Ever since the beginning of time there has been a problem with people hurting other people, often brutally. It is amazing how quickly in the Biblical story one reads of one person killing another. In that story when Cain killed his brother Abel it was over jealousy. Immediately God laid out the punishment that Cain would face because of his sin. His response was that it was too great for him to bear. It makes one wonder if there has ever been a time when punishment has been meted out because of a crime that it didn’t feel like it was too much for the one being punished. Long before guns had ever been imagined people found ways to hurt and kill each other. There were those times when the Bible revealed one person killing large numbers of other people and how God dealt with the crimes.
Here is something that stands out in the whole of Scripture. God never dealt with the problem of murder or one person hurting or killing another by banning the weapon that was used. He didn’t seek to outlaw slingshots after David successfully killed Goliath. There was never a suggestion to ban swords or even to limit the length of the swords or how sharp they could be. Instead God always struck at the heart of the person and talked about matters like hatred, jealousy and the refusal to forgive. In Genesis 34 there is a story of Jacob and his twelve sons and one daughter. When they returned to their homeland and Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite saw Dinah, Jacob’s daughter he longed for her. he took her and forced her to have sex with him. When he went back home he told his dad that he wanted Dinah to marry. She went home to tell her dad and father that she had been raped. Hamor came to Jacob to ask for Dinah for his son to be his wife. When Dinah’s full brothers Simeon and Levi heard about the whole thing they came up with a plan. They told the Hivites that the only way they could give Dinah to Shechem was if the men were all circumcised like the Jews so that they could take their women as wives and give their women as wives to them. The Hivites agreed and all the men were circumcised. On the third day after being circumcised when they were horribly sore, Simeon and Levi took their swords and went to their village and murdered all the men of the city. Notice Jacob didn’t blame the sword and try to ban the use of the sword. He instead blamed the anger and rage of Levi and Simeon.
Is there any value to having some forms of gun control to help with the problems in our own world with mass killings? There may be some value at least in banning some forms of weapons. But the reality is that people bent on doing harm to other people will find some way of carrying out the crimes whether guns are available or not. Think of things that have been used as a means of mass killings in our own time that have nothing to do with guns. The greatest slaughter of our generation was the airplanes used as weapons to attack the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Who would ever have considered banning airplanes or even box cutters because of their use in this crime? In the Oklahoma bombing it was mixing of fertilizer that caused the explosion that did so much harm and took the lives of innocent people.
Understand that I don’t believe the second amendment guarantees everyone the right to every kind of gun ever made. Banning assault weapons my be a worthwhile endeavor. But if one thinks that banning such weapons or taking away the guns from law abiding citizens will somehow put an end to violence and terroristic attacks then they will be sadly mistaken. To solve the problems of such violence in the world will demand the change of people from the heart out. We will need to find ways to help people deal with anger, prejudice, hatred and revenge. In reality in far too many cases the deeper problem is some form of mental illness in which a person feels they have been mistreated, disrespected or abused by other people. To solve the problem of killing people there needs to be clear teaching to people of all ages about the value of human life, whether that life is weak or strong, one race or another, young or old, sick or healthy, in the womb or in the nursing home or hospice care. When some human life is seen of little or no value and easily expendable we will try in vain to prove that one doesn’t have the right to take the lives of others whom they believe are worthless. When we teach respect for all people, even the ones who are very different from us and who believe in very different things that we do we will help with the problem of murder and terrorism in the world.
Most of the cries for gun control as a means of solving the world’s problems are naive at best and political subtrafuse at worst.