This is a follow up to my last post on gun control. Since that time, I attempted to purchase a rifle. Filled out the online form at the store, and assumed they would tell me there was a waiting period while a thorough background check was done. I figured it would take at least a few days. It took 10 minutes. I could have walked out of the store with my rifle less than 1/2 hour after walking in. The boy was confused when I told him I had changed my mind, but he could not have been more confused than me. So I checked my state’s laws on gun purchases. No waiting period.
No time for a person to cool down. No space for someone to change their mind about killing their spouse, neighbor, teacher…whoever. And that’s just what I found in a very quick internet search. I’m sure there is much more that just wouldn’t make sense to me.
So yeah, I’m a Republican and a supporter of the 2nd Amendment. And I want some kind of gun control. But the more I’ve thought about it, the more I’ve realized that guns are only a very small part of the reason kids are shooting up their schools.
There is an argument about other countries who have tighter gun control laws, and lower incidents of gun shootings as a result. But surely that isn’t the whole story. So I want to ask questions about those countries that people talk about.
What is their abortion rate? How many of their cities have gangs, and children who witness murder, whether by gun or some other form on a far too often basis? What kind of television shows and/or movies are their children watching on a regular basis? What are the typical video games are people playing?
Do those countries have the same culture of death and desensitization to murder as the United States? Are their young people being raised with the same disregard for human life as ours?
While I do believe there needs to be some kind of gun control other than what currently exists, I do not believe that guns are the entire problem. And I don’t believe that gun control is the solution we think it may be.
The problem is our culture. And until we are willing to admit that, and take steps to change it, kids will continue to kill kids.
Unless we are willing to say that killing unborn children is wrong, our kids won’t believe it’s wrong. Unless we are willing to stop the barrage of violence that entertains them, they will continue to find death and murder to be primarily entertainment. They will not understand that you can’t just start the game over, as though death didn’t happen.
So the easy access, almost non-existent mental health checks, and various other loopholes in gun laws is a huge problem, and immediate change is needed. But it is just a floating piece of ice that looks easy to maneuver around. Because we don’t see the iceberg that is below the surface, and that iceberg is what will ultimately sink us.
I believe the Church can shift a culture. When we stand on truth and refuse to back down. When we choose to live counter-cultural lives. When we raise our children in a Kingdom culture. When we take the culture of the Kingdom of God into our workplaces. When we move into the spheres of this culture, bringing light with us into government, education, healthcare, the justice system, and the entertainment industry, to name a few. When we choose, at every level, to live counter to the culture around us, including what we allow to entertain us. A culture is shifted when a stronger culture begins to move in. We have watched this happen in our country, to the detriment of our country. But I will always believe that the Church has the power to shift atmospheres, shift cultures, and shift this war that is threatening the next generation.