Archive | June, 2016

Where is the heart among pro-gunners?

23 Jun

You can tell a lot about people by how they treat those who disagree with them.

And gun control is one of those subjects that seems to bring out the worst in some people far more than it brings out the best in others.

This lovely meme is circulating in response to the sit-in protest staged in the lower house of the US Congress yesterday by Democrats calling for gun control legislation in the wake of the shootings two weeks ago at Orlando gay bar, Pulse.

gun control politicians with dummies

Apparently men and women who call for an end to rampant irresponsible gun rights are babies (as well as hypocrites for being guarded, albeit with considerable justification, by men who have been trained to use weapons safely and who do not take those weapons home with them or treat them as status symbols).

All of which begs the question: where is the heart among pro-gunners? 

People are being killed while gun nuts mock – in homes, in schools, in cinemas, on streets, and most recently in gay bars. And it is not only politicians who are targeted for abuse: even shooting victims and bereaved family members who campaign for gun control – particularly women – can expect to be on the receiving end of threats of all kinds, including spitting, attacks through social media, sexual harassment and physical violence.

This sits oddly with the image gun lovers have of themselves as heroes, protectors of the good, defenders of Freedom, etc. Shouldn’t protecting people include treating people with dignity, even if they don’t share your views, or at least, y’know, not threatening to rape them or not issuing “subtle” death threats by posting intimidating videos of your carryin’ chums shooting at targets that clearly stand in for the people you don’t like?

Shouldn’t protecting people include attempting to empathise with those who have lost loved ones, rather than dismissing them as whiners?

Spiritually, too, there is a sinister aspect to all of this – all the more so given that many who jump on the bandwagon of social-media mocking are professing Christians. Hard-heartedness of the kind that makes light of people’s attempts to save lives from needless slaughter is a spiritual problem; turning a blind eye to death and destruction and laughing at those who try to stop the killings indicates spiritual bondage, or at the very least a serious lack of empathy.* If you have trouble swallowing that, ask yourself if such behaviour is loving or peaceable.

Indeed, is it in line with any part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit?

If the deaths of innocent children, the terror felt by those present when a shooting takes place, and/or the sight of survivors who will never walk again don’t cause you to feel some empathy – don’t cause you to question whether there may be something wrong with the pursuit of Ever More Weapons – there is something badly amiss.

It’s time we started to care about one another. And maybe we could begin by not mocking those who care enough to stand up and do something. And those who show they care by sitting in.

*Lack of empathy is a symptom of psychopathy – not that I’m trying to connect those two dots at this point.

See also: My disclaimer – Everything America Needs to Know About Gun Control.

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