Let me be candid.
I’m not a gun enthusiast. It wasn’t part of my heritage or upbringing. Even though I know how to use various firearms now, I’m still something of an amateur on the subject.
Even so, I feel the need to comment on the discussions in Washington and throughout the media recently calling for increased gun control legislation.
From my viewpoint, attention is being focused in the wrong direction.
I don’t claim to be an expert on the specifics of the gun control debate. Perhaps there are some commonsense measures that don’t infringe on constitutional liberties. Those seem to me to be a fair discussion. And certainly the issue of mental illness should not be overlooked.
But what if all of the angst and energy being directed toward this debate were instead being aimed at the root causes of the problem, starting with the breakdown of the family?
Statistics show that young men who are deprived of an active father figure are far more likely to commit violent crimes than those who have the steadying and loving influence of a dad in the home.
What about the effort to make ours an amoral society, the relentless messages from Hollywood and the media, from our schools and universities, from our music and video games, which confuse kids into thinking there is no real standard of right and wrong, good and bad?
How about the ongoing efforts to remove God from the public—and increasingly—the private square?
I grieve much like any parent when I see the all too common acts of violence that rock our culture and terrify and threaten our kids. This is an unsettling time to raise children, many of whom were born—like my two boys—with the dust of the collapsed Twin Towers still lingering in the cultural air. Unlike my own childhood, concerns about terrorism and episodes of mass violence are seemingly part of everyday discussions, and they often dominate the 24/7 news cycle. So I understand this frantic desire to do something—anything—to reverse this downward spiral and protect our kids.
But we will get nowhere on this issue unless we come to terms with reality.
We’re desperately chasing solutions that are simply a mirage.
The ultimate issue is not the misuse of inanimate objects. Since Cain used a rock or maybe some other object to slay his brother Abel, disturbed human beings have employed a wide array of neutral tools for wicked purposes. Look no further than the pressure cookers used in last week’s Boston Marathon tragedy, or the knife attack at the Houston-area college earlier this month, or the fact that 92% of violent crimes involve a weapon other than a firearm, most often the perpetrators’ own hands.
The heart of the matter then is not the existence of guns, knives or pressure cookers, it is this: It’s the evil lurking in the hearts of people. And there is only one solution to that problem.
His name is Jesus Christ, and the change He brings to a person’s heart is the ultimate cure for the violence and wickedness that surrounds us.
I imagine you have been following this whole debate. What are your thoughts?