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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.

Solomon’s Wisdom and Gun Control

22 Dec

We celebrate the wisdom of ancient Israel’s king, Solomon, even today. He is known for one judgment in particular, in which he settled a dispute between two prostitutes by having a sword brought to cut a child in two. (SPOILER ALERT: The child lived. See the full story below.)

The Second Amendment Lobby tells us we all need guns for our protection, and that More Guns Equals Less Crime.

But do we? Do they? And does the NRA stand in the place of Solomon?

All I see when we talk about the right to bear arms is a bunch of dead kids.

*******

A Wise Ruling (1 Kings 3:16-28, NIV)

Now two prostitutes came to the king and stood before him.
One of them said, “My lord, this woman and I live in the same house. I had a baby while she was there with me.
The third day after my child was born, this woman also had a baby. We were alone; there was no one in the house but the two of us.
“During the night this woman’s son died because she lay on him.
So she got up in the middle of the night and took my son from my side while I your servant was asleep. She put him by her breast and put her dead son by my breast.
The next morning, I got up to nurse my son—and he was dead! But when I looked at him closely in the morning light, I saw that it wasn’t the son I had borne.”
The other woman said, “No! The living one is my son; the dead one is yours.” But the first one insisted, “No! The dead one is yours; the living one is mine.” And so they argued before the king.
The king said, “This one says, ‘My son is alive and your son is dead,’ while that one says, ‘No! Your son is dead and mine is alive.’ ”
Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword for the king.
He then gave an order: “Cut the living child in two and give half to one and half to the other.”
The woman whose son was alive was filled with compassion for her son and said to the king, “Please, my lord, give her the living baby! Don’t kill him!” But the other said, “Neither I nor you shall have him. Cut him in two!”
Then the king gave his ruling: “Give the living baby to the first woman. Do not kill him; she is his mother.”
When all Israel heard the verdict the king had given, they held the king in awe, because they saw that he had wisdom from God to administer justice.

Lies, John R. Lott, and the US Gun Lobby

19 Dec

I have already blogged before – albeit incredibly briefly – about gun control in the US. This shocking article reveals the depth of the lies upon which the gun rights lobby in America bases its claims.

John R. Lott is a very influential figure in American politics. His data on gun rights and their effects on crime form the basis of huge numbers of policy decisions, most of which have encouraged and enabled more people to have access to firearms. This in spite of the escalating levels of gun violence, deaths and school massacres on US soil. Yet the article cited above shows beyond all doubt that Lott’s “data” are not only deeply flawed, but essentially fabricated. Lott even went so far as to create a “sockpuppet” – a false internet identity by the name of Mary Rosh – who praised his achievements in glowing terms on internet discussion boards. As the article points out, this is not the behaviour of somebody whose data are unimpeachable.

Real evil is amongst us. There is no limit to how far some people will go to present their arguments as truth for the sake of personal gain or to preserve their own brand of “freedom”. In Lott’s case, he enables the gun rights lobby to stand up to its critics by putting lies in their mouths that appear persuasive, influencing even Christians who defend possessing weapons in the face of growing gun violence on the basis of Lott’s statistics.

It is the same in other fields too. My friend Dr. Christina Hellmich exposes in her book Al-Qaeda: From Global Network to Local Franchise how much of the West’s policy towards Islamist terrorism was based on the work of people who were not experts in their fields and who had invented their qualifications. In the case of both Lott and the gun rights lobby and the War on Terror, the flawed “research” has been debunked, yet their claims stubbornly persist and continue to manipulate public policy.

What is the answer? The Bible says, “You shall not give false testimony.” [1] Very often we interpret that to mean simply “Don’t lie”, but in this context, the word “testimony” has special import. In context the verse is applicable to making a statement in court. It means to bear false witness; to stand up in the public forum in which truth is both expected and demanded and to declare as truth something that is not true. And in our politically charged modern world, there is no shortage of people who are prepared to lie in order to get what they want.

Paul tells us: “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness,” [2] and it is true. We have, by and large, rejected God from society, and in so doing have enabled those who suppress truth to take the field. What other consequence can there be when we insist that God and the Bible are no longer relevant or desirable, and the dog-eat-dog rationale of the materialist-evolutionists undergirds the thinking of those who have an axe to grind or a gain to make?

And in all this it is the innocent who suffer. Real children die, and real families grieve, because of the lies that people like John R. Lott promote. If we want justice, peace and safety for our children, then surely we as a society need to learn to love truth.

Notes
[1] Exodus 20:16
[2] Romans 1:18

Everything America Needs to Know About Gun Control

18 Dec

If your kids can’t play safely with their toys, you take their toys away.

It’s that simple.

 

 

Note: In view of how quick some people are to attach stereotypes to those who speak out on gun control, the author of this article would like to point out that he is not a pacifist, vegetarian, homosexual, hippie, cross-dresser, momma’s boy, weed-smoker, tree-hugger or closet communist. He has, however, been trained in the safe and accurate use of various firearms by a British military cadet force. The author also likes action movies and can’t wait for the next episode of Homeland.

See also: The Gun Lobby’s Deadly Sales Pitch, Australian ABC article by David Smith.

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