CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Another Mass Shooting

Dec 16, 2012

Prayers, grief and tears continue to flow for the latest mass shooting, this time in the US state of Connecticut. With so many children involved (20 dead) this one seems even more reprehensible. And as usual, there are a flood of questions being raised: Why? How could this happen? When will this madness end?

We still need to discover more about the details of all this, but it seems some general observations are in order. Why, in fact are we really so surprised when these things happen? Entire generations now in the West have been raised on a steady diet of various things, all of which would logically seem to lead to this very behaviour.

We have had pounded into our heads the idea that there is no God; that there are no moral absolutes; that everything is relative and a matter of personal taste; that we are all just here as an accident of evolutionary processes which “at bottom [shows] no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference” to use atheist evolutionist Richard Dawkins’ words. We are here by accident with no discernible purpose, and we will eventually disappear with no rhyme or reason for our existence – or so we are told.

We have pumped into our kids’ souls mindless, numbing entertainment saturated in violence and bloodshed. Our movies, our music, our TV shows, our video and computer games are all soaked red in gore and extreme violence. Indeed, the leftist Hollywood and cultural elites are getting rich from such offerings, all the while sanctimoniously deploring “a culture of gun violence”.

We have told our kids that morality is a thing of the past, and that they must discover their own ethics and values. We have insisted that one can never judge another person’s behaviour or activity, and we must embrace any and all lifestyles and actions.

We have insisted that all religious beliefs be banned from the public arena, and that anyone who dares to stand for biblical truth must be denounced as a wowser, a bigot, and an intolerant twit imposing his morals on others. We glorify all things radical, immoral, and self-indulgent, while mocking and condemning any call to restraint, to prudence, to limits, to decency, and to godliness.

And then we wonder why we find more and more of these people going around doing these things which we just again witnessed in Connecticut. And as for the assailant, we sadly seem to have the usual description: a rather messed-up person, steeped in violent entertainment, from a broken and dysfunctional family.

One commentator nicely captured this sad state of affairs this way: “As they track down the story of Adam Lanza, and all standard parts fall into place – the weak absent father, the dingbat single mother, the liberal, well-meaning psychologist who was ‘working’ with Adam, the shallow friends who found him ‘edgy’ and ‘different,’ Adam’s cultural life which consisted of an addiction to violent imagery, music, and movies supplied by the same media-political complex that is now feigning ‘grief’ – as all of America is brought before the microphones blinking, crying, totally uncomprehending, we will notice one repeated phrase, a phrase so universal, so emblematic of Liberal America and its mounting catastrophes that I am proposing it become the new national motto, or rather the epitaph to be engraved on the tombstone of the Republic: ‘HOW COULD IT HAVE HAPPENED?’”

Yes we really do seem to be witnessing the end of Western civilisation. We have had a grand social experiment over the past century to see what life would be like when we throw God out altogether from our lives. And guess what? The results are in. The Connecticut massacre is just another bit of the bitter fruit of our wholesale rejection of God, truth, absolutes and morality.

Gun Control

As to the old chestnut that if we just had more gun control, this would not be happening, well, a few words if I may, even though several articles are needed on this to do it proper justice. Every time these things occur, instantly the leftists and MSM start shouting for more gun control. That is their mantra, and we have heard heaps of it again in the past two days.

Within moments uber-lefties like Michael Moore were giving us their wisdom: “The way to honor these dead children is to demand strict gun control, free mental health care, and an end to violence as public policy.” And public policy authority (and evidently part-time actor) Mia Farrow offered us this gem: “Gun control is no longer debatable – it’s not a ‘conversation’- It’s a moral mandate.”

But the simple truth is, the evidence does not bear this out – just the opposite in fact is the case. Thomas Sowell puts it this way: “You might never know, from what they and other gun control advocates have said, that there is a mountain of evidence that gun control laws not only fail to control guns but are often counterproductive. However, for those other people who still think facts matter, it is worth presenting some of those facts.

“Do countries with strong gun control laws have lower murder rates? Only if you cherry-pick the data. Britain is a country with stronger gun control laws than the United States, and lower murder rates. But Mexico, Russia and Brazil are also countries with stronger gun control laws than the United States – and their murder rates are much higher than ours. Israel and Switzerland have even higher rates of gun ownership than the United States, and much lower murder rates than ours.

“Even the British example does not stand up very well under scrutiny. The murder rate in New York has been several times that in London for more than two centuries — and, for most of that time, neither place had strong gun control laws. New York had strong gun control laws years before London did, but New York still had several times the murder rate of London.

“It was in the later decades of the 20th century that the British government clamped down with severe gun control laws, disarming virtually the entire law-abiding citizenry. Gun crimes, including murder, rose as the public was disarmed. Meanwhile, murder rates in the United States declined during the same years when murder rates in Britain were rising, which were also years when Americans were buying millions more guns per year.

“The real problem, both in discussions of mass shootings and in discussions of gun control, is that too many people are too committed to a vision to allow mere facts to interfere with their beliefs, and the sense of superiority that those beliefs give them. Any discussion of facts is futile when directed at such people. All anyone can do is warn others about the propaganda.”

Or as another author puts it, based on a Harvard study: “Nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those that do not. The study found that the nine European nations with the lowest rates of gun ownership (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000 population) have a combined murder rate three times higher than that of the nine nations with the highest rates of gun ownership (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000 population). For example, Norway has the highest rate of gun ownership in Western Europe, yet possesses the lowest murder rate. In contrast, Holland’s murder rate is nearly the worst, despite having the lowest gun ownership rate in Western Europe.”

As Rachel Alexander says, “Demanding more gun control laws will not solve anything. Gun control advocates have already increased the number of laws around the country requiring background checks, waiting periods for purchases, and tracking of firearms. Many of the rampage killers obtained guns illegally. If they can’t obtain guns, deranged individuals will find other ways to commit mass murders – by setting fires, making bombs or running people over with vehicles. One day after the shootings in Connecticut, a man in Beijing stabbed 22 primary school students with a knife.

“The left should not be allowed to dominate the dialogue after these tragic events with a red herring argument for gun control, in order to sneakily distract Americans from blaming them for what they have wrought. Americans who believe in traditional values must speak up and denounce the degradation of society’s morals as the root of the problem behind these rampages, or the tragedies will continue to escalate.”

Quite so. The specific issue of gun control is the stuff of another article or two. The reality is, until we deal with a culture that has rejected God, extolled self, embraced violence as entertainment, and rubbished the concepts of moral absolutes and personal responsibility, we will sadly see more such tragedies unfolding.

Banning guns or knives or box cutters or stones will not prevent such attacks. Evil is what must be addressed, and evil does not lie in guns or rocks but in every human heart. As Solzhenitsyn once rightly said, “It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts.”

And it is that corrupt, broken and evil human heart that Jesus Christ came into the world to redeem and renew. But given that we have told God to get lost from our schools, our public life, and even our memory, then we can only expect to see more such massacres and other acts of evil, all of which flow from the unregenerate human heart cut off from God and his transforming love.

dailycaller.com/2012/12/14/liberals-immediately-blame-nra-call-for-gun-control-after-elementary-school-shooting/
www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/school-gunman-adam-lanza-remembered-as-a-weird-quiet-loner/story-e6frg6so-1226537700560
www.amnation.com/vfr/archives/024011.html
townhall.com/columnists/rachelalexander/2012/12/15/rampage-shootings-its-the-moral-decay-of-society-not-guns-n1467549

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56 Responses to Another Mass Shooting

  • Let me be the first to comment here. A new article offers some sense on the gun control issue and Lanza:

    Lanza, therefore, if you count theft, murder and breaking and entering – since CBS New York now reports it likely Lanza broke into the school through a window to circumvent a locked-door and intercom security system – would have violated a half-dozen laws in his crime, including the following gun-control statutes:

    First, Connecticut law requires a person be over 21 to possess a handgun. Lanza was 20.

    Second, Connecticut requires a permit to carry a pistol on one’s person, a permit Lanza did not have.

    Third, it is unlawful in Connecticut to possess a firearm on public or private elementary or secondary school property, a statute Lanza clearly ignored.

    Fourth, with details on the Bushmaster rifle still sketchy, it’s possible Lanza may have violated a Connecticut law banning possession of “assault weapons.”

    Of course, these laws were violated because Lanza did not own any of the firearms in question, but rather stole them, and he clearly had no regard for the law in committing his crime.

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/gun-control-laws-failed-connecticut-children/#EKW7Mdh4ZLW7V1uc.99

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • As always, Bill, excellent article and even more excellent points! It didn’t take long for the liberal leftist lunatics here in the U.S. media of mass deception to spew their crazy-time hateful, lying, and dangerous rhetoric:

    Newsbusters: NY Congressman Calls NRA ‘Enablers of Mass Murder’

    Excerpt:

    PIERS MORGAN, HOST: I have been debating this all week. I was following the Bob Costas thing, the shopping mall, so on, following Aurora. I’ve been debating it for months, if not two years. I am so frustrated. I’m so furious for these kids who have been being blown away again with legally acquired weapons.

    Some boy who has got problems takes his mother’s three weapons, including this ridiculous assault rifle, and goes in the school and kills these kids. And you guys still want to tell me the answer is more guns? It is madness!

    (CROSS TALK)

    JOHN R. LOTT, JR, AUTHOR, “MORE GUNS, LESS CRIME”: How else can you stop someone from shooting people.

    MORGAN: Let the congressman speak.

    REP. JERROLD NADLER (D), NEW YORK: What are we most angry about? It’s that every poll shows that by massive majorities, Americans agree with what you just said. Yet we have a lobby, the leadership of the NRA, who function as enablers of mass murder. And that’s what they are. They’re enablers of mass murder, because they terrify the class of political people. And even though polling shows that most NRA members would support reasonable gun controls, every time someone proposes it, they come in. They lie. They say they will take your guns away. And they stop any kind of legislation to prevent that.

    This absurd comment came just days after Kansas City sportswriter Jason Whitlock called the NRA “the new KKK.”

    *******
    Didn’t anyone learn a hard lesson from the Colorado theater massacre? If the so-called “safety” officers were allowed to be armed, perhaps the murderer would have been taken out before he killed so many people.
    The problem with gun control laws is that they take away the right of law abiding citizens to protect themselves from evil perpetrators. Would-be criminals and murderers do not abide by any laws…much less gun “control” laws!

    While driving home last night, several callers on the Mark Levin radio show had a lot of good points. One man mentioned the fact that even if guns were entirely banned in the USA (God forbid!!!), who would keep guns from coming over the border from Mexico? We can’t even keep out illegal aliens! What makes liberal leftist loonies think we could keep guns from coming over the border – in a floodlike manner – if our 2nd Amendments rights are taken away?

    Another caller said that gun control laws wouldn’t have made a difference in this case. The killer was on a mission – just like a suicide bomber. Nothing was going to stop him.

    Like everyone else, I grieve so deeply about this terrible incident of a maniacal, soulless killer who stood in a classroom and murdered 20 innocent small children and 6 adults. It’s just unimaginable. A son who could be so cruel and heartless to shoot his own mother in the face has to be mentally deranged and/or absolutely cold-blooded. But to go and shoot an entire kindergarten class afterwards is beyond evil.

    The details that will eventually come out about the “why” he did it might reveal a so-called “motive.” But no matter what, we know that satan is ultimately behind it all. The soul and spirit of a person which is devoid of God and devoid of good gets filled up with something else – satan’s attacks and evil.

    Jesus warns us:
    Jhn 10:10 “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have [it] more abundantly.

    Peter describes the battle:
    1 Pe 5:8-11 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle [you]. To Him [be] the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen.

    Thanks Bill for telling the truth in such matters.

    Christine Watson, US

  • Thank you, Bill. One of the best articles I’ve read in the days following the tragedy here in the States.

    Everyone is rushing to blame guns, the supposed lack of gun-control laws, etc. Many (even some of those I consider to be reasonable, Christians, etc.) are throwing around the same tired, illogical rhetoric about how we just have to get rid of guns. Hardly anyone seems to realize that guns aren’t the issue – and disarming the United States is neither practical nor a real solution.

    And as you say, it’s the Liberals who have transformed our culture, who decry almost any standard of decency, and who insist that our children must not be taught about right and wrong (and many of whom have enriched themselves in the entertainment industry by offering an endless supply of valueless violence) who cry the loudest about “gun control”. It’s pretty obvious that this is both deflection, and an attempt to take greater control of our society away from the people. It’s sickening.

    Ronin Akechi, US

  • You really are and idiot Mule-head.
    Graham Douglas-Meyer

  • Couple of questions, Bill. Like this gunman, you display several symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome. Are you a diagnosed sufferer?

    Second, do you own a gun or guns?
    Ken Hamilton

  • Thanks Graham and Ken

    Always great to see how the secular left “argues”. Not a scrap of evidence, facts, data, reason, rational discussion, or informed debate; just heaps of mud-slinging, name-calling and ugly ad hominems. But thanks again for demonstrating to the whole world how your side has no intellectual leg to stand on, relying instead simply on nasty abuse, hate and intolerance.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Well written as usual Bill.
    I especially appreciate the truth and reality of your two closing paragraphs. Sadly, until the media and all who have rejected Christ proclaim Him as Lord, the world will continue to self destruct no matter what laws are written or passed in Parliaments around the world.
    Jill Hatton

  • Awesome article BM. You know your stuff. Keep speaking the truth.
    Jenna Priest

  • Great article, Bill. It does seem ironic that people who have done everything to eliminate God out of public life should now blame Him for His absence.

    And it is tedious to again hear that the ‘solution’ to a tragedy like this is to further disarm potential victims and leave them defenceless. That is shallow and complete insanity. Might I add it is also heartless. When the next lunatic comes along he will find even less potential for resistance. I guess maybe those ‘Gun Free Zone’ signs need to be bigger or something.

    And then the whole cycle of calls for further gun control will begin, and then the next tragedy will happen…and so on.

    OR I propose an alternate outcome:

    Every school teacher gets a firearm, and training to operate it. The weapon will be kept locked in each room with the teacher to have access. Post signs on the school perimeter warning that any violent attack on children will be met with lethal force.

    The significantly reduced handful of times something happens under such a climate will probably be reported in this kind of way:

    “A man who entered XYZ school yesterday was shot dead after gunning down 4 children, 2 of whom died at the scene. Police are praising the actions of three teachers who protected their students by shooting the man fatally in the head and chest at least eight times. Authorities say the man was carrying hundreds of rounds of ammunition, enough to kill several classes full of children.”

    Of course this is far from perfect, but substantially better than 20 children dead. And something like that should have been the outcome in Connecticut.

    There are photos of Israeli teachers with guns slung around their bodies. Strangely, Israel does not have a mass shooting in a school every so often:

    “Israel began the program of armed citizen guards in the schools after the Maalot massacre in the 1970s, when a large number of children were slain in a terrorist incident. The volunteer parents work in plain clothes, armed with concealed semi-automatic pistols, and are trained by Israel’s home guard. It is significant that in the more than a quarter century between Maalot and the incident mentioned above when the citizen guards shot down the terrorist in the school in 2002, not a single child was murdered in an Israeli school!

    The reason is that Israel wisely publicized the fact that the civilian volunteer guards, indistinguishable from the regular teaching and administrative staff, would be in place. It served as a tremendously effective deterrent.”

    http://www.backwoodshome.com/articles2/ayoob81.html

    But do-gooders like Michael Boore, Piers Morgan or Jarrold Nadler – and probably even trolls like Graham or Ken above for that matter – still don’t seem to understand that criminals will always have guns. Always. Write all the laws you like. You will not stop the madmen. That is the point. Gun control laws will not stop this. You will just be facilitating the next tragedy, simultaneously convincing yourself that you have the moral high ground. Contemptible.

    Do these people really believe those who understand and support the Second Amendment are ok with seeing innocent children die needlessly? Because that is effectively the accusation. And they never bother to check about the real problem which you identified – the depravity of the human heart.

    I direct people to this brilliant video from Bill Whittle:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kRAw3VWVyD8

    Mark Rabich

  • Thanks Mark

    Yes exactly right. If an evil person or a deranged person wants to kill people, he will do so, no matter how many gun control laws there are on the books. Criminals are law breakers by definition, so what makes us think they will obey gun control laws!? So those folks intent on killing will always try to do so, despite all the laws in the world. And all that these laws do is deprive innocent people of the right to defend themselves, their families, and their loved ones. Thus such laws simply make the world a more dangerous place, not a safer place.

    And yes, the Whittle video is excellent, and everyone should watch it.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • The other video that should be required viewing is this one from Dr Suzanna Hupp.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEJFAvA-ZUE

    Surely someone who lost both their parents to a crazed gunman would think gun control is a good idea? Think again.

    I love the way it ends especially. Maybe a lesson for those who do not understand why the Second Amendment was written.

    Mark Rabich

  • Hi Mark,

    Great Bill Whittle video. Thanks.

    In these US shootings (including this one) you’d think a salient statistic would be that “All the multiple victim public shootings in the U.S. — in which more than three people have been killed — have all occurred in places where concealed handguns have been banned.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2009/11/10/john-lott-ft-hood-end-gun-free-zone/#ixzz21X5cUIQt

    I mean, even if you’re a hardened lefty and don’t think that that’s the answer right there, at least it must have some relevance to the debate, right? But strangely enough you will never, ever hear that fact ever mentioned by the MSM, just the endless call for more ‘gun control’. Talk about pushing agendas.

    Mansel Rogerson

  • Hi Bill,

    The heart of the matter is indeed the state of the heart of men and our propensity to do evil. I agree absolutely that society is reaping very much what has been sown in the areas mentioned and need a heart and culture change. God needs once again to have the pre-eminence, when we take God out of the equation, evil reigns.

    I do have to say however, that as an Australian, not used to a gun culture, (although there was a massacre in Tasmania by Martin Bryant)..I genuinely don’t understand the passion Americans seem to have with their ‘right to bear arms’. I don’t know much about the philosophy behind this but I did think this was brought about in the very early days of the country and was only recently amended to include self defense in the home etc.?
    My personal thoughts are that unfortunately, until such a heart change should happen that greater gun control does seem to me an idea worth investigating. I am genuinely puzzled when I see the strong reaction Americans have to this. Even though I have listened to the videos I wonder what purpose it will serve to have everybody shooting each other?
    Just some genuinely puzzling thoughts, but I am open to understanding more the rationale behind the ‘right to bear arms’ …

    Sandy Anderson

  • Thanks Sandy

    Yes one really needs to have some background knowledge about US history, especially its founding, and the role of the 2nd Amendment, to properly understand and appreciate where they are coming from. And it is not a case of having “everybody shooting each other” as you put it, but of innocent people having the right to defend themselves and their loved ones. Taking their guns away does not disarm criminals of course, it only leaves the innocent defenceless and more at risk. Thus more innocent people die as a result. But as I say, I will need to write a few more articles on all this.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • According to the biblical record, the first murder happened long before guns or gun control laws came on the scene. Cain’s question to God has been interpreted by some as an allegation that God, the Keeper of all things had failed to keep His devoted follower, Abel safe!

    “Shall the axe boast itself against him that heweth therewith? shall the saw magnify itself against him that wieldeth it? as if a rod should wield them that lift it up, or as if a staff should lift up him that is not wood.” Isa 10:15 [ASV]

    To confuse the weapon with the wielder who makes it actively lethal is surely an illogical sidestepping of the core problem – the malicious intent of the killer.

    The unique characteristics of people with Asperger’s Syndrome present both opportunities for great good via an intense mastery of a chosen body of knowledge, as well as potential for the obsessive descent into homicide evidenced at the Port Arthur Massacre.

    Eugenicists would, no doubt, seek to eliminate such atypical humans in an alleged campaign for the greater safety of the rest of mankind! This immoral approach to a Pervasive Developmental Disorder is a ghastly substitute for wise, compassionate mentoring of people who are “different” from neurotypical men and women.

    John Wigg

  • For those still interested I have put together a post on the effects of gun laws. In particular I have focused on the Australian by back scheme under Howard. What’s most telling is the disingenuous claims of the gun control advocates like Simon Chapman and Andrew Leigh:

    http://aristotelian-thomism.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/do-australian-gun-laws-work.html

    Damien Spillane

  • What struck me most from this terrible incident was how a mother could collect guns and teach her son to shoot when her son clearly had some mental or development disorder.

    I was also struck by how many grieving and shocked families prayed to God in their despair despite all we hear about secularism in America.

    Rachel Smith, UK

  • Sandy, the simple reason for the amendment – as Bill Whittle detailed – is that as bad as the Connecticut shooting is and all the other ones are – the very worst killer of humans throughout history has been a government over its own people.

    You tell me what kind of thing is worse – 26 dead in this tragedy, or – for example The Holodomor – an estimated 7 million Ukrainians effectively killed by the Soviets in 1932-33, where food was stolen from them by force in ‘peacetime’. I have read that in the last century or so, 170 million people have died at the hands of their own governments. Have a think about that number.

    The authors of the Bill of Rights recognised that if a population was armed, the chances of a future tyrannical regime destroying basic freedoms was considerably lower, and they should actually reserve the potential to remove such a regime by force if necessary.

    And anyway, as has been pointed out numerous times, it is the idea that ‘gun free zones’ are safe that is to blame mostly for this. Armed ordinary citizens (ie. teachers) would’ve likely severely mitigated this from getting anywhere near as bad as it did, but instead we have the horrendous scenario where children are left defenceless against a madman. It is legislators who think ‘gun free zones’ work who are most to blame.

    I have no respect for those who take such an emotionally charged phrase such as ‘gun culture’ and claim that the amendment (which is basically the right to defend one’s life and freedom) is somehow outdated. It can never be outdated to want freedom AND the means to preserve it. The amendment itself explains this – “…being necessary to the security of a free State”

    The day somebody thinks that it is outdated, they may as well consider themselves a slave, because they subject themselves to the goodwill of others to remain alive. The founding fathers knew very well what they were doing. The level of debate surrounding the Bill of Rights was robust and long.
    The idea that this was written by men who just (put on a Southern drawl) ‘loved them thar guns’ is itself incredibly ignorant.

    There is a very good reason why a poor nation born out of tyranny became the richest and freest nation on earth. The Second Amendment is a critical part of that. You cannot remove the means to defend freedom without removing freedom with it. Clued up Americans know this, hence why they defend it so passionately and bristle when do-gooders seek to change or remove it. Who wants to give up freedom?

    Let me end with the words of Patrick Henry, who initially opposed the US Constitution in part because he did not feel it protected individual freedoms adequately but then became instrumental in the introduction of the Bill of Rights:

    “Are we at last brought to such humiliating and debasing degradation that we cannot be trusted with arms for our defense? Where is the difference between having our arms in possession and under our direction, and having them under the management of Congress? If our defense be the real object of having those arms, in whose hands can they be trusted with more propriety, or equal safety to us, as in our own hands?”

    “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined.”

    Mark Rabich

  • Hi Bill,

    Although taken out of context, the scripture “…for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” comes to mind here.

    The USA is a country obsessed and awash with both guns and violence. One only has to take a cursory look at Hollywood, or the sheer size of the US arms industry for confirmation of this. And if that were not bad enough, entire generations of men have grown up without the stern and careful direction of their fathers on how to be proper men.

    Gun control will therefore do little to curb the problem. Having said that, surely the USA can come up with a better way to keep its children safe than to arm the primary school teachers!

    I just hope Americans give proper reflection on just how sick their country is to be able to breed this kind of wickedness again and again. It is surely every bit as evil as the terrorists attacks of Sep 11, albeit on a lesser scale.

    Nick Davies

  • Terrific commentary Bill well done.
    Rob Withall

  • Yesterday and this morning I was listening to talkback radio discussion of the massacre. A couple of callers told stories of being invited to backyard barbeques at a friend’s ranch. Afterwards, presumably for a bit of fun and male bonding, some of the men present got out their guns and peppered a car wreck that was sitting in a paddock with bullets. Your grasp of these issues is better than mine, and I defer to your expertise, but does that sort of thing sound healthy to you?
    Ross McPhee

  • Thanks Ross

    But what does target practice in your own property have to do with mass murder? It does not sound unhealthy to me in the least. Didn’t you ever do the same with a BB gun when you were a kid? And respectfully, listening to the secular left MSM such as ABC radio will give you nothing but utterly biased and unbalanced coverage on all these matters. So why listen to them?

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Yes, typical of some to think the answer is to concentrate on the means of murder, rather than murder itself.

    A couple of questions come to my mind which someone may like to comment on:

    Firstly, why do the majority of these massacres seem to be in schools?

    Secondly, why do 20 deaths in the one place at the one time promote public outrage & grieving, when the same people murdered over a period of – say – 6 months barely rate a mention.

    I am certainly in favour of reasonable controls over firearms, to the extent that one should be a fit & proper person to own & use them. I think Australia has got it about right.

    As to the futility of trying to remove all firearms from a country – well nigh impossible. And even if you could, other methods would be used. The Childers Backpacker fire and the deliberately lit Vic bushfires are 2 examples of mass murder committed with just a box of matches. Also, any reasonably competent fitter & turner can make a crude gun capable of inflicting harm. I saw an example of one (a sub-machine gun) in the QLD police museum. Completely hand crafted right down to the amunition.

    To remove firearms from responsible people because of actions seems as stupid as taking away everyones drivers licences because some people drive drunk and kill innocent people.

    When guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns.

    David Williams

  • I never even played with a cap gun, let alone a BB gun. I was more into Lego. One of the target practice on a car wreck stories came from Darren James’ Sunday morning program on 3AW, and a similar one was on 774. The caller was making the point about how widespread gun ownership is in the US. I listen to ABC radio because I find their news bulletins more comprehensive, and for less adverts than commercial radio, and one recently retired drive time program host tried my patience with his brash, opinionated presentation style.
    Ross McPhee

  • Thanks Ross

    Didn’t you even play cowboys and Indians with sticks? Sounds like you had a rather deprived childhood! As to the ABC, as I say, if you depend on them for objective information about America or anything else for that matter, you will come away with a radically distorted view of reality. But I trust you are aware of the biased nature of the MSM in general and the ABC in particular.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill mentioned the movies, video games and the music that glorifies and promotes violence. He also mentioned Dawkins and evolution.
    I would be interested to know if there is a specific evolution connection. There was at Columbine and in Finland.
    There is a bizairre disconnect in our culture that says on one hand that nothing that the media promotes affects people’s behaviour, and the billions spent on advertising, the atheist’s passion to censor creationist ideas, and the government’s push to control the media.
    Tas Walker

  • Hi Bill,
    Not getting into the discussions of gun control in your article and in some of the comments….I can say that until a couple years ago I was most undoubtedly an atheist. A grumpy one at that. Then some difficulties in my life and a long exploration into what was missing, and I’ve now accepted Christ and you can’t imagine the changes for the good I’ve gone through. Well, perhaps you can 🙂

    Prior to becoming a Christian each time something like this happened I would have said something to the effect of “hey, we’re all going to die, be put into a pine box and turn to dust anyways, so what’s the big deal.” Granted if it had happened to one of my children or someone else close I’m sure I would have felt differently. But the bottom line is I didn’t care about other people and their problems. It’s horrible…I realize that now.

    Your take on the decline of moral values and what people accept as normal behavior or shrug off and say “ahhh….everybody’s doing it, it’s fine” is spot on and is dragging this country down. I sat down with my 12 year old nephew a few weeks ago and watched him play a violent video game. More than once I heard him say “die you piece of crap” or he would get so angry because his player died he would shout an obscenity at the TV and slam the controller down. I mentioned it to his father and his father said “haha…yeah he really gets carried away when he plays those games”. This same child will sometimes yell at his younger brother with such anger it’s almost scary. It’s so easy to see how the acceptance of “unacceptable” behavior gets carried through into real life situations. This is just an example and the tip of the iceberg.

    I was at work the other day when I heard about the shootings. I was so overcome with grief I had to go out to my car to get myself together. As I sat there praying for the victims the same thing kept running through my head, that being the atheists would all come out and say “where is your God now?” Which I admit I would have done previously; before I ever read or studied the bible and other scholarly documents from the thousands and thousands of biblical scholars and apologists.

    Some atheists have said that I was never truly an atheist because I accepted Christ into my life. I remember clearly one time my daughter was asking what happened when you died and I told her they put you in the ground, you rotted away never to know anyone or anything again. If that’s not an atheist then I don’t know what it is. Others said I only accepted Christ because I’m afraid of dying. When I accepted Christ into my life I was 48 years old and in perfect health. I eat healthy, workout 6 days a week and am now in great mental condition because of my acceptance. I don’t plan on dying anytime soon 🙂 But if I do I’m prayerful that I know God will accept me.

    I’ve realized now that these types of senseless, hateful, horrible acts don’t push me away from God, they make me feel closer to God. As I mentioned above, when I was an atheist this type of event would have had no effect on me. Now I can’t even think about the incident without my heart breaking.

    My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Newtown and I’m also praying that you find the strength to keep your site going and helping people like myself.

    Peace,
    Bill Field

  • So Ken and Graham (please check your poor grammar before calling someone else a mule-head!),
    If you were the parent of Adam Lanza and provided access to the guns coupled with shockingly poor parenting then we suppose you are free from any blame for what happened?
    Yes, it’s the guns isn’t it? Ban them, they made us do it!!!
    PS: I don’t own a gun but sincerely wish I was there and had one to defend those innocent children from slaughter.
    John Von Dinklage

  • Many thanks indeed Bill. Great to hear a bit of your story and how God has been so gracious to you. Please keep standing strong in Christ. Bless you.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • As Joseph Farah puts it:

    “Little do they realize the evil is not to be found in the guns. It’s to be found in their own hearts of darkness. In fact, one well-placed firearm at Sandy Hook, in the hands of a trained teacher, administrator or security guard could have prevented the entire slaughter – just as they have averted countless other murders and mass murders in the past. But, of course, that’s just a Band-Aid on a culture mortally wounded by its abandonment of God and His righteous laws. And that’s why we all need to expect more Sandy Hooks, not fewer.”

    http://www.wnd.com/2012/12/expect-more-sandy-hooks-not-fewer/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • More evidence:

    “Guns are already banned in schools. That is why the shootings happen in schools. A school is a ‘helpless-victim zone,’” says Richard Mack, a former Arizona sheriff. “Preventing any adult at a school from having access to a firearm eliminates any chance the killer can be stopped in time to prevent a rampage,” Jim Kouri, the public-information officer of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, told me earlier this year at the time of the Aurora, Colo., Batman-movie shooting. Indeed, there have been many instances — from the high-school shooting by Luke Woodham in Mississippi, to the New Life Church shooting in Colorado Springs, Colo. — where a killer has been stopped after someone got a gun from a parked car or elsewhere and confronted the shooter.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/335739/facts-about-mass-shootings-john-fund#

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • “And that’s why we all need to expect more Sandy Hooks, not fewer.”

    Actually, while these things get more and more attention in the media, they’re happening less often (at least in the States) over the past few decades– largely because of relaxed gun laws– not more often. I only mention that because it’s one of the arguments that people make without support: that they’re becoming more common, therefore “we really need to do something to limit gun access!!!!”.

    The author’s point is well taken, nevertheless.

    Ronin Akechi

  • Hi Bill,

    Great article as usual.

    You already know that we have a difference of opinion on gun control. While I’m not in favour of banning gun ownership, and I don’t think gun control solves the underlying problem (which you addressed well), surely it’s a ‘harm minimisation’ strategy?

    A recent article from a law enforcement agency in the US.. sorry I can’t remember where… mentions that of the ‘mass murder scenarios” that have been aborted early with minimum loss of life, 50% were stopped by the intervention of an unarmed civilian. I’d feel much better about my prospects of taking down someone armed with a rifle which required the shooter to manually chamber individual rounds as opposed to someone armed with something that pumps out 13 rounds per second.

    Did you read what John Howard wrote after the Aurora massacre? Well worth the time if you haven’t seen it. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/brothers-in-arms-yes-but-the-us-needs-to-get-rid-of-its-guns-20120731-23ct7.html

    God bless… I trust you and your family have a happy and holy Christmas.

    Tom Teale-Sinclair

  • Woah Mark,
    Only just saw your remark about having ‘no respect for those who take such an emotionally charged phrase as gun culture etc….”
    This was a sincere post wanting to know and understand the passion Americans do have for the ‘right to bear arms’. It was not meant to be inflammatory in any way but sincerely seeking to understand the rationale behind it. I was not suggesting it was old fashioned but that my understanding of it began in the 1700’s when it was needed because of the British and beginnings of the nation.
    You have totally read me wrong and it worries me that you would have such a reaction to a sincere seeker.
    As an Australian I genuinely don’t understand it and I am genuinely trying to get insight. Gun culture is only meant in the observation that so many Americans seem to own them as evidenced that the mother of the shooter had 3 in her home…not sure why that many are needed? To own a gun is one thing I guess but that many and all different kinds? I just don’t get it, but I am genuinely trying. So maybe you could just realise your reaction to my comment is unnecessary and I do respect you and your right to another opinion, sorry it doesn’t appear to be returned.
    Sandy Anderson

  • Hi Sandy,

    I’m very sorry if you took my response as being a rebuke directed at you. Far from it! The phrase ‘gun culture’ is generally used as a disparagement by many in the anti-gun lobby who don’t understand how freedom and defence of that freedom work together, so most of what I wrote was in response to the way this issue is portrayed in the media especially. And I did see your comment as a completely reasonable and honest inquiry. I’m sorry I didn’t make that clear and reading back on my comment I can see how I failed to be specific or careful enough. For that I apologise. I didn’t mean it to read or sound like I was having a go at you at all. That was never remotely my intent.

    I hope that clears the air a bit. I was trying to explain the rationale behind the Second Amendment but also to give all readers a bit of an insight as to where much of the debate these days simply gets it wrong. I sincerely hope you still feel able to ask any question.

    Mark Rabich

  • Hi Mark,

    I appreciate the clarification…because you specifically addressed the answer to me, I did think you were targeting my comments. I also appreciate your apology. Many thanks!
    I still have lots of puzzlement over the whole gun availability/control thing but will wait and read and listen to the arguments for and against.
    I understand the concept of the 2nd Amendment but I guess not being a US citizen nor used to ever seeing guns except on TV, nor being in a society where guns are a usual part of it, it’s a whole new paradigm for me to even think about.
    All these massacres are so evil and I think this one has more of a dimension of reality to it for me as I have a greatly loved 6 year old grandson and I am imagining what it would be like if this was him or if he had to endure the fearful experience of it happening around him. Makes my heart ache for all concerned.

    Sandy Anderson

  • The problem with guns is that it makes too easy to kill lots of people quickly. It just makes a bad situation much worse. While the heart of the problem is the guy’s heart, but making guns much harder to get would stop him from getting guns to do the damage. Guns are a multiply of a problem and taking out a multiplier makes the situation not as bad as before.
    Ian Nairn

  • Thanks Ian

    Of course the problem is not guns. Guns in the wrong hands is the problem. Connecticut already has rather strict gun control laws in place. And McVeigh managed to kill 19 children under the age of 6 (and some 168 people all up) with fertiliser. Box cutters were enough to cause the death of some 3,000 innocent lives in 9/11. So you are picking on the wrong target here. Indeed, the exact opposite is just the case. Had this school not been yet another gun-free zone, a licensed and trained firearm owner (security guard, teacher, parent) may well have saved all 20 children’s lives. And many lives have been saved throughout America exactly for this reason: law abiding citizens using their firearms to defend innocent men, women and children from those who don’t give a rip about gun-control laws.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Mark R you wrote:

    Always. Write all the laws you like. You will not stop the madmen. That is the point. Gun control laws will not stop this.

    Correct. Laws apply to persons who either obey them, or disobey them. Guns cannot and do not obey laws. So “gun control” is actually about people control. And if someone is mentally unbalanced/mad/deranged/ whatever we want to call it (should be just “evil”) then these tragedies will continue to occur.

    John Angelico

  • I disagree with the all of the argumetns presented for Americans to keep their “right to bear arms”. However there are some reasonable arguments in their favour. But there is surely no argument in favour of the right to carry semi-automatic guns. These should be banned or severely restricted. It is these mass repeating guns which give the ability to twisted people to murder so quickly large groups of people.
    David Everard

  • Thanks David

    Lanza’s weapon was a semi-automatic rifle, much like a hunter or farmer would use. It was not an assault weapon as the media likes to portray. And many of the other mass shootings and most gun homicides have been done with just handguns. And Timothy McVeigh managed to kill 170 people with fertiliser. So the point remains, Connecticut already has quite strict gun control legislation, and had this school not been another gun-free zone, many lives may have been saved that day. That is what really matters here.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • A few quick thoughts on the article and some of the comments above:

    Firstly, if there was a gun locked in a cupboard in every school classroom, you may find that angry students may snap and rather than just throw a book at the teacher they may attempt to take that weapon out of the cupboard during class and shoot some people. You may also find that the classrooms become the target of thieves looking to steal the weapons.

    Secondly, it’s possible that a trigger happy teacher will inadvertently shoot the wrong person (as occurred recently when that father shot and killed his own son who he thought was an intruder).

    Thirdly, will Christians have guns in the new heaven and the new earth? No, so let’s start to live out the qualities of the Kingdom of God by living without guns now. Yes, “Caesar” (the empire and the world generally) has a lot of guns, but give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, because guns don’t belong in the Kingdom of God.

    I know a lot of Americans will struggle to understand how I can take this view, and I struggle to understand the view Bill and others take on this. But we share a commonality in Christ, so let’s not forget that.

    Darryl Stringer

  • Thanks Darryl

    Let me try to respond. Your argument about thieves breaking in to steal weapons in schools can be said about any place: a police station, a sporting store, in fact a pharmacy, a hardware store, and so on. As I already said, one can kill without guns. Hundreds of people can be killed with fertiliser, and thousands of people with a handful of box cutters if need be. And who said anything about locking guns away in schools anyhow? One firearm could be worn by a security officer or even a policeman. I trust that you are not going to tell us that it is too risky for the police to carry firearms as well.

    And where do you get this “trigger happy teacher” stuff from? The same could be said about a security guard or a policeman. Not every shot fired will always hit its target. So again, by your reasoning, we should take all firearms away from police, because a bullet might go astray on occasion. In fact, let’s remove knives from every home, since accidental deaths can happen from those as well. While we are at it, let’s ban all rocks, bricks and baseball bats. You never know when they can be involved in accidental incidents.

    Guns are not the issue. The criminals who want to harm others is the issue we must address here. And as I also already said, there are plenty of strict gun-control laws already in place in Connecticut. Any criminal, or criminally insane person, will always be able to get any sort of weapon, even if there were a million such laws in place. All these laws do is deny innocent people the right to defend themselves, and empower criminals to go on more mass murder sprees.

    And regrettably your query about guns in the new heavens is almost too silly to answer. Will there be doctors in heaven Darryl? Or police, or teachers, or nurses, or judges, or repairmen, or seminaries, or Bible concordances, or tafe colleges, or computers, or science labs, or stop signs, or speed limits, or fences, or butter knives, or jail cells, or copyright laws, or batteries, etc, etc? There are all sorts of God-ordained or God-allowed things which are quite properly needed and used in this fallen world which of course will not be needed in the next world. Biblical Christians really should not be confusing this current sin-soaked and fallen world with the next one in such a fashion.

    But thanks for sharing.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Late last night before I read Bill,s article coincidentally I wrote a similar very brief article and sent it to an Atheist High priest who runs a show in the states called the atheist experience.
    Keep in mind I’m not an intellectual and listen to those like Ravi Zacharias with a bible in one hand and a dictionary in the other.
    The guts of the email I sent was basically this:
    “No moral code, No point of reference for ethics and morality = A 20 year old who has become a law unto himself on a shooting spree. Plain and simple that even a child will understand. This is in violation to Christ’s teachings – Not in violation to atheism.”

    As expected there is no capability whatsoever to link the two together for this intellectual Atheist High priest. He can not link no moral code or point of reference to becoming a law unto yourself.
    Here is his expected reply:

    I’m sorry that your religion has polluted your brain and skewed your moral compass to the extent that you actually believe the things you wrote.
    Neither a god nor belief in god is required to have a sound moral code. Additionally, something akin to religion is required to make moral people believe and support immoral positions. Your religion has blinded you to the reality of human interaction and of mental illness (which doesn’t discriminate based on belief).
    The fact that you would write to us, to basically accuse us of being immoral and encouraging immorality in the wake of this tragedy is disgusting.
    If you’re an example of how a true Christian thinks, I’m disgusted beyond words and I’m glad that when I was a Christian I would have never dreamed of writing the senseless, immoral, hateful garbage that you just wrote.
    Do you really think that what you wrote is indicative of Christ’s love?
    I’d highly recommend that you take some time to actually study morality. If you google “The Superiority of Secular Morality”, you’ll find a lecture that I gave on the subject.
    That said, before you write us again – pray. Pray and ask your god exactly what you should say. If your god exists and wants you to communicate with us, surely he’ll give you the words that will reach our heart without making you appear to be another holier-than-thou, self-righteous, ignorant buffoon who thinks that atheists or atheism are somehow to blame for this.
    The god that I believed in wasn’t nearly as week and feeble as the one you believe in.

    Sadly to say this high priest who is convinced he was a Christian was never a Christian. Sadly to say his suggestion for me to pray for him is not what is needed. This Atheist High priest knows the gospel message – all he has to do is trust in Jesus and turn away from sin, which is way difficult for someone filled with so much pride. Pride will never allow itself to be humbled.

    Thank you Bill as your article confirms what I wrote also. May the Lord continue to give you boldness, wisdom and courage to defend the faith delivered once and for all to the saints.

    Carmelo Bonanno
    Witchcliffe, Western Australia

  • It is probably too soon to make definitive comments on this tragic situation as unexpected information is still coming out.

    Rachel Smith, UK

  • G’day Bill,

    I don’t know anyone who is more willing than you to apply the Christian faith and God’s Word to the cultural situation wie find ourselves in. I read everything you write with delight. But not this post. It seems to me that you have missed your usual godly ability to be objective. It is true that human sinfulness will not be curbed by rules, and no gun controls will stop such terrible events. But it is also true that good government should try to do so, such as laws to control and limit smoking. I think Romans 12 has this positive view of government. I cannot get my head around the opposition of so many American Christians to gun controls. It seems to me that they are not understanding the counter cultural challenge that the gospel requires.

    Andrew Campbell

  • Thanks Andrew

    Hey, what was that old saying about “damning with faint praise”? Or the one about praising with the left hand while attacking with the right? An ad hominem can still be delivered in a more or less gracious manner! (But I prefer that I guess to the really vicious ones which I always get!) But all you are really saying here is that because I differ from you on this one, I am therefore lacking in objectivity.

    I notice once again that no evidence has been presented as to why my data and facts are wrong. No argument is given – simply the claim that I lack objectivity. That I am afraid does not an argument make. As I keep saying (and almost tire of saying now), if this whole issue is really about saving lives, then we all should take the evidence-based approach. And if most of the evidence is telling us that more gun-control is in fact counterproductive, increasing crimes and resulting in more deaths, then any sensible person – and certainly any Christian who values truth above PC ideology – should then of course generally at least question the wisdom of gun control, and not call for yet more of it.

    But I have learned over the years that when people have their minds made up, and have a strong emotional attachment to a particular position, one can offer a million pieces of evidence, yet they will still refuse to change their minds.

    So all I can say here is we might have to agree to disagree. I hope that is OK with you? But thanks again for pointing out my apparent lack of objectivity in a gracious manner. As I say, that is far more palatable than the straight out hate mail and emotional abuse I get on a regular basis for even daring to seek to make my case here on this issue. Bless you bud.

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Bill,

    Nothing in your defence of America’s gun culture justifies the extreme loss of innocent lives that occurs in that country from misuse of guns.

    I’m quite astonished and disappointed by your views as I previously held you in high regard.

    Amy Bronson, Brisbane

  • Thanks Amy

    I appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns. Obviously on some of these matters we may have to agree to disagree. I hope that is OK with you.

    But a few remarks in reply if I may. I trust you will hear me out. I notice you do not offer any counter arguments, any counter facts, or any counter pieces of evidence. So how can you claim I am 100% wrong here when you have not proven anything to the contrary so far?

    And as it happen, I in fact fully share in your concerns: “the extreme loss of innocent lives that occurs in that country from misuse of guns”. But what are the facts here Amy? The Bible of course tells us to test all things and prove all things.

    If I may, let me offer you some of the facts. I hate to see any innocent person killed. And all of these school massacres have occurred in gun free zones and in states and cities with incredibly strict gun control laws. The simple truth is this Amy: if you do indeed care about saving lives (and I know you do), then please tell me the fallacy in this argument: had a properly trained teacher or parent or security guard been permitted to carry a licensed firearm, it is certainly possible that all 26 of these poor people may have been saved. Would that have been a good outcome Amy? So please tell me why it is immoral or wrong or un-Christian for such a scenario to have happened.

    And the truth is, it has happened time and time again: many massacres were avoided and many lives were saved when responsible law-abiding citizens used their licensed firearm to stop a madman or a criminal from taking many innocent lives. I am happy to offer just a few here. Let me know what you think about them. Isn’t it great that so many lives were saved?

    http://moonbattery.com/?p=22609

    http://www.theblaze.com/stories/man-attempts-to-open-fire-on-crowd-at-movie-theater-armed-off-duty-sheriffs-deputy-drops-him-with-one-bullet/

    http://www.kgw.com/news/Clackamas-man-armed-confronts-mall-shooter-183593571.html

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/12/15/a-second-mass-shooting-avoided-on-friday/

    And please watch this incredible testimony of one woman who lost her own mother and father from such attacks. She does not seem to take the gun-controllers’ point of view at all: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEJFAvA-ZUE&feature=player_embedded

    Please let me know what you think of these when you have the time thanks.

    So you see Amy I happen to be in 100% agreement with you. We all want to see innocent lives spared, and we all want to see the misuse of guns reduced. Lanza actually misused or violated up to four different existing gun laws in Connecticut, a state with some of the strictest laws on this in the nation. Gun control does not protect innocent people. It puts their lives at risk, and empowers criminals and the criminally insane to target the innocents with impunity.

    If your main concern is to save lives and protect the innocent, then I see no reason why you would disagree with anything I have just said here. But if you do have evidence, facts, data and research to show that I am altogether wrong here, then by all means please present that. I would love to see your evidence on this.

    I am glad we both want to see innocent lives saved.

    But thanks again for sharing and I hope you and yours have a happy Christmas.

    Blessings,

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • There is plenty of scope for tightening up gun law in the USA. I’ve found on the web a gun shop in New Town CT and also two gun shops in Danbury CT where apparently the gunman tried to buy guns. I was surprised at Newtown having a gun shop, as I imagined a quiet, small, peaceful town from reports.

    The killer’s mother apparently lawfully bought a military style Bushmaster .223 semi automatic rifle which has been craftily designed to avoid the illegal aspect of a semi automatic behaving like an automatic assault weapon, creating a loophole in the law. These rifles are apparently styled as “modern sporting rifles”. They should definitely prohibit the number of assault style rifles which employ the legal loophole, from being used by the general public. The semi auutomatic is prohibited in the UK. Why on earth do people want to go around with such a horrific killing machine. For hunting as a sport, I would have thought a shot gun or an air rifle would be sufficient. But then the Americans have this “right to bear arms” to protect themselves from an assailant. Also the arms industry worldwide is highly lucrative and people will be loathe to let it diminish.

    I think the answer is, if they can’t relinquish their firearms, then at least make great strides to restrict them and their use. Remember the commandment “Thou shalt not kill”.

    Rachel Smith, UK

  • Thanks Rachel

    As to your last line: “at least make great strides to restrict them and their use. remember the commandment “thou shalt not kill” – a few replies if I may. America has already done just that: there are over 20,000 gun control laws in the US, and Connecticut has some of the strictest gun control legislation in the nation. So just what are you suggesting here? That it should have 2 million gun control laws? Or 20 million? Sure, turning America into a police state is one way to lower the misuse of firearms. But it is also how tyranny and oppression occurs. Indeed, every modern murderous dictatorship began by disarming its own citizens. Sorry, but I prefer democracy and freedom, with all their attendant risks and imperfections, to a perfectly orderly world where we are all slaves to Big Brother.

    And you are simply incorrect on your understanding of the Sixth Commandment. It of course plainly says “thou shall not commit murder”. There is a huge difference here. Morally licit killing is never prohibited in Scripture, only illicit murder. This is basic Christianity 101, and I keep being surprised that so many believers do not seem to have these basics down pat. Indeed any court of law anywhere in the West makes these elementary distinctions. But if you want to see this explained more fully I encourage you to have a read of this: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2006/09/11/is-it-ever-right-to-kill/

    But thanks for sharing, and have a great Christmas.
    Blessings,
    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • For those interested, I seek to make the biblical case for self-defence here. You may wish to have a read:

    https://billmuehlenberg.com/2012/12/20/self-defence-and-scripture/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

  • Happy Christmas to you too Bill. I was forgetting that there are cougars, black and grizzly bears in the US which would need something a bit more serious than an air rifle to contend with! Thankyou for giving us the opportunity to exercise our minds on the hot topics of the day – I find it is always a learning process which has got to be good. I look forward to your further thoughts.
    Rachel Smith, UK

  • Dear Bill,

    Thank you for the well argued article and all the facts I didn’t know. Personally, I have had nothing whatsoever to do with guns and don’t want to. I don’t like them and I am frightened of them but I would also have been frightened of MACHETES if I had lived in RWANDA during the massacre there. I read the book Left to Tell by Imaculee Ibiganza which was horrifying and there was no guns involved in that massacre. Even though I don’t like guns I can see that some people [farmers especially] need them. Also, the hue and cry over the poor little children who died is the height of hypocrisy considering that the womb is the most dangerous place for children. The hypocrites are not calling for abortion to be banned are they?

    Patricia Halligan

  • If you take the gun issue and ask why the citizenry are arming themselves with higher powered weapons we really should look towards the constitution and ask why the second amendment was written in the first place. The right to bear arms was in the main to stop any government from getting above themselves and trying to destroy the sovereign rights of people as if they know more so than the individual what is best for the populace. A brief look at the wealth v’s poor situation will provide some idea of the direction in which the government wants things to go. However there are many other controls and other scenarios that government wants to foist on us. So if a time comes as history has proven it will when the citizens of the US have to stand up for their rights and war against many of the evil designs of government how are they going to oppose an extremely well armed Homeland type Military. Certainly those that resist against evil laws or human control via say chip implantations are going to be lambs to the slaughter when they have nothing more than a hand Gun. For us to follow and obey the government as people mistakenly quote from the gospel of Matthew, The government of the day must first abide by Gods word and be doing good works. Until they do quoting selective verses only in part does not give biblical support or authority for a bad government. Nor does it bind us to obey them. It is neither spiritually or scripturally correct.

    Dennis Newland

  • Thanks Dennis

    I discuss the Second Amendment here: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2013/01/19/on-the-second-amendment/

    Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch

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