|It Is Not a Gun Issue - It Is a Fallen World Issue|
It is not a gun issue - it is a doorway issue:
We are torn between restricting the access of outsiders, while at the same time assuring safe evacuation routes for insiders. Which do we fear the most at any given time? Which has the greater likelihood of happening? Which is the cheapest? We busily build separating walls and barbed-wire fences, while we let the bridges between us fall from neglect. We say (as individuals, as churches, as societies) that we have open hearts, open minds, and open doors; yet we feel the need to guard each portal and make them narrow ways.
It is not a gun issue - it is an empathy issue:
We are deluged by "me-first" messages from entertainers, politicians, prosperity preachers, and other merchants: ME first; MY family second; MY tribe third. Anything beyond that is too abstract; or there is nothing left over because we think that care and understanding are limited non-renewable resources; or we think care and understanding are signs of weakness and that others will take advantage of us. We are too small minded, too lacking in imagination, too self-centered, and too selfish, to be able to identify with others that we do not personally know, or who do not look like us. We objectify, dehumanize, categorize, and put people in labeled boxes. We seek to knock others down so that we can feel taller.
It is not a gun issue - it is a religion/morality issue:
We do not value Life. We do not value Creation. We do not value human lives. We dehumanize the other, we exclude the different, we fragment society into partisan camps, we value profit above people. God helps those who help themselves dammit. We call the beatitudes socialist platitudes. We are a mighty people, a mighty nation, and believe that might makes right. We ignore Jesus because he is not what we want him to be - what we want to be. We seek to own all things: the people around us; our environment; even God. We fear being sheep, so we become wolves in goat's clothing.
It is not a gun issue - it is a media/entertainment issue:
Video games, networks, the news, studios, publishers, and drug cartels are all profit-driven reflections of consumer desires. There is big money to be made by serving our inner desires for power, money, violence, revenge, and sex - all without consequences to ourselves. We no longer strive for emotional, social, and spiritual maturity, but seek to remain perpetual infants.
It is not a gun issue - it is a thoughts and prayers issue:
We are thoughtless in our attitudes, our actions, and our reactions. We pray that God bless America just the way it is, rather than ask the Lord to transform it into something closer to God's Kingdom. We do not pray each day for justice, discernment, or guidance. We pray for things, forgiveness, grace, and mercy for ourselves, but deny them to others.
It is not a gun issue - it is a mental-health issue:
We stigmatize and socially isolate the mentally ill from the rest of the herd, while at the same time we reduce the access to health-care and mental-health-care to those who can't afford it. We demand respect as our essential due for our personhood, but are not first respectful to others. We are resentful when we feel slighted, and we listen to the whispering devils. We tell people that revenge is sweet justice. We mock the ill, the poor, the outcast. We allow them access to weapons. We are then surprised when they snap.
It is not a gun issue - it is a biological issue:
Males wanting to be alphas, expecting free access to women upon demand. We have lost the distinctions between lust and love, partnership and dominance, propriety and property - we seek instant gratification over relationship building. We embrace our biological urges as natural, while devaluing intellectual freedom and liberating restraint as artificial political correctness.
It is not a gun issue - it is a political issue:
We have created a governing system centered upon the accumulation, use, and abuse of money, and give lobbyists, corporations, and other powerful special-interest groups greater influence and access to leaders who first serve those who can best keep them in power. We do not want leaders and shepherds; we would rather have mirrors and enablers.
It is not a gun issue - it is a liberty issue:
Over time we have over and over made decisions about which actions and words we as a nation desire to place limitations on for the benefit of the whole; as a necessary part of living together in communities. We choose together as a society with our purchase power, our voting clout, and our voices or our silence. We daily choose some "rights" over others. We choose our rights over the rights others. We choose moment by moment. We have chosen (and by that act created) the world we live in today.
It is not a gun issue - it is an "us" issue:
We can be saints and angels, but we can also be "animals".
Guns are icons of strength and security, extensions of ourselves, and magical tokens of power over others.
Guns either reveal our strength of character, or magnify our weaknesses.
Guns are serious tools; and tools can be things of great danger in the wrong hands - unskilled hands, incompetent hands, reckless hands, angry hands, confused hands...
To protect our right to own firearms, should we not be willing (with wisdom, discernment, and love) to selflessly place sensible controls and safeguards upon our rights? Can we not work together to make it a gun issue as a first step towards the more complex "us" issue?