the shooter was an agent of god. Doing god’s work…. right? He “answered their prayers” and allowed hem to be “delivered” and it was god answering their prayer to send this deranged ass into their midst.

    No thanks, keep that shit far from me. The stupid, it burns!

    BTW, fuck you, Hans Fiene. Fuck you.

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  • Seriously Crooked, and why didn’t the shitbag throw himself in front of the bullets if the consequence was going to be so great?! Or maybe God has other plans for Hans. You know, down there.


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  • crookedshoes #15 – Nov 9, 2017 at 2:23 pm

    But we are also praying that God would deliver us from evil eternally.
    Through these same words,
    we are asking God to deliver us out of this evil world and into his heavenly glory,
    where no violence, persecution, cruelty, or hatred will ever afflict us again.

    Yep! “This is not a crass fail of prayer – It’s just that it looked like a failure on Earth, but succeeded in fairyland where nobody can see it to report back, – so nobody can PROVE I’m wrong”!
    “See – MY GOD(delusion) is all powerful and all knowing, so it tells obedient little me, that I know better than all those objective critics – who only look at the material world!”

    Don’t those faith-blinkers work wonders for the credibility of god-delusions in the addled brains of devout believers!

    What did he say the date of his trip to the euthanasia clinic was???? – Or does this “God’s Plan” only apply to other people, on whom HIS god-delusion does not depend for existence?

    And here we have the fundamental difference between the believer and me.

    You can thank goodness for that!

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  • Olgun #18

    Certainly a very fine line (if there is a line) here between religious ideas and the ideas of the rampantly psychotic.

    Could it be that religiosity like that is undiagnosed mental illness? Not just Dawkins’ God delusion; something more clinical and severe.

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  • Dan #19
    Nov 9, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Could it be that religiosity like that
    is undiagnosed mental illness?
    Not just Dawkins’ God delusion;
    something more clinical and severe.

    I think there are many examples where god-delusions team up, with, or exploit, other forms of delusional or obsessive mental illness.

    Once the critical thinking of the formal operational stage of mental development is neglected, obstructed, inhibited, or retarded, by indoctrination, and the inculcation of authority based “faith thinking from preconceptions”, is substituted for evidence based reasoning, and the mind is open to all sorts of perverse notions, fed to it by charlatans or mentally unstable role models.

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  • Dan #19
    Nov 9, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Could it be that religiosity like that
    is undiagnosed mental illness?
    Not just Dawkins’ God delusion;
    something more clinical and severe.

    However where very young children are exposed to religious indoctrination, even earlier stages of development are perverted to facilitate this retardation of later stages where reason could challenge the authority and preconceptions of a god-delusion!


    Imagine what it would be like if you did not have a mental model of your world.
    It would mean that you would not be able to make so much use of information from your past experience or to plan future actions.

    Schemas are the basic building blocks of such cognitive models, and enable us to form a mental representation of the world. Piaget (1952, p. 7)
    defined a schema as:

    "a cohesive, repeatable action sequence
    possessing component actions
    that are tightly interconnected and governed by a core meaning."

    In more simple terms Piaget called the schema the basic building block of intelligent behavior – a way of organizing knowledge.
    Indeed, it is useful to think of schemas as “units” of knowledge, each relating to one aspect of the world, including objects, actions, and abstract (i.e., theoretical) concepts.

    Wadsworth (2004) suggests that schemata (the plural of schema) be thought of as ‘index cards’ filed in the brain, each one telling an individual how to react to incoming stimuli or information.

    Assimilation and Accommodation

    Jean Piaget (1952; see also Wadsworth, 2004) viewed intellectual growth as a process of adaptation (adjustment) to the world.
    This happens through:

    – Which is using an existing schema to deal with a new object or situation.

    – This happens when the existing schema (knowledge) does not work, and needs to be changed to deal with a new object or situation.

    – This is the force which moves development along. Piaget believed that cognitive development did not progress at a steady rate, but rather in leaps and bounds.

    Equilibrium occurs when a child’s schemas can deal with most new information through assimilation.
    However, an unpleasant state of disequilibrium occurs when new information cannot be fitted into existing schemas (assimilation).

    Equilibration is the force which drives the learning process as we do not like to be frustrated and will seek to restore balance by mastering the new challenge (accommodation). Once the new information is acquired the process of assimilation with the new schema will continue until the next time we need to make an adjustment to it.

    Indoctrination promoting cognitive dissonance, can disable rational aspects of these processes, and required later development of the formal operational stage of mental development, which facilitates them.

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  • @Piaget link:-

    Are the stages real? Vygotsky and Bruner would rather not talk about stages at all, preferring to see development as a continuous process. Others have queried the age ranges of the stages. Some studies have shown that progress to the formal operational stage is not guaranteed.

    For example, Keating (1979) reported that 40-60% of college students fail at formal operation tasks, and Dasen (1994) states that only one-third of adults ever reach the formal operational stage.

    Because Piaget concentrated on the universal stages of cognitive development and biological maturation, he failed to consider the effect that the social setting and culture may have on cognitive development.

    Piaget’s stages describe NORMAL mental development in a well educated upbringing – without social retardation or social deprivation! This is a POTENTIAL for almost all children, but may not happen in adverse social conditions.

    I suspect this is a prime cause of the increase in secularism in societies with modern scientific education systems!

    Piaget’s theories were incorporated into education curricular planning in the UK, from the 1060s onward.

    Piaget studied his own children and the children of his colleagues in Geneva in order to deduce general principles about the intellectual development of all children.
    Not only was his sample very small, but it was composed solely of European children from families of high socio-economic status. Researchers have therefore questioned the generalisability of his data.

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  • we are asking God to deliver us out of this evil world

    So zero investment in the planet or their fellow men and women. They have no task but personal salvation.

    No long term altruism for them.

    Personal salvation (from earth, from hell) is the most evil of sticks to whip up compliance/subjection.

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  • BTW:- Piaget’s tests work!

    While on a psychology course in the 1960s, I personally carried out some of his tests on conservation of number (age 6), mass (age 7), and weight (age 9), and working with groups of children, confirmed that some children had developed to achieve these levels, and some had not!

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  • In the case of the church shooting, it is obvious that a failure to restrict gun sales and supervise a dangerous individual, were contributory causes, which Ryan SHOULD have been addressing, rather than passively praying!

    Things like having police data-bases available live to officers – identifying known criminals, their associates, and the registration plate numbers of vehicles they use, targets police to stop likely suspects in suspicious situations.

    I shall expand further in the following comment –

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  • After Texas Church Massacre Paul Ryan Claims ‘Prayer Works’

    The ex-wife of Texas church gunman Devin Kelley has said he subjected her to abuse and violence, and threatened to kill her and her entire family.

    Kelley “had a lot of demons or hatred inside of him”, said Tessa Brennaman, 25, in an interview with CBS News.

    The former US Air Force airman pleaded guilty in 2013 to hitting, choking and kicking Ms Brennaman, and to fracturing the skull of her young son.

    He was sentenced to a year in military prison and demoted over the incident.

    In her first interview since Kelley shot and killed 26 people at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas on 5 November,Ms Brennaman described how he once threatened to kill her for getting a speeding ticket.

    “He had a gun in his holster right here and he took that gun out and he put it to my temple and he told me, ‘Do you want to die? Do you want to die?'” she said.

    Kelley also wounded 20 people in the shooting. Outside the church, he dropped the military-style AR-15 rifle he used in the massacre and drove away from the scene in his truck, pursued by two locals, before shooting himself dead with a handgun.

    Kelley had been banned from buying or owning a gun after his domestic violence conviction but his conviction “was not entered into the National Criminal Information Center database”, the Air Force revealed in the wake of the shooting.

    People with domestic violence convictions are barred from owning firearms, but laws, which vary from state to state, are beset by loopholes and lack of enforcement.

    Gun safety campaign group Every Town For Gun Safety found that in 54% of the 156 mass shootings between 2009 and 2016, the victims were current or former intimate partners or other family members.

    More than 50 women in the US every month are killed by former partners, according to data compiled by Everytown, and the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed.

    But hey! Trump says he is building a wall to keep out immigrants from Central and South America – and banning visitors from countries from which terrorists have never come to attack America!! –
    But he supports the “right” of Americans – (including the mentally unstable), to buy and carry guns – so with unfilled government posts, widespread deregulation, lax enforcement of woefully inadequate restrictions, and with his supporters PRAYING that the guns will not be used on fellow citizens, who could ask for more? 🙂

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    Texas: Is domestic violence a common theme in mass shootings?

    Between 2009 and 2016 there were 156 mass shootings in the United States, meaning incidents in which four or more people were shot and killed. In total, the attackers killed 848 people and left a further 339 with gunshot injuries.

    Every Town For Gun Safety, a campaign group, turned to the FBI’s published data on these appalling crimes and analysed the histories of each attacker. It found that in 54% of the shootings the victims were current or former intimate partners or other family members.

    In other words, there were potential warnings signs that, if acted upon, may have saved lives.

    The analysis also found that in more than 40% of cases, the shooter had “exhibited warning signs” such as violent or threatening behaviour that indicated they were a danger to themselves or others.

    What about how many mass shootings in the US actually escalate from an act of domestic violence?

    The US Congressional Research Service, which produces expert impartial reports in a similar way to their counterparts in the British Parliament, has also looked at the relationship between domestic violence and mass shootings.

    It separated “familicide” mass murders – in which a killer shoots dead his entire family but doesn’t turn his attention on anyone else – from what the public would more readily understand as a mass shooting that occurs in a public place.

    When it analysed the remaining incidents over the 15 years to 2013, it found that a fifth of the 66 public-place mass shootings had been “possibly triggered” by a domestic row.

    “In some cases, offenders were able to purchase a firearm, or allowed to keep firearms already in their possession, and commit mass murder, even though they had previously had domestic violence restraining orders filed against them or had been convicted of misdemeanour domestic violence offences,” said the paper.

    Of course in religious communities – there has been praying for victims AFTER events, but it seems little has been learned by politicians who prefer to rely on PRAYER, rather than researching details of causes!

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    Fatally flawed: The loopholes that let domestic abusers keep their guns

    In late February in Baltimore, 36-year-old Chinika Hursey petitioned a court for a domestic violence protection order against her estranged husband, Dominick.

    In a detailed handwritten account she described a violent physical assault at a car dealership in the city.

    Police served Dominick with the order in late March, instructing him to stay away from her home and surrender any guns.

    He said he didn’t have any. Without a warrant they couldn’t search the house, so they left.

    A week later he broke into Hursey’s home while her children slept and shot her and her boyfriend dead as they lay in bed.

    “I fear for my life and that Dominick will try to kill me,” Hursey had written in her petition to the court back in February, adding: “He has several guns.”

    While the Trump Administration is well into ideological nonsensical bigoted orders and edicts, it is simply clueless about effective pre-emptive action to protect citizens!

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  • There’s an excellent article here on why Americans don’t give a damn about mass shootings.

    It explores why people don’t really care about things that happen to other people unconnected with them in anything like the same way as when it affects themselves or family. Also it looks at how gun deaths are supposedly part of the price they pay for freedom – although in truth it’s more freedom to not give a damn than freedom as mentioned in the Constitution.

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  • I see the next US gunman has been on the loose –
    Despite being clearly recognised as a threat!

    A gunman who killed four people on Tuesday in rural California fired into an elementary school but was stopped from entering by teachers, police say.

    Staff at Rancho Tehama Reserve School went into lockdown, securing school doors after hearing nearby gunshots.

    Authorities praised the teachers’ actions as “monumental” in saving “countless” lives.

    Police confirmed one child was shot at the school after the gunman fired into it. Others were hurt by broken glass.

    Police later confronted the gunman in a stolen vehicle, shooting and killing him. He was named locally as 43-year-old Kevin Neal.

    It is believed the shooting spree began after a domestic row with the gunman’s neighbours in Rancho Tehama, a rural community about 120 miles (195km) from Sacramento, on Tuesday morning.

    Police said they believed he went on a “bizarre and murderous rampage” after the dispute escalated and he killed a neighbour.

    Officials confirmed the gunman had “prior contacts with law enforcement”.

    The Tehama district attorney told the Sacramento Bee he was being prosecuted on charges relating to a stabbing and assault in January in an incident involving two of his neighbours.

    But apparently was still exercising his “right” to own semi-automatic weapons!

    A semi-automatic rifle and two handguns were recovered from one of the crime scenes, police said. At least 10 people were injured in the shootings at multiple locations.

    Police said he chose most of the victims at random, and reportedly shot into the school but became frustrated after the teachers’ locked the doors and left after six minutes.

    It is believed the school was alerted after a mother was shot at in her car while driving her children to school. She was reportedly seriously wounded but not killed.

    The child who was shot has undergone surgery after being struck in the leg and chest, reports say. Other children at the school were reportedly injured by broken glass, and some were evacuated from the school and transported to hospital by helicopter.

    “This individual shooter was bent on engaging and killing people at random. I have to say this incident, as tragic and as bad as it is, could have been so much worse,” Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said.

    The Redding Record Searchlight newspaper spoke to a man who said he was a neighbour of the gunman.

    Brian Flint said his neighbour “has been shooting a lot of bullets lately, hundreds of rounds, large magazines”.

    “We made it aware [to police] that this guy is crazy and he’s been threatening us,” he told the newspaper.

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  • This sounds familiar! – Access to guns by a person who should never have access to guns!

    A California man killed his wife and hid her body in their home before he fatally shot four people during a gun rampage, police have said.

    “We believe that’s probably what started this whole event,” Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston told reporters on Wednesday.

    Kevin Janson Neal, 43, fired into an elementary school in Rancho Tehama, but was stopped from entering by teachers.

    His wife’s body was found hidden under floorboards, police say.

    Investigators said they believe Neal shot and killed his wife on Monday night, sparking the gun rampage early on Tuesday.

    Mr Johnston said police also found two neighbours shot dead. The victims were involved in an ongoing dispute with Neal that lead to an assault with a deadly weapon charge against him last January, authorities said.

    He killed two others who police said appeared to have been shot at random.

    A motive for the attack is still unclear, but Mr Johnston added: “I think he had a desire to kill as many people as he could.”

    At one point Neal crashed a stolen vehicle through the Rancho Tehama Reserve School’s locked gate before class began, firing dozens of shots through windows and walls when he was unable to enter the building.

    Mr Johnston praised teachers for issuing a lockdown and securing the school after hearing gunshots, adding that their actions prevented a “horrific bloodbath”.

    Police said 14 people were injured in total, including seven children.

    One child at the school was shot in the chest while other children were mainly hurt by broken glass, Mr Johnston said.

    The family of Alejandro Hernandez, 6, created a GoFundMe account to help raise money for his healthcare costs after he was shot in the chest and foot.

    Police said two semi-automatic rifles – also known as assault rifles – that were used by the gunman were recovered from one of the crime scenes.

    Mr Johnston said the guns were obtained “in an illegal manner” and manufactured illegally.

    According to court documents, a restraining order taken out against him following an incident with his neighbours in January would have required him to forfeit any firearms.

    During the attack, Neal also wore a military-style assault vest capable of storing multiple rounds of ammunition.

    Police said he was out on bail after he posted a $160,000 (£121,000) bond for an assault with a deadly weapon charge, which stemmed from an incident with his neighbours.

    His sister, Sheridan Orr, told the AP that she believed her brother was addicted to drugs and struggled with mental illness and a violent temper.

    “We’re stunned and we’re appalled that this is a person who has no business with firearms, whatsoever,” Ms Orr said.

    . . . . While Trump and the NRA sit in denial, and courts let dangerous criminals out on bail, . . . . here is another failure to supervise or restrain a dangerous mentally disturbed person, and keep guns out of their hands in order to protect citizens!

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  • Here is another incident which illustrates the stupidity of American gun culture!

    A man accidentally shot himself and his wife during a discussion on gun safety at a Tennessee church, police say.

    The 81-year-old took out his pistol to show another parishioner amid a talk about recent shootings at places of worship.

    Forgetting the weapon was loaded, he fired a single round, striking himself in the hand and his 80-year-old wife, who was sitting in her wheelchair.

    Both suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

    A parishioner who only wished to give her first name, Mistin, told the BBC that the congregants had been talking about a Texas church massacre earlier this month.

    “The discussion of guns in churches came up,” she said. “Should we have guns in churches, if people carry guns should they bring them to church?”

    She said one of the parishioners mentioned that he carries his pistol with him everywhere.

    The man produced the handgun from his pocket, removed the magazine, and handed it to other churchgoers to inspect.

    He then took his weapon back, restored the magazine, holstered the weapon and put it back in his pocket, Mistin said.

    Another parishioner later asked to see the weapon.

    The man produced the gun and accidentally pulled the trigger.

    The bullet hit the gun-owner in the right hand before piercing his wife’s abdomen and exiting through her right forearm, ricocheting off the wall and landing by her wheelchair, according to police.

    Mistin said the man may have lost his thumb.

    His wife is in surgery, but is expected to survive.

    Tellico Plains Police Department Chief Russ Parks said no one else was injured and no charges will be filed.

    That is the difference between gun law in the USA and gun law in England!

    In England he would not have been carrying a loaded gun in a holster in a pocket everywhere, BECAUSE HE WOULD HAVE PREVIOUSLY BEEN ARRESTED FOR CARRYING A LOADED GUN IN A PUBLIC PLACE, so the incident would never have arisen.
    In England gun licences are issued according to the owners legitimate need for them, (such as farmers needing shotguns to shoot pests), and when authorised, MUST be securely kept in a locked case! – especially in public places!

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  • I see that after a string of denials, gun issues are so far out of hand that SOME action is even coming from the trump Administration! –
    Probably too little too late, and largely cosmetic!

    US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered a thorough review of the FBI database used to check the backgrounds of people who want to buy guns.

    The review will assess how key information about the gunman who carried out a mass shooting at a church in Texas on 6 November was apparently not registered.

    Mr Sessions said it was “unacceptable” that this may have been the case.

    Twenty-six people were killed and 20 wounded in the Texas shooting.

    That incident came just a month after a gunman in Las Vegas opened fire on an outdoor music festival, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds in the deadliest mass shooting in recent US history.

    Mr Sessions called for clarity from federal agencies in cases where people had lied on their gun-purchase applications.

    Now there’s a novelty in the Trump Administration! – A suggestion that liars should be challenged! 🙂

    Mr Sessions says that he wants to ensure that people who are prohibited from purchasing firearms are prevented from doing so

    Hey! Real effective administration???? – Even more novel concepts!

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  • Meanwhile in one of those “NICE” countries not on Trump’s anti-immigration list – the “religion of peace” is at work again! :-

    Suspected militants have launched a bomb and gun attack on a mosque in Egypt’s North Sinai province, killing at least 184 people, state media say.

    Witnesses say the al-Rawda mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed, near al-Arish, was targeted during Friday prayers.

    Local police said men in four off-road vehicles opened fire on worshippers, AP reported.

    Egypt has been fighting an Islamist insurgency in the region, which has intensified since 2013.

    There have been regular attacks blamed on militants on the Sinai peninsula, but this is the deadliest assault of its kind.

    Pictures from the scene show rows of bloodied victims inside the mosque. At least 125 people were also wounded, reports say.

    One report said the target appeared to be supporters of the security forces who were praying at the mosque.

    Locals are also quoted as saying that followers of Sufism, or Islamic mysticism, regularly gathered at the mosque.

    Islamist jihadist groups, including so-called Islamic State (IS), see Sufis as heretics.

    Ah! Followers of the same prophet but the wrong version of a god-delusion! (Heresy means WAR – or through the cognitive dissonance of interpretation through the blinkers of “faith” – “love, peace and righteous salvation”!)

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