Bill Patchett’s 9/25 letter “Evil Does not obey laws” is a denial of reality.
For starters, it asserts that the government wants to “take away the guns of everybody.” That’s a lie: Nothing like that has ever been remotely suggested. Not ever.
The letter contains some rather twisted logic. It claims “evil people will never obey laws” so “we will always have mass killings,” so let’s not pass any gun laws; after all, those laws will only burden the “law abiding citizens.” Such slipshod reasoning suggests “People will always rape, so let’s not pass any laws against rape because outlawing rape burdens non-rapists.” That’s absurd.
The letter then falsely claims we “need to turn to God.” Really? Last year in the hyper-religious USA, there were 17,284 murders. In atheist-majority Norway, there were 25 murders. Clearly, religion is not the answer for gun violence. In fact, it seems to increase it.
According to the UN’s Human Development Index, the top 10 best nations are Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. They have the highest life expectancy, adult literacy, health care, per capita income, educational attainment and gender equality, and they have the lowest homicide rates, infant mortality and crime rates. They are also the most charitable, giving the highest percentage of their wealth to their social welfare programs and aid to developing nations. Those nations are the least religious in the world; most of them are majority atheist.
The 50 nations ranked lowest are unwaveringly religious. The USA is uniquely hyper-religious. And yet the USA has the highest rates of homicide, teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, infant mortality and maternal mortality. It also fails to give enough funding to social welfare programs and foreign aid and has the highest incarceration rates on earth.
The USA is majority Christian, and the Netherlands is majority atheist. Yet the rate of gonorrhea among American teens is 70 times higher than their peers in the Netherlands, where former churches are being beneficially repurposed as bars and apartments. The USA’s glaring failure here is caused by teaching “abstinence only” sex education.
Within the USA, the same findings apply: Red “Bible Belt” states have the highest rates of poverty, teen pregnancies, crime and STDs, and the lowest education and adult literacy.
Want to lower our murder rate? Either ban assault rifles or eliminate religion.