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January 2, 2013

Letter to the editor - Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013

Hollywood at heart of U.S. gun violence

We were supposed to be a nation in mourning; instead, we are a nation quarreling. Ever since the Sandy Hook tragedy, anticonstitutionalists have raced to microphone and camera in order to accelerate their process of dismantling the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Ever since that tragic day, calls have been issued to put gun control debates back into the forefront of public discourse. So let us reason together.

Whether acquired for hunting, target sports, protection, or a collection, a gun sits quietly in a closet, in a drawer, under a bed, in a safe, or wherever placed. It does nothing to influence a person about how it will be used. It is passive. Yet, this is the object that becomes the target of calls for legislative control every time there is an issue that anticonstitutionalists can manipulate into emotionally driven reactionary responses. So let us consider instead some things that could be targets of legislative control that are more rationally driven. While the gun is a passive object in the sequence of events that lead to a criminal act, several other influences are overtly actively driving forces. Virtually every form of entertainment – television programs, movies, music, video games – contain increasingly violent themes. The same sector of our culture who will be carrying banners for gun control create plots, lyrics and graphics that invade us with vulgarity, grotesque imagery and excessive violence. They call upon our culture to lay aside fear, hatred and vengeful attitudes and to replace them with love, peace and goodwill. Yet, they produce products that impress upon us anything but love, peace and goodwill. They mock and devalue those who express compassion toward others in response to the grace and love of Jesus Christ. They consistently portray good as evil and evil as good. And when these influences are pounded firmly into us to the point where someone snaps, then let us, by all means, blame the gun. From the perspective of logic and rationalism, we begin to comprehend what might need to be the target of legislative controls.

“Almighty God, Who has given us this good land for our heritage … Save us from violence, discord, and confusion, from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitude brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues … In time of prosperity fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in Thee to fail; all of which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.” (Thomas Jefferson, “A National Prayer for Peace,” March 4, 1805).

Charles A. Layne, Bunker Hill

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