This past Sunday some in Oregon government joined in a rally to end “gun violence” (Story Here). I believe those who march and speak out against “gun violence” have VERY good intentions. Gun violence, like all violence is an issue of the heart. America needs a major heart transplant. If you are 45 or older, you know a time when these tragic events were few and far between and really an aberration in America. So the question has to be asked: “why now?” What has changed in America? Why are we seeing more violence, not just gun related?
When Gov. Kate Brown and other members of Oregon government spoke this weekend at a “End Gun Violence” rally, none of them addressed the real issues in our state and country. The heart. I believe I know what can solve our problems but again I must ask: “what’s different” about the last 40 years or so? What has changed in America and Oregon?
Could it be that we have lost ALL sense of a moral compass? Could it be that we’ve lost the understanding that man is NOT the beginning and the end of all things? We cannot change the human heart. We cannot make evil persons good. We can’t stop bad things from happening. I know who can, and He loves us ALL so much that He sent His Son as a sacrifice for all of us. That if we “believe on His name, we will be saved”. Does that mean that all of our problems will go away? No of course not. We live in a fallen world that is striving after things that He did not intend for us to strive after.
It’s Christmas. The story is not about a baby in a manger. It’s about a God who chose to come to His creation and live among them as one of them. Then to die a horrendous death for their forgiveness, then to rise again on the third day and to someday return. He did not come to “condemn the world, but to save it”. He loves everyone of us with a love that we can’t even begin to fathom. But, He also said “there is NO one righteous, no not one”. We can’t do this on our own. In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, we find that God was so disturbed by all that man was doing to themselves, that He was “grieved that He created man” and was bent on destroying them. One man, Noah, was found to be good enough to save. Do you know why God destroyed the Earth in a flood and why he was “so grieved”? Violence. God hates violence. Jesus endured the ultimate in violence. He knows what it is we are hurting about. He’s “been there, done that”.
How do we end “gun violence” or any “violence”? Our nation was built upon the foundations of the Bible. The men and women of the 18th, 19th and early 20th Centuries saw that. Knew that. Believed that. Their children and grandchildren were taught in school with the Bible as a textbook. Scripture memorization was a part of school.
So I ask a slightly different version of the first question I asked: “What has changed, what’s different, what are we DOING different, that we have so much violence in our nation?”
Now, for those who just don’t like the “spiritual” aspect of my post, here’s a political aspect. How to “curtail” some of the situations of shootings in Oregon.
I propose the following:
1 – Give 50% of lottery funds to Counties for schools safety, and local safety development projects.
2 – Toughen K-12 schools with better security entrances, locks, and armed security where students are at high risk. Remove “gun free zones,” and let those teachers/staff who want to, train to defend with guns and carry concealed firearms on school grounds.
3 – Provide trained and armed security at all of Oregon’s colleges and universities.
4 – Fund a scientific/medical study at OHSU to evaluate root causes of mass murder of helpless victims.
5 – Expand county mental health services, to better help local communities and families address violent tendencies.
6 – Employ more county and community public safety personnel: Sheriff, fire, medical.
7 – Create a “walking weekend patrols” of citizens and legislators in neighborhoods of frequent shootings in Portland.
These are just a starting point. If we really care about ending “gun violence” we will put our money where our mouth is. Not taking away the rights of the 99.9% law abiding citizens, but instead finding ways to address the violence that is so prevalent in our society.