Packing Heat

The score was U.S.A. 8,875 ~ U.K. 58, and the crowd madly cheered: “USA. . .USA. . . USA!” Well, buckaroos I guess we won that one big time. We out shot them 153 to 1. The Brits never stood a chance. Would anyone like to hazard a guess as to what the “competition” was? It wasn’t The World Cup. Well, these numbers represent the homicides by firearms from a couple of years back.

A month ago out in Santa Barbara another madman armed with three high-end semi-automatic pistols, a BMW and a low-tech knife killed seven people including himself, and injured 13 others. Three men he slashed to death in his apartment, some he rammed with his sports car and others he shot more or less randomly on the street near a sorority house. He left a rambling, incoherent manifesto that had something to do with hating women, tho many of his victims were men.

It’s just another sad chapter in our nation’s dance of death with guns and violence. It will be in the news as the “Isla Vista Shootings” until some new tragedy captures the public’s attention. Mass shooting are so routine any more that they get jumbled up in our memory. Lemme see, was that Columbine, the Sandy Hook Massacre, Virginia Tech or the Colorado theater shootings?

Of course, before the victim’s bodies were cold the media and blogosphere were aflame with statements from both the pro and anti gun-control crowds. The NRAers took comfort in the fact that three were killed with knives. We can’t ban butcher-knives, now can we?

Glenn Beck seemed to be blaming violent video games, while at the same time endorsing the Second Amendment right to carry submachine guns with banana clips. Others noted that this occurred in California with some of the nations more restrictive gun laws.

Talking heads made the point that in heavily armed Texas the shooter would’ve been dropped before he really got going on his spree. Overall, it was just another opportunity for those who care to make their points. The feminists bloviated about sexism and violence toward women. The mental health advocates used it as a call for better screening and increased funding.

But the sad fact is: IT DOESN’T MATTER. Folks, the USA has gone way beyond Malcolm Gladwell’s proverbial “tipping point” into the abyss — into a neo-Dark Age of anarchy and barbarism. Not to worry, NRA, there will be no gun control legislation of any sort, either sensible or oppressive, in this country in our lifetime.

The Tipping Point: There are now 90 firearms for every 100 adults in this country. We are armed to the teeth. I’m anticipating the day when columnist Charley Reese’s dream (or nightmare) about some state mandating every adult be armed will come to pass. Reese reasoned that we would treat each other with more civility if we knew others were armed. The gun control bumper stickers about prying guns from cold dead hands and hitting what you aim at has come true. We’ve gone looney tunes. I wish I could appreciate the macabre humor in our obsession with guns, but it just makes me too damn sad.

It makes me sad that some buy into the nonsense that having more people armed makes us somehow safer (consider the UK statistics). It makes me doubly sad that many gun advocates would identify themselves as Christian. A while back I wrote a blog titled “The Spirit of Fear”—it’s the spirit I feel we’ve given in to and are serving when we feel the need to be armed. There is no evidence that Jesus carried a sword. In fact, he said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” (Mt. 5:9). I don’t think he was referring to the Colt six-shooter that was euphemistically termed the Peacemaker.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not a pacifist, and I don’t think I’m a wuss. I own several guns and I would consider shooting to protect a loved one. I just think it’s terribly sad that our country’s gone over the edge when it comes to logic, common sense or even “Christian” accord about what’s good for the many at the expense of the madness of the NRA and a fear-obsessed minority. I know many apparently sane Christian men who get a strange glint in their eye when the subject of firearms or the Second Amendment comes up. Talk about obsession: I recently checked out the magazine section at Publix. There were 16 magazines devoted to guns or shooting, yet no magazines that I would call Christian—no Charisma, no Christianity Today, no Relevant, etc.

The Saturday before last I attended a barbeque/game nite with about a dozen old friends. Eventually the conversation came around to guns. I was amazed to hear that every male there carried a handgun except me. Perhaps, not on their person, but in their vehicle. They are all married guys and probably feel a need to protect their wives, tho I think a few of the wives also carry a gun in their purse. They are good Christian men, reliable, sane and no threat to anyone except criminals. And I had fun kidding them and telling them they were all looney tunes — but maybe I’m the one who’s nuts.

Anyway, I’m not going to sing “God Is In Control” on Sunday morning and then go home and oil my AK-47.


About diospsytrek

I am a licensed mental health counselor in Florida. I am also the author of four books. The books have to do with coping with depression and other mood disorders, and the nexus of psychological problems and spiritual warfare.
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