There are many things that the church is very vocal about like the value of unborn life and freedom of expression of our faith in public. However, our silence on gun violence is abhorrent. We will march and protest for some things, but when people are killed by the blight of guns in our society, we sit on our hands or label those who call for action idiots.
Let me provide some background for my belief that we must do something about America’s gun addiction. As a toddler, my parents had a hand gun in the home until they found me playing with it in the middle of their bed. After high school, I joined the Army and learned to handle multiple weapons. I also accepted the Lord while serving and lost all desire to take a life using those same weapons.
After leaving military service, I went to Bible school in Dallas, Texas. At that time, a lone gunman drove his truck into a Luby’s cafeteria in Killeen, Texas shooting fifty people and killing twenty-three. One of the survivors was our pastor. He became an advocate for gun ownership and still preaches with a firearm on his hip.
Five years ago, another gunman opened fire on a music festival from the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada killing sixty and injuring hundreds. I walked by this location multiple times while attending conferences over the years in Las Vegas. Had I been attending a conference during that fateful night, I might have been a victim as well.
There are more guns in the United States than there are people. More guns is not the answer. Texans have more licensed weapons than any other state yet have five of the worst mass shootings since 1991.
Unless you are an ambidextrous marksman, owning multiple firearms and more than a dozen rounds is excessive. If you say it’s for hunting, recent numbers show about 15 million hunting licenses issued which makes up less than 5% of the United States population.
I ask these questions of all Americans and especially the church. How many weapons are enough? How much ammunition is enough? Why do gun manufacturers continue to profit from tragedies as gun sales spike? How many innocent lives must be lost to gun violence before the church says something?