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Last Monday, tragedy struck the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. A lone gunman went on two separate shooting rampages at the university. After killing two students in a dormitory, he later entered an academic building and chained shut the front doors.
Then he proceeded to walk through the second floor, and with two pistols shot and killed another 30 students and instructors. Before he could be stopped by the police, he shot himself.
When the day ended, 33 were dead and more than a dozen injured. This is now the deadliest shooting spree in American history.
With each eruption of unbelievable, unforgivable violence like this, Americans invariably ask, “How did this happen?” And before the dust has settled, the finger pointing begins. But the more important question – and the one we don’t want to ask because we don’t want to answer it – is “Why did this happen?”
America has suffered a monumental tragedy. My heart and prayers go out to all Virginia Tech students, parents and families who lost loved ones and friends in this senseless act of a twisted mind.
But in the aftermath of America’s worst school massacre, I know there are those who will use it to promote causes that don’t really address the problem. For instance, the anti-gun crowd is already springing out of the woodwork.
But to say that this tragedy was caused by the availability of guns simplistically fails to recognize the real source of the problem. There has never been a gun made that killed anyone. It’s the person wielding the weapon who kills. If that’s not true, we had better forbid the use of the automobile.
Far more people are killed in auto accidents than are killed with guns. And yet, therein the problem is illustrated. Automobiles don’t kill people. It’s the person who drives the automobile that kills people.
One issue that is almost always overlooked in the discussion of gun violence is the complete removal of biblical morals and ethics from America’s public life, especially our schools.
This has left young minds vulnerable to such things as the endless flood of computer games that facilitate, inspire and train them to kill great numbers of people with efficiency, but without remorse. It’s done with computer simulation.
Some say there’s no correlation between these games and the act of murder. However, there have been connections established with some of those who have killed in the most calloused and ruthless manner.
If a mind is continually imprinted with the acting out of bloody, ruthless killings, the lines between make-believe and reality become blurred. And though moral judgment is blurred, physical skill is sharpened. Just think for a moment.
Mohamed Atta and the other terrorists on 9-11 had never actually flown a Boeing 767. They were taught the basics of flying in smaller aircraft, but they learned how to operate the instruments and controls of a 767 through computer simulators.
In the same way, many of the computer games played for hours on end by some young people teach the tactics and reflexive skills needed for killing large numbers of people.
These games are much worse than the violent movies and TV series that feature violence. At least they have a script that attaches some semblance of rationale for why the killings are taking place. But the violent computer games bring no ethics or morals into the equation. You win by blowing apart in bloody gun battles as many people as possible. Normal human sensitivities and compassion are dulled over time by this simulation.
This is especially true in the case of disturbed and alienated young minds that have not been taught any concept of parental discipline, love and biblical morality.
It’s the amoral mind of people that causes death via guns, knives, clubs – or whatever else can be used in a lethal way. It’s not the inanimate weapon.
So removing guns from law-abiding citizens is not the answer. It only leaves them defenseless before the criminals that in any case will manage to obtain guns. History repeatedly proves this point.
Listen to this statement and ask yourself who made it: “This year will go down in history. For the first time a civilized nation has full gun registration. The street will be safer, the police more efficient and the world will follow our lead into the future.” That was spoken by Adolf Hitler, on April 15, 1935.
History offers other examples of what can happen when citizens are stripped of the means to defend themselves.
The Turkish Ottoman Empire established gun control in 1911. It then proceeded to exterminate 1 and a half million Armenians from 1914 to 1917.
The Soviet Union established gun control in 1929. Subsequently, from 1928 to 1953, 60 million dissidents were imprisoned and then exterminated.
China enacted gun control laws in 1935. After the communist takeover, from 1948 to 1952, 20 million Chinese, unable to defend themselves, were murdered.
Nazi Germany fully established gun control in 1938. That helped the government to round up 13 million defenseless Jews, Gypsies, homosexuals, mentally ill and impaired human beings. Many were imprisoned in concentration camps, then destroyed.
Guatemala passed gun control laws in 1964. Then, from 1964 to 1981, 100,000 defenseless Mayan Indians were exterminated.
Uganda established gun control measures in 1970. Predictably, from 1971 to 1979, 300,000 defenseless Christians met a similar fate.
Cambodia established gun control measures in 1956. Subsequently, from 1957 to 1977, 1 million Cambodians met their deaths.
Our Founding Fathers had good reason to include in the Constitution “the right for each citizen to bear arms.” They came to this country with vivid memories of what an all-powerful government could do to its defenseless citizens.
In America, the following evidence clearly demonstrates the impact upon criminals that armed citizens have. Vermont has a genuine right-to-carry law. That means no permit is required. Yet Vermont boasts the lowest crime rate in the nation. Nationwide in the USA, concealed-carry laws have resulted in a drop in crime rates.
A comprehensive national study in 1996 determined that violent crime fell after states made it legal to carry concealed firearms. The results of the study showed that states, which passed concealed-carry laws, reduced their murder rate by 8.5 percent, rapes by 5 percent, aggravated assaults by 7 percent and robbery by 3 percent. By extrapolation, if the states that do not have concealed-carry laws had adopted such laws in 1992, approximately 1,570 murders, 4,177 rapes, 60,000 aggravated assaults and 12,000 robberies would have been avoided yearly.
So let’s deal with the real problem – by seeking to reform the minds of our citizens with biblical morality and ethics. Paul, writing in II Timothy 3:1-5, said, “But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!”
All of the above characteristics are those of a society that has rejected God and His morality and ethics. It is an accurate description of the predominant amoral behavior in America today. And as a result, “perilous times” have come.
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