December 18, 2012

Do you like this?

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a parent in Sandy Hook since Friday. If I had said goodbye to one of my children at the school gate that morning and never seen them again – except in a mortuary – well, I just don’t know. I would be howling. Inconsolable.

And obviously it has reignited the debate about gun control in the States. Some (including in the church) say we shouldn’t be political. I recall after [a shooting in] Dunblane here being asked not to preach about the wicked tragedy, but we must raise these issues. So maybe there are things I don’t understand as an outsider to American culture, but here are some of my questions for those who think gun control should not be tightened. I have put in bold what I perceive to be these people’s objections to legal restrictions. I have read several of these in the last three days, and – to let the cat out of the bag – I’m not convinced by the gun lobby.

Criminals will ignore laws They do – but on that basis you wouldn’t legislate anything. Is that what you want?

There are too many millions of guns in circulation for legislation to be effective Well, doesn’t that argument remind you of similar ones used to oppose Wilberforce and the abolitionist lobby?

America is different from other nations I’ve seen that as a comment on a friend’s Facebook page. I’m sorry, that’s just insulting. Is that just another version of American exceptionalism? And if you approach this as a Christian, how exactly is America not characterized by the same beauties and flaws of human character as anywhere else? It’s time to realize that the examples of other major nations when it comes to the public availability of arms show this up for what it is.

Quoting the Second Amendment in a fundamentalist way In other words, just quoting the words without context. Back then, guns were loaded one bullet at a time. Today, clips may have a hundred bullets. Since when is ‘the right to bear arms’ really a right to protect a consumerist lifestyle? How on earth can churches vocally support such a thing?

Laws won’t change the human heart Is anyone saying they will? Nobody is making so grandiose a claim. But laws still have a value, in restraining evil. Read Romans 13 again.

Sandy Hook happened because public prayer is banned in schools You mean your God is so small he can be rendered ineffective by the separation of Church and State? Read God can’t be kept out by Rachel Held Evans. Preach it, sister.

This isn’t about gun control, it’s about mental health We don’t know all we can know about Adam Lanza, but does it really stand up to say, ‘Just keep weapons out of the hands of the crazies and we’ll be OK’? Are mentally stable people always to be trusted with guns?

My dear American friends: Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook and many other places. How many more young lives must be cut down before effective action is taken?

Meanwhile, can we in the church model a different way? A better way? A kingdom way?

Dave Faulkner is a British Methodist minister.


December 18, 2012

Comments (3)

Comment Feed

a yank who agrees

We don't all want to rehash the War of Independence, mate. I think polls will show that a majority of Americans support a lot more restrictions on personal firearms than we have now. Politicians either fear the National Rifle Association or they are beholden to major donations from arms manufacturers. Eventually, common sense will prevail.

jeff 67 days ago

Just another Brit

Why you Brits think you have the right or authority to tell Americans how to live is beyond me. You still have royalty, you don't have a constitution, and you beat each other to death of soccer games. We kicked you out of here over 200 years ago and then had to rescue you in 2 world wars. Stay on you little island and mind your own business. When you grow up and have a "written' constitution, maybe you can join the fee world.

Gary 68 days ago

Gun Control

Thousands of Americans have firearms and have had the right to have them for 266 years. In my humble opinion, blaming gun ownership is like blaming the food producers for people being too fat or blaming car manufacturers for vehicle deaths. I think we have to ask ourselves where are these mentally and evil possessed people coming from? What has happened to our society that these acts of malice can be perpetrated? I wish I knew the answers. Could it be that we live in a hedonistic society where if it feels okay with you, then it should be okay with me? Could it be that some years back we opened the mental institutions and put people on the streets that were not able to care for themselves? Many of them wound up being homeless or incarcerated. Could it be that we don't allow God to direct and guide us.
Pray brothers and sisters - pray.

Gene Mims more than 1 years ago



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