Gun Control is quite the controversy these days. Seems everyone has more than enough studies and stats that support their side.
What happened in Oregon is simply disgusting. All sides will agree. And all sides are infuriated and desperately want to stop this type of behavior.
But how can we stop this? Some say gun control or gun elimination similar to the 1997 law in England is what we need. Often these proposals are given with amazing arrogance and surety that such measures will work. Others say arm everyone. There is a simplistic belief that all criminals will suddenly stop their bad behavior if they know a gun could be under someone’s coat. But will either of these steps really work in curbing our horrific murder rate?
First, what is actually going on?
In 2008 there were over 10,000 gun homicides and over 430,000 violent crimes committed with a gun visible. (Based on survey data from the U.S. Department of Justice as found on http://www.justfacts.com/)
That same year, according to a nationwide survey approximately 162,000 crimes were prevented due to firearms.
So no one will deny guns in the hands of many American citizens can be used for good or for bad. The statistics show both.
Note: I have seen statistics claiming 30,000 gun deaths, but I cannot find these stats even including the suicides. But for this discussion we will not include the suicides as preventing them differs from a discussion on gun law.
Do we need more gun limiting/control laws?
Before enacting new laws, what about the laws we have on the books now?
At the risk of sounding like an idiot, isn’t it illegal to murder with or without a gun? So to set the groundwork, let’s all admit that someone who is going to murder is not likely to be worried about how many laws he is breaking.
But some ask wouldn’t stricter laws prohibit criminals from getting guns?
“A 1997 U.S. Justice Department survey of 14,285 state prison inmates found that among those inmates who carried a firearm during the offense for which they were sent to jail, 0.7% obtained the firearm at a gun show, 1% at a flea market, 3.8% from a pawn shop, 8.3% from a retail store, 39.2% through an illegal/street source, and 39.6% through family or friends.” ( Report: “Firearm Use by Offenders.” By Caroline Wolf Harlow, U.S. Department of Justice, November 2001.)
If those statistics still hold true, that would mean that nearly 80% would not be affected by new gun control laws. And I am guessing the other 20% will figure this out quickly. So more gun laws would not appear to work, despite wishful thinking or arrogant insistence.
Do we need gun elimination laws?
The above statistic is used to state that eliminating guns is the only way to stop criminals from getting guns. Many point to Chicago, which in the early 1980’s made possession of a firearm illegal. After some difficult years which saw a temporary rise, the homicide rate has averaged 17% lower in Chicago. This is offered as proof that such laws would work. But a closer look is disturbing. During those same years, the national homicide rate fell 25% and the percentage of Chicago murders involving guns has risen 40% since the law. Not exactly convincing evidence.
Do we need gun armament laws for our citizens?
On the other side, those who desire the armament of citizens point to Florida, Texas, and Michigan which have allowed citizens to carry guns. In each of these states, murder rates have decreased. This brings many to conclude that arming citizens is the answer. However, these rates have not gone below murder rates from the 1960’s. So arming citizens appears to help, at least some, but it does not eliminate homicides and really only reverses recent climbs in this rate. I guess this is better than nothing, but not an answer to this problem.
So what is the answer?
All the con control laws – for or against guns will not stop the murdering. I see the problem as a moral issue. As a nation, we no longer adhere to basic moral codes as prescribed in the Bible and are now paying serious consequences. We have legalized murder in the form of abortion. As a nation, we applaud immoral behavior and make a mockery of God’s laws. Even Christians while condemning such immorality, on one hand, are more than willing to patronize movies and media that treat such immorality as normal.
New gun laws are a smoke screen that will not work and most likely make matters worse. Arming everyone will help some, but will not stop the deeper issue from manifesting in continued deaths.
What we need is a serious revival of people’s’ hearts. Without a revival, the only way to curb this is to either arm everyone creating vigilantes or surrender to the government allowing them to create a police state that forcibly removes guns. That is all an immoral society can do.
And I believe this needed revival has to begin with repentance with Christians and the church. Without a return to the Bible with surrendered hearts that respond to God’s grace we really do not have any hope.
2 Chronicles 7:14:
if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
May God’s “heart revival” begin. May our nation be turned around. Then and only then will we see this outrageous and senseless murdering subside.
And special thanks to parents who are standing against the moral slide in our country. Today’s Christ-honoring parents are my heroes. Day in and day out they are keeping their feet firm despite all the pressure to give in. That is why I keep writing and blogging at colossians2.com and at my other sites.
May God’s grace and peace be with you,
If you want to read the gun statistics for yourself visit http://www.justfacts.com/guncontrol.asp.
And for those who may not know, the above gun is my pellet gun. Not a real weapon!