It is with a bit of reservation that I essay on the issue of gun control. Not that I’m hesitant to wade into a shark tank, but I have mixed emotions about the subject and to me it’s only part of the matter. Over the years, we’ve all heard the various little catchphrases to describe how folks feel about gun control…”Criminals love gun control…it makes their jobs safer” or “Gun control means proper breath control and trigger squeeze”, and my personal favorite…”A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone”. The subject is a passionate one from both sides, as each has relevant points.
As I briefly touched on in my blog about evil, I believe criminal activity cannot be legislated away by acting as legal deterrents. It’s part of the fabric of human nature. Sure, we need rules, regulations and laws…as that’s what makes us a civilized society (please don’t ask me to define a “civilized society”). No, I’m referring to the knee jerk reactions by some who feel that controlling the access and ownership of firearms by law abiding citizens is going to make the general populace safer and less susceptible to a tragedy occurring. It’s like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound, (please excuse the comparison) as the bleeding is not going to stop. Listen, I certainly believe criminal background checks that include some form of a national mental health database screen should be a precursor to purchasing a firearm. You should not be able to walk into your local gun shop with a library card as ID and purchase a firearm. But, banning outright the purchase of this or that type of weapon or certain types of ammunition and limiting magazine capacities is not going to stop someone from waltzing into a school and committing an act the likes of what happened in Sandy Hook. Whether someone wants to get their hands on a BB gun or an assault weapon, they’re going to do it. There are just too many avenues available outside the legal processes of purchasing a firearm if someone is bent on getting one.
In New Jersey, you stand a better chance of crossing the Delaware River blindfolded while walking on a tightrope than you have getting a permit to purchase a firearm. In Colorado however, all you need is a driver’s license. But, conversely and according to the national UCR (Uniform Crime Reports), New Jersey ranks 24th in homicides per 100,000 people and Colorado ranks 35th. So, what does that say about one state having stricter gun control regulations than another and their respective crime rates? I’m really not a statistics type of person, but to me, it does raise an eyebrow.
From the national sound bite stage, it appears the belief is such that if we enact more gun control laws and regulations, criminals and those with mental illnesses will be more apt to abide by them. That statement alone should give one pause…
To make the circus even more festive, look around and you’ll see the gun control hypocrisy flourishing in this country. Take for example Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City, one of the biggest gun control proponents in the nation. Anytime he leaves his home, he has no less than two to five armed bodyguards with him at all times. Yet, his platform is as such that it would greatly diminish the ability for you and me to defend ourselves and our families in our own homes. See the subtle incongruity? Then, there are those who believe we should have the “right” to possess any type of weapon we desire, (i.e. rocket or LAWS launchers, .50 cal. Sniper rifles, etc.). And, when you see some of these people interviewed on TV in their living rooms, (the media’s best choice) they’re apt to be wearing camouflage and surrounded by no less than a dozen weapons while their children are walking around unsupervised.
Look…I know the argument and understand it. If guns are made less “available” to the general public, then they’ll be less apt to be stolen in a home burglary, used in a crime by someone in a household where they’re present or played with by children in a residence where the firearms aren’t properly secured. But, I also believe that responsible gun ownership is something sorely lacking by some folks who own guns and could be one of the keys to preventing many types of violent circumstances.
As a Christian, I realize that acts of violence are things we should and do abhor in the majority of life’s circumstances. However…that doesn’t mean we are to be doormats. I will fight for my life and the life of my family at every turn should violence present itself as a threat. And, I’m sure those on the other side of the aisle would understand even that logic.
Now to my point and I’ll put it to bed. I respect and yield to ALL authority as it stands in our great country, from the President all the way down to the local council person. As I said, this is what makes us a civilized society. Take a look at Romans 13:1-7. Verse 1 (NIV) states; “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God”. It’s pretty clear and succinct. God appoints all authority. Now, those in positions of authority may not always make the right decisions or have the purest integrity and honor, and I may not understand or even like their decisions. But, they were placed in their respective positions for a reason. And, I’ll continue to pray for them that they have sound minds and exact wisdom as the Lord would lead. I may not win any popularity contests with my thoughts on this subject, but it is what I believe.
So, do I believe that there are some in authority who want to remove ALL firearms from our homes and restrict private gun ownership? Yes, I do. But, this is when prudence and sound judgment should prevail over rash, impulsive and ill-informed decisions made to appease an uneasy public with regards to gun control. And, I’m not quite sure that’s happening.
The least we can do is pray for those people in authority, all authority….as theirs is not an easy job.