I wish I knew how many times I have heard the phrase, “It’s not a gun problem. It’s a heart problem.” This slogan among NRA supporters and avid gun-owners seems to be a nail in the coffin of this argument. Instead, this vague and foolhardy reasoning continues to nail shut the coffins of countless students and church-goers in our community.
“Cain killed Abel with a rock—it’s not a gun problem,” they’ll chant again, citing the Bible as yet another reason to neglect an issue that causes our God to grieve. Could Cain have killed 17 people in a matter of moments with said rock? I don’t think so. America is one of the only countries the world to give out semi-automatic weapons like candy. We are one of only 3 countries in the world that includes gun ownership in its continuation or bylaws, and the only country in the world to protect without restriction. I’d say this is a heart problem, yes. It’s an arrogance problem.
Why do gun-toting citizens feel the need to posture as the big, bad family-protector? Isn’t that why we back the blue? Why is there an obsession with collecting an arsenal of assault weapons? These sound like pretty pompous reasons to own weapons—seeing as how their main use right now is mass slaughter of the innocent. We live in culture where we look at everyone as a threat—thus, arming ourselves to the hilt is the only option. The NRA loves this shit.
Not only do most all other countries ban or place intricate restrictions on automatic weapons, but they also model strict (but fair) gun laws regarding other weapons as well. (Reference this article for a breakdown of major countries and how they compare to the U.S.) Do you know what prompted these and other countries to adopt new gun laws? Mass shootings. There were specific instances that struck the hearts of both citizens and lawmakers, and they acted. What is America doing in the wake of these shootings? Thinking and praying. I’m a religious person, but thoughts and prayers do nothing to change policy. Your heart goes out to the families, but are we lobbying legislators? Are we advocating for restorative justice programs in schools so that the expulsion of students will offer mental health and guidance counseling rather than causing further isolation?
These are tough questions, and honestly, I’m asking myself the same ones. And although we aren’t emotionally able to spread our efforts to every tough issue arising in our world right now, we can raise awareness. We can pick an issue that resonates with us and pour ourselves into making that corner of the world a better place. But as far as gun issues go, we must figure out a way to release this grandiose, power-hungry stronghold our culture has on guns and really get to the heart of the matter.
And while we are still celebrating Black History month, I’d like to leave you with this thought:
There are not many camps as impassioned as those that defend their 2nd Amendment rights. If those same camps were as concerned about offering basic & equal human rights to all beings of this nation as they were about ensuring their right to bear arms, racism would be bankrupt.