In this New Year, the issue of gun control is sparking considerable debate. The politicians are already attempting to make legislative hay over this matter, while as of this writing; the last of the Sandy Hook Elementary students has been laid to rest. Furious debate is being extolled, as to who is responsible, but like the preachers used to say, when you point your finger at someone to blame, you’ve got three fingers pointing back at yourself. Those that lost their life at Sandy Hook Elementary, and the Aurora Colorado theater, as well as every other person who has lost their life in a senseless act of violence, through whatever means, are not so much victims, as they are casualties of war.
The United States of America was founded upon and subscribed to a Judeo-Christian philosophy. As much as many would desire that to not be so, and despite the many contrivances created to attempt to obfuscate that fact, it is an undeniable truth. The movement, no matter what it may be termed in any given generation, to eradicate that fact and belief system from our culture, has been struggling to accomplish this for some time. Since the 1960’s, with the United States Supreme Court decision removing prayer from the public arena, many have called this a “Culture War.” This war has not been one of armed hostile conflict between states or nations, but rather a state of hostility, conflict, or antagonism between opposing forces competing for a particular political and cultural end. This conflict is as old as the Garden of Eden, and has been about the basic principles of right and wrong, good and evil, and the consequences wrought from those decisions. Just as every single human conflict that has ever transpired, war produces casualties. Those, whose lives have been tragically cut short, through needless acts of violence, represent those casualties. In this I do not specifically limit my consideration of weapons to be firearms. Inclusive in this remark are also any other item, machine, or invented device, who’s original design and intent, has been perverted towards evil. The drunk driver who ends the lives of a family in a van. The drug crazed individual wielding a knife. The sadistic rapist who takes both lives and dignity from women, etc. I am speaking to all of that, but in the context of today’s hot button issue, I will veil my reasoning with the illustration of guns.
While it takes one finger to pull the trigger, what agent or ideology was conducive to allowing the hand that wielded the gun, to do so? I submit that it is the very legislators, and the body they represent, who have created the environment that makes this possible. The “Culture War” that has been conducted for multi-generations, is now yielding its fruit. We are told by God, that man will reap what he sows, more than he sows and later than he has sown it. Just for argument’s sake, let’s begin in 1963 and the Supreme Court decision eliminating God from our public discourse. As a culture and society, we’ve been sowing the seeds of spiritual rebellion and societal chaos for almost a half a century. Those seeds are now producing. Our society continued moving from that point in 1963 completely oblivious to the significance of what it had just adjudicated by the Supreme Court. For that moment in time, it appeared that we could tell God to “Get Out” and nothing would happen, and for a brief moment, this appeared to be true. But as in all interests and activities of significance, the passage of time renders the ultimate verdict of any action or decision. I remember teaching my sons to ride a bike. Every parent will recall how that goes. You get the training wheels off, and run along holding the bike as your child picks up speed. You aren’t doing much more than providing confidence, as your hand indicates that the child has balance. Then, without prior warning, you release the bike, and stand still, eventually, your child looks back and suddenly realizes, that you are no longer holding on to the bike, they have achieved balance and are no longer in need of your assistance. When, as a society, we told God to get HIS hand off the bicycle that was our nation, we continued to move forward. We coasted upon the spiritual and moral precepts that HE commanded from the very beginning. However unlike the child in my example, who looks back and realizes that dad’s hand is no longer assisting, and then begins employing the internal safeguards required to continue to safely pedal forward, our nation never bothered glancing back over its shoulder to evaluate what our politicians and law makers had jettisoned. Without those spiritual laws and guideposts, man will stray into the darkness. He always has, and as Scripture portends, he always will. Bearing that in mind, what has made it so easy for our fellow citizens to kill one another in such a wholesale fashion? The actions of our own government.
Thirty-three years ago at Christmas time, I lost a very dear friend. I cannot help but to think about him every year at this time. Though he pulled the trigger, it was the culmination of years of mental and physical abuse by school yard bullies and thugs, which put the weapon in his hand. Recently, I met an old acquaintance, home for the holidays. After catching up, the conversation eventually came round to Sandy Hook, and the current debate. Remembering our friend, and the torment that both he and I, and many others shared at the hands of cruel youth, he made the comment to the effect that it was a wonder this hadn’t been happening years ago. His point being, that if there exists an excuse for such violence domestically, I or those like my friend had every good reason to employ it. Driving home from that encounter gave me pause to consider his words. He was right, so what is the difference? The difference was that I and my contemporaries, had access to, and practice of faith. I also had parental influence. Two key ingredients that an allegedly, well-intentioned government has all but removed from today’s social fabric.
Growing up, my father, a WWII and Korean War veteran, had in his possession multiple pistols, rifles and shotguns. Some he acquired and some passed down in the family. My grandfather made him knowledgeable of and comfortable with firearms starting at eight years of age. He was hunting alone for quail and squirrel by age ten. He passed that same legacy onto me. Dad did not have a gun safe, and in his opinion, a weapon without ammunition at hand made as much sense as taking a shower with a rain coat on. So what force kept me from disobeying his decree, regarding access and use of said firearms? Fear. I was fully cognizant of the immutable fact, that if I had disobeyed his rules regarding those firearms, the police would not have to seek me out, I would be running towards them, as I knew that if my dad got his hands on me, I would be dead. Now as anachronistic, uncivilized and barbaric as that may sound to today’s children’s rights advocates, it worked. I never once remotely even considered nor entertained in a moment of fancy, making use of those arms without his consent and his presence. Equally as important, indeed more so, as the influential external power of influence he implored, I also was in possession of an even more important force in my life. My faith. It was inculcated into me, at an extremely early age, the notion that all men were created in the image of God. That to kill was to be in violation of the sin of murder.
Referencing the aforementioned comment that provided a platform for this post, all of these ingredients are responsible for my conduct, and the conduct of many others who share my beliefs, and my disciplines. I, as well as other friends of mine, experienced the tremendous and tragic effects of bullying. To this day, my body renders testament, the price paid for my forced attendance at public schools. The abuse suffered, though significant, is not important to this point. What is relevant is the fact that at any time, I could have with great ease, made the choice to resort to the form of violence that we have stood as witness to as of late. As a hunter, I often chose to get started early, and get time in the woods, before heading to school. Many other young men chose to do the same. The prescience of that statement resides in the fact that, there were vehicles in the high school parking lot, which contained firearms! Yet, we did not see the phenomenon of school shootings that we do today. No one thought to or made the decision to step to their vehicles and perform the unthinkable. Why? Because those other young men were like myself. They came from a similar background. One that taught the basic Judeo-Christian ideals of right and wrong. Of sin and evil, and the sentiment that there was an eternal God in Heaven, who would one day stand in righteous judgment over those who violated HIS ordinances? That was the unseen, yet powerful spiritual force, which prevented the violence. Employing the secular humanistic philosophies put forward today, I, as others, would have been perfectly justified to step out to the parking lot to retrieve a rifle from the trunk. I would have had every reason to choose to violate both the laws of God, and man (my father), bringing a pistol into the school, thus eradicating the problem. I did not. Many others did not. It was simply a moral impossibility. A moral impossibility that, thanks to the secular humanism now preached in school and the divorce from Judeo-Christian principles is now sadly no longer impossibility, but an expectation. It was simply inconceivable to kill another human being, despite how badly and cruelly they treated you. My friend could not. Rather, he decided to end the pain in the only way he felt he could honorably and morally do so: he took his own life. There are two or three individuals who are alive and have children and grand-children this day, who can be thankful for his observance of this moral impossibility. Just as there is a placekicker on an NFL team today, who is enjoying his life, despite the cruelty he exercised towards others in his youth. The idea of a moral impossibility kept the object of his punishment from acting out in the act of murder. Tragically, he too made the choice of self-destruction. While still others made the choice to spend a quarter of a century trying to get legislators to provide legal empowerment to those tormented, providing a lawful means to protect themselves.
The consequences of a society declaring war on God’s values are historically recorded and litter the landscape of the past. Those consequences are also equally visible in the daily news. You cannot remove the moral imperatives that have held a society together for thousands of years, and not anticipate bedlam. Our founding fathers knew this and warned us of it. As Rob has repeatedly quoted on his show:
“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”― John Adams
“Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.” - Robert Charles Winthrop, 22nd Speaker of the House
The message of all history is clear: human behavior can be restrained by only two means, either internally, through the influence of God’s Word upon the heart, or externally, through coercion, restraint, and regulation. We have seen repeatedly, how once the moral underpinnings of a society are removed from God’s Holy Word, then death is the result. Whether against innocent unborn still in the mother’s womb, or of our children in the classroom, or our citizens on the streets, malls and movie theaters around our nation. It is abundantly self-evident, that we as a nation need to worry less about what is in the hands of our citizens, but focus more accurately upon what is in their hearts. With the darkened heart we also see the explosion of big government, and this is not an unexpected or unintended consequence by those politicians desiring tyrannical control over individual lives. Our leaders and our citizens must recognize that they, and those legislators and voters before them, either through active legislation or through compromise, have devised or allowed this separation of our countrymen from the basic laws of man, as given by God. They are the cause of the problem. Until that responsibility is accepted, then this war and its innocent casualties will continue. I say this as a citizen who, through years of self-study, understands what our founding fathers had in mind for us. I am not now, nor have ever been, a member of the NRA or any other organization similar to it. I have no hidden agenda in submitting this for consideration, other than simply pointing out what at one time in our history, existed as prevalent and common sense point of view, which now seems to be so easily overlooked regarding God’s laws and man’s subversion and denial of said. However, there exists one fundamental point that has not been said aloud in this debate. A point that those legislators who stand in favor of gun control and overall complete domination of the individual in general, are all too aware of, and those who stand against need quickly to remember. Our founding fathers placed the Second Amendment in our hands, not so that we provide food for ourselves and our families, nor for defense of life and property, that was simply a given. The Second Amendments primary reason to exist is to allow citizens to protect themselves from an out of control government. Our founding fathers fully appreciated the nature of man and government. It was stated quite succinctly;
“…It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds..” — Samuel Adams
While the mainstream media will attempt to misdirect, obfuscate and sensationalize this tragedy, it must be understood that the chief aim in all of this, is to create an environment in which the majority of the population willingly hands over its last ability to resist governmental coercion. How many other items in our lives can, when incorrectly used, bring death and sorrow into our lives? Statistics support this; yet the government seems only obsessed with the one last bastion which could be a stumbling block in its further and future growth. How many citizens own guns, and/or conceal carry yet never violate the laws of God or man? Instead, the media choses to put forth the star gazing mentality, paying attention only to those few stars that fall from the sky, while ignoring the thousands of others who maintain their eternal stability. Every death resulting from violence is a tragedy. Tragedies occur every day in abortion clinics, schools, colleges and on our streets. However the biggest tragedy would be to deny millions of law abiding and righteous living citizens their Second Amendment rights, in the name of “protecting “them. Telling them such a story is like declawing a mongoose and removing his teeth, and then telling him to coexist peacefully with the cobra. The serpent’s nature is assured and will never change until the return of the Prince of Peace, while the mongoose has now been stripped of his God given ability to protect himself and his family from the nature of the serpent.
You want to see school shootings cease and less violence on the streets? Restore God to HIS rightful position in our society. When people once again can control themselves, then the need for so much government would be neutralized. Perhaps that is why government fights so mightily to keep HIM out.
Filed Under: Public Safety
About the Author: HANK MARTIN is a Charlottesville native, a graduate of Albemarle High School and Piedmont Virginia Community College. Growing up, he spent more than a decade in the Cub and Boy Scout Programs and was a member of the Monticello Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. As an adult, he has served as a leader in Scouting and church youth character building programs. An avid history lover, he participated in the adoption of the school anti-bullying legislation sponsored by delegate Rob Bell. Hank most recently founded and chaired Forever Albemarle, a personal property rights group. He lives with his wife and children in Charlottesville.