25 Oct Do we need a gun to keep us safe?
In recent years, with several tragic, mass shootings, the debate over gun safety has intensified. Many gun owners cherish the right to carry guns — openly or concealed — for self defense in any public space, while others believe a growing number of armed citizens is dangerous and frightening. Regardless where we stand on gun control, a core question remains: how can we best defend ourselves against aggression and violence?
Trust in neighbors, strangers, guns or gun laws may be misplaced, but lifting thought to God’s law of Love is a sure guide in danger. The beloved 23rd Psalm affirms, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.”
St. Paul in a letter to the church at Corinth, wrote, “…the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
Resort to lethal weapons in response to passion or fear invites tragedy, but innocents can arm themselves with wisdom and love. Exchanging a mortal view of man for the spiritual can change the atmosphere of thought. In a short podcast, Pam Waller of Laguna Hills, California, relates a time when she was impelled to pray, and found later that her daughter was in a potentially dangerous situation at that very time. Both felt a sense of peace, and her daughter was safe.
But is there more our society can do? An article in the Christian Science Monitor tells how some gun dealers are tuning into the mental state of those who may be tempted to use a gun to harm themselves. Suicides account for a large proportion of gun-related deaths in the U.S. You can read John Yemma’s piece on the small steps a compassionate approach can take. Read it here at csmonitor.com.