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News Opinion Readers Respond

Shootings are God's will, Godlessness or other?

In an interview with Fox News hours before the Aurora gun massacre, George Zimmerman, who stands accused of fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, said that the young man's death was "God's plan." Hours after James Holmes used three guns, including a semiautomatic rifle, to commit mass murder at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater, Republican Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert blamed gun violence on an "ongoing attacks on Judeo-Christian beliefs."

George Zimmerman invokes God to justify the shooting of an unarmed man, and Mr. Gohmert blames Godlessness in a country where more than 90 percent of Americans, according to Gallup, believe in a higher power, compared to just 37 percent in Great Britain and 25 percent in Japan. In 2009, the United States had 9,146 homicides by firearm. In 2011 there were 51 gun deaths in Great Britain (where only 16 percent of residents surveyed are certain of God's existence) and 11 in Japan (4.3 percent are certain of God's existence).

Of course, there is no connection between Godlessness and the ease with which a mentally deranged person can amass a 6,000-round arsenal for the sole purpose of slaughtering innocent people. The only good that can come out of this tragedy is an civil and honest national conversation about why Americans kill more people with guns that the rest of the industrialized world combined.

Andrew Frank, Baltimore

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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