Gun Control or Self Control?

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The rapidity of senseless mass murders continues to provoke the debate concerning gun control violence within our culture and the idea of preempting these events with such things as the “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign. Without question, gun-control laws and societal awareness play a significant role in this evil phenomenon within our culture. Yet, they miss, I believe, a much larger and more seminal reality: Does human civility within a culture come from the outside or the inside of its citizens? All the external removals of temptation from a corrupted soul leave one still corrupted and, therefore, seeking whatever tools available to act out externally what is going on internally. We may seek to lesser the scale of destruction, but the evil potential remains. May I now get real?

The Second Amendment which deals with the right of the people to keep and bear arms, was created in a flintlock-rifle era to guarantee citizens the right to revolt against an unjust government of flintlock-rifle soldiers. I support the idea of self-defense against a wicked government, but technology has made this proposition absurd. For our citizenry to maintain any real sense of self-defense, we would all need access to RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades), flame throwers, tanks, fighter planes, and chemical and biological weapons. Folks, deal with it; our citizenry is absolutely outgunned! Take away assault rifles (which I am open to) and seven-round shotguns, and all our semi-automatic devices can still slaughter dozens in the right situations. Dare I bring up automobiles and trucks in a crowd? Yes, I will stop right here.

My point is not to do away with the Second Amendment; it is to say to one and all, “Could we get real for a change?” Limit the assault rifles and make ownership more controlled. Go ahead. What are the inevitable millions of three- to five-bullet rifle loads out there going to do, disappear? How about the countless illegal weapons hidden away? By all means, let’s do better, but the headwaters of this evil river of insanity remain untouched. What is truly wrong in our culture can never get fixed with more laws. More laws will change the devices but not the people or the culture factories producing this mess. Only a spiritual revolution based upon a highly valued pressure on self-government can do that.

What is truly wrong in our culture can never get fixed with more laws.

A free, safe, and open society is literally impossible to attain without maximum focus on the essential character attributes of self-control and community consciousness. All our Founders knew that, said it repeatedly, and stated clearly that if this virtue was not driven into every generation, society would devolve into what we now see increasingly tearing apart our root structures. I am painfully aware of our nation’s hypocrisies and delusions. I am equally aware of our comparative historical position relative to the world’s history of so-called “great societies.” We tower above virtually all of them, and voices to the contrary clearly are historically misinformed or carrying an agenda severely undercutting their credibility. This is not my “three cheers” for American speech. Blindness and stupidity aside, the common and growing Judeo-Christian base in Western culture over the last four centuries gave us a unique place in history. To whatever level we actually achieved this was based upon self-governing, sufficient enough in number to create a highly abnormal society in a fallen world.

It appears to be draining out rather quickly. Rules and self-sacrifice are outdated in a “be-what-you-can-be” world. Spirituality based on self-denial is obsolete, outrun by self-enhancement and the need for information, power, and feeling good about self. Mass shootings are just what is squeezing out on the edges of us. Alas, more political blah, blah, blah… The remedy is a spiritual concept needing to sweep through schools, media, music, etc., ubiquitously applied. And that is…

THE BOTTOM LINE.

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