A Shot in the Dark morphs into A Shot in the Light

Guns, religion, and patriotism go together. Some Americans are bothered by that trio being mixed together.

Each tine there are murders by guns, a parade of gun laws are brought up to be passed. Yet, these laws won't stop determined killers. Effective ways to stop determined killers hasn't been developed so far.

When people make spiritual progress, some of them take on the belief that they no longer need to use weapons to protect the people of a land. All that is needed is spiritual protection.

The Bible says that spiritual things are foolishness to the nonbeliever. (See 1st. Corinthians 2:14) Let's not be foolish. If you take away all the guns from citizens, only bad guys will own guns.

There is a Pollyanna belief that when people become spiritual, they have to give up any fight or flight instincts in themselves. For example, the Amish, the Baha'i, the Brethern, the Jehovah Witness, and the Mennonite religions won't participate in the military in their own lands based on their spiritual beliefs. They aren't alone.

In modern Israel, a wall being built for its security, and citizens walking around with weapons, is interpreted as aggressive by Israel's neighbors and by some leaders in the United Nations. The alternative would be worse: No wall, less weapons, more casualties.

An example of weapons used in the Bible is the account of the Prophet Nehemiah. Nehemiah was commissioned to build a wall around Jerusalem. The enemies of Israel said that Jerusalem was safe without a wall. Nehemiah knew better and ordered all his carpenters and workman to have a tool in one hand and a weapon in the other hand readied for enemy attacks. The wall was built and protected Jerusalem. (The Book of Nehemiah, chapters 1 - 6)

In Jesus' day, there were no guns. There were swords. For self-defense against bad people attacking you for your unacceptable beliefs, Jesus "said to them, 'From this hour, whoever has a money bag should take it and thus also a wallet, and whoever lacks a sword, let him sell his tunic and buy a sword for himself." (Luke 22:36, Aramaic Bible in Plain English)

If we could get away from believing extremist positions of either too many guns or strict gun control, is it possible to find a common sense middle ground on this hotbed issue? Like it or not, guns are an important topic for the protection of a people. Weapons were so important an issue that the founders of the United States wrote a Second Amendment to the Constitution to protect gun ownership.

Some gun resisters argue the Second Amendment was written during the war with England before there was a United States.

In 2008, President Obama said small town Americans in Pennsylvania and the Midwest are easily fooled. These small town folks "cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren't like them." If we drop the word antipathy, we are left with the negative slant that there are Americans who are crazy because they hold to their guns and religion.

I have wondered if there is a city in the United States where gun control has reduced the number of shootings? I don't think so.

Can we make the crazy Americans who believe in guns and religion into a positive instead of a negative? Yes. Other Presidents have said "Peace through strength" and "Trust but verify." These statements are closer to a positive middle ground for having "guns and religion" work together in a protective context.

When we look closely at killers, we may realize “It’s not about gun control. It’s about shooter control.”

"Watch" is what Jesus advised to do. Part of praying is to watch out for danger. Jesus said, "Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man." (Luke 21:36)

The Prophet Samuel prayed for people who were confused over who should govern them. Should government be by man or by God? Samuel said, "As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will teach you the way that is good and right." (1st. Samuel 12:23)

Gun control and gun patrol can work together. We just have to have less extremist views and find some common sense middle ground. The truck that killed people in Nice, France was the weapon used. Should we write truck control laws or outlaw trucks? No. A sick mentality drove that truck. A sick mentality is responsible for murders by guns and rifles.

A recent theory is a percentage of young men have become anti-social by default. They play video games in virtual reality too many hours a day. They have little human contact. When they do have human contact, it is for some of them frustrating to get along or to interact comfortably with fellow humans. Some trigger happens and they go ballistic.

[The writers of the United States Constitution had no idea that a machine gun would be invented in 1884. The Las Vegas massacre is a wakeup call that there are types of military weapons and add-ons which need regulation. Something in that Vegas killer responded to being radicalized. What was the triggering premise in him eludes police investigators. That he was a millionaire and a successful gambler has also thrown people off guard. When I was brought up, the man who lived in the house behind us was a professional gambler. He raised his family by gambling.]

Reality: The world is violent.

Insanity: All we need is gun control.

Can we decide on a compromise somewhere on the reality and insanity scale?

Gun triggers that only respond to the finger print of an owner is a creative approach to gun control. The guns are called "smart guns."

American Icon John Wayne said, "Gun control requires concentration and a steady hand." That sounds like a hint of compromise in its double meaning.

Bill Sweet

Spindrift Research