In the past days since the Parkland, Florida High School tragedy a noticeable undercurrent of fear has swept through America. While I am not in any way attempting to downplay the tragic loss of each individual life on that sad day, I am curious how this one event involving less than fifty total casualties has caused a national uproar over gun control. Whether or not you support stronger gun control laws is not the issue here; the point is whether or not gun control measures are addressing the cause of violent crimes or merely a symptom. Those who demand stricter gun control measures point to the number of school shootings in recent history to support their position that tighter gun control measures would have saved lives and avoided these tragedies. They also maintain that tighter gun control laws would reduce violent crimes in general since it would make it more difficult for criminals to obtain weapons. On the other side of the argument are those who staunchly defend our 2d Amendment right to bear arms and defend ourselves. FBI statistics show that the cities in America with the toughest gun control laws (Chicago, Detroit, New Orleans) also have some of the highest rates of violent crimes resulting in gun-involved deaths so the argument that general disarmament will reduce gun-involved violence does not appear to be supported by the facts.
There is no doubt that BOTH sides of the gun control debate manipulate numbers to support their own side of the argument. Again, the point here is NOT about stricter gun control laws – any way you stack the numbers, the number of gun-involved deaths each year pale in comparison to other causes of death. One of the mantras of the 2d Amendment supporters is that “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” Regardless of your position on this issue, it’s hard to argue with that statement…guns require a shooter. America’s fear should not be of guns, but of those who will use them for nefarious purpose. What we as a nation need to address is not the tools of violence but rather the disease of those who want to kill. Mental Health professionals tell us that most people who commit (or attempt to commit) mass murder are mentally unstable. There is certainly evidential data to back up their assertion. So, why are we not calling for a national overhaul of our Mental Health system? Other psychologists say that mass shooters are often inspired by violent video games and movies which glorify violence and minimize the value of life. So, why are we not seeking to ban the production of those media? The truth is we will never stop senseless killings until we restore the morality which God intended for us to have. Our “One Nation Under God” has banned God from our schools, our government, and, in many cases, even our workplaces. When we quit teaching and obeying God’s standards for morality we become like the nation of Israel in the time of the Judges where “Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit.” (Judg. 21:25). If we truly want peace to reign in our country and to stop living in fear, we must turn back to God acknowledging His Lordship in our lives and in our country. Revival starts with you – open your Bibles, I’ll see you Sunday morning.