The NRA says guns don’t kill people. The fact that they’re careful to disable all of the guns at their public events makes me suspicious of this claim, but maybe I’m just a cynic at heart

Even so, in a very limited way I can empathize with their argument. After all, I’m always having to tell people Satan doesn’t kill anyone either.

Some NRA types do indeed want to credit gun violence to the devil himself, thus taking the heat off of those who pack actual heat. And some Satanists get pretty heated about keeping their shooting irons hot themselves.

And just like with everything else, the devil’s alleged predilections are always suspiciously convenient for our own prejudices.


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“Don’t worry, it’s not a public display of affection if everyone else is dead.”

The way I see it, a gun is a lot like religious devotion: useful if you happen to be right about a series of key assumptions, but hazardous if you’re not.

Which is why I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Christian America treats its guns as articles of faith. This despite the fact that no less a theocratic far-right wingnut as Rob Schenck considers gunplay ungodly.

“You watch what you drink, what relationships you pursue, the words you employ,” Schenck told TIME after the Parkland shooting. “But [owning guns] is an exception to all the rules.”

But other fundies like to slice the salami a bit thinner, crediting god for guns but Satan for shootings, for all the sense that makes. As Fox News’ part-time Chicken Little impersonator Todd Starnes wrote of the Parkland, Florida shooting:

“They kicked god out of public schools, and the Devil smiled. What happened in Parkland is about a war with the forces of darkness. Our land is wounded, but we have turned our backs on the one who promised to heal.”

That’s probably not an Obamacare reference in the last sentence, but allow me the comfort of that ambiguity.

Note that the Church of Satan makes a big point of backing easy gun access too. “We consider gun control proposals a pious ploy by those ignorant of the realities of the world,” a Church newsletter from 1975 reads. These days an algorithm could produce that kind of Church policy statement.

It’s weird that the Church made this statement in response to “queries concerning its official position” on gun law, though. After all, the Church of Satan is not supposed to HAVE official positions.


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“Of course we’re apolitical. Unless you put a gun to our heads.”

“One’s politics are up to each individual member, and most of our members are political pragmatists,” Peter Gilmore wrote in 1999. Unless those politics are about guns, it seems.

Satanic witch blogger Isobel Gowdy noted this inconsistency on Twitter. The result: She got the brush off straight from the Church pulpit. Guess getting the old goat’s goat is still easier than he’d like to let on.

So it seems second thoughts RE: the second amendment can get almost anybody to take a contradictory position on their religious principles. Fundies and infernalists alike are equally quick to jump the gun.

Well, here’s what I believe: That our best science indicates that having a gun around is more dangerous than not having one.

That the struggle for justice should prevail over laws and institutions.

And that compassion, wisdom, and justice should prevail over written words.

I also believe that Satanism should be about action.  That’s why last Thursday, Satanic San Francisco sent a little surprise in the mail to 267 members of Congress noted for their NRA support.

It’s an Ivy-league style admissions letter congratulating the reps on their early acceptance to Hell. Our friend Medea wrote it. It speaks for itself.

Folks will still argue whether gun control is smart policy or not. For my part, I’m satisfied that our action remains consistent with our ideals.

That’s not necessarily all there is to a complex and difficult issue like this. But sweet Ba’al, it’s something. And something that seems to very often elude our contemporaries.


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Sooner or later we all end up in the same boat.