Tag Archives: handguns

Armed and Dangerous: Liberals, Conservatives and A-politicals

In a blog post on June 26, 2016, I wrote:  Gun violence in America is a scourge.  Had an invader killed as many of our citizens, we would be demanding a declaration of war from our Congress.

On June 12, 2016, after the massacre at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando I wrote:  We in the United States are living in a country that is terrorized by its own inhabitants. We are and have been perpetually at war now for more than fifteen years.  We are polluted by violence.

On October 2, 2015, I wrote about the problem of gun violence as a problem with our human nature (not our political label):  For we are a corrupted people whose hearts, like a branch infested by insects, are hollowed out.

Today, June 14, 2017, I say again:  stop gun violence in this country. The shooting of people who differ from us politically, by race, gender or religion, is despicable.

ON this day, when once again an armed individual shot a Congressman, a staff member,  and two Capitol police officers; in San Francisco, where four were killed at a UPS center; and in a year when another 30-40 thousand or so people will be murdered by guns, we say yet again:  we desperately need to regulate guns and ammunition and we need to speak to our culture that is in love with death.  This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. It is a human issue.  It is about our civilization.  And it is simply galling that those who have dedicated their lives to making access to weapons available without regulation then feign surprise when shootings occur.

Tomorrow and the day after and the week after, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, liberals, conservatives and a-political individuals will take up arms and kill people.  Don’t be fooled by the likes of Newt Gingrich or Steve King who seek to use these crimes for their own ideological ends. The problem is and has been the easy access to guns and assault weapons.   We have heard it said and rightly so that had it not been for the police detail assigned to Congressman Scalise, things would have been worse.  To those who point that out, let me remind you that for the vast numbers of Americans, we have no guards assigned to protect us.  The Congress, State Congresses and Supreme Court have, along with the profit motive of gun manufacturers and sellers,  filled our streets with weapons.  We are being gunned down every day. Some more than others.  It is far past time for honest appraisals of why this is so.

Guns + Hatred in America

Our hearts go out to the families of those callously gunned down in the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina.  What a wicked act!  Everyone is asking, of course, how does a person walk into  a church (and the perpetrator of this crime apparently sat with them for an hour before murdering them) and then execute nine people of faith?  That is exactly the question we should ask.

Human personality is collective, developmental and does not appear ready-made and complete. In other words, this young man drew his ideas from somewhere; someone or some people played a role in his life. Where did he learn to hate Black people?  What on earth gave him the idea that murdering people was okay?  These will be difficult questions to answer since the mind is also mercurial and despite even good influences, will bend toward the wicked. But one thing that is not difficult to answer is how he was able to purchase a gun in the United States.  The NRA owns so many of our congresspersons, has acted as a ministry of propaganda for the arming of any and everyone and in the name of freedom has facilitated a process that makes these deadly weapons more easily available  than drugs.

Indeed, guns + hatred in America is a drug.  Faiths United to Prevent Handgun Violence reports :  “New research was just released showing that the licensing of all handgun purchasers in Connecticut has led to a 40% drop in gunhomicides in the state. This is just on the heels of last year’s study that showed a 25% increase in gunhomicides when Missouri repealed it’s requirement that handgun purchasers be licensed. Both studies ruled out other possible explanations for the changes in gun homicides.”

May a surge of effort arise out of churches and likeminded persons who are sick and tired of gunhomicides in this country. Let us work together to make handgun purchaser licensing a national priority.  You can begin by visiting Tale of Two States and signing the resolution to legislate such a requirement. In the meanwhile, we will pray for Emmanuel AME.  Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy.