Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Jesus and a gun

The event that is being called the “Tucson Tragedy” has sparked a fiery debate over where to spread the blame beyond the suspect who committed the crimes. Many have seemed to suggest that violent imagery and rhetoric in political campaigning is to blame. Many have proclaimed that the words and metaphors national leaders use needs to have less violence. Thus many have deemed a “war on words.” The “war on words” is quite the ironic title since it advocates the limitation of violent imagery by using violent imagery.

While I could never argue against the use of violent language (Jesus said our words are simply the result of what is stored up in us Matt 10:34-37). However, if we could only get rid of one element that helped lend to such a violent attack it should not be words, but guns.

I know there are a whole group of people who get wildly upset over the idea of getting rid of guns. I know it is the second amendment, but it doesn’t mean it makes sense. Let’s face it the killer is the first and foremost person to blame, but I think if we are going to tag an accomplice it would be guns.

I know what you want to say, “guns do not kill people, people kill people.” I guess that is true, therefore why not let everyone have grenades, missiles, nuclear weapons since they do not harm people, it is only people who harm people. What kind of logic is that “guns don’t kill people, people kill people?” That logic does not work anywhere else. We could allow crack dealers on the street because crack does not kill people, but the people who take it kill people (themselves typically). If I knowingly drive someone to a house so they can go in and kill somebody, am I not held guilty? What if the judge said, “well the driver of hitmen do not kill people, the hitman kill people?” Would you not be outraged? I hope you would be.

Another line of “logic” we hear is that if we make guns illegal, than only criminals will have them causing more crimes and murders. Again what kind of logic is that? After all if guns don’t kill people, people kill people, than a gun cannot protect you. What if many of the High School students started to inject themselves with steroids so they could steal lunch money from other students? Would our solution really be, well I better shoot my kid up so he/she can protect themself? Are we truly convinced the only way to stop violence is violence? While I do not have statistics on this (probably because no one does) if guns were no longer made, sold, or owned, time would prove that murders would be down.

Martin Luther King Jr. had it right, Ghandi had it right, and Jesus had it right, non-violence.

Jesus told Peter to put the sword away when he tried to cut off a guard’s head and missed striking his ear. Jesus said the response to being smacked in the face is not to pull out a 9 and bust a cap, but to turn the other cheek. The image the prophets give of the coming of the Kingdom of God is turning spears and swords into pruning hooks. It was Jesus’ idea not only to end violence (with love) but to get rid of violent weapons. The longer we think we can end violence through violence the more violence will continue to show its ugly head. We must gather up our courage to throw away our weapons, to lay down our arms, to give up our rights, so that we and others may have life. Violence only breeds and gives birth to violence; love breeds and gives birth to love.

1 comment:

  1. Amen and Amen. We need to stop building guns and then we will not have the violence that we have today. Every night we hear on the news about more and more violence. When will it end? When will we learn to turn the other cheek? When will we learn to treat others like we want to be treated? This will only happen when we begin to teach love and grace to the masses. This will happen when we show love ourselves first to those around us. It can happen but we need to make it a focus in our lives. Then it will happen. Hope