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The Challenge that Separates Us

The Apostle Paul shares: "So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus". Philippians 2:1-30

There are compelling arguments on both sides. We try to make sense out of the disagreements and find the middle ground the Apostle Paul calls us to seek.

"culture that is slowly accepting violence"

"We have a society that champions disrespect for life, abandons responsibility for one's actions, a society that redefines criminal activity by calling it a "loophole" instead of what it is, a criminal act; a culture that is slowly accepting violence as a legitimate form of disagreement."

Dana Lynn Loesch once a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association.


Gun Control Newsletter: What is Going On ... An Analysis

2019 News:

Sept.2019 ... Another mass killing in Texas. President Trump stated on Sept. 1, 2019 that his administration is "looking at a lot of different things" and hopes to have a package ready by the time Congress returns to session in early September.

August 2019 ... Public Opinion Survey after killings in El Paso,Texas and Dayton, Ohio:

The latest NBC News-Wall Street Journal survey finds that:

  • 89 percent of Americans favor expanded background checks for gun purchasers
  • 76 percent support "red flag" laws to identify dangerous persons and deny them guns
  • 75 percent favor a voluntary buyback program in which the government would purchase firearms from current owners.
  • 62 percent of Americans favor a ban on the sale of semi-automatic weapons.
  • 25 percent support banning the sale of handguns.
  • 46 percent of Americans say someone in their household owns a gun.
  • In the wake of the various marches requesting Congress and the President act, some things have changed: A number of states have passed stronger gun laws. The House of Representatives has passed two resolutions that are now in the Senate for discussion.

  • HR 8 ... the Bipartisan Background Checks Act of 2019.

  • HR1114 ... would extend the period federal authorities have to complete a background check before a gun sale can go through. Under current law, if a check isn't finalized in three business days, the transaction can automatically proceed.
  • On February 26th a federal judge gave the Trump administration the go-ahead on Monday to ban "bump stocks"- rapid-fire gun attachments used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Bump stocks allow a shooter to press a trigger rapidly in order to fire many bullets in a matter of seconds.

    On February 25, 2019 Red Flag Bill in New York State passed that:

  • Judges have to consider mental stability of those obtaining firearms even when passing a background check.
  • Potential waiting period to purchase a gun up to 30 days.
  • Banning arming of school teachers as a safeguard against school shootings.
  • Banning bump stocks

  • For review of 2018 news click: Gun Control News 2018 **************************************************************************

    Is there any hope that the United States will catch up to the rest of the civilized world and enact some type of gun control?

    How about calling for the formation of a bipartisan committee including

  • Non-partisan researchers knowledgeable in the arena of gun control
  • Hopefully bureaucrats that represent the National Rifle Association (NRA) and others, who oppose restrictions on firearm purchase and ownership.
  • Gun Control Advocates
  • Its task: look at all data on gun violence. Evalate models of Gun Control in other countries and deliver a timely report on how to enact appropriate gun-control legislation in the United States.

    Contact your representative. Click here for our blog that is looking for what we citizens can do to stem the violence.

    Take action: Make a Difference"

    March 5, 2018

    What Would Jesus Say about Gun Control?

    As a Christian youth group website, the logical question to ask is: what would Jesus say about the need for Gun Control if he were to return to earth to share his view. Since there was nothing even remotely similar to a handgun, much less, an assault weapon like the AK-15 in Jesus' time, I did not anticipate finding much from the gospels.

    I was surprised after doing a careful screening of the statements of Jesus. It is important to see the statements in the context in which they were made. Three statements can be identified and the answer to what Jesus would probably say must be taken considering all three.

    Mark 12:17 "And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's. And they marveled at him." The statement comes in reply to the question, "Should we pay taxes to Caesar?"

    Discussion: If we take the story and subsequent statement for what it literally states, it appears that Jesus is directing citizens to recognize the rule of their leaders . The leader, Caesar, was God-like to the Romans whom occupied Israel at the time. Jesus references him first but then states afterwards, to 'give to God the things that are God's'. The established rules of the day are important but more important is the guidance of God. Throughout his teachings, Jesus refers to the Jewish Law and then states that is all summed up in a simple commandment "Love God with all your heart, soul and mind and then love others as you love yourself."

    If we substitute the Constitution of the United States for Caesar, Jesus would today begin a discussion of Gun Control by stating that Christians should respect the laws of our land which included the first and second amendments. However, he would likely add, as long as the laws and regulations do not contradict the two commandments summing up all of the laws of the land: to love God and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.

    Matthew 26:52: Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword".

    Discussion: The context is the evening of Jesus's betrayal. The last meal has occurred and Jesus and his disciples are now at the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus has poured his heart out to his Father "Not my will but thine be done". The Jewish leaders, accompanied by Roman soldiers, to arrest him and Peter draws a sword in defense of Jesus. He even cuts off the ear of a servant and Jesus tells him to put his sword down. If there would ever be a moment to raise a sword or, in today's vernacular, pull out a gun, would this not be that circumstance? Yet Jesus directs Peter to put down his sword for those who fight by the sword will die by the sword.

    Given these instruction to Peter, would it be likely that Jesus would say, if here today, "the country that lives by the firearms will die by the firearms?"

    Jesus taught that there were better ways to deal with violence stressing the role of the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9) identifying the peacemakers as the children of God.

    Americans are 10 times more likely to be killed by guns than people in other developed countries. A new study published Feb. 1, 2018 in The American Journal of Medicine states:

    "Compared to 22 other high-income nations, the United States' gun-related murder rate is 25 times higher. And, even though the United States' suicide rate is similar to other countries, the nation's gun-related suicide rate is eight times higher than other high-income countries" Overall, our results show that the U.S., which has the most firearms per capita in the world, suffers disproportionately from firearms compared with other high-income countries," said study author Erin Grinshteyn, an assistant professor at the School of Community Health Science at the University of Nevada-Reno. "These results are consistent with the hypothesis that our firearms are killing us rather than protecting us," she said in a journal news release. These results are also consistent with the admonition of Jesus to Peter, "Those who take the sword will perish by the sword".

    Luke 22:35-38 And he said to them, "When I sent you out with no moneybag or knapsack or sandals, did you lack anything?" They said, "Nothing." He said to them, "But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one. For I tell you that this Scripture must be fulfilled in me: 'And he was numbered with the transgressors.' For what is written about me has its fulfillment." And they said, "Look, Lord, here are two swords." And he said to them, "It is enough."

    Discussion: The context is a short time after the last supper and before Jesus' betrayal. Jesus, who tells Peter not to take the offensive when the Jews come to arrest him, earlier states that it is wise to have a sword and alright to have two swords but two swords is enough to defend oneself. It is interesting that, after preparing his disciples to protect themselves, he advises Peter not defend himself.

    The important segment of Christ's remarks is the admonition-two swords is enough. No more are necessary. Perhaps in today's lingo: a pistol to protect is fine but an assault weapon in the hands of a private citizen is way too much.

    Conclusion: Jesus recognizes the authority of the Second Amendment but would challenge the way it is being interpreted as an open door for the purchase of such a wide range of dangerous weapons.

    His life and ministry would teach that there are other ways to address this problem which are not only more effective but also more God-like meeting the two great commandments "To love the Lord your God with all your heart, your soul and your mind. The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."

    His recognition of the peacemakers as being "the children of God" would call policymakers to find non-confrontational ways of handling these problems.

    A State-by-State Examination of the Economic Costs of Gun Violence by U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee Democratic Staff

    published:September 18, 2019

  • In 2017, for the first time, the rate of firearm deaths exceeded the death rate by motor vehicle accidents That year, nearly 40,000 people were killed in the United States by a gun, including approximately 2,500 school-age children.
  • Sixty percent of gun deaths each year are firearm suicides.
  • The latest estimate is that gun violence imposes $229 billion in total annual costs on the United States. This is 1.4 percent of GDP
  • Compared to other high-income countries, our nation's firearm-related fatality rate is nearly 50 times higher for teens and young adults (15- to 24-year-olds)
  • Globally, nine out of ten of the firearm deaths that occur for this age group happen in the United States
  • More information from this report found at: Economic costs of gun violence

    History Before the Second Amendment

    "Though still British subjects, colonial Americans considered the right to bear arms as necessary for fulfilling their natural right to defend themselves and their property. In the midst of the American Revolution, the rights that would later be expressed in the Second Amendment were being explicitly included in early state constitutions. The Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776, for example, stated that 'the people have a right to bear arms for the defence(sic) of themselves and the state'." (From ThoughtCo, "The History of Gun Rights in America ")

    "Firearms stand next in importance to the constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence ...from the hour the Pilgrims landed to the present day, events, occurrences and tendencies prove that to ensure peace security and happiness, the rifle and pistol are equally indispensable ... the very atmosphere of firearms anywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." (George Washington)

    "The best we can help for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." (Alexander Hamilton)

    "And that the said Constitution be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the Press, or the rights of Conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms;" (Samuel Adams)


    George Washington speaks strongly about the right to bear arms "to ensure peace, security and happiness". Alexander Hamilton calls for people to be properly armed while Samuel Adams stated, that the Constitution is not to be interpreted "to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms".

    All three founding father's support the right to keep "arms" but there are conditions of when this is appropriate.

    Combining the three statements as one: the intention of our Founding Fathers was for peaceable citizens to have the right to bear arms to ensure their "peace, security and happiness". Are guns such as the AR-15 needed to accomplish such a goal?

    The interpretation of the Second Amendment should be done in relation to the other amendments of its day, most specifically the First Amendment, which allows citizen's to choose their own religious beliefs. It does not retrict these beliefs to only "Christian" beliefs and opens the door to citizen's setting their own standards regarding the use of guns within America.


    Related Discussions

  • Our discussion of the Australian Gun Control Model can be found at: Austalia shares
  • What does an Expert Marksman have to say? Click My Expert Award
  • The passion of young people is discussed at: Youth Speak Out
  • Disturbing comments that are very real: The Other Side

  • Our Young People care. Sixteen year old, A.F., one of the founders of March for Our Lives, Long Island, said it best on May 31, 2018 "It says a lot that nearly four months after the Parkland shooting, people are still paying attention, people still care"

    For more information on rally click: Youth Rally March 24, 2018

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    Your thoughts are important whether pro or against gun control. Hopefully everyone agrees that something needs to be done even if only a small change.

    Click here for our blog that is looking for what we citizens can do to stem the violence.

    Take action: Make a Difference"