Gun Control

Right and Left React to the Church Massacre in Texas

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The political news cycle is fast, and keeping up can be overwhelming. Trying to find differing perspectives worth your time is even harder. That’s why we have scoured the internet for political writing from the right and left that you might not have seen.

Has this series exposed you to new ideas? Tell us how. Email us at ourpicks@nytimes.com.

For an archive of all the Partisan Writing Roundups, check out Our Picks.

From the Right

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A man prayed in the parking lot of a service station across the street from the scene of the church massacre. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

Hans Fiene in The Federalist:

“For those with little understanding of and less regard for the Christian faith, there may be no greater image of prayer’s futility than Christians being gunned down mid-supplication. But for those familiar with the Bible’s promises concerning prayer and violence, nothing could be further from the truth.”

Mr. Fiene criticizes those on the left who say that instead of “thoughts and prayers” the nation needs stricter gun control rules. More specifically, Mr. Fiene, a Lutheran pastor, explains how secular progressives might miss the comfort Christians gain through prayer, even in tragic times. Read more »

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Jacob Sullum in Reason:

“The problem was not the absence of a background check but the inadequacy of the background check that was performed.”

Mr. Sullum, writing for the libertarian Reason magazine, points out that both Devin Kelley, whom the police identified as the gunman in the mass shooting in Texas, and Dylan S. Roof, who was found guilty last year of killing nine parishioners in South Carolina, slipped through a system of background checks meant to prevent them from buying firearms. The problem, he points out, is not the lack of screening, but the efficacy of the system. Read more »

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David French in National Review:

“The sad and terrifying fact is that no one has a reliable answer for evil men who want to commit mass murder. And when no one has the answers, isn’t that exactly the time to pray?”

When confronted with an incomprehensible evil like the shooting in Texas, Mr. French writes, prayer is not only rational, but it is also effective. Especially if you are someone who believes “that God intervenes in the affairs of men.” Read more »

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From the Left

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The scene on Monday outside the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Tex. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times

David Faris in The Week:

“Congratulations, America, by the way, on so incompetently responding to your epidemic of gun violence that you need to invent subcategories to rank your most catastrophic acts of mass casualty gun violence.”

Americans have become so used to mass shootings that the national response to such events has become depressingly rote, Mr. Faris writes. The left will call for stricter gun control while the right will offer condolences to the victims while standing behind Second Amendment protections, and soon enough, the country will move on. He points out that “only when we reckon with the human costs of our indifference and decide to act” will this familiar cycle end. But this day, to Mr. Faris, seems far away. Read more »

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Wendy Pettit

Wendy Pettit is a writer for NYT and writes for other publications on her spare time. She lives in Chicago with her husband and her dog Zuko.

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