*****Disclaimer:I wrote this the morning after the Dallas shootings with high emotions. I sat with it a few days prior to posting it.******
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” -The Second Ammendment
I’ll admit before sharing this I do not know the motive of the Dallas shooter. We decided it was better to blow him up, than send him through a justice system. We may never get the full intent of his hatred for the lives he took though it’s not hard to imagine why this happened. At the moment the reasons are imagination, the most we have is “I want to kill white people, especially white officers.” That statement by the media is probably all we will get. And at the moment I’m cautious on believing it. However with this framework I think some strong points should be considered.
My heart is so heavy and I don’t want to be just another person leaning on a gun excuse but I’d like us all to really think about this.
In Dallas you are likely seeing people using that second amendment right that has been so argued for. You are likely seeing people use that right for the reason you have argued for.
The primary justification I often hear as a road block towards gun regulation aside from “good people need guns” is “We need to be able to protect ourselves from our government.” It’s a reference to the George Washington’s quote above.
Well here it is. People buying these weapons and responding to how they believe their government has treated, oppressed, and abused them and others.
It raises the important questions, Who decides when the government has gone too far? Who decides when we stand up? What if we don’t all agree?
If these shooter(s) aren’t heralded as heroes well then isn’t there a great deal of hypocrisy going on?
They did Washington’s argument and how do we feel? Terrible. Awful. Shocked. Outraged.
Because ALL violence is evil.
I highly doubt there will ever be a day when Americans UNANIMOUSLY decide we need to take up arms against our government. I just can’t see that as possibility. So who gets to decide for all of us?
Our strong advocacy with these kinds of arguments (no matter how American they may be) paves the way for more and more violence. As long as there is such access to destructive weapons, anyone gets to make this decision. And if no action is taken, that acknowledges the injustice placed on people of color, it is highly probably more blue lives will be lost.
Because it’s not a leap to see this shooter’s reasoning. You go to these events like Black Lives Matter, and you will see entire communities who want to know what they can do. Because as you often hear “thoughts and prayers” don’t DO anything. You can only encourage people to be peaceful for so long as their own are murdered. Which honestly shows the tremendous strength and endurance of the black community.
This is not me encouraging violence. I hate it from any form. My hope is this can be a warning for future violence. Not just between people of color and the police force.
If we as a nation don’t begin to acknowledge and reform, well then absolutely some will begin to rise up. It’s how America deals with problems around the world. For many members of the black community, police and government are not their allies. They don’t look out for this minority group as they do with different skinned races. It doesn’t matter if you believe that. Enough people do for the discussion to happen. And oppressed people left to their silence can easily be led to rise up and take things into their own hands. It’s the hero of literally ALL of our movies. Katniss, Luke Skywalker, you name it, why do we admire them!? We are sitting on a time bomb if we don’t get involved.
Your fear of the government and a need for protecting yourself might also get you killed.
Two men are dead not only because of the color of their skin, but because in addition, they were within their rights to have a firearm. And that made them extra scary. Honestly if you are a black male I’m worried for you if you carry a weapon.
I understand if this draws a reaction of “He’s just promoting some Liberal agenda.” I always wonder when I will have gone too far with whatever audience I have. But I am not approaching this as a Liberal,or as a Conservative. I try my best to interpret Jesus’ love and care for life itself. And I think we have a long ways to go if we do not adress our idolatry of weapons in this nation. This idolatry is contributing to the loss of life. Yes these issues are inclusive of many topics. But making it exclusively one or the other denies a large fraction of the solution. We have a gun problem. We have a race problem. We have a hate problem.
These will be the great issues for my generation to tackle. And I pray it happens through my generation and before my children’s.
Lay our idols down. Otherwise our rights matter more than our lives.