Old Problem in Newtown

In the weeks since the tragedy in Newtown I’ve read many things about the “solution” to preventing repeats. Most of it is remarkably similar to what was said after Columbine. Gun control, improved security in schools, better escape access. Now I read someone has even suggested training teachers in the use of firearms.

Terrifyingly stupid.

The Governor of Connecticut said “Evil visited this community today” on the day of the tragedy. That statement has been lost in the following media clamour.

Tighter gun laws won’t prevent another tragedy. If restricting access to firearms alone were the answer then it would be an easy fix. The real problem is not access to guns – although assault rifles have no place in civilian society – rather it is people.

The cry for “freedom” by people outstrips the obvious. The “right” to bear arms in the US constitution was written at a time when a flintlock musket and a sword were the weapons of the day. It was beyond the conception of the Founding Fathers that a man would devise the weapons of today, never mind the crimes that are committed with them.

There was a reason for that. One that is slowly being eroded from Western society today. The men who wrote the Constitution were largely men of Faith. The document cites Biblical laws as it’s foundation. Public Schools had the Bible placed firmly in their midst to provide a moral compass – one missing in those same schools for many years now.

Today’s instant gratification society is outstripped only by the desire for acclaim – the “15 minutes” of fame theory. Morgan Freeman succinctly summed it up after the shooting by pointing out that most people know the names of the perpetrators of these crimes while being oblivious of the names of the victims.

Guns don’t cause the problems. I live in South Africa, a country damaged by decades of violence, where I hear gunfire almost every night as I lie in my home. Guns are easy to come by and gang wars regularly spill onto the streets. But school massacres? In Kindergartens?

A child was killed by a jealous lover a few years ago in Cape Town, and the horror expressed from the gangs was tangible. Guns are not the problem any more than a collapsing house causes an earthquake or a moving tree causes the hurricane.

The issue of Sin and Mankind’s fallen state is never addressed as the cause of tragedies like Newtown. The media hypes up the event and compares previous tragedies to the current one. Our society feeds the fire of a Fallen world with no regard for the consequence, then seeks to blame something else when the monster it created turns on it.

We need collectively to resist this impetus. Take back what the Enemy of our Hearts has taken. We must resist in Christ’s name. The media and society will blame an inanimate object before it takes responsibility for the disaster it has caused.

Newtown was horrific, but ultimately why are we surprised? If it hadn’t been guns, perhaps it would have been knives. Then there would doubtless be calls for knife controls.

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