The Orlando Mass Shooting and Our Spineless Lawmakers

Sunday, June 12, 2016

With the news of the mass shooting in Orlando in the headlines -- which is being called the worst in U.S. history -- it's hard to think of much else today. It's also hard to know what to say when it's so painfully obvious what needs to be done. As pretty much everyone agrees -- including the majority of gun owners in the country - we need to pass reasonable gun safety laws. The approach needs to be similar to how we approached car safety, not using one single approach, but a variety of things (seat belts, speed limits, air bags, etc). Doing all of these will of course not eliminate gun violence (just as there are still car accidents), but it would significantly reduce it.

However, our lawmakers are not passing these safety laws. They are blocking them. They are lifting the restrictions and making things even less safe. The reason they are doing this is also very clear, these lawmakers are in the pockets of the NRA.

This is all, frankly, pretty devastating and discouraging. So let me end with one small ray of hope that was put forward in the recent investigative documentary Under the Gun produced and hosted by Katie Couric. They reported on how citizens were finding a way to bypass these do-nothing lawmakers, letting the people vote directly on ballot measures promoting gun safety laws. It was lots of work, but when the people actually got to vote themselves, the gun safety measures were passing in many States.

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At 7:03 PM, Blogger lja_11 said...

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At 8:20 PM, Anonymous Admin said...

Due to the sensitive nature of the topic of this post I am declaring this a zero B.S. zone. If your comment is rude, ignorant, or even slightly annoys me it will be immediately deleted. The definition of terms is entirely up to me.

At 6:05 AM, Blogger anneb said...

Derek, there is some question as the reality of the Orlando situation. Along with others that supposedly are mass shootings. That is, as to whether these events are even the way they are reported. Surely you know the mainstream media is 99% controlled by a few dark powers.
While I understand and applaud your anti-violence stance, I do think it is worth noting that countries that want to take away guns from citizens are there after dictatorships. At a Voice of the Martyrs conference a citizen of Ethiopia who had endured torture told us, with a humble and sweet spirit born only from trials, that that is the aim and when they do take the guns it will be "the next day".
I understand your wanting to influence culture and out nation, but your comments are asking for a legal reform that has proven detrimental to the populace.
I feel like you do not understand the situation, and as I do like your theology as a whole, and have both of your books, I can overlook what I perceive as misunderstanding on your part. But I personally do not like hearing politics from "the pulpit", which for all intents your blog is such. That said, it was certainly needed in Nazi Germany. In that respect, however, Hitler also was attempting to take away the guns, and succeeded. Can we learn anything there?

At 8:51 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Very respectfully and considerately written. Well done anneb

At 8:19 PM, Anonymous Derek said...


I want you to consider why you would think that I am proposing that anyone wants to "take away guns from citizens." This is not at all what I am proposing here. I am proposing that we have common sense safety laws for guns, similar to the safety laws we have for cars.

I can tell you that no one will "take away guns from citizens" in the USA because of the Constitution. There are lots of things you can worry about. This is simply not one of them.

So when people want to make you think that (which is a lie), when they what to make you afraid, it's because they are trying to manipulate you with fear. Don't fall for that.

At 2:40 AM, Blogger winterfreund said...

There is no correlation between a state executing controll over gun purchase and gun use and that state being a dictatorial state.
I live in Germany where there are rather strict gun control laws - and we are living in a democracy, are fairly safe and can hold on to our values. As a Quaker I am especially delighted that there is a culture of neighborly attitude, which means basic trust. The underlying culture is one of solving problems with democratic - i.e. nonviolent - means offered not only by the state but also through civil society.

I am sure, annab, you don´t want to suggest that the US is on the same level as Ethiopia which is often refered to as a failed state? You can´t compare an apple with a pear but should be fair in a discussion and compare what can be compared.

As to the reference to Nazi Germany - I am convinced that a much earlier intervention would have helped to prevent what was happening there. The resisance there which was helpful (i.e. helping endangered groups like Jews or people of faith) or challenged Nazi authority have mostly been acts of civil courage and faithful acts of disobedience and resistance. Armed resistance was wiped out quickly. And again I hope you are not suggesting that the US are anywhere near that kind of dictatorship.

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Derek said...


Danke fuer deine Perspektive! I think it is particularly important to hear perspectives of Christians from Western nations outside of the US, such as Canada or European countries. What becomes evident is that the police in the US are much more prone to resort to lethal violence than they are in other Western countries where they have found other ways to resolve conflicts. Similarly the populations of these countries are much less likely to own guns, much less assault rifles, and we can also see that these types of mass shootings only happen on a regular basis (pretty much daily) in the US, whereas they are comparatively rare in those other countries. The takeaway is that when we compare the US with a failed state like Ethiopia, we can say "Yey, go America!" but when we compare it with states like England or Germany, we see how much America has deteriorated into epidemic violence, whether mass shootings, gang violence, or police killings of unarmed people. We American Christians would do well to listen to our German, English, Canadian, Scandinavian, Australian brothers and sisters when they hold a mirror up to us. All of these countries give us examples of how we could do much, much better. In this case our American pride is simply a sin we need to repent of.


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