Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More Death

I found myself caught up in the blame and outrage half way through the day. I will admit to clicking on the tube and being glued to it. Of course, events like this are like Christmas for 24 hour news. You can see journalists struggling to maintain an appropriate balance of sorrow and thrill. It was fascinating to see the news being formed, created almost, in spite of the amazing dearth of facts and information.

Given that I was critized on some other blog last week for my comments about the Iran hostages (and given that I can't remember the name of the blog, how to find it, what they said or what I said), I welcome any discussion from you all about the use of force. More and more I'm pro (at least for the US) responsible gun ownership. Of course, I'm married to a Texan, so how can I be otherwise. On the other hand, I'm not for, say, the flooding of guns into Africa. Part of the horror in Liberia, Sierra Leone and finally Ivory Coast was the ready availability of guns and ammunition. But western fear of responsible gun ownership and use is looking more and more foolish. We have sensible laws. They could be implemented.

Anyway, I can't write more because Emma is begging for attention by asking the same question over and over.


Joyce Carlson said...

And I am for the responsible destruction of all guns. ALL. If people were forced to go at each other (which they will) in hand to hand combat, it wouldn't be any prettier. But fewer people would end up dead. There would be no less tragedy of course. But really.

Anne Kennedy said...

Yes, maybe we should all have swords. Matt keeps his sword and some sort of hammer thing by the bed, just in case. I must say though, if someone comes in with a gun, the hammer and sword won't do much. That's the problem, usually the people who have guns are the ones who shouldn't have them, so how are the rest of us to defend ourselves? I say this as someone who really doesn't ever want to own a gun. And really, it wasn't probably a good idea that Chandogo had a gun, being so blind, but didn't burglers generally know to stay away? Because it would be so scary to be near a blind person with a gun? Now I'm just rambling.

Joyce Carlson said...

Yes to the fact that thieves were terribly scared to walk around when it was noised abroad that Chandogo, blind as a bat, was guarding things with his gun. But still. I think I'd rather be the person shot and dead than the one who shot someone else dead. Not being someone officially appointed to go to war, I think it would be easier to explain to God my sudden appearance in the world of the dead because someone shot me, than to have to explain to God that I killed someone.

Anne Kennedy said...

Yes, I agree entirely, I'd much rather be the one to be shot. However, the issue is clouded for me at the moment. What if someone wasnt trying to shoot me but to shoot someone else, like my kids, and they had a gun and I had a sword. Well, then I guess I would be praying. And why I'm trying to help them to know and love Jesus now rather than later. Still, ...

Joyce Carlson said...

But this is why everyone should be without a gun, I think. Much harder to actually bring a person down from a distance -- like that freak who shot the children in the Amish school.
But then of course there was the Cain and Abel situation. And we have no idea how Cain did the deed exactly. So I agree that getting rid of guns won't prevent killing. But why ADD to the incredible mess by handing them out so freely to any terrible misfit?

Dr. James+ said...

I'm sure you have seen the bumper sticker, especially in Texas, that says, "If you outlaw guns only outlaws will have guns" That is the big problem. Bad people seem always to be able to get guns, and if good people cannot get them, there is another problem. In every state where concealed handgun laws have been enacted, the crime rate has dropped tremendously. The bad guys(or girls) don't know who is armed and who isn't.

The young fogey said...

More and more I'm pro (at least for the US) responsible gun ownership.


The anti-gun reaction is the European way of looking at it and of course I understand its appeal to Christians. (Just like I understand pacifism's appeal.) For example many English people imagine all American cities are like the Wild West with shoot-outs in the streets every day.

That said in an American context I defend the right described in the Second Amendment both as a safeguard to liberty and more immediately for protection from these crimes.

Put another way hypothetically, how far would this deranged man have got if one of the students had a piece and a carry permit? How many lives would have been saved?

If he didn't have a gun he well could have killed some people with an aluminium baseball bat as I understand some street gangs in Poland do.

It's like weaponless martial arts: abusus non tollit usum, or why I'm not a pacifist.

So in the end don't blame guns. They're only tools. Blame fallen human nature.

Rev Dr Mom said...

Of course guns are only a tool. But take the tool away and it's a lot more difficult to kill others.

I don't think anyone could massacre 30+ people on a college campus with a sword.

I find it interesting that you would favor gun ownership in the US while recognizing the problems that arise from too many guns in other places. There is an inherent contradiction there. And what are these sensible laws you speak of? Requirements for background checks and so forth did not prevent a disturbed young man from acquiring guns.

Like your first commentor, I favor getting rid of all guns. It would take a massive effort and a massive change of attitude. But I really believe that we are called to be non-violent, and we have to be willing to take the necessary steps to get there.

Anne Kennedy said...

I think a plea for non-violence is rather like saying, 'well, Jesus says we should love one another, and just think, if we all loved each other than there would be no more war' (I actually hear this about once a week). Of course. Of course we should all love each other and of course we shouldn't kill each other with guns. But we don't. That's the basic reality of sin. And I think its impractical to imagine that eventually we could actually get rid of all guns, everywhere, for all time. We'd probably come up with something worse--well, we have, now you can bomb people, if shooting them one at a time isn't fast enough.
And its not necessarily contradictory to say that its ok to have guns here but not in other countries. In Ivory Coast, for example, there aren't such things as background checks and weapon checks and the technology to go with it. Whereas here there are. Of course its impossible to prevent all bad people from getting guns here in the US--this young man legally got one. But no good people on campus were allowed to have one at the same time, and there weren't any swords either, so they could only be killed or jump out a window.

Weiwen Ng said...


by the same logic, it could be wrong to oppose abortion rights. just as with outlawing guns, if you outlaw abortion, then women will be forced to get illegal, risky ones, and face higher mortality and complication rates. it's impractical to assume that no women will get abortions, even if Roe vs Wade is overturned and all states ban abortion. best to keep abortion legal and safe. keeping it legal does not mean that religious organizations cannot advocate that their members remain chaste until marriage.

I am assuming, of course, that you are completely against abortion, judging by your latest post. and of course, abortion and gun laws are not precisely comparable. I just wanted to point out another possible application of the logic you were using to justify your gun control stance.

Rev Dr Mom said...

It's a total cop out to claim that we shouldn't expect to live in a non-violent world because sin exists. Of course sin exists. Of course we are flawed beings, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't work to make the world more perfect, to overcome our flaws. As long as people accept violence as just the way things are we are doomed.

I cannot imagine how having more people have guns could make the world a better place. Nor can I imagine that college students ought to be allowed to arm themselves in case of another situation like this.

Anne Kennedy said...

rev dr. mom,

fortunately, you don't have to imagine such a world...you just need to look at the states where responsible gun laws, including the concealed carry law in Texas, have been enacted and compare the violent crime rate to those states with restrictive gun laws...try DC for example.

Moreover both you and weinwen missed the point regarding the fallen nature of humanity. Anne was not suggesting that there will always be violent crime so we must therefore join what we cannot stop.

She was taking into account the fact that in a fallen world there will always be violence directed against the innocent and suggesting that the best way to curb such violence is to ensure that the perpetrators face a real deterent and that those who are possible victims have a real means of self defense.

The fact is, and this is not propaganda, if you outlaw firearms, then the only ones who will carry them are those who are willing to employ illegal means to aquire them. Essentially, you would disarm the citizen and arm the criminal.

The most recent and most deadly school shooting prior to the VT incident was not Columbine. It was in Germany where a study

Anne Kennedy said...

Clearly the last post is by Matt, my husband, not by me, and I'm sure about why he didn't finish it. So curious about what else he was going to say.

Will try to get back to you about my apparent logical inconsitensies, but not until I've done this sermon.
Sorry, can't spell this afternoon.

Tripp Hudgins said...

This is a good conversation. Thanks for posting this.

I am for more strict legislation and enforcing what we do have. There are two things going on here, I think. One is the false notion that more guns mean more safety. Yes, there are more guns per capita in Canada than in the US and less gun crime. But has anyone shown that is because of the greater gun ownership? Or is there something cultural at work? In Japan, gun control is very strict. And they had, what, 56 gun related deaths last year in the entire country. So, it seems that on some level gun control can work...but I imagine there is something cultural at work.

What do you all think the difference is culturally that allows for such violence. Comparable countries have less gun violence. What gives? That is the question I have.

Is it handgun ownership over rifle ownership? Is it poverty? Is it racial? Communal? Urban? I am curious.