People misunderstand what we say all the time. It is a condition that has worsened over time. The problem is sometimes chalked up to a lack of listening and/or not really reading what is written. We have lost the art of reading comprehension in our age. Most kids are taught not to read but to skim to get the idea of what is being related in the thing written—and this is fine if you are reading a work of fiction for a college course, but outside of that, it deteriorates our comprehension. And one would hope that this is the case of Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey’s Facebook post.
Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey responded to the mass shooting at an Oregon community college in a Facebook post Friday saying that “fellow Christians” should consider getting a handgun carry permit to protect themselves.
This sounds like good advice, especially in the wake of recent events. Christians are being targeted, and the Lt. Governor is pointing out the need for Christians to defend themselves. It is a no brainer when we recognize that you are less likely to be a victim if you are able to shoot back.
“I would encourage my fellow Christians who are serious about their faith to think about getting a handgun carry permit,” Ramsey wrote. “I have always believed that it is better to have a gun and not need it than to need a gun and not have it. Our enemies are armed. We must do likewise.”
This seems to be sound wisdom from the Lt. Governor. Ramsey has seen the trend and has come to the correct conclusion: people wish to hurt and kill Christians. His advice, then, is for those Christians to be ready to protect themselves and those around them. But not everyone sees his comments as being good.
Democratic state Rep. John Ray Clemmons of Nashville said in a statement Ramsey’s comments “reek of fear mongering and religious crusading.”
“There is an eerie absence of logic in his statement that ties one’s Christian faith to firearms ownership that is offensive to all religions,” Clemmons said. “Senator Ramsey is essentially saying that we should all run out and get a handgun carry permit to prove how serious we are about our Christian faith.”
Mr. Clemmons has proven my point on the reading comprehension. What purpose would the Lt. Governor have for fearmongering? Does Ramsey have stock in a certain gun company? Is he getting funding or campaign money from the gun industry? You see, if you do not have this information, it is difficult to come to the conclusion that Clemmons does.
As to the second statement, the problem is not reading comprehension. I believe that Clemmons is actually relying on poor reading comprehension. I say this because Ramsey does not in any way put up gun permits or gun ownership as a test of faith. If this is what Clemmons understood from what Ramsey wrote, then I am surprised he got through 8th grade.
What Ramsey said was that if you live out your faith and it is important to you, you might want to think about getting a carry permit and carrying—not because this proves you’re a Christian, but because taking your faith seriously might make you a target. But we all know this is not why Clemmons responded this way.
Clemmons was trying to score a political point. He wanted to disgrace the Lt. Governor of his state and, therefore, twisted his words. It was malicious and nefarious. But, if anyone has half a brain, they can see that it only made him look stupid. Hopeful Tennesseans will see the foolishness in Clemmons’ statement and treat at the polls accordingly.