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Commentary

Gunsmoke and Mirrors

Tue, April 03, 2018   |   Author: Rod Taylor   |   Volume 25    Issue 15   

The horrendous and senseless mass-killing at a Parkland, Florida high school on Valentine’s Day was a heart-wrenching reminder of the depravity of which the human heart is capable and the fragility of our social structures, even in the Western world. We got another glimpse of our vulnerability to random acts of violence. The tender ages of the student-victims adds to our angst and amplifies the urgent call for a solution.

Many loud voices both in the US and in Canada are saying that the solution is more gun control. For terrorized teenagers and devastated parents, it’s easy to sympathize with what seems like a solution. But before we fixate on firearms, let’s do a little fact-checking and see if we can identify other factors in the tragedy of school shootings.

I checked out this Wikipedia list of school shootings in the US, dating back to 1764. Much has changed since then: the size of the population, the goals and methods of the public school system itself, the prevalence of and familiarity with firearms, the types of firearms available and the typical worldview of the citizenry of the day.

However, looking at the annual death-toll by firearms in US public schools, universities and colleges, it appears that up until 1890, there was less than 1 death per year reported. Remember, during this time many farmers and settlers kept firearms for hunting and for home defence.

From 1890 until 1960, the number still averaged less than 2 deaths per year in the schools.

In the 1960s, the same decade in which prayer and Bible reading were removed from US public schools, the number jumped to an annual average of 4.4 fatal shootings in US schools.

As the culture wars erupted in the 60s and 70s and a whole generation distanced itself from the moral teachings of the Bible, many in that generation who were “turning on, tuning in, and dropping out” simply lost their moorings and drifted from the shared values of their parents’ generation.

By the 1990s and the shocking massacre at Columbine, annual school fatalities had climbed to almost 10 per year and in the 8 years since 2010, US school shooting fatalities have reached the staggering average of about 20 per year, including Parkland and Sandy Hook.

Nobody thinks this is acceptable. But before we write off defenders of the “right to bear arms” (US 2nd Amendment) as uncaring and selfish rednecks, let’s look at some other factors I believe are at least as important as the legal possession of firearms:

  1. Broken, dysfunctional homes
  2. Isolated, bitter, resentful and lonely individuals: youth and adults
  3. Pervasive use of mind-altering drugs and alcohol that distort reality and contribute to destructive fantasies
  4. Violent and vicious “entertainment”: movies, music, literature, and video games that promote and glorify sadistic and malicious violence, including sexual violence
  5. The teaching of situational ethics in public schools
  6. The teaching of Darwinism, the “survival of the fittest” and the teaching that we are only random collections of atoms with no purpose, no moral responsibility, and no eternal value
  7. The prevalence of abortion; these students today are all “survivors” of the abortion holocaust which has killed one-quarter to one-third of their generation. If it’s ok for doctors to kill, why not me?

Of course, there are many other factors. Nobody would suggest that semi-automatic weapons should be readily available to untrained individuals or those who are mentally unstable. The tragedy at Parkland was magnified by the fact that the FBI was warned repeatedly that the shooter was dangerous and making threats, yet they did nothing. Armed sheriffs whose job was to intervene in a crisis failed to engage when they might have saved lives.

But here are a few more facts that should be examined before we jump on the bandwagon demanding more gun control . . . as if guns were the most dangerous threat to human life today, and especially to young human lives:

While about 20 lives are currently being lost per year to firearms in US schools . . .

Of course, none of this is any comfort to those who have lost a loved one to school violence, nor does it relieve us of the responsibility to enact sensible legislation to protect lives in our schools and communities. It’s simply a reminder that the media can and does magnify certain issues or promote so-called solutions that will not solve real problems. We, and the generations following us, need to be reminded that the God who created us in His image has said “Thou shall not commit murder.” Until respect for human life is restored and a reverence for God—who alone gives dignity to mankind—no gun laws will prevent the tragedy of wasted human lives.

To help bring God’s wisdom back to Canada’s Parliament, be sure to join CHP. We need His guidance more than ever!

(Note to readers: the statistics referred to in this article are from the US. Due to the recent events in Parkland and the ensuing March for Our Lives in Washington, DC. US lawmakers are being challenged to drastically change their laws and even amend the US Constitution. Canadian lawmakers are also feeling the pressure. Bill C-71, now in the House, gives new powers to the RCMP to “reclassify” firearms and is a move towards stricter gun control laws in Canada. Stay tuned as Liberal MPs are tempted use media-fuelled anti-gun activism in the US to restrict and reduce gun ownership in Canada.)



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