Gary Horton | Did America Want to Go This Far Out on Guns?

Here’s some good news: It’s been over two weeks since America has experienced a truly horrific new mass-murder shooting, empowered by a grossly contorted interpretation of a Second Amendment intended toward well-organized state militias. 

Second Amendment arguments aside, let’s at least celebrate that America has gone a full one-half month without a truly tragic shooting. Yes, every day run-of-the-mill murders, double murders and triple murders – we get dozens of those. But nothing especially worthy of a CNN or FOX news banner or iPhone alert flashing across your consciousness. 

My, we’ve set a low bar for national self-satisfaction when it comes to subduing gun violence.

Conversely, consider the public and political outrage when we learn of violent sex offenders or terror attacks. These things and things like them claim comparatively few lives compared to gun crime but are so rare and so outrageous in our minds they’ve dramatically changed national and state laws. 

Sex offenders are convicted as “forever offenders” and face harsh lifelong punishment for their crimes. Huge swaths of our national security apparatus follow potential terrorist perpetrators. Entire wars costing trillions of dollars have been fought chasing real and loosely supposed terrorists. All Americans have surrendered significant personal rights in our war against terror to eliminate the death, pain, and suffering terrorists might cause.

But gun violence and gun terror — not so much. Over a decade, American has lost 360,000 people to gun deaths. By comparison, we’ve lost some 3,100 to terror attacks. Gun deaths are 116 times greater than terror-related deaths. That’s 11,600%! Gun deaths are ELEVEN THOUSAND SIX-HUNDRED PERCENT GREATER than terror deaths in America!

We now get 40,000 dead guys a year, 16,000 plain up murdered every year, add in 100,000 additional injuries — and we settle for, “It’s just another day in America.” Can’t do anything about it. It is what it is.

“Man up and take your slaughter like a real American.”

“If you don’t love America just as it is, go back to where you came from. We love our guns here. So, take it or go shove it.”

And so, unchanged, the slaughter seeps into us and becomes part of who we are. Our recoil is dampened, muted, quieted and finally – anesthetized

That’s the problem when things get too familiar. When they appear just “regular.” When we become so accustomed that their appearance is just part of the background of our lives, not requiring objective consideration and reconsideration.

America has a complete and total gun epidemic, yet sufficient folks remain unmoved and so we, as a nation, acquiesce to this huge national societal problem, which we ourselves have created through our reluctance to deal with a problematic interpretation of the Second Amendment. 

Some folks have been so gun-drugged as to equate radicalized gun ownership with Americanized Christianity! And when we drag God into guns things can really get weird.

With which AR-15 would Jesus commune?

From Reuters news service, ““NEWFOUNDLAND, Pennsylvania — Hundreds of couples toting AR-15 rifles packed a church in Pennsylvania on Wednesday to have their marriages blessed and their weapons celebrated as ‘rods of iron’ that could have saved lives in a recent Florida school shooting.”

We’ve widely read of evangelistic sanctuaries asking congregants to open-carry weapons in their services to keep peace when worshiping the Prince of Peace. Odd enough that, but this “Blessing of the AR-15’s” might just be that over-the-top canary in our coal mine indicating we’ve lost our collective minds… that this is even a thing that would or could, even happen. 

Certainly, this would happen, “Only in America.” Yes, let’s celebrate the incredible extent of our freedoms we enjoy. In many areas, America continues with world-beating freedoms. In our freedoms of speech, freedoms of religion – as with gun rights, even the right to bear mass killing machines – we lead the world.

However, in freedom from murder and mayhem, we do not. Not by a long shot. In freedom from gun violence, America is a world-loser. For in America, a strong enough minority figuratively (and some quite literally, too) worships guns above all else. They worship guns even above the peace taught and promoted by the Prince of Peace himself.

Between guns and peace, our nation has chosen guns over peace – and the wages of our misguided worship are the mountains of murdered souls, piling high to the heavens: 360,000 dead gun victims in America in the past decade. One million more, wounded. The numbers are in and America has accepted as normal, murder and mayhem over love and peace.

Did we really ever intend to accept these kinds of numbers as, “normal and acceptable?” 

Do you?

Gary Horton’s “Full Speed to Port!” has appeared in The Signal since 2006.

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