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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Solution

We have all heard about the terrible shooting in Orlando. Awful. Called the worst mass shooting in American history, too many people lost their lives at the hands of a single deranged gunman pledging allegiance to ISIS. It seems odd, then, although not unexpected, that the first corrective we hear from most corners is gun control.

According to Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla, the weapon that was used could fire 700 shots per minute. Now, I don't know about you, but I had no idea that that kind of firepower was available on the streets to be purchased legally. (The gunman had purchased the weapons legally.) The weapon was semi-automatic; that is, one trigger pull, one bullet. The rate of fire would depend on how fast you can pull the trigger. It is not automatic -- one pull, lots of bullets. Beyond that, if the trigger is held down on an automatic weapon, you quickly lose your ability to hit anything since the recoil readjusts your aim for you ... away from what you're aiming at. Add to this the fact that the shooter would need to reload every 30 shots. Well, you get the idea. Truth is not an issue when there is an agenda.

"Oh, so you have a pro-gun agenda!" Good response. But that is not my point. We're looking for solutions here. While the pro-gun people argue "We need more guns for people to protect themselves", I would disagree. On the other hand, gun control is not the answer. "Well, at least we can eliminate guns like the AR-15?" Yeah, you go right ahead with that. But the AR-15 is not the answer. As it turns out, more people have died per incident in arson fires than in gun assaults. More people have died per incident in explosive attacks than in gun assaults. "Oh, now you're going all 'statistical' on us." No, not the point. The point is that "more people have died". The point is that we humans are very good at killing people. Now, it is trite to suggest, "Guns don't kill people; people kill people", but the fact remains that the AR-15 did not grab that guy in Orlando, drag him into that nightclub, aim itself, and force his finger against the trigger.

"Yeah? Well, limiting guns would limit gun violence!" True. Silly, but true. Eliminating automobiles would eliminate auto accidents, too. We're missing the point. If they don't have a 2,000 round-per-minute Gatling gun with belt fed ammunition, they'll get a 950 round-per-minute M-16. Not available? Pretty sure there's a 600 round-per-minute AK-47 to be had. Oh, no automatic weapons? Fine. The AR-15 will do. Oh, no assault weapons? Then a handgun. Ban guns entirely? Fine. Automobile, knife, baseball bat ... human beings will always find something with which to kill. Because the problem is not the weapon, but the human wielding it.

"Well, then, we need to educate people to stop being violent." Right. That should work. Education. Very short view. The problem isn't a lack of information. The problem is the heart. All we have to do is change the heart of Man. That's the problem, at the bottom of the pile. It's not assault weapons or too many guns. It is the heart of Man. Given the decline of the conscience in our world today, I am wondering about the viability of maintaining our 2nd Amendment rights. If it is true that the secret of American democracy resides in her churches as the de Tocqueville quote indicates and if it is true that when America ceases to be good, it will cease to be great, it may be time to reconsider that Constitution and its Bill of Rights. It seems obvious that the less influence conscience and a shared social moral code affect the people of any country, the more external controls will be required. It seems equally obvious that telling the American people, "We're cancelling your rights and freedoms" won't fly. So that isn't a solution. No, the only solution, it seems is a changed heart. Once you figure out how to change the heart of Man, you could remove all gun controls and there would be no problem.

Now, as it happens, we silly Christians actually do have a solution -- a genuine solution -- to this problem. A real solution. Of course, the public in general is moving toward banning it and lots of people don't want to hear it and it cannot be installed by Congress or even presidential edict, but the Good News that Christ died for our sins and can save us from the just wrath of God is also the Good News that those who place their faith in Christ will have changed hearts. Do I have an agenda? Yes. Not pro-gun or anti-gun. Not even anti-Islam. My agenda is to get the Gospel to everyone I can and to encourage others to do the same.

"Thanks, Stan. You're no help at all. Now, can we get back to figuring out which guns we're going to ban?"


Glenn E. Chatfield said...

By the way, the Orlando shooter did NOT use an AR-15. He used a Sig Sauer MCX

I’m always amused by the media because they call the AR-15 an “assault rifle,” but the Ruger Mini-14 is just a rifle. They have the exact same rounds and capabilities, but one is scary looking and the other isn’t.

Craig said...

I wholeheartedly agree with your solution. One other thing that might help is if people would hold off on the tendency to politicize everything and to use tragedy to advance a political agenda. Or at least to wait until things settle down and we gain at least a small amount of perspective.

Stan said...

Glenn, as we all know (and as I indicated in the 2nd paragraph), truth is not the issue here. Control (in this case, guns) is. You're right.

Craig, recently a local woman told a local group that a "creepy" stranger was eyeing her son in the grocery store. Now, nothing happened, but he was "creepy". The response was, "See if you can get a picture from the store security cameras and share it." And I'm wondering why it is so important to totally destroy the life of a fellow who may or may not have been "creepy". Same thing. Leap into the fray without full knowledge or any thought but "What I want".

Alec said...


"politicize everything and to use tragedy to advance a political agenda."

That is the point. It was the case in the former Soviet Union. Now it's done even more effectively here and across the West.