Forget what you know about mental illness.

Forget what you know about America’s singular belief that guns are the one and only solution to so many of our problems — from how we combat crime to how we conduct our foreign policy.

Forget how guns are as essential to the stories that you watch on the small or big screen as dialogue, plot, and characters to cheer or jeer.

Because Erick Erickson knows what, or who, is to blame for yesterday’s tragic mass murder in Newtown: Satan.

Now, Erickson, editor of the conservative website RedState, never specifically mentions the devil by name, but make no mistake, that is who the RedStater believes is behind the bloodbath at Sandy Hook Elementary.

Erickson writes:

Our nation once shared a God who we all prayed to. Increasingly, the loudest voices in the nation are hostile to that God and those who worship him. The conversation at times of evil is immediately drown out by political opportunists seeking to drive their agenda. The news channels meditate on the nature of gun violence and gun restrictions or what other restrictions or laws can ever be used.

We do that, in part, because in times of helplessness it makes us feel like we can do something.

But we can do nothing in the face of evil until we confront evil itself.

The tragedy unfolding today is not an act of the insane, but an act of evil. That evil may drive the shooter insane, but in focusing on the insanity we lose focus on the evil.

There is really real good and there is really real evil in the world. Each time I have written that here on this site a vocal group of secularists and atheists have loudly chimed in to ridicule me for doing so.

They’ll do so again. But in this small window America has a real moment to assess why it is that it is careening out of control morally and socially. In that small window, instead of discussing the politics or the laws, we should discuss the evil and the good and the God from whom we have, as a nation. drifted so far.

Erickson, of course, is wrong. This has nothing to do with God or Satan. It has everything to do with an even more powerful force: the NRA.

I ask you to think for moment and imagine the scene at Sandy Hook Elementary. I want you to think of the weapons involved. The man who murdered the 20 children and 6 adults at Sandy Hook didn’t simply point his gun, pull the trigger, and somehow magically they fell down dead like a nameless Stormtrooper.

The gun is a powerful and devastating weapon. It is not a magic wand. It’s wounds are not those of a scalpel, clean and precise. It’s destructive powers are clumsy and careless and cruel. And it’s this ability to take another’s life in the simplest manner possible that NRA believes is our most precious right. It is the one that must be protected over all others, including our right to worship who and what we want to.

The folks at the NRA don’t want to live in a world of peace. They want to live in a world in which madmen walk into schools and malls and movie theaters and begin to randomly kill, maim, and terrify innocent men, women, and children. There is a heartlessness in them that is every bit as strong as the evil men who commit these senseless crimes. After all, when the NRA was asked for a comment on yesterday’s tragedy, they did not express sorrow. They did not offer condolences to the families whose lives had been horribly changed. Instead, the NRA said they had no comment.

The truth of the matter is that many in the NRA long for the day when they’ll finally get the chance to gun down a home invader or a mugger or someone like the savage soul who murdered the children of Sandy Hook Elementary.

But what they want most of all is to use their guns for the reasons they were made: to kill another human being. And not only do they believe that there is value in having the ability to end another person’s life, they believe that doing so will be an affirmation of their beliefs. It will be their redemption.

And that, my friends, is true evil.

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