Republicans “Own” Every Child Killed by a Gun and their Weeping Parents

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Add blind support for 30-round ammunition clips, military assault rifles and ownership of semiautomatic weapons, no-background-check gun shows and “right to carry” laws — including the right to carry in schools — to the list of recent Republican Party suicide notes. And to think: I once belonged to the Republican Party, helped marry it to the religious right as I describe in my book Crazy For God, and I’m white, male, 60-years-old and own a gun. I have a son who served in the Marines in Afghanistan and Iraq. And I’m proud of his service. So I should be a perfect NRA clone, right?


And therein lies the desolation of the Republican Party’s future: They are going to lose many more of their very own through their combination with obstinate extremism and plain stupidity. I mean who wants to defend shooting toddlers as a constitutional right?

Who wants to “own” the pictures of weeping mothers?

The Republican Party does. As if killing themselves with anti-gay marriage homophobia, hatred of Hispanics (masquerading as anti-“illegal” immigrant initiatives) anti-women misogyny (flying under the banner of preventing women from getting contraceptives) and anti-science fundamentalist religion forced into schools wasn’t enough…


This is the new Republican Party “winning” platform? Good luck with that!

All that will be left of the Republican Party are the dregs. The rest of us like me are long gone and this post-child-massacre renewed support for murder called “gun rights” is about to drive the few sane moderates from the fold. And to think they had a chance here to rethink their gun rights position and modify it!

Fat chance. The Republicans seem incapable of keeping up with the times. They just passed up a hell-sent chance to moderate their opinions. They passed it up, just as Romney passed up his chance to win women back by not publicly blasting Rush Limbaugh when he called a young woman a “whore” for standing up for her reproductive rights re contraception.

Mark this day as a turning point.

Just as the Republicans now own racism in America (after their irrational and failed and amazing anti-president Obama hyperbole, from the Tea Party to the “birthers”) and just as the Republican Party now owns anti-immigrant legislative initiatives… and just as the Republican Party has alienated just about every thinking educated woman in America… now they cleverly are gearing up to further be seen empowering a mass murder “craze.”

Also by Frank: Mass Killing is Our Idea of Patriotism

As Republicans oppose president Obama’s attempt to rein in the most insane and permissive gun laws in the world – which allow everything from multiple military style types of ammunition to “cop killing” bullets designed to pierce body armor, the “right to carry” laws bordering on the humorous if they weren’t so lethal including the right to carry into churches, schools, public parks and God knows what else – now they have once again sought the lowest common denominator position this time on killing children. And that leaves them vulnerable to excruciating exposure to their well-earned title as today’s political Neanderthals.

As the New York Times noted:

While the death of 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday appears to have persuaded some Democratic lawmakers to support new gun control measures, there has been little indication that Republicans who control the House — and are in a standoff with Mr. Obama over taxes — are willing to accept such restrictions.


House Democrats urged Speaker John A. Boehner on Wednesday to bring a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines to a vote by Saturday — a step he is highly unlikely to take.

Brave New Films


Representative Jim Jordan, Republican of Ohio, an influential conservative leader, said in a statement that “it is clear that criminals will always find ways to acquire weapons and use them to commit acts of violence.”


“Passing more restrictions on law-abiding citizens will not deter this type of crime,” he said.


This week, Representative Steve King, Republican of Iowa told an Iowa radio station, KSCJ, that… “We all had our cap pistols when I was growing up, and that didn’t seem to cause mass murders in the street.”

The Republicans are going to have to trade in their symbol of the elephant for a new logo: the dinosaur. Maybe the dinosaur should be carrying an assault rifle.

The Republicans have aligned themselves with billionaires against the rest of us. Now they are about to embrace the defending the murder of children and trivializing it with talk of “cap pistols.” That’s the moral equivalant of the talk about rape that derailed the fools running in the last election cycle.

Related: Sandy Hook and the Tearing Asunder of Evangelical Christianity by Joshua D. Ambrosius

Republican “God intended rape” … “We all had cap gun” fools: It’s a trend.

The Old Male White Constituency of Republicans just got smaller. There are many white males, even plenty of uneducated gun owning white males, who love their children more than they love some weirdly stretched loyalty to the Second Amendment or even Fox News.

I say weirdly stretched because no serious student of American history (even old white guys like me) believes that the right to carry an assault weapon in public, or to carry a concealed semiautomatic pistol in a church, or to own vast quantities of military style cop-killing weapons — including grenade launchers — is what our founders had in mind by a well regulated militia.

So the Republicans have once again shown their unerring genius for choosing a lose/lose position.

Republicans will have to get even more used to losing. And those losses will no doubt give some aging white males even more paranoid fact-free “reasons” to cling to their guns and thereby to facilitate the killers of children. This is the price of right wing delusional freedom. It is a kind of “freedom” that looks more like madness with every child being buried this week.

Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.

Photo Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

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About the Author

Frank Schaeffer

Frank SchaefferFrank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book -- And God Said, "Billy!" exploring the roots of American religious delusion, and offering another way to approach true spirituality, is on KindleiBook and NOOK for $3.99, and in paperback. Follow Frank Schaeffer on Twitter: all posts by Frank Schaeffer →

  • Frank

    What a sad, sad man this is. Even more disturbing is his words work against the very thing he hopes to accomplish. Frank some deep prayerful introspection would works wonders for you I think. And for your causes. Lets see how wise you really are….

  • His disgusting broad-brush is enormous… Interesting how these elitist white 60 year old “progressive” males have said nothing for years when black babies get killed in Chicago @ about 100 every 2 months… But how dare some nutcase go into a new white-bread community and shoot up the Caucasians. When that happens let’s blame the republicans….

    • Frank

      Indeed children are shot daily but it takes an upper middle class tragedy to get people’s attention. And then idiots blame politics. How shameful.

    • 21st C. Episcopalian

      Yes, Dennis is right. Hypocrisy and self-righteousness are rampant, even epidemic, within American “progressivism”. And if you look to its core, you’ll see that hardcore Progressives are the new Pharisees.

      They think the Fundies are the new Pharisees, but the Progressives are the one making public show of goodness and patting themselves on the back that they are “not like those sinners, the conservatives”. Blind hypocricy.

      • 21st C. Episcopalian

        Disclaimer: GOP is totally off the rails too. Not a fan.

        • I agree

        • Thank you for the disclaimer. We have Pharisees all over, from every political affiliation.

      • Evil prevails when good men stand idly by. When we allow evil to go on, it belongs to all of us, progressive or conservative. I have an increasingly strong sympathy for many progressive positions.

  • I. E.

    Nice article, makes sense to me. Can someone please explain to me why Frank’s statement below doesn’t make sense? “Just as the Republicans now own racism in America (after their irrational and failed and amazing anti-president Obama hyperbole, from the Tea Party to the “birthers”) and just as the Republican Party now owns anti-immigrant legislative initiatives… and just as the Republican Party has alienated just about every thinking educated woman in America… now they cleverly are gearing up to further be seen empowering a mass murder “craze.”

    • Frank

      The statement makes sense according to our English language but nothing about that statement is factual or insightful. In the Christmas spirit I won’t say what it really is.

      • I. E.

        Hi Frank, the one thing I would agree with you is that Frank Schaeffer writes with a lot of anger in his heart. Personally, I wouldn’t take that approach. You alienate and anger a lot of your audience which obstructs your message. But that’s his prerogative. However, It is interesting you say “…nothing about that statement is factual or insightful.” It was indeed insightful to the demographic that vote Obama for a second term. It is insightful to me and other registered independents who voted for Obama (but could vote for a Repulblican under the right scenario) because we know there is evil and good in both parties. It needs to be insightful to the Repulblican party if they want to win again in the future. I hope they take this advice to heart because I think some good can be done if the Democrates don’t win the house, senate and presidency all in the same time. Happy New Year.

  • Awesome. I have nothing to add.

    • Andy

      I’m glad you don’t have anything to add to nonsense like this.

  • NeartheEdge

    Refreshing. Thanks

    Republican party antics has been a source of laugh-out-loud entertainment and bewilderment in equal measures for these past 2 decades.

    • 22044

      And the Democratic party isn’t?!

      • NeartheEdge

        Frankly, compared to the GOP, the Democrats seem like saintly parents trying to negotiate with adolescent teenagers. I suppose you don’t have to care what we in the UK think about your internal politics but, from a Christian perspective, Evangelicals here are constantly having to apologise to our non believers for what the vast majority over here perceive as the utter insanity of virtually all things Republican, with Evangelicalism at the core. If it were the other way round I’d say exactly the same thing.

        Jesus, we know, is neither Republican or Democrat (Conservative or Labour over here) but the difference is that here, Evangelicals are more or less evenly spread between the two parties, while in the USA they’re virtually all within one party in the USA. I find that strange not to say a little disturbing.

        Comments I make on this site is more about an effort to learn from as well as inform my American brothers what the perception is from this side.

        • 22044

          Thanks for the reply.
          Here, a more accurate dichotomy, instead of Democrats vs. Republicans, is the powerful (i.e the rulers or officeholders) vs. the non-powerful (citizens who don’t hold any high elected office). Within each of the two groups there is a lot of common ground, although reporters & media often pursue a different, & frankly misleading, narrative. Among those who are citizens, conservatives & liberals frequently get along & live at peace with one another.
          Between the two groups, there is little common ground, and the rulers from any party are increasingly out of touch with those entrusted to their oversight. But many Christians here who lean left, as well as those who lean right, haven’t worked that out. They end up compromising their witness.

          • NeartheEdge

            Yes, the same forces are at work within British politics. Our political leaders likewise promise much but deliver what is almost always exclusively in the interest of the money-power elite.

            Just to be clear; are you saying I’m wrong to believe that Evangelicalism is mostly Republican in the US?

          • 22044

            I wouldn’t disagree with your last question, but many American churches lean left and that’s probably a poorly kept secret.
            My hope and opinion is that Evangelicalism should become apolitical. The churches that I think God blesses are those that prioritize the Gospel before a political agenda.

  • I like this piece, and I am enjoying Mr Schaeffer’s writing. I appreciate that he is angry with the current state of play, I enjoy the un-sanitized quality of his passion. Sometimes there is good reason to write angry. I’m not saying that I agree with everything he says, but I’m liking the way he says it. Not that this is about me :).
    He makes an interesting point about the more extreme positions of the GOP starting to alienate the more moderate conservatives. I wonder if there is either room for another conservative party to emerge, a third way. Alternatively, I wonder if a gentle shift to the right on a few key issues by the Democrats could leave the GOP highly vulnerable to scooping up the middle vote?
    Thank you for writing and sharing this.

    • Andy

      Jesus is far more “alienating” than that, David.

  • Drew

    This garbage should not be printed on a Christian website. I see nothing about Christ or Christianity, just raw, angry politics as usual. Frank never changed a bit; he merely switched his blind, angry allegiance from one party to another.

    For everyone who says they like this article, they need to take a look in the mirror. If this filth was written by a conservative about conservative topics, you would all be frothing-at-the-mouth. However, since it’s “your guy” and “your views,” the hate, anger, stereotypes, and hyperbole are all acceptable and even desirable. Ridiculous.

  • 22044

    Frank Schaeffer has jumped the shark.

  • Wow. This is terrible. Not a shred of Christianity in it. Tony Campolo should be ashamed to allow it on his website. Pathetic. Competely unfair and false. So sad to see the name Schaeffer attached to it. (So much respect for Francis Schaeffer.) Where are the “red letters” on the “red letter” website? NOW instead of going after true evil, you just demonize the Republican party? As if the Democratic party has one shred of righteousness as they support 4,000 abortions a day. That’s 4,000 murders a day, done again with chemicals, knives, and no guns. The truth isn’t pretty is it? This is my first time on RLC site. Does Tony read any of this stuff? Approve it all? Just a figure head? Can someone tell me?

    • Andy

      Yes, Campolo *should* be ashamed–but this is basically up his alley. Campolo’s turned into a false prophet, if you ask me. Not that he’s necessarily unsaved, but that much of his ideology and policy positions reflect leftism and liberalism, rather than the Bible. That makes him untrustworthy when pronouncing on social issues.

  • Albert J. Fergusson

    My head and heart hurt when I read this. Didn’t find the broad generalizations, accusations, blaming and anger helpful. Didn’t find it prophetic or unvarnished.

    I hope we can all own every child killed by a gun, look in our hearts to see what we are doing to promote violence, and work to bring more peace to the world in Christ’s name.

  • James

    I find it interesting how Frank Schaeffer points the finger at those on the right as being “hateful” while he writes some of the most hateful articles I have ever read.

    This whole movement is a complete disappointment. I fail to see any difference in this crowd from the “Christian Right”. Both sides wrap there own personal political opinions in the Bible and proclaim it as if it were on the same level of Biblical authority as the Incarnation or Trinity. And if anyone disagrees with this new political/religious orthodoxy they must be demonized and put in the same category as the first century heretics. The reality is the Bible says very little about how to govern. The New Testament is focused on a spiritual kingdom. Christianity should reflect this Biblical emphasis.

    • Drew


      Movements often end up nothing like the way they started. The Catholic Church started pure, and ended up so corrupt that Martin Luther led the Reformation. The Tea Party started pure, and now you see the Koch Brothers pouring in tens of millions of dollars in order to co-opt the movement.

      If you read RLC by Tony Campolo, you will understand the purity of the intent of the movement. However, as you point out, the movement as of today is a disappointment. Tony has allowed the movement to be hijacked. Originally it was by Evangelicals, for Evangelicals, to push back against the Evangelical community that was in bed with the Political Right. Now, it is a movement by Liberals, against all Conservative Christians (politically or theologically), to push back against anything they deem “conservative.”

      It’s one thing for Tony Campolo, an Evangelical, to gently rebuke other Evangelicals, It is a wholly different thing for jaded ex-Evangelicals to completely flame Evangelicals.

      • James

        Interesting, Drew. You know, I was at Urbana 87 as a student at U of I when Tony Campolo gave the final missions plea to thousands of young evangelicals. I just recently youtubed him 26 years later and watched part of his speech. I came across this site and was shocked at some of the articles. At Urbana 87 Tony admonished us;

        “I want a church that changes the world not from a position of power but from a position of love and commitment…I believe that we have to change the world but the weapons of the church are not the weapons of the world. We have another style, another way; it’s loving servanthood. It’s giving ourselves. It’s moving in. It’s caring. It’s loving. It’s redeeming, not destroying. Ah, we have to change.”

        You are right. Many of the blog posts here do not reflect what Tony communicated that day.

        • Drew

          The longer you’ve been at this website, the more you have seen it change. Either Tony is so far removed from the workings of this website that he does not notice what the website is printing, or Tony wants to generate hits and revenue to further the movement.

  • SamHamilton

    Please…Tony, make it stop! Enough with the rants. Schaeffer doesn’t have to prove to us he’s moved on from the religious right. We get it. He’s upset with himself. He doesn’t like his former self.

    Most of us go through a rebellious period in our life, when we realize not everything is as we once thought. This is normal. Thankfully, most of us get it out of our systems in our teens or twenties and aren’t provided a forum on the internet to vent.

    For his benefit, help him move on from moving on.

  • Frankie’s use of the verb “own” is not only inane and ludicrous semantics but it is theological heresy. Prima facie he is saying that an entire political party becomes the slave master of every dead and deceased child killed by a gun NOT owned by any of the party in question and of their grieving parents.


    CLUE Frankie: Slavery ended well over a hundred years ago. No one owns another any more than someone sitting in his or her home having a bowel movement is responsible for the lawless criminal 793 miles away who shoots a child in a school NOT guarded by armed security like Barack Hussein Obama’s, Rahm “Rahmbo” Emanuel’s, and David “BIG AMMO CLIP” Gregory’s children.

    It must be maddening to be the prodigal son of the Great and Godly Francis Schaeffer from under whose shadow Frankie just can not seem to extricate himself.

    God have mercy upon him.

  • Sign the White House Petition against David “BIG AMMO CLIP” Gregory for violating the law of the land:

    Press charges against David Gregory for possession of a 30-round, high capacity assault rifle magazine in Washington D.C

    David Gregory is not above the law; he is a journalist, and must be held accountable to the same law as every other person.

    DC High Capacity Ammunition Magazines – D.C. Official Code 7-2506.01

    (b) No person in the District shall possess, sell, or transfer any large capacity ammunition feeding device regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm. For the purposes of this subsection, the term large capacity ammunition feeding device means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device that has a capacity of, or that can be readily restored or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

    We The People demand that he be formally charged for violation of this law on “Meet The Press.”

    Created: Dec 23, 2012

  • Connecticut Mom

    Thank you Mr. Schaeffer, I agree with every word, and so do the majority of Americans, and probably the majority of American Christians (at least on the gun safety measure)

  • Andy

    Thoroughly disgusting. Frank’s dad must weep for him from Heaven. All this is, is Leftianity parading as wisdom from on high, and castigating Republicans for having different ideas about justice and morality. Frank apparently believes that Republicans would win over more Americans–if only the Reps became clones of the Democrats.

    • Val

      No one weeps in Heaven. So no, Frank’s Dad doesn’t weep there.

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