A Rant About Guns, Sin, Victoria Soto, and a Prayer
According to the Children’s Defense Fund, in the 45 years since Martin Luther King was shot to death, bullets have killed in excess of one million people in the United States of America… including Dawn Hochsprung, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Nancy Lanza, and Rachel Davino. And the children: Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Ana M. Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Madeleine F. Hsu, Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Benjamin Wheeler, and Allison N. Wyatt.
I do not want to get into a gun debate, but I find it interesting how both sides of the political spectrum handle their arguments. It appears to me that they are both half correct.
Conservatives believe that the American founding fathers, have guaranteed them the absolute right to own as many guns of as many types as they desire. And they will incessantly remind us that a gun cannot fire itself with the ever annoying slogan of “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” There is some truth to this statement.
Liberals tell us that if we just had fewer guns, there would be less gun related deaths. And as any grade 2 math student can tell you…that is true. Less guns = less gun related death. Likewise if we smoked less there would be less lung cancer and stroke. (Cigarettes don’t kill people, lung cancer kills people.) If we ate less fast food there would be less obesity and less heart disease. (Big Mac’s don’t kill people, heart disease kill’s people.)
Less of anything that could potentially kill people… will kill fewer people. And if there were laws against guns like the Bushmaster 223 Assault Rifle, then the young man at Sandy Hook Elementary would not have been able to shoot so many people in just a few minutes. Personally I think it is ridiculous that just anyone can buy this gun in the USA, let alone for under $700 dollars.
Even if we had stringent gun laws the fact of the matter is, that if someone wanted to kill a bunch of people in a short amount of time all he would have to do is google the plans to build a bomb or mix a deadly gas, or any other number of things…and then chain the exit doors to the building shut and set off his device.
Guns don’t kill people, google kills people…
How about this:
Gun’s don’t kill people, sin kills people.
We live in a culture that epitomizes the fall into sin. A culture that is selfish and idolatrous. A culture that glorifies violence and death. As a culture we do not cherish life, we think we do, until that life becomes a nuisance to us, or interferes with our standard of living…we accept the deaths of children in the womb, and the wheels are turning on doctor assisted suicide and euthanasia.
As a culture we have no concept of a creator anymore, with this loss also comes the loss of the fact that all people are created in the image of God. Each person is unique and carefully crafted by the almighty God. This makes each person intrinsically valuable in the eyes of God, yet we do not think of others as such. We only think of ourselves as little Gods. We are tolerant of all things, until something interferes with our comfortable existence. We do not discipline children anymore; we boost their egos to a fault, creating little demi-gods. We live in a culture that encourages us to put ourselves first…if it feels good, do it. We are oversexed, immodest, disrespectful, and immune to violence from our movies, video games and sports like UFC.
Getting rid of guns won’t help, banning guns won’t help. The answer is the gospel of Jesus Christ. And not the watered down, prosperity garbage that the majority of the Christian Right spews … Not that rich man so called gospel of things, with a little sprinkling of Jesus on top. That angers God. No, what we need is the real Gospel of Jesus.
That is enough of my rant. I am sorry, but sometimes I have to get it out.
I am going to end this on a bittersweet note. In John 15 Jesus tells us this:
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
This is Victoria Soto.
She was a teacher at Sandy Hook Elementary. When she heard the gunfire she hid her students in closets and cupboards. When the gunman came into her classroom she told them the children were in gym. She was then murdered. Not one of her students was harmed. I do not know if Victoria was a Christian. I do not know if she was known by Jesus. But Jesus tells us there is no greater love than this. By her selfless actions she saved the lives of the children in her class.
Edit: Victoria was a Christian. She attended a Church in Newtown.
Join me in this prayer written by Kevin DeYoung, originally posted on his Blog
Our gracious Father,
As we look forward to this season with all its songs, and Scriptures, and traditions–
As most of us look forward to time with our families over the next three weeks–
As many of us look forward to the children’s Christmas program tonight–
Our hearts are broken to think of the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. We think of the words of Job: “Oh that my vexation were weighed, and all my calamity laid in the balances! For then it would be heavier than the sand of the sea” (Job 6:2-3a).
And the words of Jeremiah: “My eyes are spent with weeping; my stomach churns; my bile is poured out to the ground because of the destruction of the daughter of my people, because infants and babies faint in the streets of the city” (Lam. 3:11).
And the words quoted by Matthew when he recounted another Massacre of the Innocents: “A voice was heard in Ramah, weeping and loud lamentation, Rachel weeping for her children; she refused to be comforted, because they are no more” (Matt. 2:18).
In the face of such grief and evil we do not know what to do or how to help. But we can pray.
We pray in confidence that you are with us and in faith that you hear us. As it says in Exodus: “The people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help. Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God. And God heard their groaning and remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel-and God knew” (Exod. 2:23-25).
We pray for the family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers of the Sandy Hook victims: Dawn Hochsprung, Mary Sherlach, Victoria Soto, Anne Marie Murphy, Lauren Rousseau, Nancy Lanza, and Rachel Davino. And the children: Charlotte Bacon, Daniel Barden, Olivia Engel, Josephine Gay, Ana M. Marquez-Greene, Dylan Hockley, Madeleine F. Hsu, Catherine V. Hubbard, Chase Kowalski, Jesse Lewis, James Mattioli, Grace McDonnell, Emilie Parker, Jack Pinto, Noah Pozner, Caroline Previdi, Jessica Rekos, Avielle Richman, Benjamin Wheeler, and Allison N. Wyatt.
Give comfort to their families. Bring healing and hope to the school and the community. Bear their griefs, Lord Jesus, and carry their sorrows. Show yourself, dear God, as the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort (2 Cor. 1:3).
Bless the teachers who will return to work next week, in Newtown and all across this country.
Bless the students who may be filled with confusion, anger, and fear.
Bless the pastors who must counsel, comfort, and preach to their people the words of life.
Bless your people with hearts of compassion and acts of service, that they might show your love to all who are hurting.
Make us winsome in our witness for Christ, especially those who will be called upon in the days ahead to give a reason for the hope that they have (1 Peter 3:15).
With so many in our nation thinking now of weighty things, give us ears to hear what is true and what leads to eternal life. May this evil be a reminder of our own depravity. May these deaths remind us of our own mortality. And may the loss of life remind us of Him who conquered the grave.
Let us look upon Jesus, our Suffering Servant and sympathetic High Priest.
Turn the hearts of the sorrowful to the Man of all Sorrows (Isa. 53:3). Turn the eyes of the weeping to the Savior who wept for his friend (John 11:35). Turn the cries of all those asking “Why?” to the cry of him who said on the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34).
We praise you Father that you sent your Son to share in our flesh and blood, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery (Heb. 2:14). Because of you, Christ Jesus, we do not mourn as those who have no hope (1 Thess. 4:13).
We believe you are the resurrection and the life (John 11:25).
We believe you mean for good what a 20-year old murderer meant for evil (Gen. 50:20).
We believe you will one day judge the living and the dead (John 5:27-29).
We believe you will wipe away every tear from our eyes (Rev. 21:4).
Even now in this season as we celebrate your first Advent, we so eagerly await your second. Come thou long-expected Jesus, come quickly. Amen.