Caught any red herrings lately? I doubt it. That's because a "red herring" isn't a fish. You actually catch most red herrings in the media, not a lake.
A "red herring" is a phrase that defines a falsehood or an irrelevant point into an argument, discussion or plot that results in a bait and switch and totally off the mark conclusion.
Red herrings are often found in murder mysteries and suspense novels or movies. In days of old, detective stories like Matlock or Colombo had red herrings that kept the audience in suspense till the very end with misleading hints and innuendoes.
Today, "gun control" is perhaps the biggest red herring flopping out there.
After nearly every act of heinous violence, such as the most recent Parkland, Florida, shooting, the mainstream media and the progressive pundits and politicians immediately scream "gun control"
But no so fast, says Dr. Peter Jones of the Truth Xchange. He recently wrote, “Claiming that guns are the cause of violence merely shows the vacuous logic and moral ineptitude of contemporary Western thinking in its attempt to silence a genuine sense of good and evil and falsely vilify the opposition.”
What Dr. Jones is pointing out is the red herring in the constant cry for more gun control. Firearms haven’t changed very much in 100 years, but people sure have. After doing some rudimentary research, I discovered that the first school shooting in North America took place on July 26, 1764, in Greencastle, Pennsylvania. Four Delaware Indians burst into the Enoch Brown School and shot schoolmaster Enoch Brown to death and proceeded to chop nine children to death.
Fast forward to the mass shooting at Pearl High School on October 1, 1997. From that point forward, with each and every tragic school shooting, the media and politicians have screamed louder and louder for gun control. Never mind that Dr. Jones’s point is absolutely correct. No firearm, from the Enoch Brown shooting in 1764 to Parkland, Florida, in 2018, has walked in by itself and taken the lives of innocent people.
There are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of semi-automatic weapons with high-capacity magazines all around the world and here in the United States. While every shooting death, not just school shootings, is tragic and nearly always avoidable, the percentage of firearms used in such crimes is miniscule compared to the number of firearms privately owned. In so many cases, the individuals involved in these shootings had mental issues or criminal backgrounds.
The constant cries for gun control, banning assault rifles, etc. are a huge red herring. While school shootings and student and faculty deaths break all our hearts, we must not lose our ability to think and reason. Consider the fact that from 2013-1016, just four years, there were 1,849 murders with firearms in Chicago, Illinois, alone. When have you ever heard any media outlet or politician decrying such horrific statistics? When have you heard any call for gun control? The reason is that Chicago already has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation.
What we need in this control is to stop the fishing expeditions focused on red herrings. We need to focus on effective policing and the enforcement of laws already on the books. We need to put criminals away, not the firearms of law-abiding citizens. We need to take steps to protect our schools like we do our airports and halls of government.
Let’s focus on doing a better job at all levels of law enforcement and get help for those with mental problems. We must not keep fishing for red herrings while predators hunt us in our schools and darkened streets.
Believing that we are being conned into focusing on gun control by red herrings rather than taking positive steps to deal with criminal and mental health, protecting our children like we protect other venues, may be a long shot for some of you, but…whatever you do, don’t be afraid to go with the long shots. Live life to its fullest every moment and be ready!
Rev. Richard Wiman is the pastor of First
Presbyterian Church in Belzoni and an
accomplished, much-published writer.