When will enough be enough?
We started the week with yet another news story of yet another mass shooting in the United States. It was the biggest yet with fifty people killed, including the gunman, and another fifty-three wounded. One man armed with a legally obtained assault rifle and pistol was able to walk into a crowded night club and murder a mass of innocent people. Is it ever going to stop?
I heard an interview in which someone said that they hoped things would change now, that this latest tragedy would cause people’s viewpoint to shift. I don’t have a lot of hope.
Things didn’t change after the Colorado theatre shooting. They didn’t change after Sandy Hook. They didn’t change after Columbine. Why should we think things might change now?
America seems to have a love affair with guns and violence. It was established with the concept that everyone has the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Unfortunately the pursuit of the latter two seems to require the right to bear arms and this has come into direct conflict with the first, the right to life. (It’s also quite a contrast to a Canadian’s promised rights to peace, order and good government!)
Lately, every attempt to reduce or curtail the gun culture in the States has resulted in howls of protests and angry accusations that the government in infringing on citizen’s rights. Now, I am not anti-gun. I grew up on a farm surrounded by hunters and I still love the taste of venison. I think that Canada’s now defunct long gun registry did nothing to improve public safety and only put an unfair burden on farmers, ranchers, and legitimate hunters. But I cannot fathom the need for automatic or semi-automatic assault weapons with fifty round clips. These are not for hunting. At least, not for hunting animals.
So, when will it be enough? When will things change?
“Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.” The law will go out from Zion, the word of the LORD from Jerusalem. He will judge between the nations and will settle disputes for many peoples. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:3-4)
That’s when things will change. Then and only then. Until then . . . .
Come, let us walk in the light of the LORD. (Isaiah 2:5)