It seems like we keep having these mass-shootings. And over and over again gun violence becomes the forefront of our national, state and local dialogue. I would like to just take a step back and question if we are even talking about the right thing. Do we really have a “Gun violence problem”? Is Gun violence more evil then knife violence? Is gun violence more violent then bomb violence? What if what we have is actually a “People violence” problem? You see, by calling it “Gun Violence” we are already “pre-loading” the conversation to be about“guns”, as if Guns are the real problem. The fact of the matter is that people kill people all the time, and only a fraction of the time are Guns the tool that is used. But there is another problem with pre-loading the conversation with the “gun violence” label. Using the Gun violence label distracts us from the real issue here which is the evil nature of people. I believe this is a purposeful distraction, much like a magician distracts you with his right hand so that you don’t see what he is doing with his left hand. Why would such a distraction take place you may ask? The answer starts with a presupposition of our culture. Our culture presupposes that people are naturally good. The problem is that the evening news is inconsistent with this presupposition. Every mass shooting that happens holds up the depravity of mankind. This is why our society is so eager to re-frame this discussion around gun violence. And when the “gun” scapegoat fails, they eagerly embrace another one, say video games, or mental illness – anything to take the responsibility of the shooting from an actual person, because if it is a person, then people are not “basically good”. If people are not basely good then that means that we are basically evil and need an outside savior to come and redeem us. If we have been saved, then that outside savior has authority over how we live our lives, and that is something our culture cannot abide. The problem is that until our culture accepts that we need saving, and accepts that a savior came and died for us, we will continue to die at the hands of people who are evil, and all of us are evil. This is why gun control will never staunch the flow of blood because we do not need to control guns but people, for it actually is people who are evil.
Do you know what does help restrain evil though? The threat of mutually assured destruction. This is why gun ownership makes more sense to stop the violence of all types – including gun violence. At the core of a pro-gun line of argument is the presupposition that people are basically evil, but still completely in love with themselves, thus self-preservation is a strong motivator to not cause problems. To me, this makes a whole lot more sense and is more consistent with the world I see.