On November 28, 2015, my husband was shot and paralyzed at a North Carolina rest area by two gang members. On that day, our lives not only changed forever, but we entered into a small fraternity not of our choosing: shooting victims.
Even though I wasn't the one paralyzed from the waist down, I still count myself as a victim, with documented PTSD and anxiety from the shooting. Seeing my husband struggle to sleep at night, his face wincing in pain from unrelenting damaged nerves, and incredibly humiliating care routines have given me a decidedly poignant viewpoint on the debate of gun control.
The book about the shooting, I've Been Shot! Encountering Christ in Trauma, is available here.
Or knife control. Or aircraft control. Rocks, even. Pillows. Poison. Bathtubs. There's not just one type of weapon, you know. Guns are just one type of tool someone can use to take the life of another.
The gang member who shot my husband had been out of state prison less than six weeks. As a convicted felon, there was no way he would have passed a background check to buy a gun. Do you really think he even tried? No. Laws only work for people who abide them -- or find a way around them. The shooter asked a fellow gang member for a gun, and that dude handed over a .380. Did the shooter's friend ask him what his plans were for the gun? Did he ask him to give his fingerprints or submit to a mental health assessment? No.
Recently, the news has been wrought with stories about people who submit to background checks, pass them, then enter stores, churches, bars, or festivals with one thing on their minds: To shoot, harm, and kill. To cause mayhem and paranoia. To get their 15 minutes of fame on the news and social media. We then hear politicians of all parties demand tighter gun control, blame each other, blame the gun shop owners, blame video games, and blame the media.
What about blaming the shooter?
Should the many law-abiding gun owners lose their Constitutional right to keep and bear arms because of a few people who knew how to manipulate the system to kill? This shooting victim says no.
You see, guns are tools. My husband's spinal cord could have easily had been severed by a knife in that restroom. Dozens of people are killed each year not by guns but by knives and other things -- cars driven by distracted drivers, even. It's not a gun issue.
It's a heart issue. It's a sanctity of life issue. Those same Democrats, who rail against shooters who kill and harm tens of people, willingly and gleefully support organizations that kill millions of babies each year. Those same liberals who scream for more mental health assessments for gun control fight to tell little boys and little girls that they can choose their gender, which is paramount to causing mental health issues in those same children.
Do we have a problem in this country with violence? Absolutely. Will stricter gun control laws solve the problem? No. Here's why:
The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." This means that people can keep and bear guns to protect themselves from a tyrannical government, should the government disband their rights as outlined in the Constitution. Gun control laws exist in this country to prevent people owning guns who have lost the right to do so: convicted felons, namely (although this only works if a convicted felon is stupid enough to try to purchase a gun at a legitimate gun shop). Gun control laws exist for the lawful registration of guns, and they should be registered.
We should have mandatory gun safety classes before owning guns (or documented classes before buying a gun). We should have a mental health assessment as part of the gun registration / control process. The registration process should include school behavior issues. But should guns be outlawed? No. Chicago has the strictest gun control laws in the country, and look at their shooting/murder rate. It's astronomical!
No one except the person (and those in cooperation with him or her) pulling the trigger are responsible for shootings. Not even the President, or his rhetoric. We have a heart issue in this country -- we as a nation have no respect for life, and taking responsibility for one's own actions is a myth. In order to stop shootings and killings, we need to value life: the aging, the disabled, the pre-born, the newborn, women, men. All skin tones. No exceptions.
And we absolutely must get it out of our collective head that God made mistakes when He created male and female.
We don't value life in this country until it's a headline on the 6 o'clock news. We don't have a gun issue in this country. We have a problem that stems far deeper: the fact that Christ's Church has compromised herself, and lost all power within the Holy Spirit. We need to humble ourselves before the Lord, ask forgiveness, and repent. We (the Church) need to stand for the unborn, for children, for the aging, for the disabled, and stop thinking that we don't need to do something because Jesus is coming.
Jesus is coming again. But until then, let's don the armor of God and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and stand up for life. From this shooting victim's perspective, it's time we stop causing a culture in which life is valued so little and self-responsibility is non-existent.
(C) 2019 Terrie Bentley McKee All Rights Reserved
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