Guns, guns, and more guns are becoming an integral part of American culture. The problem is that guns are providing far too many Americans with the courage to be insane. This analysis is as neutral as neutral can be since we do have a “dog in the fight”. We also live and have our being in America. Almost weekly we are witnessing mass killings in public schools as well as other public assembly places. And, of course, given our misguided unbridled “interpretation” and allegiance to the Second Amendment, America makes no apologies for its gun crazy culture. “Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword” (Matt. 26: 52). Jesus is saying that gentle words can soften callous hearted minds. Therefore, to deal with the violence in the heart of some minds, we need to seek to solve our value conflicts with each other with wisely chosen words rather than guns.
Social research data suggests that most Americans believe that we can achieve all things through the barrel of a gun. Given the nature of violence in American culture, especially in our family structures, public schools and other places of public assembly, we are becoming a society that shoots to kill, kills themselves and then allow others to ask questions later. This state of affairs encourages some to create explanations after-the-fact that we can socially and mentally live with. That is, it is easier to say that the individual has mental health issues rather than to declare that something is drastically wrong with the social organization of society and our values. And, therefore, gun violence is an individual problem, but American society and its social doctrine are fine.
Currently, we are witnessing the social doctrine of guns as the solution to all things playing itself out not only in America, but in the Middle East, and the world community in general.
Culture is not God. An institutional world religion is not God. In some societies, individuals seek to make skin color God. Skin color is not God. Individuals die in spite of their skin color. “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrew 9:27). Cultures die (e.g., Sodom and Gomorrah). But, on the other hand, good, sound “doctrine” lives forever.
Therefore, Americans must begin to teach the unadulterated Word of God in their homes. The Word of God must also be reinforced in our religious institutions, and in our educational institutions; the discipline of the Word of God must be exemplified; especially before children. For after all, setting an example is the best teacher.
Guns, guns and more guns are not the answer to the horrible mess we find ourselves in. Guns are not God. Money and wealth is not God. Sexuality is not God. Party affiliation and partisan politics are not God. God is God all by himself, and He can make the rocks speak truth to the lies of men. “And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones will immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40). To be sure, the answer to the horrible mess can be found in how Jesus lived: he had love for his enemies. Love is the answer, because it is written. “Ye have heard that it hath been said, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth, but I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also” (Matt. 5: 38-39). To conclude the matter: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16). This spiritual declaration is far more powerful than guns.
The solution to gun violence is making sure our homes, churches and schools are working together in institutional harmony. “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). In the profound words of Rodney King, spoken in desperation, during the Los Angeles riots of 1964 (Watts): “Can’t we all just get along?” So be it!