Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Guns...and Roses

NO drives people to YES
The more you tell a child he can't do something, the more he wants to do it. Apparently this plays just as well with their parents. Ironically in the wake of a nationwide discussion on banning, limiting and regulating firearms and ammo--(you guessed it) we're spurring on nationwide sales of guns and ammo at a fever pitch. The discussion of limiting guns is unleashing unprecedented gun and ammo sales.

Just for fun google "record gun and ammo sales" or just click here.

It's not just the loose cannons
What's interesting in my observation, is these gun control conversations aren't just driving the lunatic fringe Ted Nugent-like gun nuts out to buy more supplies. It's driving all gun owners. For instance, I have a good friend who is a great normal guy. He's considering purchasing an AR-15. Guess what? He's never been interested in an AR-15 before; he's considering it for the resale value.

I've bought more ammo last month than I've ever bought in a month. (My example here is that I'm a normal guy--which I'll admit is a HUGE stretch.) Why am I buying more ammo? It's available and still inexpensive. I'm concerned it may go up in price or be harder to get.

(For the record, I shoot handguns at targets. I keep them locked in a safe to which only I know the combination. I don't carry. I don't own for home defense. I don't golf very well and it's bad for my back. Shooting is my golfing. It's recreational.)

We don't understand all we know
In the '50s and '60s kids played with guns. They looked 100% real. No orange tips. 1911s, M-16s, Winchesters, sub-machine guns, Colt pistols etc. Kids spent hours outside divided into teams with the sole purpose of shooting and killing each other. They spoke and shouted in those terms. "I shot you!" "I killed you--fall down!"

You must watch this vintage commercial:
click here

How shocking was that? How frighteningly realistic was that? And this wasn't a tiny segment of kids playing with life-like guns. Virtually all of us boys grew up with these things in our hands, shooting at people often. And even though by today's standards we might not say those old guns were sexy--back in the day--trust me--we thought they were as cool and sexy as you can imagine any modern killing stick is.

And yet the '50s & '60s (by and large) didn't produce people who shot up movie theaters and schools. Since toys have been toys, boys in America have been playing with life-like guns in ways that shock us today.

And yet ironically this current generation that's grown up thinking that playing with toy guns is politically incorrect has opened fire on too many innocent people.

I don't pretend to have an answer here in the least. Only the observation that there are not always logical solutions when hideous things happen. Evil is not always simple. As my dad used to say, "I'm not sure we understand everything we know about this."

Unrealistic expectations
Whether one is pro-gun or anti-gun, I suggest that we can no sooner un-gun America than we could remove the Stars and Stripes as our national flag. In America we love cars, love guns and detest people telling us what to do.

Like it or not, good or bad, that is who we are. So guns will always be part of America. We can (and should) reel them in a little here and there, but we must understand the ability to kill goes far beyond assault rifles and large magazines. Sadly our great President Lincoln was killed with a single shot derringer.

I am not making any pro-NRA point here. (I'm not a member, by the way.) But I am a realist. I am a pragmatist. On occasion I'm even an optimist. It seems to me that un-gunning America is Utopian--an expectation for the other side of heaven. On this earth evil will find a way to be disgustingly sinister. Evil doesn't require assault rifles. It sadly finds a way.

Grieve with those
Perhaps what saddens me most these days is how we've instantly followed up the Sandy Hook slayings with a nationwide diatribe defending our right to own guns. And it's no secret that so many gun owners are self-professing people of Christian faith.

And on the heels of this tragedy it seems our overwhelming voice has not been that of mourning with those who mourn. It seems we were disgusted for a weekend. And then spent the last month frothing to defend our right against an "evil" government that somehow "hates" us.

And the church-not-so-much people are watching as they always do. And they've seen us muster a head of steam for our precious guns more then we've mourned with those who mourn. Our actions speak...

And as I write this...thinking of parents in Connecticut with empty beds...I am moved to tears...and convicted that I have not mourned enough--have not considered these parents enough--these precious parents who've made arrangements for small caskets. And I am sorry.

Holy Father, I pray for these families from Sandy Hook. I lift them up to You--trusting that only You can provide comfort and peace in situations where comfort and peace seem impossible. I pray that you give these family members and friends the power to muddle through the devastating emotions that are still so delicately fresh. Father, reveal yourself to these families in supernatural ways. Be their strength, Lord. Be their portion. Be their all in all. Carry them, Lord. And use us, Lord--your sons and daughters to pray for these dear families. Use those of us in close proximity in any way possible to serve these families. And us to realism and savor every good gift and blessing today--the ones that we so easily miss. Thank You for being the one true Thing we can count on in a world that disappoints. Amen.