In his Aug. 18 op-ed, Bill Connor posits that a “loss of (Christian) values” is the #1 reason for the rampant mass shootings in our country. However, I have to wonder if truthfulness is still one of those Christian values.

Inflaming racial tensions

You see, Connor bases his main premise on the “fact” that 26 of the last 27 mass shooters were raised in households with no father present. This “fact” was part of a FOX News report, which was definitively disproven by multiple non-partisan fact-checking groups.

So the basis for Connor’s entire article is a lie. In fact, doing some checking, it appears that in the cases of 25 mass shootings since 2009 only 6 perpetrators did not have a father in the home during their formative years. More significant is that in 11 of the 25 shootings, the perpetrators were aligned with right-wing hate groups. In the other cases, mental illness and person/job-related motives were cited (although there are still a few in which a motive is yet to be determined).

Trump is panicking

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Lack of a father figure is not the predominant cause of mass shootings in America — nor is mental illness, nor hate groups, nor lack of biblical teaching or prayer in public schools. Other Western nations have high divorce rates (and fatherless homes), and mental illness; they also have hate groups, and don’t allow religious teaching in public schools. What they do not have is easy access to assault weapons.

Age will be an issue

We do have a “values” problem in this country today. It is evident when blatantly false data is used to undergird “Christian values” arguments. It is even more evident as millions of fundamentalist Christians idolize a president who lies an average of 70% of the time, who locks people in cages for daring to flee violence, who actively encourages the destruction of the environment and who has sold personal safety to the retain the political support of the NRA.

We need common-sense solutions to the problem of mass shootings today. Common sense that looks at facts, not fairy tales, and takes actions that protect us all.

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The Rev. Rick Mason is from Orangeburg.


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