And here they come again, right on cue. Immediately after another atrocious shooting, along come the anti-firearms zealots, using the victims as props for their propaganda. I can’t find the words to express my disgust at such cruelty and heartlessness.

The victims and their families are real people, not inanimate studio props to be used for propaganda. They are heartbroken and distraught beyond words, and I pray for their comfort and healing.

But why is this happening? What has changed in the last 20 years that has led to increased frequency of mass killings? Is it because firearms are now available to peaceable citizens and weren’t before?

No, firearms ownership by peaceable citizens has been a mainstay of our country since its founding and before. In fact, the percentage of households with firearms decreased from 47 percent in 1973 to 31 percent in 2014, according to the University of Chicago’s General Social Survey.

Clearly society is different now than it was before these mass killings, which, by the way, are not limited to firearm assaults.

Take a look at the demoralization and desensitization of our society. The breakdown of the family, the fascination with violence on TV, movies and video games, the decline of Christian principles, the overmedication of children.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur once said, “History fails to record a single precedent in which nations, subject to moral decay, have not passed into political and economic decline. There has been either a spiritual awakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”

There are many factors that have brought society to this point, but firearms ownership is not among them. Failure to dispense with opportunistic propaganda and face the real problems will only worsen this blight.

Gary Foster

Gray