Gun-Control: Transformation is Not Changed Laws, but Changed Lives

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Faced with the overwhelming sadness of more violent shooting deaths recently, Americans have resurrected the gun debate. Some believe that people are using the tragedies as a political tool to get what they have wanted all along: gun control. Others feel, all politics aside, it's time to have a reasonable conversation about the issue. Here's my take:

Guns don't kill people. People kill people. Mentally ill people kill people. Evil people kill people. I am in favor of having a conversation on the issue of guns, but that conversation must include 2nd Amendment rights, facts, common sense, and compassion.

People have the right to bear arms. So says our Constitution. The vast majority of gun owners are law-abiding citizens. Disarming them will not protect anyone from someone mentally ill or evil. It will only make them less able to protect themselves from the criminals who, common sense tells us, will not give up their weapons. Criminals don't care about the law. That's why we call them criminals. Having said that, do average citizens need certain types of weapons, military-style weapons, for example? That's part of the reasonable conversation that should be had. Nonetheless, recent history shows us that these restrictions have not reduced crime at all. In fact, the reverse seems to be true.

As someone who cares deeply for children, I believe we must do what's necessary to protect them. Our children are vulnerable within the school setting. Why people are so opposed to armed officers guarding our hallways is beyond me. Banks have them. Other government agencies have them. Politicians who oppose citizens' gun rights have body guards who have them. Yet we want our children to fend for themselves. It defies all logic.

Posting "gun-free zone" signs around our communities makes no sense either. Who do those signs impact? The honest, sane individual isn't inclined to use a gun irresponsibly, and the person who came to commit a heinous crime couldn't care less about the sign. It's not like he's going to see the posting and then say, "Oh, wait. The sign says this is a gun-free zone. I can't do what I've planned. I'd better go put my weapon back." Again, let's use logic. The only thing the sign does is alert someone that those inside are unprotected and therefore easier targets. In fact, I understand that James Holmes, the man arrested for the Aurora, CO shooting, did not choose the biggest theater in the area to carry out his evil deed. Nor did he go to the one closest to his home. He went to the one with a gun-free zone sign. This ought to be food for thought, if nothing else.

Surely, we must do our part to enforce the laws already on the books, look at the areas where loopholes to those laws exist, and examine access to gun purchases at gun shows. Furthermore, we cannot fail to address mental illness. It seems to be a common thread in many of these tragedies. The entire issue of violence demands conversation, but it must be intelligent, rational, common sense conversation.

Evil will always exist in the world because sin exists. The Bible teaches that in the end times wickedness will increase. Therefore, we cannot ignore the elephant in the room. A culture that denies or suppresses God sets itself up for all kinds of problems. Many have chosen to ignore this most obvious, most basic, truth. We see the results everywhere we look, and we're paying the price for it in these dark times. It is vital that we remember that darkness isn't really a thing. Light is. What we, in our limited understanding, call darkness is merely the absence of something real called light. Without God's light, we get every evil work. It's not that God is punishing us; we've chosen to punish ourselves.

The key to true transformation is not changed laws, but changed lives--which comes only by the power of Jesus Christ.


Anonymous,  December 27, 2012 at 12:36 PM  

Using your logic, wouldn't Nancy Lanza have been the first line of defense in the Newtown school shooting? She was armed to the teeth and, according to what I've heard from the "good guys with guns" logic, she should've been able to prevent that tragedy from happening by shooting her son before he hurt anyone else.

Of course, people keep saying she was sleeping when he killed her, but don't guns give "responsible owners" superhuman, magical powers? You know, the ability to wake out of a dead sleep before a bullet shatters your skull? Or the ability to split a bullet in two with your own bullet? Or the ability to think clearly and shoot with sharp dexterity and motor skills when most people in stressful situations have poor motor skills? Or maybe they can be more precise than the trained anti-terrorist unit in midtown Manhattan that shot nine bystanders before shooting the actual assailant this year?

A real life active shooter situation is not a movie where people are choreographed to move out of the way and the smoke from canisters clears away at precisely the right moment. And this yarn that's being told about some guy in the Oregon mall shooting showing his gun (but not firing) is such a farce. That can never be proven as we can both never know what the shooter saw or his intent and the weapon was never discharged.

In the end, this "good guys with guns vs. bad guys with guns" is worthless because sometimes, like Nancy Lanza, a "good guy" might be sleeping, or on the toilet, or maybe... just maybe, the "good guy" is only a weekend warrior at the gun range who wouldn't know what to do when a target has a suicide wish and is moving left, right, up down and all over. The only thing that "good guy" may be doing is adding to the death toll of bystanders.

Adrienne Ross December 27, 2012 at 1:03 PM  

Okay, so let's use your loic instead: since this particular woman may have been asleep, since the mental health issue (which I mentioned) wasn't dealt with, since certain military-style weapons were accessible (which I mentioned), since evil abounds (which I mentioned), since research shows certain bans have not helped (which I mentioned), we should do nothing. Uh, thanks, but no thanks. Common sense (which I also mentioned) seems to be missing, so let me help: if there had been someone there with a gun, Lanza may not have done as much damage. In fact, it was after confronted by armed law enforcement that he killed himself, as officers said he planned to do more damage. Since we cannot stop every single bullet, we should allow our school children and ourselves to be sitting ducks while we do nothing?! Again, no thanks! Your logic or mine? Hmmm...that's easy.

Anonymous,  December 31, 2012 at 2:22 PM  

You change lives by changing the laws. No one can tell request anyone to do anything, which is why we have laws to begin with. It's also hard to identify someone who is about to commit a mass murder. Most people will think someone might be acting odd, but that doesn't tell anyone what he's about to do unless he vocalizes what he's thinking. You also have to be concern with violating someones rights, and until something is done illegally there is nothing anyone can do. The mother in the school shooting had no idea of what he was thinking, although she did see him getting worse, but that is not a reason to think he was about to commit a mass murder. In some states close relatives who see someone in their family they believe is showing signs of mental health or is becoming worse, can have that member committed for three days for evaluation. That doesn't mean he is going to tell anyone what he is thinking, and only has to be there for 3 days.

Besides, Reagan emptied and closed almost all of our mental health facilities during his presidency, forcing those who where their to either go homeless or go to jail. That means if your going to institutionalize someone, you either have to have insurance or pay for it yourself. Mental health treatment are expensive, around $10,000 a month, and without insurance is out of the question for most people.

Changing gun laws is our only cost effective means of preventing mass killing s and other murders, although I'll be the first to say criminal will always be able to get guns, it'll only make it more difficult and expensive to acquire a gun.

Adrienne Ross December 31, 2012 at 2:37 PM  

Anonymous on 12/31 @2:22, we agree with the fact that these law changes will not stop criminals. What they'll do is make law-abiding citizens who want to protect themselves less able to do so.

I do agree that we must do something to address mental health, as I specified in the article.

Thank you for your comment, and Happy New Year.

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