The leading Baptist pastor in Dallas, Robert Jeffress, and member of President Trump’s informal Evangelical advisory council, told Fox News that no law could have prevented the murder of 26 First Baptist Church attendants in Sutherland Springs, Texas, because the problem is evil, not guns.
I think President Trump said it earlier tonight, the reason is evil. Some people get nervous using the word evil [because] they think it’s theological. Well, it is, but it’s also true. You know we’re hearing calls for gun legislation in light of what’s happened. Look, the problem with this shooter is not the weapon that was in his hand, it’s the evil that was in his heart. And no legislation is going to eradicate that.
He also emphasized that churches, no matter how large or small, need security plans in place to protect their congregants. Meaning, churches need guns for protection.
Devin Kelley, the Sutherland Springs killer, shouldn’t by law have been able to purchase the Ruger AR-556 rifle with which he killed 26 people on Sunday. Kelley lied on a form he filled out at an Academy Sports when purchasing the rifle, and the Air Force, which had given him a Bad Conduct Discharge for physically abusing his wife and child, the latter so violently as to crack the poor toddler’s skull, failed to tag him in a national database.
Focusing on gun control as a means of stopping a killer like Kelley is, as the pastor understands, a mistake. Mass shootings are a moral and cultural problem, not a legislative one.
But for Jeffress to publicly recognize this and call for an accurate solution to the problem makes him “intolerant,” and “judgemental” in the eyes of our media and pop-culture betters. That’s not quite as unfortunate and disconcerting as the inexplicable horror Kelley visited on the unfortunate congregation to which his former mother-in-law belongs, but it’s unacceptable nonetheless.