As I write today, I note how this day will be marked down as an important day in the history of America and in the National gun debate that has repercussions for all of us. Today the issue over gun violence came to a head when a special commission reported recommendations for how to curb further gun violence. The mayor of Blacksburg was even officially a part of the discussions of this special commission, since Blacksburg is where the worst school shooting massacre took place at Virginia Tech on 04-16-07. Following this specially commissioned report (the 12-14-12 Sandy Hook shooting being the catalyst to initiate this), the President then signed 23 Executive Actions to help put this new effort against gun violence into place. The hope is that more guns will be laid down before more people in this Country are gunned down.
Have you thought about this issue of guns and gun violence before? There are many things to consider in this debate. Interestingly, after each of these mass gun shootings and potential government intervention to crack down on guns, sales of guns and ammunitions have gone up! The right to keep and bear arms as given in the second amendment to our U.S. Constitution is an important right in the history of our Country. We certainly do not want a tyrannical government to rise up and control us! Still, there are many abuses of guns in our culture and many mass shootings, such as the recent one at Sandy Hook Elementary or the horrible Theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado, and of course that worst one here in my own community of Blacksburg, VA that make you wonder if we shouldn’t have stricter gun and ammunition laws. Despite this, the reality is still that guns themselves are impersonal and thus do not kill or maim people. People carrying the guns and then choosing to fire them, rather than putting them down, is what kills and injures others.
This Country certainly has changed a lot in the past 50 years or so! School problems used to be more tied to chewing gum and talking out of turn, rather than issues tied to sexual promiscuity or knife and gun violence. What is the problem? Why the change and downward spiral of worsening problems? Well, similar to what should be a core understanding in the gun control debate, the problems in our schools are more about the expression of the sinful human nature and a greater societal acceptance of it. The problems need to be corrected in our homes and churches, rather than through more laws or government intervention. If we want more to flee from the violence connected to guns, we must get down to the core issues of the heart and seek to love and help others understand this as well.
Friend, I trust that you understand these things and are not the type of person that tries to force people to do things. Using a gun is certainly a way to try to force your point of view. I trust you have learned that there is a problem that is deep down at the core of your own being. If that problem is not dealt with through confession to and acceptance of the Creator and Savior, then you will become a person to force your own way and may even try to do so using a gun. Guns can be legitimately used for defense or even for hunting, but it is dangerous for people not right with their Creator to use them. That is where gun violence and these mass shootings come from! They are motivated by sinful human nature and the spiritual forces that seek to destroy life. If we want more to put their guns down and help protect our students and others from being gunned down, we must first be certain that we have dealt with that problem we each have that is deep down. We must trust in what Jesus Christ has done for us and then seek to love and help others see the forgiveness and restoration that comes through a relationship with our Creator!