“An emotional US President Barack Obama has unveiled new restrictions on gun purchases, saying the “constant excuses for inaction” have to stop.” Thus begins one of many reports on the US President’s actions to tighten gun control, and in the light of numerous recent incidents when someone with a gun has managed to massacre many innocent people, often in schools and colleges.
I reflected on the action that should be taken when I blogged on the recent Oregon college shooting and reflected how in the USA there is a strong lobby to uphold the right to bear arms (one way it has to be admitted whereby individuals might protect themselves) whereas when tight gun control measures were introduced in the UK there was hardly any resistance and most thought it was a good thing.
Far be it from me to pontificate on matters I do not fully understand, including why Obama has short cutted the normal process for dealing with such matters in order to address what he sees as something that needs urgently addressing. I am no lover of guns and other than clay pigeon shooting or at a fair have never touched a gun, have had no desire to do so and am alarmed at the prospect that some might take up arms, especially for the wrong reasons. Getting rid of guns seems the way to go but for the prospect that the very people we would want not to have a gun may very well and will still get hold of one if they so desired.
These thoughts alone would not have been enough for me to want to devote a whole blog posting on the matter. The crux question it seems to me is how do we prevent people perpetrating violence using guns. Making guns hard to come by and creating stiffer penalties for illegal possession may have some impact but it is doubtful whether this would make a serious dent on the culture of violence that has led to incidents like the Oregon college shooting. But I was taken by some words posted by Franklin Graham (son of Billy Graham), which Mr. Obama (and us all when it comes to that) would do well to heed.
“Mr. President, you’re looking at the wrong place when it comes to the root cause of gun violence. Your executive actions will do nothing to change this horrific problem. You can take all the guns in America and put them in a pile on the Mall in Washington DC, and those guns will stay there and will eventually rust and decay. Not one gun will crawl out of that pile and shoot or harm anyone. It takes a human being, and a human heart bent on evil, to pick up a gun, load it, and pull the trigger. The problem we have in this country is sin. We have a government that has taken God out of society. Our founding fathers certainly did not intend this to happen. Your proposal will do nothing to stop the violence that is being glorified by Hollywood. Every night the networks, movie channels, and theaters are filled with programming that glamorizes gun violence—guns are used to shoot, to kill, and to splatter human blood all over screens across America. There needs to be legislation to curb this. I would propose starting with a heavy tax on the manufacturers of any film or game that graphically depicts violence. If violent films and games were taken off the shelves, I believe we would see a dramatic drop in gun violence over the next few years. As a nation we have turned our back on God and this kind of violence and bloodshed is a result. The Bible tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). The only cure? Jesus Christ. That’s what will make a difference in our nation.”