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June 20, 2015

We discovered a wonderful congregation on June 18, 2015.
The "Mother" Emanuel AME (African Methodist Episcopal) Church in Charleston, South Carolina was attacked by a racist young man... who killed 9 of the congregation during a Bible study meeting. He had been welcomed by the pastor.

While mourning... one person from the congregation said,
"We have no room in our hearts for hate."
Such good people... attacked... is the ultimate act of hate and violence. And... this young man... possessing a gun... found it an easy task to attack them.

The debate now rages... again... about violence in our society... and about guns.

Advocates for gun ownership have fought any controls over the possession of firearms. They work to make laws allowing guns in our buildings and courts and schools... saying that... if anyone needed protection they would be ready to address it... and that it will prevent criminals from attacking if there are others ready to shoot back.

More guns... less violence. Hmmm... I wonder at the logic. It seems more likely that it gives permission for criminals to enter public buildings... to attack. In fact, it gives whole groups of gun-toting people... to enter public buildings and attack.

Are there not enough security guards... who are trained in crisis management... available to prevent attacks...? that we need everybody to carry a weapon for protection...? Are police too inept...?

Rather than out-lawing guns... which will never prevail in stopping the availability of guns in our country... we have only a few good options. One of those options is to prevent the emotionally ill... and the violent... and the hate mongers... from owning and possessing firearms. The combination is lethal.

There is a healthy fear of government... that inspires some people... some groups of people... to advocate for the ownership of guns...
and then there is an UNHEALTHY fear of government... which inspires some people... some groups of people... to actively attack those who they fear... or hate.

It is one thing to keep a gun or guns... in the anticipation that one might need it for protection... and it is another thing altogether... to keep and accumulate guns in the anticipation of using it OFFENSIVELY. There is DEFENSE and there is OFFENSE. The two things are quite different... and tangible... and provable.

Those who wish to protect their right to own guns... should be the first ones to want to prevent madmen from carrying guns. They should police their own communities... and teach how precious a right it is to own guns... and that it is the crazy people who threaten that right.

It is insanity to demand the right to carry guns into public places.
It is insanity to not guard the guns that they own... from theft.
It is insanity to not respect one's own guns in a family home.
It is insanity... to think anyone can defeat the U.S. military.

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