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Gun-control or self-control? ‘More laws may not have the intended effect’

gun-controlNASHVILLE, Tenn. (BNc) by Hugh Fulford — People are up in arms over guns. The rash of shootings and mass killings in America has made gun control a hot button issue.

The US president has appointed a special commission headed by Vice-President Joe Biden to allegedly look into the situation from all angles, with input from a wide range of constituents representing different interests and opinions about the matter. Personally, I am not sure just why the president has appointed the commission since all indicators point to his having already made up his mind as to which side of the question he intends to come down on.

Of course, he and his family have 24/7 protection by armed Secret Service agents, and he and Mrs. Obama, as well as all former presidents and their spouses, will have such protection for the rest of their lives. Obviously, he is not for absolute gun control on all fronts.

Is gun control the solution to the problem, or does the solution lie elsewhere?

This past Saturday’s (January 12, 2013) edition of The Tennessean, Nashville’s daily newspaper, carried a front-page story in the Local News section headlined, “Meth up despite new law.” The story told how “a new state law requiring the real-time tracking of pseudoephedrine purchases does not seem to have decreased methamphetamine production in Tennessee.” In fact, the manufacture of meth is up by 6% since the enactment of the law.

Gun-control advocates might do well to take note of this fact. The passing of more laws does not always have the intended effect.

The most extensive mass murder of elementary school children in the United States took place on May 18, 1927, in Bath Township, Michigan. Andrew Kehoe, 55, murdered his wife with a blow to the head, then went to the Bath school where he set off a large amount of explosives he had planted days before. The first explosion killed 38 children and six adults. When the school superintendent arrived, Kehoe set off another explosion, killing the superintendent. He then set off a third explosion in his truck, killing himself. No guns were used in this worst of massacres of school children.

In the New Testament we read of king Herod’s slaughter of the innocents at the time of the birth of Christ. This evil deed was accomplished, obviously, without the use of guns.

Fifteen hundred years earlier, a Pharaoh of Egypt ordered the killing of all new-born male Hebrew babies (Exodus 1).  This dastardly crime was accomplished by means of drowning, not by the use of guns.

If evil or insanity determine to carry out a killing — whether of innocent children or of others — means for doing so will always be found, whether guns are accessible or not.

The problem is not with guns per se, but with the people in whose hands the guns sometimes wind up. The enforcement of laws already on the books, no doubt, would go far in alleviating the problem we face.

At the same time, serious consideration should be given to the role violent video games featuring murder and mayhem may be playing in the increased violence our country is experiencing. Naïve parents would do well to know just exactly what their children are engaging in with reference to these games and monitor more closely their activities in this regard.

One’s mind cannot be saturated with such violence without it sooner or later finding overt expression (see Proverbs 4:23; Proverbs 23:7; Philippians 4:8).

But no amount of legislation can change the hearts of people. Only Christ and the gospel can do that. Until the message of Christ takes root in a person’s heart and one decides to love the Lord with all his heart, soul, and mind, and his neighbor as himself (Matthew 22:34-40), we can expect to continue to see frequent rampages of mass killings by evil or insane people.

“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like . . . But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:19-23, bold mine for emphasis).

No one would argue against the need for meeting certain sensible and reasonable requirements in order to own and carry a gun. But in the final analysis, it is not gun control that is needed, but self-control.

Hugh writes a weekly ezine, “Hugh’s News and Views.” This article was featured today. He has retired from full-time preaching, but continues active in service to the Lord.

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