Friday, February 15, 2013

Guns 'n Roses Questions

For every specific instance put forth as a general argument pro or con, there is another just as convincing for the opposite view. In a local discussion, a commentor put forth some numbers that are startling. In neighboring Washington State, the number of gun deaths now exceeds the number of motor vehicle deaths by a significant margin.
Having a gun in the home of the Newtown, CT, shooter did not keep that young man's mother safe. She was killed with her own gun. Oscar Pistorius' girlfriend, as the allegations now stand, wasn't safer because her lover had a gun in the home--although to be fair, I don't know how many would-be home invaders Mr. Pistorius may have fought off with that gun in the past. Three a day? Any at all?

I always wonder... would the (alleged) killers in either of the above cases have killed the women, would depressed and angry fathers have murdered their wives and their own children, if they'd had to actually touch them, hold them down long enough to shove the knife blade in several times. Does that few feet of remoteness, that powerful extension of self and self-will afforded by firearms make any difference? Does it make all the difference in the world? Does it make the difference between life and death?

I think so, and the numbers of suicides by firearm among males tells a story of its own. It's quick. It's powerful. It's nearly always 100% effective.... before there is time to reconsider... Before there is time to feel something.

Even if we had not one firearm related death in this country for the next decade, the sirens of alarm should have our ears endlessly ringing. Why is it that we are failing to socialize so many young males into mature, stable, strong yet empathetic adults capable of taking care of themselves and offering by their character and lives, a human being capable of sustaining a relationship, facing and meeting challenges, husbanding and fathering families?

How many lives are "lost" to us this way because they are still living and breathing on the outside but coming apart or never put together on the inside?

How DO we make better, safer people? What DOES Christ call us to do? What DOES Christ empower us to do? For one look, and since it's Black History Month, we might look at Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 1967 book: Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? That's a legitimate question. I hear a lot of answers being put forward today, but I don't hear nearly enough questions. I have never known worthwhile answers to come in the absence of meaningful questions.