The Batman Shooting

Our hearts and prayers go out to those who lost loved ones and had loved ones injured in the shootings at the theater. No parent or friend should ever have to go through that either directly or indirectly.

The act of violence has brought out the usual loons requesting that we please, please think of the children and ban all guns and ammunition sales in the country. Like that would solve anything... The person who did the shooting was already violating a host of laws. Making firearm possession illegal or making a particular firearm illegal wasn't going to bother him at all. They're easily obtainable on the street and evidently from our federal government depending on what country and illegal activity you're pursuing.

Drinking to excess is sinful according to God. It's also illegal to do particular things when you're drunk according to current state laws - like driving a car to give the most obvious example. But prohibition didn't work when it was tried locally (blue laws), or federally (with a Constitutional amendment that had to be repealed). All that did was make a large class of otherwise law abiding citizens criminals.

Using illegal drugs is stupid and dangerous. Using prescription drugs in ways they were not intended to be used or outside of a doctor's supervision is stupid and dangerous. But our host of laws enacted by local, state, and federal governments to banish all illegal drugs is as big a farce as prohibition. All it is accomplishing is making a host of people felons, increasing our prison overcrowding, making it difficult or impossible for them to find work when they get out which increases our welfare costs, and increasing the crime on the streets to pay inflated costs for drugs from dealers who are criminals.

The move to outlaw guns and ammunition is no different than these other attempts to create someone's idea of utopia by regulation.

Regulating human behavior by laws doesn't keep crime from happening. It's that simple. I appreciate our law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line for us. They do a tough job with little thanks, so here's an honest thank you to each and every one of them. Unfortunately, there aren't enough of them to protect us from criminals and the government doesn't have enough money to add enough officers to make us safe.

Just to be clear, electronic surveillance isn't the answer either - whether by camera or audio or electronic sniffing of every data packet on every computer network the government can get its hands on. One of the reasons the country came about in the first place was that the colonists were incensed at the quartering of troops in their homes. It's why some of the U.S. Constitution and amendments are there. The government of today - at many levels - is just substituting electronics for an actual person. The net effect on monitoring its subjects is the same.

People have been killing each other since Cain and Abel. People use bombs to do it. People use chemical and biological agents to do it. People use nuclear devices to do it. Before we got so "advanced" they used bows and arrows, crossbows, machetes, swords, knives and good old fashioned rocks and sticks to do it. You can't fix the problem by trying to remove a particular class of weapon from the people.

There's a humor piece that floats around the e-mail chains about the difference between the Governor of Illinois dealing with a coyote attacking his dog while jogging versus the Governor of Texas dealing with the same situation. In the first, animal control is called, vets are called, the security detail is in trouble, the hospitals are involved for medical tests, the trail gets shut down because of dangerous animals, a "coyote" awareness program is instituted, and PETA finally sues for a total cost to the state of $5 million dollars. The Governor of Texas shoots the coyote with his own gun for the cost of a $.50 cent bullet and the buzzards eat the dead coyote. The moral to the story is that is why Illinois is broke and Texas isn't.

But there is a parallel reality to the situation we face here in the U.S with this latest shooting incident. The theater had a "no guns" policy. Banning guns didn't work too well for them in preventing crime. It never does. If you are a nut seeking to kill people you go to places where you know there is little likelihood of meeting armed resistance. That is reality. If several had been armed in the theater, the result might have been exactly the same as most people aren't wild west shooters by nature and taking on a person with an automatic weapon is not what many would choose to do. But if the shooter had thought he might face opposition he might never have gone there in the first place.

The crime rates in Israel are pretty low. They rank pretty low when it comes to murders by youths. Most adults serve in the defense forces so have military training and are required to be in the reserves for a long time. It isn't unusual to see fully automatic weapons around the country being carried by civilians who are in the reserves. The Swiss also require gun ownership. Its murder rates are also much lower than ours. If you are a criminal intent on doing a crime and have the choice, do you commit the crime in a place where the population can legally be armed, probably is armed, and knows how to shoot - like people in cowboy country? Or do you go to high stress pressure cooker cities that actively disarm their citizens or make them go through hoops to be able to defend themselves? I think the crime statistics speak for themselves.

My dad grew up hunting to provide food during the depression. He won a great many rifle competitions in his day. My mom also did well. He made sure I could put a bullet through the x ring on a target at 50 and 100 yards when I was young. But that knowledge and ability to shoot doesn't make me a nut who's going to go out rampaging against the general population. The guns aren't the problem and the law abiding citizens aren't the problem.

If you want to fix the social ills that this nation is facing, pray for your country. Prayer is a powerful thing and we don't do enough of it as a nation. God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus Christ are the only forces that are going to be able to deliver people from their addictions, vices, and pure blackness of heart in the long run. Passing laws and limiting access to whatever the "bad x" of the moment happens to be will accomplish nothing - as has been proven over and over again.

God wants to change people from the inside out. It may not happen all at once, but He is able to make big changes quickly. If you are struggling with anything in your life or if this latest shooting has affected you and you don't know what to do, turn to Him for answers. God is the only solution to this country's moral problems. Passing more laws won't help a thing. Put your trust in Him.