Archives For violence

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Gun ownership and firearm deaths go together

A new study that was published online in the American Journal of Medicine reports that gun ownership is a bigger factor than mental illness when it comes to firearms deaths. But the data suggest that both play roles.

NPR writes:

In the study, doctors in New York looked at data on gun ownership, crime rate, firearms-related deaths and depression from 27 developed countries, including the United States, Japan, Great Britain and South Africa.

The United States had the highest rate of civilian gun ownership, at almost 90 guns per 100 people. The next two countries on the list were Switzerland and Finland, with about 45 guns per 100 people. Japan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom had the lowest gun numbers, ranging from less than 1 gun per 100 in Japan to 6 in the U.K.

The countries with more civilian guns also had the highest rates of firearms deaths, with the United States leading the list at 10 deaths per 100,000, based on an international mortality database.

“Yes, we live surrounded by those who claim to be our enemies, but we refuse to be enemies. As followers of Jesus, we have no other choice but to see them as our brothers and sisters.” – A Christian living in the West Bank

We refuse to be enemies

What does it say about handguns in our country when the ability to print your own handgun using a 3D printer isn’t a game changer?

And although this is a fascinating provocation, it is not (yet) a game-changer, especially in America where traditional guns (capable of firing thousands of rounds without melting down) are cheap and easy to get. You can even "3D print" a gun by asking different CNC shops to cut and overnight you all the parts to make up a working gun, breaking the job down into small pieces that are unlikely to arouse suspicion.

via Defense Distributed claims working 3D printed handgun – Boing Boing.

Love is a weapon

As I’ve written before, I consider myself a pacifist and I want to see much stronger gun control in American because I believe the harder it is for people to get a weapon, the less likely they are to use it.

I truly long for the day when nuclear weapons, assault weapons, semi-automatic guns, muskets, pocket knifes and all other weapons of any sort are made into plowshares.

And I long for Shalom and Pax Dei.

And yet I confess that I understand that even banning all guns of all sort won’t stop all assaults or killings of any other sort. When a person’s heart is set on killing another human being – they’ll find a way.

So with this quandary at our doorstep, how do we as an American culture and society change the hearts and minds of our fellow countrymen where the life of a 1st grader is just as valuable as the life of the President, a movie star, a drug dealer or an imam living in Iran?

How do we change our mindset that murder is not an option – either in jealous rage, depression, governmental retaliation or by lethal injection?

How do we move from a culture of violence (and especially redemptive violence) to a culture of forgiveness and second chances?

love hands

IXS_2631 | Photo by Leon Brocard

THE VIOLENCE we preach is not
the violence of the sword,
the violence of hatred.

It is the violence of love,
of brotherhood,
the violence that wills to beat weapons
into sickles for work.

oscar romero, november 27, 1977

A friend sent me a copy of Oscar Romero’s The Violence of Love for my new Kindle (thanks Laurie!!) — and I found another site online that just happens to have it for FREE download as well for Kindle, Nook and PDF.

From the same site:

During his three years as archbishop of San Salvador, Óscar Romero became known as a fearless defender of the poor and suffering. His work on behalf of the oppressed earned him the admiration and love of the peasants he served, a nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize, honorary degrees from abroad – and finally, an assassin’s bullet on account of his outspokenness.

Romero was martyred for his insistence that following Christ cannot be relegated to the spiritual realm. He did not die in vain – the people of Central America say his spirit lives on in them. As their struggle for justice and dignity intensifies, his words take on renewed urgency.

Needless to say I’m looking forward to reading it…

So, what does this kind of violent love look like to you?

Too good not to share…

Dwight Eisenhower on D-day

Dwight Eisenhower on D-day | Via Harpers.org

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities. It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population. It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals. It is some fifty miles of concrete pavement. We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people. This is, I repeat, the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking. This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron. […] Is there no other way the world may live?

(Via Harpers.org | HT Steve Burleson)
What do you think?