BeliefNet has posted a discussion about gun control on their homepage. They asked me to contribute a statement which I did. But I’d like to develop my thoughts here…
Let me make this disclaimer: I do not own a gun. I do not know how to hold one much less shoot one. I have family members that are serious gun collectors. I have other family members who seem to enjoy shooting – just because they can. In the area I live, people hunt to put food on their table. And I have precious friends who are big game hunters. I can appreciate their interest – it just doesn’t interest me.
These days you cannot pick up a newspaper, watch a TV news show, listen to the radio or people talking without hearing something about guns or gun control. It seems after each mass shooting the discussion ramps up. The Sandy Hook massacre certainly followed that pattern. The gun issue is front and center once again. The Vice President is studying the issue and making recommendation to the President. So this issue is gaining attention at the highest level of our government.
But a gun control law would not have prevented the Sandy Hook killings
The troubled young man took the guns that were legally purchased and registered to his mother. The school had all the right procedures in place to prevent this man from entering the building. But he did – he shot his way in. The young man in this case and, in most, was mentally unstable and in need of help. Laws don’t address that.
As a nation of 311.5 million people, we have the Constitutional right to “bear arms”. This country has 270 million guns. And we add 16 million per year. Guns are in the warp and woof of our nation. People are flocking to gun shows and the number of background checks are increasing. We are armed and continue to arm ourselves. Why? Fear. Fear that our right will be taken from us. Fear that we will need to protect our homes and families one day. I used to think of myself as almost a pacifist – until I had a baby. Then I knew I could and would kill to protect my child.
We have a culture of violence. We wean our children on violent and graphic video games. I used to be close to some young boys that were allowed to play – almost continuously – violent video games. I sat to watch one day and was appalled by the graphic nature of the game. A steady diet of such things desensitizes the mind, emotion and I believe, shrivels the soul. Our TV shows and movies are saturated in blood and sex. The envelope is being pushed further and further. Parents use the TV to babysit their children without monitoring what they are viewing. We are reaping as a society what we have and continue to sow. Sin brings its own judgment.
If we want to make laws we must address the mental health and culture of violence in this nation. But all of that are just symptom. Symptom of a much deeper more sinister problem. Sin. Laws can’t address that. The Bible says the heart is “deceitful and desperately wicked”. We can see the obviousness of that. The real issue is not guns, mental health or violent videos and movies. No. The real issue is the heart of humankind.
We desperately need a new heart. The ancient prophet, Ezekiel told us that God can change the heart of man: “And I shall give them one heart, and shall put a new spirit within them. And I shall take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep my ordinances, and do them. Then they will be My people, and I shall be their God.”