I’m not a gun owner and I don’t plan on owning a gun soon. I have shot a gun a few times but not enough to even consider myself an “amateur”. With so much debate surrounding guns lately, I thought I would add a couple of my own thoughts to the conversation.
There is no doubt with the recent shootings in Newtown, Conn. and Aurora, Co. that guns and regulation of these firearms needs to be addressed. However, I also feel that it is important for us all to remember that the people who have committed these horrible atrocities are the minority of people who were gun owners. Don’t get me wrong, I do feel like weapons that are “military” grade should not be “accessible” to the general public.
With January 19 being National Gun Appreciation Day, there are a couple of things to be mindful of regardless of which side of the argument you are on.
- All life is precious.
Whether a gun is used to kill people or an animal, it is killing. Why else does one own a gun unless they thought they might actually use it to kill someone or something. In some ways the killing is for food, in other situations for sport or protection and in extreme cases guns have been used to kill the innocent. In my mind, all life is precious and God-given. When anyone is holding a gun, this is an important fact to remember. Last year 450 school kids were shot, fatally wounding 63 of them.
However, if we are going to address this assault on children then we should also understand that there are more than a million children killed each year through abortions. If the lives of children and protecting the innocent is really at the heart of this issue, then we would be remiss to dismiss the precious lives of those who have no voice. In my opinion, all life is precious, whether it’s a fetus, an animal, an elderly person on life support or a convicted criminal facing lethal injection. Therefore we must engage this debate prayerfully, careful to not be hypocritical about the importance of life regardless if it’s a 6 year old or a 6 day old fetus.
- Hatred is a crime.
There must certainly be rules and regulations within our world. Even God gave us commandments like to “not kill”, which came long before guns were even in the picture. Nonetheless, man has found a way to commit murder in various ways throughout time. However, Jesus went a step further to say that if a man has hate in his heart then he has committed murder. Of course this is not a physical death, but that hatred could most certainly lead to physical killing. My point is that we cannot ignore that hatred is also a crime. With hate crimes and bullying on the rise in America, we cannot fail to address this issue within our dialogue of gun violence.
Suicide is consistently high on the list of leading causes of death among teens. Many of these suicides in recent days have been due to students being victims of bullies and hatred and the death came through or by a gun. The CDC has reported that there are 4,400 suicides each year, with many of those coming as a result of bullying.
As we approach this National Gun Appreciation Day, it is my prayer that we would not soon forget that our goal as human beings should be first and foremost to honor God in our bodies and with our lives and then seek to protect the life and all that God has created. Gun debates or gun control is not the answer to our problems.Loving God and submitting all our ways to Him is. May our country rediscover this soon!