Gun Control does not equal violence control


Another mass shooting and the debate is as fervent as ever. Should guns be more regulated? If so, how? Not many people in America are against all forms of gun control. Well over 80% of Americans (regardless of party affiliation) in recent polls support background checks. And let’s be honest, who would ever argue that it doesn’t need to be harder for criminals to have access? However, beyond that point is where the unilateral support breaks down. Why? Simply because most people argue from a point of opinion and emotion rather than based on information and facts. Regardless, it’s the wrong debate. 

Arguing that we need to control guns to curb these mass shootings and homicides is like saying we need to regulate fast food to end obesity. The problem is not in the tool it’s in the motivations behind the problem. Remove the tool and the person will just seek out another. You need to look no further than the fact that accessibility to guns has no correlation to the level of homicides and terror attacks in a country. My point is, if people want to carry out a murder or terror attack, they will, regardless of how regulated guns are. Case in point: United Kingdom. They have had a rise in violent crimes since banning firearms. If people have an eating problem, they’ll seek to satisfy their desire regardless of availability. Same is true with murder and terrorism. If people want to kill, they will with whatever means they can come by. The United States has far less gun related crimes than many nations that don’t even allow private ownership. Also, guns aren’t even the main method of homicides in America. Bombs are illegal and that didn’t stop the Boston Marathon attacks. Hijacking planes is illegal but that didn’t stop terrorists from flying them into the trade center. 

Guns rarely get praised for the good they are used for. For example, guns are used 80 times as often in self defense to save a life than to take one. More impressive than that is that 200,000 plus women save themselves from being sexually assaulted each year by having a gun. Plus, do people think it’s coincidence that almost all mass shootings take place in gun free zones? Several ‘would be’ mass shootings have been stopped by civilians with concealed weapons.  

So why are people like our president, and so many others, ready to fire so quickly at gun regulations when tragedies occur? Because they need something to blame. But the blame is misplaced. Pointing a finger at guns means that our society doesn’t have to look deeper, under the surface at what is really going on. Regulating guns or taking them away will not control the violence in our nation or anywhere in the world. That is a fact proven by ample evidence. So if I don’t believe that guns are the problem, then what is? Here are a few ideas of what I think are leading factors in mass shootings and terror attacks. 

Problem #1- our nation embraces, and really, celebrates violence. Just look at sports, movies and other forms of entertainment like video games. It is glorified in so many ways yet we are shocked when it plays out in reality. 

Problem #2-leaders in America refuse to acknowledge the threat of radical Islam. This is not a peaceful religion. Anyone who has ever studied the Quran, Islamic history, and witnessed the last century of horrors documented in the name of Islam, would have to concede this point. There are peaceful Muslims but that does not mean they reflect true Islam. 

Problem #3-our culture has little to no reverence for the one true God as revealed in the Bible and embodied in Christ Jesus. I admit this has been a problem since the beginning of our nation. It’s just taken different forms like slavery, lack of women’s rights, abuses towards Native Americans and racial minorities, acceptance of pornography and same sex marriage, public support for abortion, etc…This problem perpetuates every problem that a society has. 

Address these problems and we may actually see some change. Continue to ignore them, and things will get worse. Unfortunately it is not just an American problem, it’s a world problem. So we as a nation can change but we are so interconnected that the world needs to change with us. We certainly could act as a beacon of light to the nations and a catalyst to revival. As followers of Christ we need to commit to prayer, to grace, to living and sharing truth, to promoting healing and hope among those around us, to loving more than we ever have, and to pointing the world towards their Savior. He is our greatest hope in these dark times in which we live. And light shines the brightest in darkness! 

God bless my brothers and sisters!

Selective Sympathy

Predictions-2-Terrorism-Terrorism

The events that have taken place in Paris, France recently are extremely tragic. My heart has been broken for those who have lost loved ones and those who suffered at the hands of those evil men. For those of you who don’t exactly know what happened, here is a snapshot:

  • It took place last Friday
  • Three teams of terrorist groups coordinated the attacks
  • It happened at a concert hall, the Stade de France and at least two restaurants
  • At least 129 people were killed and 352 wounded in the attacks. Ninety-nine of the wounded are reported to be in a very serious condition.
  • Seven terrorists were killed, one fewer than the number ISIS claimed were involved
  • Two of the dead attackers have been identified
  • Six people, all relatives of one of the attackers, have been detained

Here is what France is doing about it:

  • 1,500 troops deployed to secure locations

  • More than 150 police anti-terror raids conducted in cities across France.

  • The French Air Force carried out bombing missions over Raqqa early Monday

Last night I was driving through town and saw the French flag displayed in lights on the local hospital and my wife told me that many people are changing their Facebook profiles by adding the French colors or flag in recognition and as support. Students have mine have been calling for prayer for the people of France (which is totally awesome!) and many politicians have publicly expressed their sympathies and support for the nation. All of this is incredibly moving and it really shows what love and compassion has no borders.

I have been left pondering one question…”where has this compassion and support been for all the other nations and peoples that have been ravaged by terrorism?” Bear with me for a moment. This was an attack on France…a modernized nation and major player in the world. But what about Nigerians? What about Egyptians? What about Syrians? What about the thousands upon thousands of Christians killed and even more forced to leave their homes? Where is the outcry by our government leaders for those people? Where’s the plethora of Facebook posts?

To reinforce my point here is a list of terrorist attacks in 2015 alone, several of which were worse than the attack on Paris.  Here are a couple from the list:

  • Date: April 2
    Death Toll: At least 147
    Perpetrator: Al-Shabab
    Location: Kenya
  • Date: June 25
    Death Toll: At least 154
    Perpetrator: Islamic State
    Location: Syria
  • Date: June 30 and July 1
    Death Toll: At least 145
    Perpetrator: Boko Haram
    Location: Nigeria
  • Date: Oct. 31
    Death Toll: 224
    Perpetrator: Islamic State
    Location: Egypt

It almost seems like the nations of the industrialized world rally behind each other but what about everyone else? Is it apathy? Is it racism? Is it even the fault of the public or is media to blame? Regardless of the cause…there is a problem. We need to call this what it is: Radical Islam’s war on the world. And we need to throw our support behind those people in the shadows, those not playing a major role in world economics, those who don’t speak a major world language, as well as our brothers and sisters in France. We need to do our part to bring justice, not just to some victims of terrorism, but to as many as we have the capability to. We need to pray for every victim no matter where they hail from.