Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. (Genesis 4:8, NIV 1984).
My Musings – And so it began. The problem was not the rock Cain used, if it was a rock, or his bare hands. It was a different part of his anatomy — his heart. Today, another mass shooting in the United States. A travesty, as is any kind of homicide — even if only one. But it was more than one.
The U.S. has over 30,000 gun deaths per year. According to the FBI’s 2019 Crime in the U.S. report, firearms were used in 73.66% of murders in the United States in 2019. Additionally, the Department of Justice estimates that 60% of adult firearm deaths are by suicide. (https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/gun-violence-by-state).
My intent is not to defend or refute the statistics. Nor to become embroiled in a second amendment debate. This is not the venue for either. The truth is, if guns did not exist there would just be another leading cause of homicide and suicide. Arguably less numbers, but the heart issue still remains. The hate (homicide) and hopelessness (suicide) would still be there. In other words, the underlying sickness remains.
But we spend most of our time arguing about the merits (less guns = less deaths) or dangers (only bad people with guns = more deaths) of gun control, when the real issue is a heart issue. For “every inclination of the thoughts of [man’s] heart was only evil all the time.” (Genesis 6:5, NIV 1984). Or to use a word that has fallen out of favor in our politically correct world — a sin issue.
Legislation, confiscation and registration might only make matters worse, as some would argue, but even at its best is merely putting a band-aid on a cancer. We treat the symptoms and ignore the cure. People need a “heart” transplant. Regrettably, we live in a world (of our own making) where “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus [and promote the cure] will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived, [killing and being killed]. (2 Timothy 3:12–13, NIV 1984).
My Advice – Be sensitive to the pain this violence causes the victims and their families. Pray for them. Pray for the cure. Pray for the harvest. And while we’re at it, “let’s go out to the field.” For “the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” (Luke 10:2–3, NIV 1984).