Monday, March 05, 2018

Gun Violence (1)

I have been watching with interest the debate in the United States about gun violence. People are alarmed by school shootings and want solutions.

Gun Control
People are clamouring for government action to limit the availability of guns. Unfortunately, that horse bolted long ago. There are millions of guns in the United States. Even if the government totally banned the sale of guns, they would still be readily available.

Black markets would emerge and people who wanted guns would find them. The Prohibition demonstrates the limited power of government controls. Government regulation cannot prevent people from buying things, if they want them badly enough. I find it ironic that Christians who believe in “grace not law”, seem to think that law can solve the problem of gun violence. Violence is a problem of the heart.

Americans who oppose gun control claim that people kill people, not guns. That is true, but trite. They suggest a number of reasons for violence in schools.

  • Mental illness
  • Break down of family life
  • Absent fathers
are their favourites.

The problem with these explanations is that we have all these ills here in New Zealand, but we don’t have school shootings like in America. This suggests that there is a deeper reason for the rabid violence there. I have observed several different aspects of the American attitude to guns that are uniquely different.

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