This article was originally published by Mennonite World Review

Root out violence

Guns don’t kill people, people do. What a crazy argument, and yet with an element of truth. Of course guns don’t kill people. But neither do cars, and yet we regulate them and those who drive them. Guns are not the ultimate problem. The deeper problem is the violence that is present everywhere, every day, even in our play.

It is logical, therefore, that we should first seek to root out violence in whatever form it takes. Next we should reduce the instruments used most often to perpetuate violence, and the gun heads the list. Though I do not own a gun and can’t imagine circumstances in which I would, I allow for the recreational use of guns. But the firearms being sold and bought (also in Mennonite-owned stores!) are instruments intended as weapons to kill people, not for recreational use.

Embedded in all this is the corrupting influence that the National Rifle Association has on the American democratic system. A survey by the Pew Research Center revealed that 85 percent of the people favor some kind of restrictions, and yet the U.S. Senate, even in a season of irrational killings, is unwilling to even bring to a vote very elementary legislation. Are “we the people” running this country, or is it being held hostage by minority extremes such as the NRA? This deserves to be a consideration as we enter another election cycle.

Edgar Stoesz
Akron, Pa.

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