So I have an idea. I’ve been taking in some of the news from this weekend and seeing a lot of video of various marches that took place. I’ve seen plenty of passionate speeches, songs of protest and the like as well. The topic is gun violence and what ought to be done about it. Most of the ideas that I’ve heard are honestly to me pretty stale. You know ban this gun, expanded background checks blah blah.
As I thought about the things I was seeing and hearing I started to consider the problem. I like to look at words and phrases and break them down and pick at them to see just what is really being talked or written about. The phrase here is gun violence.
Why are we focused on the gun part of the phrase? If it weren’t for the second word, the violence part there would be no need at all for there to be a gun. Okay I know that is not completely true. The gun is a weapon for self defense but it is also a tool of providence. It can also be used recreationally. But for the purposes of this discussion let’s agree to consider the self defense aspect.
My thought is whatever we do with the gun won’t eliminate the need for self defense because we still must deal the more important word. Even if every gun was gone tomorrow there would still be violence and the need for people to be able to defend themselves. There would still be all of the problems that afflict our society. Nothing would change except how we go about hurting each other. Human history is proof that guns aren’t necessary for the killing or oppressing people. We don’t need more gun control or a gun ban. What we need is a ban on violence.
If you really want to change the world then this is how you do it. Ridiculous I can hear you say out there. There will always be violence. It woven into our very nature. Almost everything we do is saturated with it. The news we watch, the stories we read, it’s everywhere. I believe that without the violence most of you out there would be pretty bored. I just went and saw a super hero movie over the weekend and liked it very much but it was an extremely violent affair. I really believe that as long as we are willing to be entertained by this we will continue to see violence carried out in real life. As they say art imitates life.
We don’t have a gun problem or really a violence problem. We have a heart problem. Our hearts are selfish and filled with conflict. Our society is divided in a thousand different ways and the powers that be seem to like it that way. Conflict sells and we’re buying. Our appetite for it is insatiable and it’s only getting worse.
This is what we need to be talking about.
Today I pray for wisdom in our leadership. I pray for some speck of unity. I pray that we stop being double minded, sending confusing mixed messages to vulnerable young people. I pray that we stop exploiting terrible events and the people involved in them to push forward political agendas. I pray for peacemakers.