Gun violence is a symptom of a deeper problem in America, and California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a long-time adversary against the second amendment, seems to finally agree. When asked if Stephen Paddock’s killing spree could have been stopped if more restrictive gun laws were in place, she said, “No. He passed background checks registering for handguns and other weapons on multiple occasions.” It’s time Americans put aside the smoke and mirrors involved in attacking the second amendment and law-abiding gun owners, and instead embrace our need for a national conversation about the root of our problem: that America’s gun violence is not perpetrated by guns, but by the growing evil the average American seems to relish.
Evil has long become culturally acceptable, and so many Americans are in love with it. (Stephen King’s demented It recently broke the highest grossing horror film record at the box office). Our refusal to admit that much of American life now imitates the “art” found in movies, websites and video games is alarming. But it’s worse than that. American culture cultivates hatred, nurtures violence and applauds the objectification of human life.
We’ve become a society of hearing impaired people. We cannot hear the truth that is screaming at us. We celebrate the right to do anything we want, even if it’s evil to the core, thinking our consciences and hearts are bulletproof. In reality, they are incredibly moldable, being shaped before our very eyes. We wonder why our society reflects what’s happening in the lives of many?
America is reaching the tipping point of desensitization, where hatred, violence, and division are thoroughly instilled in our culture, fanned into flame by a media on the prowl for the grotesque, shocking and fearful. Our fascination with the macabre and our distraction from real life is killing us. Literally.
We’re all angry at what happened in Vegas – and we should be. We absolutely should be having a discussion about gun violence and gun rights – but not if that’s as far as the conversation goes. Rightly so, we’re all fearful of another mass massacre that could happen in the future – but mere gun control will be a poor salve for the real solution needed in our nation.
Yet many of the same people who rail against gun ownership and the second amendment are the very same people who want God, and the exercise of faith, out of the public square. They are all about freedom of expression – except when it involves the free expression of faith. Are they truly upset about violence, division, and hatred that are reaching a boiling point in America? No, they aren’t. Until one is willing to address the real root of evil, and how it is defeated, one is only playing with the issue, pretending to be genuinely concerned (or self-deceived) at best. If we treat God as if he is the problem, all we are doing is perpetuating and exacerbating the bigger problems. Evil cannot be overcome without good, and God is the ultimate good. Banning God from the fight against evil is an invitation for absolute, utter defeat. It's cultural suicide.
In the meantime, our problem is our frightful inability to understand that as a man thinks, so he is. Garbage in, garbage out. “Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction” (Galatians 6:8, NIV). This is true not just for individuals, but for society as well. If a growing number of Americans embrace and caress violence, hatred and the objectification of human life, we shouldn’t be surprised to see the same things mimicked in real, ordinary life – life that is becoming, with each passing day, more and more bizarre.
What happened in Vegas won’t stay in Vegas. It can’t. We can undermine and demonize the second amendment and law-abiding gun owners all we want, but until we’re courageously humble enough to deal with America’s real demons, we’re fooling ourselves, to our own detriment.