When I went to boarding school in the Eighth grade I brought my rifle. I kept it under my bed in the dorm and brought it out to shoot targets and tin cans with a teacher and other students. I still have that sweet little Winchester today. Never once did I think, “I could go out and kill a few people.” Even today 70 million of us who own guns have not shot somebody.
The America we grew up in thought people were valuable because they were made in the image of God. We had a sense of love and justice as well as accountability before God.
Some believe that by outlawing guns, knives or dangerous objects like baseball bats and rope we can prevent people from committing atrocious acts. We would certainly want to outlaw cars to prevent hit and runs and outlaw gasoline and matches because they are used in arson. The real solution to brutal acts is far more difficult than simple measures like removing hands to insure no one is strangled.
Getting to heart issues is so much more challenging than externals. Restoring innocence, respect for others and reverence toward God requires more intentionality than outlawing tire irons and steak knives. The simple, yet challenging solution is to train our children in the ethic of Jesus, and remind ourselves as well, that life is ever-so-valuable, a sacred gift given by a holy Creator, before Whom we must all give an account.
Steven C Johnson