August 4, 2019 7:30 am EST

Twenty-nine people are dead and 42 injured in two mass shootings just 13 hours apart. Saturday at 10:39 am local time, 20 people were killed in El Paso, Texas. Then at 1 am Sunday morning, nine people were killed in downtown Dayton, Ohio. Lone gunmen are responsible for both killing sprees. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the victims.

In 2017, 12,839 people died from homicide from firearms prompting many to call for stricter gun control.

However, in that same year, more than three times that number were killed by another deadly cause, and yet there are no demands for stricter control of it. Why the discrepancy in concern? Because those 37,133 deaths were caused by vehicles with 10,874 of those caused by drunk driving. (There was an attempt to control alcohol during the days of Prohibition, but that did not prove an effective solution.)

In the case of mass shootings, guns are to blame. In auto deaths, the drivers are held responsible. The truth is that in both cases it is the person who is responsible. Banning vehicles would be much more effective in decreasing auto deaths than banning guns. Illinois has some of the toughest gun control laws in the United States, yet it has one of the highest rates of gun-related deaths.

Rather than calling for stricter gun control—which has proven time and time again ineffective—we need to be addressing the moral, social and mental health causes that are contributing to this alarming effect. But it’s much easier to blame an amoral, inanimate object than to address the real human issues.

Related posts
Rx for gun control
Talking to your children about terrorism, school violence

Note: Gun control advocates use the total number of deaths from firearms per year—36,383—but don’t distinguish that 22,274 of that number are suicides, 496 are police shootings and 295 are accidental.

Photo: New York Times

Copyright © 2019 James N. Watkins

I’m speaking at Taylor’s Professional Writers’ Conference that is specifically designed to help writers get published.

There are three secrets to publishing success: 1. Network 2. Network and 3. Network. Writers’ conference are the best place to get your face in front of an agent, editor and professional writer who can help move to the next level.

Today, I’ll be speaking on . . .

Taking the Word to the Worldwide Web: planning, producing and promoting your website

From Stage to Page: Taking a talk and turning it into an article or book (It’s more than just transcribing a recording!)

• And, here’s a whole ream of writing resources

God, I don’t understand

August 1st, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

God I dont understand
My 2017 book, The Psalms of Asaph, is getting a new title and ad campaign. Admittedly, the title, which was supposed to be intriguing turned out, instead, to be simply esoteric.

The psalmist, Asaph, (Psalms 50, 73-83) watched the glorious rise Israel and the building of the magnificent Temple as well as the moral collapse and complete destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. His writing is filled with raw, honest anguish struggling with unanswered prayer, unfulfilled promises, and unpunished evil.

God, I Don’t Understand better describes the theme of the book. And includes an important update that I shared earlier.

Here’s are some excerpts from the three chapters on unanswered prayer:

Seven reasons God may not be answering your prayers

I’ll let you know as soon as the new edition is available.

During the American Civil War, the Confederate Navy filled Mobile Bay on the Gulf of Mexico with mines, which at the time were called “torpedoes.” As flag officer David Glasgow Farragut led the Union’s fleet of 18 ships into the bay, he issued one of history’s most memorable orders:

“Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!”

The tactic succeeded. Only one ship was lost, and the last Confederate stronghold on the Gulf of Mexico fell to Union control. (And Farragut was made admiral of the U.S. Navy and honored with two postage stamps.) It’s also a good strategy for our emotions:

So, damn the emotions! Full speed ahead! [Continue reading]

Bible study tools

June 19th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

I enjoy teaching a class for writers—and normal people—called Correctly Handling the Word in Writing. So, here are several of my favorite resources:

Bible translations
Bible Gateway
Blue Letter Bible
Parallel translations

Bible Hub
Bible Study Tools
Christian Classic Etherial Library

Word studies
Study Light (Hebrew and Greek)
Greek lexicons
Hebrew lexicons

Other resources
Bible dictionaries
Got Questions
Flavius Josephus Historical context
Theopedia An encyclopedia of Biblical Christianity

And, here’s a quick summary of my four-day talk

If you found this post helpful, please bookmark it and recommend to your friends. Thanks!

Gay Pride month musings

June 17th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

NYC Gay Pride parade
Here are some musings as the LGBTQ community celebrates Gay Pride month:

If you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning, I want you to know I care about you.

I’ve written several newspaper columns condemning hatred and violence against LGBTQs such as God hates

If you’re straight, I want you to know that gender identity is a complicated issue.

And when an issue is so complicated, compassion and understanding should be the first response. I’ve written several columns and book chapters on this as well.

So, I’ve attempted to write these excerpts from my books on sexuality as well as recent posts with truth and grace, so thank you for your consideration and comments.

My sexual identity crisis

Is sexual identity nature or nurture? Yes!

God and the Gay Christian conversation

The B-I-B-L-E and LGBTQ

Why are some people so bent out of shape about homosexuality?

A “civil” debate on same-sex unions

It’s not about orientation. It’s about obedience

If you found these posts helpful, please share on your social networks. Thanks!

Photo: Fox News

The Psalms of Asaph is getting a new title and cover—and a new section on “Unfulfilled Promises.”

When I wrote it two years ago, I was seriously wondering if it was possible to out-give God. After some financial setbacks, it seemed we had and were deep in debt. However, in 2019, I was forced to rewrite that section after a miracle that proved “infinitely more than we might ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20)!

So, if you have the current book, print this off and tuck it in the Conclusion. [Continue reading]


May 20th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Top ten things you won’t hear at commencement

Ever since Pebbles and Bam Bam graduated from Bedrock High, commencement speakers have been telling the crowd of cap and gowns to work for world peace, follow its dreams, and always wear clean underwear in case of an accident.

So cue Pomp and Happenstance, here are the top ten things I’ve learned since I wore a black bathrobe and silly hat. [Continue reading]

Living in the ‘gap’

May 13th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

As a teen, our daughter would have loved to live in the Gap, the trendy clothing store at the time. Many of us live in the gap, but it’s a gaping hole between jobs or perhaps relationships. There are gaps in our health (I had three surgeries at three hospitals in two months for one stubborn kidney stone). And the most frightening gap of all: when God seems completely silent and absent in our lives. No one wants to live in those gaps, but they are inevitable.

There are two major gaps in the life of Jesus. The gospels provide no details between his infancy and his trip to the Temple as a twelve-year old. Then at least an eighteen-year gap between twelve-years old and the beginning of his ministry at “about thirty years old” (Luke 3:23).

But Luke 2 fills in those gaps with two short—but extremely important—verses. [Continue reading]

Happy Mother’s Day!

May 6th, 2019 | Posted by jameswatkins in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Here are my favorite columns and cartoons for these amazing people called “Mom.” Have a great day!

Faith of Our Mothers A modern twist on an old tune

My daughter is one tough mother
She had to be with me as her dad. Happy Mother’s Day, Faith!

Top ten things my mom taught me

[Continue reading]