Fear or Faith?
Posted on Tuesday, January 08th 2013 at 10:27 am
We continue to debate what can be done about gun violence in our national debate. I was at a dinner party the other night. One of my friends commented how it freaked him out when he first came to Tucson and saw men with guns strapped to their sides "like the old west", then he came to accept it as a part of Arizona culture. I looked into the eyes of another lady from Manhattan and saw fear and revulsion. From her perspective her second home in Tucson is like visiting a primitive culture. We then began a conversation that I will continue in this blog. Fear is a very powerful emotion. It has been said that it is the opposite of faith. Faith is part of the big three including hope and love that the apostle Paul wrote about. Fear fuels cowardice and violence.
There is fear on the part of people that don't own guns. They believe that if we had no guns we would have no violence. Pierce Morgan on CNN advocated for confiscation because he believes it made his native Britain a safer place. But, did you know that Britain has the most violent crime of any rich nation except Australia? They just use knives and clubs instead of guns.
There is fear on the part of gun owners that they will lose their right to own a gun and to defend themselves from criminals and tyranny (as the 2nd amendment allows). America is not Britain, (just as Tucson is not Manhattan), we will not tolerate the loss of our 2nd amendment rights. If we wouldn't have had an armed militia we would still be a colony of Britain. We also know that the confiscation of guns enabled Adolph Hitler to send 6 million Jews to their deaths without much of a fight. But, we need to examine reasonably what should be done to curb gun violence. I believe there are 3 things:
1. Address our culture of violence. Violent entertainment (movies, TV and video games) does contribute to the desensitization of people towards committing violent acts. Those in the industry that deny this must explain why a :30 commercial network television costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. If there is no influence then there would be no advertising value.
2. Address mental health issues. Since the movie "One flew over the Cuckoo's nest" it has become increasingly difficult to commit people to mental health facilities that are a danger to themselves and others.
3. Address gun access. It is reasonable to require a path to gun ownership including background checks and proper training on handling and safety. It would also be helpful for gun rights organization to become involved in the training and advocacy for gun safety.
It is time for reasonable people to come together to find a reasonable solution to gun violence. This must include people being able to defend themselves against the rapists and murderers who will obtain guns illegally no matter what we do. If we move forward with sound solutions then our national fear will be replaced by faith. And faith in the right thing is truly divine.