As we ponder where and when the next mass shooting will happen, let’s talk about the logical nature of the most common proposed solutions to the problem of gun violence in our country and this world. There are four common solutions proposed, and each of them falls apart under scrutiny:
- Regulation of Guns: the most widely proposed solution to gun violence in our country is a more comprehensive system of checks and balances related to who can purchase guns, where they can be purchased, what kind of guns can be purchased, and what ammunition can be bought. Here is the problem with this proposal (actually there are many, but let me give the most obvious one): Even the simplest gun can kill a lot of people. So unless you can figure out a way to eliminate all guns, this solution is not logical. Those who propose this solution keep making it more complex, hoping that eventually a tipping point will be reached and the gun violence will fall. We have not yet come close to that tipping point, nor does logic tell us we will ever reach it.
- Eliminate all restrictions on guns and arm the populace: Proponents of this solution like to point to places like Switzerland and Israel where most people own a gun and which have a very low rate of gun violence. But setting “neutral” Switzerland aside (and there are many reasons why the Switzerland solution is skewed and untranslatable), let’s look at the logic of the situation. Increasing the amount of guns available will not deter fanatics, extremists and crazy people from killing others. For one simple reason. They’re not afraid of dying. It may cut down on home invasion robberies and side-of-the-road muggings, but it may also increase the deaths associated with domestic assaults, road rage, jealousy, drive-bys and financial disputes. This solution, at best, is a zero-sum game.
- Disarm everyone: This is the radical idea being proposed by some Outliers. Just get rid of all guns everywhere and the violence will decrease. If you could do it, it would work. But you can’t do it because criminal enterprises will not give up their guns. And nor will any government allow it. Society will still want police officers, military and private security to carry weapons. That would make the commensurate power of those authorities even greater and would inevitably–as human history assures us–lead to totalitarianism.
- Education Programs: This solution says if we teach people more about guns, encourage them to use their guns in a morally responsible and ethical way, teach them about the dignity of life and the necessity of a respectful society, then people will stop killing each other. There is a huge problem with this. Who would do the teaching? Every interest in this battle over guns has their own slant. Who is the neutral party? Besides pacifists, there aren’t any–and pacifists can’t be bothered or trusted to teach anything about responsible gun use. And the groups most responsible for killing large groups of people–extremists, mentally ill, disgruntled employees, etc–aren’t interested in this kind of teaching. They don’t have respect for the life of others, and therefore, this teaching is casting pearls before swine.
So what is the answer to gun violence? There isn’t one that has ever been shown to work.
Sorry you had to get to the bottom of all this to find that out. History shows us that human beings are selfish and will continue to be that way until history ends.
The Bible tells us that the heart of mankind will get increasingly violent and wicked the closer we get to the end.
So come up with all the ideas about how to solve gun violence. Logically, none of them work. But take heart. God has overcome the world. In the midst of this chaos, we do not have to give in to fear, violence, envy, jealousy or bitterness against our enemies. The Spirit of Christ has a solution for all of these. But it only works for individuals, not for society as a whole.