Almost to Christmas and the last thing I wish I was thinking about was the tragedy from the school in Connecticut.
First a disclaimers: Mental illness is a serous business. What roll it played in the young mans life who did the killing is not yet known and it may explain most or all of his horrific actions. This being the case, my point in writing is NOT to deal with the Connecticut shooting but with the reaction that has many calling for more restrictive gun laws (otherwise called gun control).
Certainly guns make it easier to destroy more lives in a short amount of time than almost anything else (a car driven into a crowd and few other possibilities enter my mind) that we have readily available to the larger pubic. Unfortunately the solution doesn’t seem to be more restrictive gun laws. In fact many studies show just the opposite to be true. California, Illinois, New York and The District of Colombia (Washington DC) have the strictest gun laws in the country but the among most gun violence. Studies from the FBI show that gun ownership is going up but murders using guns has gone down in the last several years. People like to point to Japan as an example of strict gun laws that work exceeding well, unfortunately in this regard, our culture, history and founding (2nd amendment) differ vastly from Japans.
All this being said, I believe people on both sides of the gun control argument want the same thing; a safer, more peaceful world.
After tragic events involving guns often our first reaction is to blame the gun. The problem is the gun never does the killing. It always take person to use it. Dennis Prager, talking about gun control recently pointed out, “As a Jew, it would sound like to me, as if somebody were blaming gas for the gas chambers and not the Nazis”, his point being we don’t blame the gas but the people using it. The issue behind almost all acts of violence is not the tool used, but the human behind it.
Jesus said: “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: 15there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.”17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. 18 He said to them, “Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, 19 since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) 20 And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. 21 For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, 22 adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Following the shooting at Columbine High School Darrell Scott, the father of one girls killed, said the following in his speech to a Congressional panel: “In the days following the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the National Rifle Association. “I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA, because I do not believe they are responsible for my daughter’s death. “I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy — it was a spiritual event which should force us to look for where the real blame lies… “We all consist of three parts — body, soul and spirit. When we fail to acknowledge that third part of our make-up, we create a void which allows evil, prejudice and hatred to rush in and cause havoc.
The whole speech was outstanding and worth reading. But he is just restating what Jesus said to be true.
Beware of what you store up in your heart. It will come out.
How about you?
1. What do you think about gun laws in america?
2. If you could enact any one law that would acheive the goal of making, “a safer, more peaceful world”, what would it be?
3. We have been systematically removing references to God and Judeo/Christian values in America. Has this had an effect on the way we think of and treat others?
4. In light of what Jesus said it may be wise to memorize Ephesians 4:26-27- “In your anger do not sin” Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold.