NOTE: I wrote this article shortly after the Sandy Hook massacre in December, 2012. I did not deem it an appropriate fit for my blogs, so I never published it. Well, actually, I chickened out. In light of the heated discussion going in one direction on the subject, I thought I would share it now… respectfully… hopefully... as a counter balance and a little food for thought.
What is worse? the consumerism kings pushing gun sales in the wake of a massacre of innocents or the mentality that causes a run on high-powered weapons for fear of imminent restrictions on their purchase? Not sure... but both elements contribute to the inevitable:
Evil people and those with mental health issues are still out there... so are the guns... so are unsecured schools, malls and other public venues. There will be more massacres in the United States.
Newsflash: the British are NOT coming. The historical context for the inclusion of the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights was unique. Its purpose did not anticipate the gun violence and senseless bloodbaths of our times. A mother blown away in her sleep by a modern military grade weapon? by her own son? a classroom full of innocents?
The knee-jerk reference to the Second Amendment does not hold up to scrutiny. Madison's proposed amendments were initially presented as Nine Articles comprising up to 20 Amendments. At one point in his redaction leading to the final draft, appears the following:
The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; a well armed, and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country: but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, shall be compelled to render military service in person.
Madison seems to clarify the original intent. There was a connection between the right to bear arms and the new federal government's need to quickly assemble an army in the event of imminent invasion. There would have been no other means of defense. Today, in the United States of America, the strength and presence of our Armed Forces sort of voids that need for a militia, does it not?
Dating back to when the Bill of Rights was ratified, interpretations of the Second Amendment have varied greatly.
I do not feel safer because more people are rushing out to buy weapons that only a soldier or police officer should have. They are spurring an emotional shift from the rule of law to vigilantism. These are not people that I want out there deciding whether to pull the trigger or not.
How does the Transportation Security Administration manage to keep air travel an impressively safe experience post 9/11? By arming the passengers? By arming the flight crew? I think it has more to do with an impressive and thorough security and screening process coupled with the visible presence of armed authorities ready to subdue any threat at the drop of a hat.
How is it that banks protect our money better than schools protect our children? by arming the customers? by arming the tellers? Or do they have really good security systems along with the visible presence of armed guards. They make it not worth the risk to try to rob them.
Our children, our malls, our theaters can be protected without indiscriminately arming the populace. But it will require that we collectively acquiesce to the reality of life as it is in 2012... much like we did post 9/11... much as Israel has had to do.
The changes wrought at our airports after 9/11 brought them more in line with the way security had already been handled for years in many other countries. We complain about the invasion of privacy and the infringement on basic rights that these measures represent. I grew up on Orwell's "1984"... I get that part. But, I still fly and I enjoy flying safely. So do you…
I would give preference to a school, mall or theater that had TSA quality security screening in place. The chances of an armed wacko coming in and blowing away my loved ones would be greatly diminished. I would rather have to explain to my children why the people in uniform with guns are at school every day than continue to drop them off in the morning and simply hope for the best. I would rather take my chances on trained and licensed armed officials on school grounds than trust the equanimity of armed teachers in the day to day dealings with troublesome young people. I am sure that many would even refuse to have a weapon within reach, more so if an armed official were a heartbeat away.
There is a wealth of licensed and conscientious gun owners in the United States. Maybe some would volunteer? Maybe many could qualify through a screening and training process to be eligible for jobs... not unlike a TSA position at an airport? Only now there would be opportunity for employment at places like schools, malls and theaters.
Huge steps need to be taken or we can only expect more of the same. The guns are out there. That clock cannot be unwound even if gun sales cease tomorrow.
Sinful, unregenerate people, including those in business and politics, are like water: they will settle to the lowest level possible. It is their nature. The bottom line for business people is their company's bottom line and their own self-advancement; for the politician, whatever it takes to get re-elected.
A Christian's recourse does not include buying up assault weapons or playing politics. We are commanded to pray for our leaders: God grant them the wisdom to make the right decisions and to formulate viable solutions. God help them to keep us and our children safe.
"First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way." 1 Timothy 2:1-2
Yes...! As of July 5, 2020, my book is now available on Amazon.com.
It's a new book about an old problem: the cross and the crown… the Gospel and politics… do they mix? Should they mix?
If my words generate some reflection and healthy conversation—as in more light and less heat—I will be satisfied.
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Greg grew up in Menomonee Falls, WI. His ministry began in 1976: 5 years in Central America, 37 in Mexico. Church planting and discipleship have been his passion.
"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." -Matthew 13:44
GREG'S other BLOG
Concise devotions in Spanish and English, along with some lengthier essays… Designed for personal spiritual growth and to help anyone studying English or Spanish as a second language to improve their skills… Rev 14:6