What happened in Orlando in the early hours of Sunday morning was tragic and terrible. It is the worst mass shooting in American history. The last two nights I have found myself awake staring at the ceiling in my bedroom overwhelmed with thoughts and looking for answers. The loss of life and implications of this event are overwhelming. Yesterday I was reminded of the passage from Romans that reminds us to “…Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn” (Romans 12:15) In fact, reading Romans 12:9-21 really puts things in perspective for me as a Christian. The entire context of that passage is in contradiction with the level of hate that was displayed by the perpetrator of the crime. Indeed the worldview espoused by Christians directly contradicts what ISIS and its sympathizers live for.
As members of a free society who see infinite and intrinsic value in every individual, it is our responsibility to engage in national and local conversation in order to come up with solutions. We are all bearers of the image of God and every time something like this happens we owe it to the departed and to our progeny to carry on this privilege. In light of this fact I have put together a bit of information and resources below (from a previous blog) if you are so interested. In the coming weeks and months each of us will be continuously fed information from media and well meaning friends regarding guns in America. It is our responsibility to at least be aware of the information that we are absorbing and to make our own minds up on the subject. Do not follow the social script.
Federal legislators will try to quickly pass laws in the wake of this most recent national tragedy. In my opinion, people who want to rush to pass legislation are not bad, for the most part, they are just wrong for the most part. This being the case, we also need to realize that our opponent’s assessment of people who disagree with them will probably not be as charitable. Those who disagree with them can be considered any of the following adjectives: mean, hateful, evil, brainwashed, ignorant, etc… This tactic of name-calling is a go-to strategy in today’s feelings-centered culture. Presenting an alternative viewpoint, which was once considered “open-minded” and good, is now considered anathema by many, even in our universities. Nobody wants to be considered mean or ignorant or hateful. Yet this is what conservatives are called when it comes to most policy related national conversations.
Let’s do our homework and at least know both sides of the argument. Let’s not demonize the “other side” but engage them with words and reason. Let’s be open to critique and persuasion. After all, would we not expect the very same of those with whom we disagree? This is our duty and our right.
That is all…
- 14 Things Everyone Should Understand about Guns – Very good article as an introduction to guns, gun-safety, terminology, law, and culture.
- Gun ownership and use is currently MORE regulated at the Federal level than driving cars contrary to what is commonly heard on the topic: “Okay, Let’s Regulate Guns Like Cars”
- If you are thinking that the Federal government does not have enough oversight or say in gun related law please refer to the United States Code Title 18, Part I, Chapter 44, Section 922 for the pages and pages of laws that are already there (found here: https://www.gpo.gov/…/USCODE-2…/html/USCODE-2009-title18.htm)
- An Assault weapons ban has already been tried- The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (Found here: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c103:1:./temp/~c103VrFZMI:e644150🙂 made it illegal to manufacture, transfer, or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon in the U.S. for 10 years until expired in 2004. “That the law did not have much of an impact on overall gun crime came as little surprise…For one, assault weapons were used in only 2 percent of gun crimes before the ban. And second, existing weapons were grandfathered, meaning there were an estimated 1.5 million pre-ban assault weapons and 25 million to 50 million large-capacity magazines still in the U.S.” (Found here: http://www.factcheck.org/2013/02/did-the-1994-assault-weapons-ban-work/) Most murders are committed with handguns and the only way to re-try this 1994 assault weapon ban again with supposed “better” results would be for the Federal government to take pre-existing (grandfathered- previously legal) guns away from millions of Americans, which will likely never be possible. As the article above shows, criminals still found ways to get their hands on alternative, non-banned large capacity magazine weapons and crimes committed with these sorts of guns increased even as crimes with assault weapons slightly decreased. Basically, criminals either ignored the laws or committed the same crimes by different means.
- “Statistics and Gun Laws”– (My article) A statistical analysis on states that are lenient on guns and have a large population of concealed carriers vs. states that are stricter on guns and have enacted greater gun control. This was written in attempt to show the usefulness and limits of statistical analysis. It was also written with the purpose of helping our national legislators tap the brakes by thinking prudently and not merely in reaction to national tragedies.
- “Comparing Murder Rates Across Countries”
- “Comparing Death Rates from Mass Public Shootings and Mass Public Violence in U.S. and Europe”
- “Fewer Than 1 Percent of State Prison Inmates Obtained Their Guns… From Gun Shows…”
- Guns Saving Lives
- “Murder and Homicide Rates Before and After Gun Bans”
- “White House Cant Name a Mass Shooting that Would have Been Prevented by Gun Control Legislation”
- Gun Facts and Statistics (great resource as a quick reference to stats and facts)
- U.S. Gun Laws state-by-state
- “…Gun Violence Declining, Except in Gun-Free Zones”
- “America’s Faulty Perception of Crime Rates” – Brennan Center for Justice report on declining gun violence and homicide rate over the last 20 years despite media coverage.
- Blackstone’s Commentaries and our English Heritage– (My article)On the idea of self-protection as a natural right from English Common Law.
- Memo from Columbine Massacre– (My article)
- Guest Contributor- Mass Shootings Are a Real Issue, and We Need a Real Solution
- Godless America- Predictions from the Bible and the Founders – (My article)
- Democrats do not care about Due Process as they did when the Patriot Act was passed – They flip-flopped their position and do NOT care about rights when it comes to a proposed “terror list”. Pro gun control Democrats can be defined as demagogues: “a political leader who seeks support by appealing to popular desires and prejudices rather than by using rational argument.”
- The Second Amendment isn’t about Hunting or Self-defense, but Revolution
- 7 Gun Control Myths that Just Won’t Die
- The “Gun Show Loophole allows anyone, even criminals, to get guns (LIE)
- Nobody’s demanding confiscation of guns (LIE)
- Buying a gun is as easy as buying groceries (LIE)
- Concealed carriers don’t prevent mass shootings (LIE)
- The second amendment only applies to muskets (LIE)
- Gun violence is skyrocketing (LIE)
- “Gun free zones” prevent gun violence (LIE)
- Do we really need “assault rifles”?
- Do we really need “Assault Rifles”? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2OhBBC_Cyeo