KINGDOM OF HEAVEN, ETERNITY — At a press conference held outside the Pearly Gates truck stop on Highway Infinity in the Kingdom of Heaven, Larry “God” Schumway told heavenly reporters that he is unable to solve the American gun violence crisis on Planet Earth, and he gave the holy press a message to take back to Americans.
“There are so many people being shot in your country now,” God told reporters, “that if all I did was focus on that one issue, nothing else in the known and unknown universe would get done, and y’all I got some shit to do.” God said that “just keeping the lights on is hard enough work” because astrophysics “may be something you all can learn about and understand” but he has to “literally make astrophysics happen.” Mr. Schumway also listed “keeping Israel from being stupid and launching a full-scale nuclear war against Iran” is also something that takes up a lot of his time.
Reporters asked God what Americans can or even should do to stem the rising tide of mass shootings that the FBI noted in late 2014, or to help stop the flow of guns into the black market that allows for there to be so many guns in one country. “For starters, they can do something like instead of praying for me to do something about an issue you all have the power to fix,” Mr. God said, “fixing it their damn selves.” When pushed for an example, God said that legislation would be something he’d try.
“Look, I’m too busy to stop all the gun violence in America,” God told reporters and added, “try some new laws.” Some in the press pool asked if gun laws can really prevent or stop all murder, and God dismissed those questions as “irrelevant” because according to God, “you don’t write laws to try and stop a human behavior cold” but rather he said, “you write laws to punish people for breaking rules society has deemed necessary and you write laws to hopefully deter others once they see the punishment for breaking the laws.” He further reiterated his point by saying that “laws are only supposed to reduce the bad or unacceptable behavior, not stop them from ever happening.”
God said “it’s not rocket science how laws are supposed to work.” He said that “when [he] gave Moses the Ten Commandments [he] never expected that all murder, adultery, lying and being shitty to your neighbor would stop magically.” God said he put rules against those types of behavior in place “to protect as many people as possible” once he “saw the need to instruct humans how to be less shitty to each other.” He said he couldn’t understand why “everyone all of a sudden thinks if a law doesn’t completely stop something from happening that it’s a bad law.”
“I wouldn’t abolish anti-rape laws because Rape Free Zones are where rapes happen,” God said, clearly chiding those who support the idea that so-called gun free zones — places where there is a clear demand that visitors not bring firearms to — being a major factor in mass shootings. “The fact of the matter is that in America you have a very uniquely American problem of gun violence and the related phenomenon of mass shootings,” God said, “and to not do anything about that problem based on some idealistic notion of liberty that isn’t really all that free anyway is just sad if you ask me.”
“Most mass shooting events happen within private homes,” God said, “look the numbers up for yourselves. That’s real. So it ain’t gun free zones that are killing people. It’s people with guns using guns the way they were intended to be used. The solution isn’t that hard to find. You don’t confiscate, you regulate, and there is a big and important distinction between those two ideas.” He went on to describe the difference as confiscation “amounting to rights subversion” and regulation being “more like rights limitation,” which he said all adults realize you need to do so “you don’t live in a consequence-free universe.”
One thing God cautioned Americans against doing was presuming that mentally-ill people are more dangerous to society at large. “People want to blame the mentally ill for this kind of shit,” God said, “but uh, guys, there are far more people with mental illnesses out there than you realize — it’s a byproduct of my brain engineering software unfortunately — but the point is that as many mentally-ill people as are out there, if that was the deciding factor in multiple killings, they’d be happening a hell of a lot more, wouldn’t they?” After a beat, he added, “Also — how fucking shitty of you to imply that because someone is depressed or suicidal they’re more likely to hurt anyone other than themselves.”
“Here’s what I will say about gun violence in America,” God said as he was ending the press conference, “it’s not something that can be fixed in one, two, or maybe even three generations.” However, God said, “That doesn’t mean you all shouldn’t try to do everything you can in your time. Yon’t rid your body of cancer by ignoring it. You don’t clean up after a flood with more water. You try to do the best you can to fix what you think you can and you keep doing it. Maybe the number of people dying in mass murders is a relatively, statistically small amount of people, but frankly I’m offended that anyone would use that as an excuse to not do anything about them.”
“Who is going to tell the victims of these tragedies — that are just getting more and more frequent now — that their government and indeed their fellow Americans won’t lift a finger to try and keep someone else from feeling the same pain,” God asked rhetorically, adding, “It’s just disgusting that people would think that you should ever give up trying to reduce the number of times that more than three body bags are needed at the scene of a crime that involved a gun. Cruelty is very unbecoming, and a cruel lack of empathy for victims of senseless murder is just downright disgusting.”
“And not at all Christian,” God said as he left the podium.