Back in February: “U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday described the deaths of three young Muslims gunned down in North Carolina this week as “brutal and outrageous murders” and said no one in the United States should be targeted for their religion.” No doubt to most people, that situation was a textbook hate crime.
In my opinion, there is no doubt the events of last week, where college students were asked if they were Christians, and then executed if they answered in the affirmative (though this man killed some other folks as well, there was no doubt some special viciousness reserved for those who claimed faith in Christ. Hard to imagine being the second person asked that question after the first was killed. It is, however, certainly a testament of faith). Still, you’d think the President would at least acknowledge this.
Or that a young man and former soldier ran at the gunman and tried to stop him. He could have gotten out of there, as he helped others evacuate.
He didn’t. He was unarmed, with little hope of success.
He still did something. That man is a hero.
Instead, the President (not to mention former Secretary Clinton) made the situation a forum for more gun control political speak. It makes sense, of course, with the election coming and all, but talking points are, after all, just talk.
Though there will be much more of that to come, no doubt.
Because guns kill people. We have to “get them.”
But it isn’t just politics, folks. Real lives are at stake. I was thinking about that—the tendency to politicize a tragedy to advance an agenda—and the logic confounds me. If so and so didn’t have such and such, he wouldn’t have done it. Or if so and so DID have such and such, he could have stopped it. But though these sentences have truth to them, it isn’t that simple.
Praying isn’t enough, I think the president said. He’s right. But neither is rhetoric. Nor is there any conceivable justification for stumping on the backs of murdered students, children, Marine Recruiters, or anyone else.
So stop trying. Have a little respect for the dead, not to mention yourselves.
Of course, guns do fall into the wrong hands. So do cars, for crying out loud. If you were determined enough to kill people—maybe even a lot of people—I think you would be able to find a way. Look at Timothy McVeigh, folks. He literally used bullcrap to take out a federal building. If someone is nuts enough or determined enough, and wants to kill people enough, he will find a way. It made me think of a line from the Bodyguard, when Frank says “If someone is willing to swap their lives for a killing, there’s no stopping them.”
Also, consider this clip from the movie “Full Metal Jacket, and note a short line in the middle: “It is a hard heart that kills.”
It’s a hard heart that kills.
A movie line, of course, but it rings with truth. And I believe the problem we face with guns, and killings (mass or otherwise) is a heart problem and not an access to firearms problem. I do understand the appeal of that argument, however. It absolves the person blaming the gun from personal responsibility.
And make no mistake, one chooses to fire a gun. A Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm, for example, has a 6.5 pound trigger pull weight, against a weight of 1.6 pounds for the weapon. It does not fire on its own.
Consider this excerpt from “The Gunslinger’s Creed,” taken from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower:
I do not kill with my gun, he who kills with his gun has forgotten the face of his father; I kill with my heart.
And that’s where we are as a country. We kill with our hearts—our hardened hearts. We’ve got a national heart problem. At the root of having respect for life is the acknowledgment that all lives have worth. Not just minorities of one sort or another—one religion or another.
We need to start teaching the value of a human life, indiscriminately. All life is valuable, and worth more than jewels. We need to work on softening our hearts toward the plight of others.
All lives matter, not just black, or white, or gay, or transgenital, or octocurious.
Life doesn’t mean anything to so many people these days. Murder often becomes arbitrary. Or in some communities, almost a rite of passage (look at Chicago murder statistics if you don’t believe me).
We can make guns as hard to get as we want—we can take them all away and melt them into camping ware.
The change it would bring to the epidemic of violence in our country would be negotiable, at best. Because our hearts are stone toward people not like us. Not all the time, but often enough that things like Oregon keep happening.
And if those with left-leaning tendencies stopped to think about the situation, they would realize that so many people doing terrible things with a gun are more likely to get them from someone’s closet, or car trunk than from Bud’s Guns. Statistically speaking, it’s pretty easy to fact-check.
There’s no waiting period or background check on the black market. Or maybe the person concerned would not use a gun at all.
For pity’s sake, the United States wasn’t invaded because (roughly quoted) the enemy feared “every citizen would be hiding behind a blade of grass with a gun.”
Of course, there are people who shouldn’t have guns. There’s a lot of crazy out there.
But gun free zones featuring one security guard carrying a can of mace in an active shooter situation are about as useful as teats on a bull.
It would probably be great for controlling hippies fighting over a chia and watercress sandwich, though.
I never thought of myself as a particularly violent person, but I think I can say truthfully that if I was somewhere where my life or the lives of those around me were threatened I would do whatever I had to in order to protect those lives, or at least try.
I think anyone would hopefully do that in the same situation.
“I’m sorry, active shooter. I would like to confront you, but I believe only police and mil—“
I pray that if that day ever comes for me, I would have the courage of my present convictions.
I would want to have the courage of that second person who confessed Christ after watching his or her classmate shot in the head.
I would want to be the congressperson who voted to defund, even at the cost of shutting down the government.
Because forgive my hate speech, but all lives matter. I realize that in my heart and acknowledge it fully, because Jesus lives there, too. But because I am human, I realize the quandary.
I would still kill to protect my family. I don’t want to, but I would.
I would kill to protect your family. I don’t want to do that, either.
But I would.
That’s because to some people out there, no lives matter.