Oklahoma City News, Entertainment & Occasional Humor • Established 2007

Oklahoma State Sen. Nathan Dahm thinks all gun violence is caused by “sin nature”

nathan dahm

Sometimes I think this site should have one of those little counters like you see in the workplace, only instead of listing the number of days since a workplace injury it should be “number of days since an Oklahoma politician made national headlines for saying something dumb.” Enter Broken Arrow Republican Nathan Dahm.

Last week Dahm went on Piers Morgan’s popular CNN show British Guy Interrupts People to argue with Morgan about gun control. Dahm has introduced a bill that would get rid of all basically all licensing requirements including background checks for mental illness and criminal records. His reasoning is that all gun violence is caused by sin, and not by guns.

From Tulsa World:

“Sin nature in mankind” causes gun violence, not the guns themselves or mental illness, state Sen. Nathan Dahm, R-Broken Arrow, told combative CNN commentator Piers Morgan on Monday night.

Dahm appeared on Morgan’s program in connection with a bill Dahm introduced for the upcoming legislative session.

The legislation is called the “Piers Morgan Act,” a dig at Morgan’s outspoken criticism of the United States’ relatively lax gun laws.

Dahm’s bill essentially would eliminate all handgun licensing requirements in Oklahoma. Dahm said he opposes all background checks, including those for mental illness and criminal records, as unconstitutional….

“If the key issue in gun deaths is not the guns and it’s not mental health, what is it?” Morgan asked.

“It is the sin nature of mankind,” replied Dahm. “It’s that somebody is willing to take someone else’s life.”

I don’t know what to say other than that is just objectively not true. Some gun violence is caused by sin, sure, but some gun violence is the result of other things, like mental illness. Or something else entirely.

Here are just a handful of the shootings that took place in Oklahoma in 2013. Read them carefully, because contrary to what Senator Dahm claims, it doesn’t appear that anyone was willing to take someone else’s life.

Rocky Point — According to authorities, a woman was wounded when a gun accidentally discharged inside the residence.

Tulsa — Cheyenne Monique Cunningham, 22, told police that her boyfriend, DeAndre Wilson, 22, had recently purchased a gun and wanted to show her how to use it, Solomon said. The small semi-automatic weapon accidentally fired, striking Wilson once in the stomach, police said.

Chickasha — “Bingaman began to spin the gun on his finger, playing around when the gun fired,” said Hendrix. “The bullet entered the top right of his head bouncing off the skull and exiting from the top of his head.”

Tulsa — The victim’s friend, a 16-year-old who thought the weapon was not functional, tossed the gun to the victim, and the gun fired when it struck the floor, they told Tulsa police.

A Bartlesville gun shop — “The victim had taken a pre-1950 .22 revolver in to have it looked at, and it accidentally went off and shot the customer in the groin.”

Milton — “At this point, I don’t believe there was any foul play in her death,” Seale said. “It looks like maybe the gun hit the floor and just went off or that sort of thing.”

Jay — Gardner and James were playing with a small handgun, passing it back and forth and twirling it “cowboy style” as they cruised down New Life Ranch Road between Colcord and West Siloam Springs, Wells said. Gardner was playing with the gun when it discharged, and the bullet passed through the front seat into the back of James, he said.

Edmond — Today at the Edmond Police Department firing range there was an accidental discharge of a gun. The accident resulted in a minor injury to one of the officers. The officer was treated and released from Integris Hospital with a “burn” wound on the leg. At the time of the incident there were eight officers and two instructors conducting firearms training. There was another accidental shooting at this facility January of this year.

Midwest City — …she was getting ready for a birthday party around 5 p.m. Saturday inside the Chestnut Square Apartments when an old rifle fell, discharged and shot Destanie. Her family says she was painting her nails with a friend at their neighbor’s apartment, who kept an old rifle from 1891 loaded on his dresser. Destanie’s friend said the rifle fell and hit the wall and shot Destanie.

Tahlequah — Chennault said it appears Lane was cleaning the handgun when it fired, and the bullet struck him in the chest.

Logan County — A teenager remains in the hospital after investigators said he stuck a gun in his mouth and it accidentally went off.

Spiro — LeFlore County Sheriff Rob Seale said Saylor Slone Martine and her 12-year-old sister were handling a .380-caliber semi-automatic handgun when one of the girls placed the gun on a counter. When the 15-year-old reached down to get her cell phone, Seale said the gun discharged.

Seale said the girl sustained life-threatening injuries and was immediately flown to a hospital in Tulsa where she later died.

Chickasha — The minor then grabbed the barrel of the gun, identified as a 12 gauge Mossberg 500A shotgun, when it went off hitting the minor in the right hand. -

Braggs — The Muskogee Phoenix reports that 54-year-old Steve Williams died at about 9 p.m. Thursday at his home in Greenleaf State Park. Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson says Williams was cleaning his gun when it went off.

Spencer — The sheriff’s office was doing some routine training when two deputies went inside a classroom. At some point, sheriff’s officials said, one of the deputies checked his weapon and it discharged.

Miami — “After thorough review of the OSBI’s reports, it would appear that the evidence is consistent with the fact that the gun accidentally discharged one time into the chest of Mr. Largent,” Ottawa County District Attorney Eddie Wyant said. “Therefore, the State of Oklahoma will not pursue any charges surrounding Mr. Largent’s death.”

Tulsa — At the scene, police discovered a 21-year-old male with a gunshot wound, the report said. Investigators said the men were playing with the .45-caliber assault rifle when it discharged.

You can find stories like these almost every day. These incidents are all always described in the passive voice, as if nothing caused them except for the gun just accidentally shooting out of nowhere. The weapon “accidentally fired.” The gun “just went off.” My personal “favorite” is the one talking about how there was no foul play, but “It looks like maybe the gun hit the floor and just went off or that sort of thing.” Oopsie daisy, the gun just happened to hit the floor and go off! You know, like happens sometimes!

Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, we’re told time and time again. Until a person accidentally gets shot and then it’s all the gun’s fault.

I don’t think you’ll find sin as the cause for any of these. Basic human stupidity is a pretty common thing, but I don’t remember my Sunday School teacher telling me Thou Shalt Not Be Dumb was one of the Ten Commandments.

Teaching personal responsibility is great and preaching responsible gun ownership is all well and good, but these are guns and when mistakes are made with them people often die. I’m not sure what the entire answer to gun violence is, but eliminating all restrictions and trusting anyone that wants to use one to do so responsibly doesn’t seem like a great way to go. Neither does just shrugging your shoulders and saying, “Sin, man. What can you do about it?”

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Comments

  1. Ladies and gentleman, I present to you Sen. Nathan Dahm, another example of what happens when you systematically underfund public education for generations.

      • Homeschool doesn’t set the ground for stupidity, I’ve met some intelligent folk who were educated at home…. Some people are idiots regardless of how hard their parents, society, or even they themselves try.

    • The public school system is not “underfunded”—–it’s mismanaged.

      When’s the last time the govt spent your tax-money wisely?

      • Uhm, World War II, Afghanistan, the FAA, the bailout of the free enterprise financial sector, democracy, Social Security, Medicaid, the Centers for Disease Control, science research, the space program … BTW, you can return the money you paid for Social Security and Medicaid at this website. It lets real Americans put their money where their mouths are and “save” the next generation: http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/gift/gift.htm


        • BTW, you can return the money you paid for Social Security and Medicaid at this website.

          Out of all the asinine things you said, this one just takes the cake. Wow!

        • Yeah you’re right. Too bad they didn’t build the ones that these are replacing any better in the first place.

          Guess you don’t use your head much huh?

          • Well, I sure don’t use it to make statements like all the government does is mismanage the funds it has. My head tells me that when U.S. highways came along in about 1926, they were far better than the trails they replaced. The comment “new-fangled interstates” was not specific to any particular road, leading the casual reader to infer something called “sarcasm”. I guess you might not like parks, libraries, water systems, sewage treatment plants, the national guard, universities, or other types of “mismanagement.” But then, I’m just a Goober. Maybe there is a way to have your cake and eat it, too.


            • Well, I sure don’t use it to make statements like all the government does is mismanage the funds it has.

              That’s not what I said and you know it.

            • “When’s the last time the govt spent your tax-money wisely?”

              Looks pretty close to fair from here! ;)

  2. They got guns to my head
    I think I’m going down
    I can’t believe this happenin in my own town
    If I had wings I could fly
    let me contemplate
    I glanced in the cut and I see my homey Jesus

  3. By his logic there shouldn’t be laws for:
    1.) illegal drugs, it’s not the drugs it’s the sinful nature of mankind
    2.) sex crimes, it’s not the sex, it’s the sinful nature of mankind
    3.) and so on and so on
    But I’m willing to bet he will classify drugs/sex/all other crimes as sin, but guns are simply a tool………and him being a certified tool, he should know one when he sees one.

    Some people wonder why most of the people in this state cringe when Oklahoma is mentioned in the news.

  4. Guns don’t just “go off” when you drop them on the floor. Unless these are Zero’s civil war revolvers. Guns have had safety mechanisms for accidental drops since the early 20th century. The real lead is we either have a lot of old guns or lazy investigators.

  5. When detectives determine that sin was not involved in a shooting it is logical to conclude that it was the gun’s fault. Duh, y’all.

  6. I’m still stuck on the logic employed by Dahm that giving a gun to someone predisposed by their sinful nature to use it to kill someone else somehow reduces gun violence? Or maybe I am stuck on the fact that this logic exists in the brain of an elected official.

  7. Hmm… Doesn’t everyone, according to Christian theology, have a “sin nature”? Including the “good people” who buy guns? And make guns? And sell guns? If sin nature + guns = a problem, it sure doesn’t seem like guns make a whole lot of sense.

  8. He’s likely a product of that old time religion.

    Sounds like the stuff I heard week after week growing up (indoctrinating) into the suburban Baptist fundamentalism. All bad things are a product of sin, the devil or just whimsically “God’s Plan”.

    Getting away and seeing the world through a broader lens would do him a bit of good. Sure did for me.


  9. Guns don’t kill people, people kill people, we’re told time and time again. Until a person accidentally gets shot and then it’s all the gun’s fault.

    Violence is what the man was talking about—-not accidents. A person can be careless with any tool, be it a car, a power tool or a kitchen knife and cause harm. Or, he can willfully use those same implements to purposely cause harm to himself or others.

    One act is caused by negligence while the other is caused by malice. In neither instance however, is the implement that caused the actual harm to blame.

    Is it the car’s fault when it’s idiot owner get’s drunk and plows into a school bus full of children at 90 MPH? Likewise, is the car to blame if it’s owner decides to use it to kill a hated ex-husband who’s crossing the street?

    Nope.

    • But if certain items are deemed particularly dangerous or harmful, then we do regulate who can buy them. That’s why there’s a large list of chemicals that you can’t buy without a valid reason and your name being sent to the government.

      • Right. You buy the chemicals. Name gets sent. You can still buy the chemicals. People are saying you shouldn’t be able to buy a simple rifle. Or should have unfettered access. There seems to be no middle. Why can’t hippa laws be amended so homicidal or suicidal people can’t buy guns? Because crazy. That’s why.

    • Yes, but we heavily regulate cars. We take people’s right to drive cars. What this idiot is saying is that we don’t need regulation on guns. By your own example you don’t agree with him.


      • Yes, but we heavily regulate cars.

        And yet traffic fatalities still outnumber gun deaths by a large margin. Futility in action. You cannot legislate human negligence out of existence.


        We take people’s right to drive cars.

        You do not have a right to operate a motor vehicle on public streets. Never have.


        What this idiot is saying is that we don’t need regulation on guns.

        He’s only repeating what the 2nd Amendment states. Don’t like it? Fine, write your elected representatives and ask them to repeal it.

    • I think that’s the crux of this post. You don’t have to blame the “implements,” but we should be careful about who get to use them.
      We don’t let blind people drive cars, we shouldn’t let the mentally ill own guns.
      Cars accidents kill a lot of people every year, so do swimming pools; but those two things are not designed to kill. The only reason guns exist is to kill. So let’s maybe not let just anyone have a gun.

  10. Man’s sinful nature is responsible for gun deaths. So let’s give every sinful man a gun. Because freedom.

  11. Unfortunately Senator Dahm is my senator. He is the product of redistricting and we had our choice of dimwits. He is very opinionated young man about the constitution.

  12. I don’t understand these f***ing mystical ass-hats.

    If you really believe in a “sin nature” that causes murder, wouldn’t the logical policy-conclusion be that we should make it MORE difficult for those sinners to get guns and kill people?

  13. obviously he’s not currently able to purchase a gun due to his mental illness and would like to change that.

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