Tragedy in Orlando and the National Conversation on Guns

Hi All

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…



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