Day 830- Clinging To Their Guns & Religion

Unfortunately, there are crazy people in this world. Gun control would be as useless as the war on drugs! These idiots will get there hands on weapons regardless of the laws. I get and respect what you are saying. There was nothing anyone could have done to stop or prevent this. I carry everywhere I go. I’m now going to keep a rifle with a night vision scope in my truck. Hopefully I will never need any of my guns but I’d rather have them just in case. More importantly, I gave my life to Jesus and it’s all in His capable hands whether it be tragedy or jubilation! Prayers for all that are in our World.

I awake to the news there has been another mass shooting in America.  20 dead, more than 200 wounded.  The number quickly rises to 50+ dead, over 500 wounded.  If you’ve thought about the ripple effects of even one death or someone being injured in a terrorist attack you realize this is thousands of lives shattered. The families and friends of the victims will carry this for the rest of their lives.

Immediately after the shooting, the standard response happens. News stations breathlessly cover the aftermath.  Reporters fly into Las Vegas to do live shots where the murders happened. The gunman is analyzed. He’s just a normal white guy, a country music fan even.  How could we have predicted this? (maybe if we had known he had bought 40 plus high powered weapons).  The usual debate starts. Some want to ban assault weapons.  Others say this isn’t the time to talk about it.  “Thoughts and prayers” are offered.  First responders are praised because not even more lives were lost.  Whew!  We’re lucky.  Only 550 wounded.

This is the second deadliest gun attack in the United States in less than a year and a half.  Not the second most deadly. The second one that’s been the most deadly.   It’s our new normal people. This was one guy who owned over 40 high powered weapons and had explosives. He had over 20 of those weapons in the hotel room he used as his perch.  Imagine the carnage when (note I say when, not if) a group of determined terrorists does the same thing.  Three or four people with weapons in that situation, we’re talking hundreds dead, thousands wounded.

And here it comes on Facebook.  “All we can do is pray.”  “What is happening to our world?”  The the guy I quoted above summarizes so well many of the arguments I hear.  “Gun control is as useless as the war on drugs.”  “If people want to kill, they can kill with anything, a spoon, a knife, a hammer.” Sorry, I don’t remember the last time 59 people were killed with a spoon or even a knife.  I don’t recall 500 plus people being injured with a hammer. Guns are designed to kill and some guns are designed to kill massive amounts of people. This is patently obvious, yet denied by many.  I am done.

So many of the people who feel they have to be armed just to drive to Walmart, also claim to believe in Jesus’ divine protection.  “I gave my life to Jesus and it’s all in his capable hands…” and “I carry everywhere I go.” are perfectly compatible in their world.  No wonder all they can do is pray. They’re confused about how the world actually works. We can change things through our actions, people. We can do more than pray. If Jesus is protecting you, why do you need the AR-15?  I’m confused.

I’m done with the debate. I’ve seen this same movie too many times. If Sandy Hook didn’t change things nothing will. The numbers will continue to rise. The frequency will as well. We are all upset over Las Vegas and rightly so. But, we had over 15,000 gun deaths in the United States last year. That’s 41 per day.  Las Vegas is just a pretty bad day compared to our normal gun violence that we all think is just baked into the cake. Too many accept there’s nothing we can do about it but pray.  Losing 40+ people a day to gun violence is OK. That’s the price of freedom. But, llosing 50 in one place, that’s a tragedy.

How does this tie into my spirituality?  I don’t want to make this a political blog. Well, first of all I don’t understand why some of these issues are political.  To me, it’s clear we have a problem and the availability of certain types of totally unnecessary weapons with absolute no legitimate use for a citizen is a part of that problem.  But, here’s where I go with this.  I believe in divine providence/soul planning whatever you want to call it. Las Vegas is a tragedy from a human perspective and I wish we could learn from it (we won’t). But, those people who “died” in Las Vegas did not die. They rose up out of their bodies, probably gathered and said “Woah. That was wild.”, were greeted by loved ones, guides, and angels are celebrating their graduations right about now. Also, I’m learning to only deal with the things I can deal with. I’m out when it comes to debating people like the guy I quoted above.  I engaged a bit yesterday with a woman who used the logic that if “everybody” has an AR, she needs to have an AR. And on and one it goes which is why there is more than one gun for every American in this country.  I think I have more faith in Jesus than these so called Christians, because I don’t feel I need an AR to protect myself.  If/when it’s my time to go, I’m going to go.  Until then, I am divinely protected.

I don’t want to become callous to the victims of these tragedies.  My heart breaks at the tremendous sadness that is being felt by families right now. Lives seemingly cut short. Sudden loss.  It’s horrific and it’s unnecessary. But, until we stop thinking all we can do is pray about it, until we stop patting ourselves on the back for the brave first responders, it won’t end. All we will do is pray and it will continue. The first responders will do what they do- respond. But, the carnage will continue while so many of us cling to both our guns and our religion.

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