Friday, February 15, 2008

Recent Shootings and Gun Control

This year has seen a rash of multiple death, gun-related homicides and homicide-suicides, including: several mall and school shootings and at least two church shootings. These are tragedies that should have been prevented. The question quickly becomes, how?

What has been surprising to me is that gun control has not been a major touch-point in the news or in the recent campaigns for presidential election. I think we may see, however, these awful incidents playing into the hands of the liberal left.

While gun control sounds like a helpful solution to fighting crime, the reality is that it does little to enforce crackdowns on black market weapons or arms obtained illegally through sale or theft. These are generally what are used in robberies, murders, and the like. Instead, gun control places restrictions on law-abiding citizens, hunters, shooting enthusiasts, etc. These are people who go through the proper channels on buying, keeping, transporting, and using their weapons. In several studies it was found that police officers that were in a shoot-out with armed criminals were saved by concealed weapon-carrying citizens who risked their life for another.

Gun control is an easy solution. The philosophy is that eventually all guns will be rounded up and destroyed. The truth is that not only will it never happen; areas where people do not have guns use other implements to harm each other (think of the machete-wielding gangs in Kenya). Guns are tools that have their use and misuse. Taking rights away from good citizens is never the right solution.

Are there other solutions to the problem? Certainly, but they are not so easy or inexpensive. There are two ways to go about it. First, we can advocate government and societal reform and a return to biblical morality through the government itself, a situation that is nearly impossible. Second, and most “expensive,” we can take the time to communicate with each other.

Society has taken a shift for the worse, with entertainment and selfish pursuits taking up most our culture’s time. With the time wasted, there is little more left to spend helping other people: our neighbors, our local shelters, even our family. Other people become an annoyance and a drain on our precious entertainment schedule. Christians should lead the way on this. We are called by Christ to do these things. Let’s turn off the TV’s and roll up our sleeves.

How will communication help end multiple victim homicide? The answer is one step at a time. Most of these shooters are loners who have few people to talk to and turn to for help. It does not help that we live in a culture that does not have time for them. They are hurt and angry individuals who do not know Christ and often take that final step which removes them from his love forever. I realize that not every situation can be prevented, but many could.

As Christians, it is our duty as disciples to go out and make more disciples. We do this by talking. We do this by going to the suffering, the dirty, and the sinful; realizing that we are sinners ourselves, saved by grace. Someone talked to us. Someone took the time to invest the gospel in us. We must do the same. How would the world be different if we Christians did what we were called to do?

So, before we settle on gun control as the savior of our culture, let’s turn to the true Savior, Jesus the Christ. Only his Holy Spirit can pull these lost and hurting people from their catastrophic future meltdowns and save the lives of many more in the process.

No comments: