03 December 2015

And in despair, I bowed my head.

Facebook is positively revolting right now. 
Two mass shootings within the span of a week has inspired every over-emotive millennial I know (so, like, all of them) to decide that they're going to "get real" and "not worry about offending anyone" and say "what [they] really think" about guns.
And -- sorry, dudes -- what they have to say is mostly uninformed and irrelevant. And insulting.
No one talks about the breakdown of the family, or Islamist terror tactics, or actual, honest-to-God, demonic evil. There's some lip-service paid to mental illness, but strictly in the sense that We Need More Government (which we do not). 
Mostly there's dishonest and/or stupid conflation of semiautomatic and automatic weapons -- news flash, basically no one thinks you should be able to buy a machine gun for home defense -- and what I can only assume is a willful refusal to admit that the overwhelming majority of legally-owned firearms in this country will never be used to shoot anything but paper targets.
So everywhere I scroll on Facebook, I'm being told that I'm "part of the problem" because I think guns are not inherently evil. I'm "part of the problem" because I think dismembering babies in the womb and selling their parts to the highest bidder is abhorrent and I'm not afraid to say so. I'm "part of the problem" because I don't think that we should enact laws that prohibit American citizens from buying guns when they have not been so much as accused of a crime. I'm being told that as a gun owner -- as someone who has exercised my Constitutional rights -- that I bear responsibility for every misuse of a gun that happens in this country.
I reject that, outright. I am not immoral because I have purchased a firearm and learned how to use it so that in the event that I ever have to protect my children from mortal danger, I can (angels and ministers of grace, defend us!). I am not culpable for the actions of others. 
Moreover, while Planned Parenthood is easily one of the most evil corporate entities in the world, I still don't think anyone has the right to go there and commit violence against the people who work there. The ends do not justify the means. In fact, I don't even think the ends are worthwhile: violence committed against abortion clinics tends to make the general population more sympathetic and even perversely sentimental about abortion and its practitioners.
All of this brought to mind one of the latter verses of "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day," one of the lesser-appreciated Christmas songs, but one which I love.
And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!" 
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men."
Peace on earth, good-will to men.

The solution to violence is not an abdication of your goodwill toward men. Throwing invective at people in your Facebook timeline because they disagree with you about gun control is not displaying good will. Refusing to acknowledge that law-abiding gun-owners are not the problem is not the way. Let's all recognize that evil exists. When someone shoots up a Planned Parenthood or a community center (for one of the most vulnerable populations in our society, by the way), let's acknowledge that their motivation was not "for fun" or "because of the Second Amendment" or "motivated by Christianity" or "ginned up by irresponsible anti-abortion rhetoric," but instead their motivation is the commission of evil in service of the Evil One.

And let's realize that two things can be true: I can be saddened and sickened by the loss of life in these mass shootings and still, in good faith, not support your gun control agenda

I pray for our country. I pray that we turn from our collectively pretty horrible ways and be the city on the hill again. I can only work on my little corner, and so can you. 

God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.

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