Gun Violence in America: God Isn’t Fixing This?
After another mass shooting, the Daily News ran a provocative headline directed at politicians for not solving the gun problem. What is the solution?
Another day, another mass shooting in America.
If you do a Google search for “Mass Shootings in America” you will find numerous sites that document the mass shootings of the past year (and the preceding years). Some of them you will probably remember, and others you will have never heard of. Just this year, we have had major shootings in Colorado Springs, Colorado (three dead; nine injured), Roseburg, Oregon (nine dead; nine injured), Chattanooga, Tennessee (five dead; nine injured), and Charleston, South Carolina (nine dead; one injured).
A recent study by The Christian Science Monitor concluded there were 22 mass shootings in 2015, killing 133 and wounding 52. This was using the FBI’s definition of a mass shooting involving four or more victims.
Though there may be disagreement over what qualifies as a “mass shooting,” the statistics are clear that gun violence is a major problem in America.
New York Daily News headline
The responses to these shootings have been very predictable. Some politicians (including President Obama) continued their call for tougher gun control laws. Other politicians, notably Republican presidential candidates who historically resist gun control efforts, sent out Twitter posts offering prayers and condolences to the victims’ families.
Enter the New York Daily News.
In one of the most striking headlines I have ever seen, on Dec. 3 the Daily News took the Republicans to task with the headline:
“14 Dead in California Mass Shooting: God Isn’t Fixing This.”
The headline is framed by Twitter posts from four prominent Republican leaders offering condolences and prayers to the families. Underneath the headline reads:
“As latest batch of innocent Americans are left lying in pools of blood, cowards who could truly end gun scourge continue to hide behind meaningless platitudes.”
The point being made by the Daily News: These leaders invoke God after tragedies but don’t actually use their power to propose solutions to gun violence in America. Essentially, the periodical is saying that God isn’t going to fix this. We have to.
Who is right, and who is wrong?
After one shooting fades from our memory, there will be another mass shooting. And the response will be the same. Liberal leaders will call for stricter gun control laws, believing that reducing access to guns will reduce gun violence. Conservative leaders will continue to resist stricter gun control laws, citing mental health issues as the real cause of violence and defending Second Amendment rights.
So, who is right?
We at Life, Hope & Truth do not take political sides. We strive to stand above the partisan fray by proclaiming God’s solutions and perspective.
When it comes to this issue, both sides make some valid points.
The liberals who attack America’s loose gun control laws as the cause are correct that weapons, especially semiautomatic weapons, make mass shootings easy to commit. When semiautomatic weapons are easily accessible, it is easier for sick and twisted people to act out their evil urges on a mass scale.
The conservatives who generally defend guns are correct that the root of the problem is not the guns, but the mental health of the people who carry out these violent acts. The Bible tells us that the human “heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
The ultimate solution to America’s gun violence problem is not in the position of the right or left. Both sides are wrong. The solution is Jesus Christ’s rule on this earth.But both sides are also wrong.
The idea that simply tightly controlling weapons will solve the problem of human violence is false. Violence has been a part of the human condition going all the way back to Cain slaying Abel (Genesis 4:8). Human beings, driven by hate and anger, will find a way to act on these desires. If it isn’t bombs and guns, it can be knives, swords, clubs or even rocks. No amount of legislation can prevent inner hate from becoming acts of violence.
On the other hand, those who support guns will often make the argument that our world is safer when we are all armed. The reasoning is that if more nonviolent citizens are armed, shootings would be deterred or stopped by armed citizens themselves. The Bible declares the fallacy of this position. Jesus declared that using the sword to prevent violence would only lead to more violence (Matthew 26:52) because “bloodshed follows bloodshed” (Hosea 4:2, English Standard Version). God’s way is not turning to weapons and violence to prevent violence, but to “let every one turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands” (Jonah 3:8, emphasis added).
So, what is God’s solution?
Whatever legislation is (or is not) passed will not solve the problem of violence in America—or the world. The Bible declares that “the way of peace they have not known” (Isaiah 59:8). Human beings are incapable of solving the problem of violence because it comes from within our human nature.
The Bible prophesies that mankind, left unchecked, will continue to descend into worse and worse evil—including increasing brutality due to a lack of self-control (2 Timothy 3:3). This will culminate in a time Jesus called “great tribulation” (Matthew 24:21) when our world will be on the brink of self-destruction due to our inability to control our violent urges on a national (and personal) level (verses 6-7, 22).
No amount of gun-control legislation will stop that. Ubiquitous gun ownership will not stop that.
This is where the Daily News is wrong.
But after that, He will begin the process of building a new, peaceful world through the establishment of His government here on earth—what the Bible calls the Kingdom of God.
It is through that Kingdom that violence will be stopped and a peaceful world built. This peaceful society won’t be built by either solution currently supported by the American left or right. In fact, it will be a mixture of both—but implemented perfectly.
There will basically be two parts to God’s solution.
Solution Part A: A change of heart
The first part of the solution will be changing the human heart. Jesus Christ’s approach to solving all of our problems will be targeting the cause—not just the effect. The cause of all our problems—including gun violence—is deep inside us, in our hearts.
In order to stop violence, God will make His Spirit available to remove evil from the deepest levels of our minds: “Then I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them, and take the stony heart out of their flesh, and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My judgments and do them” (Ezekiel 11:19-20).
At this time, God’s law—which is designed to prevent both the hatred that leads to violence and violence itself (Exodus 20:13; Matthew 5:21-22, 44-45)—will be enforced, and over time more and more people will accept and internalize it. That law being written on the hearts and minds of people around the world will be the first step to preventing violence.
Solution Part B: Total weapons control
The second part of the solution will not just be tighter gun laws. Jesus Christ’s rule will go much further than that!
In His government, weapons will be destroyed. The Bible prophesies that after Christ’s return, He will make “wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariot in the fire” (Psalm 46:9).
Yes, weapons will be broken and destroyed so that they will no longer be capable of causing death. In fact, this “weapons-control” policy will go even further: “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore” (Isaiah 2:4).
This is often viewed as poetic language of peace—but it is not just poetic.
Think about how this may be fulfilled in modern terms: Weapons that formerly had the capability of ending lives will be melted down and used to construct things like tractors and gardening tools—which help sustain lives!
Embrace the solution!
The Daily News’ provocative headline is both true and false. Twitter messages offering platitudes about “thoughts and prayers” solve nothing. America does have a gun violence problem, and we will be held accountable for it unless we nationally repent and change our ways. But the solution the paper subtly supports—tighter gun laws—is also insufficient to solve the problem.
The ultimate solution to America’s gun violence problem is not in the position of either the right or left. Both sides are wrong.
The solution is Jesus Christ’s rule on this earth and the changes His rule will bring. His solution will lead to a world described in Isaiah 60:18: “Violence shall no longer be heard in your land, neither wasting nor destruction within your borders; but you shall call your walls Salvation, and your gates Praise.”
The Daily News offered the sarcastic declaration that “God Isn’t Fixing This.” But the truth of how the gun scourge will be ended can be stated by slightly editing that headline:
God Will Fix This.
For further insights into the cause and solution to violence, read:
- A Week of Mass Murder: Why So Much Violence in America?
- A Message of Hope After a Week of Violence
- Sandy Hook: Making Sense of a Senseless Tragedy
- The Charleston Tragedy: A Time to Sigh and Cry
Or download our free booklet that may give more insight.