By now most of the world has been brought up to speed about the recent mass shooting in San Bernadino, California. Three people went into a building and killed 14 others and wounded an additional 17. It is an incomprehensible tragedy. The violence is sickening and disgusting. Yet, even before the event concluded, both sides of the political spectrum launched into promoting their own agendas.
It was entirely predictable.
The problem with the gun debate as it stands is that nothing either side proposes will provide a real working solution to the violence in America. Because the problem isn’t really about guns.
It’s about people.
A friend of mine commented that violence has been part of the human condition since the beginning, when a single act of rage wiped out 25% of the world’s population (Adam and Eve had two sons, so when Cain killed Abel…). It’s not the guns—it’s the human heart.
This is what Jesus is trying to get at when he says:
“You have heard it said, ‘Do not murder…’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire…”
It’s not about the weapon—it’s about the heart. As weapons change and technology changes, the ways in which we kill may change. When the condition that fuels such behavior remains unchecked, though, we will never see an end to the violence.
This is why the gun issue will never be resolved. It’s not really about guns. Until humans are willing to change their hearts we will continue to be subjected to news stories of terror and violence. And this is not a solution that the government can carry out.
Chris Linzey is husband to Tené, father to the three most beautiful children in the world, movie addict (seriously, if it’s on a screen he'll watch it—doesn’t matter how crummy or low-budget), and a Navy Chaplain, currently assigned to Naval Air Station, Meridian. Chris has a deep desire to help people live lives of faith where the Bible is more than mere words on a page, but the way we live everyday. His undergrad and Master’s studies were in Biblical Studies and he focused on the New Testament (his mentor was a Gospel of Mark scholar). He went on to get a Master of Divinity (MDiv) in Pastoral Preaching. Follow him at @chrislinzey.