What Would Jesus Pack?

4 Feb

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I have disliked guns ever since Bambi’s mother was shot. I was too young to make the connection that the meat I ate each night at dinner involved killing an animal and that if I really didn’t believe in hunting, I shouldn’t eat meat. So please know that just because I dislike guns, I’m not implying that we all go vegetarian, or that we should never own or shoot a gun.

Owning assault weapons is another matter though. I don’t see it as a right to own these anymore than it is for individual citizens to own anthrax or nuclear missiles. We regulate the latter; why not the former?

Friends of mine in the D.C. area marched on Washington for gun control recently. Someone snapped this photo of a woman’s sign. If a picture says a thousand words, this one speaks volumes for Jesus, although a revolutionary, never resorted to violence. He didn’t say, “Let’s stock pile our weapons and be on guard just in case the Pharisees want to take us out.”

I am not saying that we should never engage in physical self-defense but if the Son of Man never did, why in the world do we glorify guns so much? Why do we downplay their enormous destructive power and instead make it seem hip and cool to decimate a crowd, whether in a movie or in real life? And why are guns thought of as seductive as sex, often equating the two and their power together?

Gun advocates claim that people kill; not guns. And this is true. Yet guns are instruments of killing and they allow individuals to get the job done with extreme efficiency. Why then have they become idols? What concerns me about high capacity guns is that we have become an impulsive and entitled society. This means that people are more quick to anger and hurting others when things don’t go their way. And guns facilitate that impulsivity and entitlement with little time for stop, listen and think.

We blame the mentally ill for the majority of gun violence in this country and yet only 4% of homicides are attributed to those with mental illness. Most violence comes from someone with a temper, a vendetta, entitlement, or evil.

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This letter was a plea from Gabby Giffords, the senator shot at a political rally in Arizona. She isn’t asking that we ban all guns and become pacifists. But she is asking that we stop devaluing life by claiming it is a right to have weapons of mass destruction with little to no regulation. And I ask that we stop thinking violence is so damn sexy and cool or just innocuous. It’s not.

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