Thinking Out Loud

June 21, 2015

The Price to Pay for “The Right to Bear Arms”

Filed under: current events — Tags: , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 7:18 am

“But let’s be clear: At some point, we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.” – President Obama

In light of events this week in Charleston, I am repeating two columns this weekend that were posted in the wake of similar events. The second one below appeared in December, 2012, after Newtown. Also, before you get angry with me, if you’re reading this from the U.S.,  take some time to see how these stories play out in foreign media; look at how the rest of the world views the U.S.


To Our American Friends: It’s Time to Have the Conversation

To our friends in the U.S. in light of events yesterday;

Please accept our heartfelt sympathies.

Even though we’re close neighbors, we don’t fully understand the U.S. gun culture that is part of the DNA of those with whom we share this continent. And before we start to sound judgmental, we don’t always get it right up here, either; neither have we been immune to gun violence.

But we don’t think the framers of the U.S. constitution had yesterday in mind when they drafted the 2nd Amendment. Rather, I think they would be appalled, provided they were not completely bewildered trying to process where things presently stand.

This is only going to get worse. And worse and worse.

It’s time to drop everything else you’re doing and have the conversation necessary to save America.

It’s time to repeal the 2nd Amendment.

I know this subject rips at the emotions of people within the U.S.; and I’m not trying to open existing wounds. I am simply stating an opinion commonly held by people outside the U.S., an, “It’s broken; you need to fix that thing;” opinion which I know does not play well with some Americans. The push-back in the comments section was fully anticipated. I’m just saying that this is how it looks to outsiders. We grieve with you, and know the pain you are experiencing as a nation because this thing hits close to home for us as well. But it represents a set of circumstances that are unique to the U.S. that I truly wish were different; that Americans would begin now to beat their swords into plowshares.


  1. Cherry picking issues won’t solve anything.
    We can have zero road fatalities if we ban vehicles.
    These tragedies are a symptom. Every fatality as a result of gun violence is a symptom.
    We have a crisis with our young males.
    We have a crisis and the easy place to point the finger is at guns, the harder place is to point at one another and ourselves and admit we have failed our young men in this country. I agree the framers of our constitution would be devastated…devastated to see what has happened to our young men.
    There is a reason for the 2nd amendment and all of the amendments. Now is not the time to attack our Constitution and individual amendments, now is the time to address the mental health crisis.

    Comment by MJ — June 21, 2015 @ 5:05 pm

    • I agree fully with this comment. Obama was wrong. If you take the population of Canada (or these other less populated naitons) into consideration with the immense US population, it is more fair.

      Comment by yokedwithhim — June 21, 2015 @ 5:25 pm

  2. I don’t disagree at all. I simply wrote this back in 2012 from the perspective of how it all plays out in foreign media; how the U.S. is perceived in other countries. But you’re right; there is a root cause behind all the violence that goes beyond the weapons of choice.

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — June 21, 2015 @ 5:20 pm

  3. The Nazi’s began their plan to dominate and rule their nation, by suggesting total gun control. No one except those approved by government, could own or carry a gun. They said it was for the public’s safety. So the Germans gave up their guns. Then the Nazi’s walked into the villages and into homes and families and no one had a way to defend themselves. If more good people had guns on them, there would be less mass shooting incidents. The good gun owner would shoot the murderous one when the rampage began and lives would be saved. We are actually in the process of choosing a firearm to have in our home. Our response to the story of the Bible Study shooting was completely the opposite to yours. Interesting,

    Comment by yokedwithhim — June 21, 2015 @ 5:31 pm

    • It’s sometimes hard to respond to this because we are so close to the United States. I wonder how someone in England or Sweden would reply to that argument. They would probably resonate with Obama’s comment completely, but as to the question of what you as a family should do, it’s probably somewhat out of their league; the situation is just so foreign to their experience, and so incredibly complex.

      We’d both probably have to spend more time talking with people in those countries to see how these recurring events are seen by the rest of the world, but in their eyes, America probably largely doesn’t make a lot of sense.

      I also wonder, long-term, how this type of incident may start to have repercussions for America’s economic dominance. In other words, to use a movie term, how long before this type of press starts to affect the U.S. at the box office? It’s one thing for this sort of occurrence to affect tourism, but the wheels of commerce require a level of contact (sales trips, junkets, conferences, etc.) that may start to experience noticeable decline. People in other countries where they don’t carry handguns have this strange aversion to getting shot.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — June 21, 2015 @ 8:45 pm

      • I actually chose not to consider England as a vacation destination because of the violence of terrorism and the neighborhoods ruled by Sharia, where an innocent person could find themselves in trouble. English Bobbies are unarmed and cannot protect me from anyone who really means harm (remember the beheading on the street in the middle of the afternoon). Europe is a mess and the population wholly unprotected because they choose to believe that if only everyone would lay down their weapons everyone would be safer. Remember the mass murder shoot out in the chocolate shop…who had the guns? Terrorists and racists are armed. Again, if someone in that chocolate shop was carrying a concealed weapon, the situation would have been short lived. There is astonishing anger in the black community in my city and even talk of taking to the streets of quiet white suburbs to show us a new reality. I am a Canadian in NY who sounds American I know. But the lessons from history are clear. If good people volunteer to give up their ways of protecting themselves, there will be great opportunity for those with evil intent to accomplish their goals.

        Comment by yokedwithhim — June 21, 2015 @ 10:52 pm

    • I guess we could bat this back and forth endlessly. I’m trying to find a specific article, but found this on the way:

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — June 21, 2015 @ 11:01 pm

      • The VAST majority of gun homicides are drug/gang/crime related. A very small minority are committed by responsible and well trained gun owners (a few trigger happy incidents can be found). Therefore the issue is not guns, it is Godlessness. Banning guns will not make people Godly. Giving guns freely will not make people righteous. America turning back to God and repenting as a nation…for removing God from life and school, embracing the very things God abhors and drenching the soil with the blood of millions of pre-born babies….true repentance would bring about the stability and trust and relative calm America once enjoyed.

        Comment by yokedwithhim — June 22, 2015 @ 12:11 am

  4. It’s not until the final hour – this world’s redemption – that the swords are beaten into plowshares. The time will come where ‘we ain’t gonna study war no more’ but it won’t be until the renewal of all things. Guns will always be with us. I’ve shot a rifle and loved it! Thoroughly enjoyed target shooting – and it was a Christian camp.

    But as someone above said, if you remove all vehicles off the road, you will end car accidents. That’s not realistic. The only way Americans will be forced to give up their guns is after a bloody gunfight, which would happen – NO DOUBT – if the feds (ATFe) mandated, “Okay, America – we’re coming to collect all guns – only WE the police (who handle them so well and professionally at all times (sarcasm? – oh yeah) can have them!”

    America is stuck with gun-culture. Only a change in the soul of each individual will eradicate gun culture – not a war on guns where more blood will be shed in the attempts to remove them at this point. Seriously – how many ‘Waco’s’ do you want? Obama’s statement is lame – simply acknowledging that there is a problem is about as limp as you get. Hope it made him feel better to say that to America. Did it make America want to change? Maybe some … who knows.

    Jesus warned that the Pharisees were too concerned with the outside of the cup, re religion … the same applies to social dysfunction. Did we ever seen much change from banning alcohol (temperance/prohibition)? Yeah, that really worked: it created a whole subculture of violence, underground sin-dens etc. because the insides of man – the ‘inside of the cup’ – is still wholly rotten. WE are rotten-oriented … without Jesus.

    I think it perfectly fine for a man – in a gun culture – to own a gun in order to protect his family should they be home-invaded. Something that is a real possibility. While in Rome, no?

    That being said, if you decide you want to be part of a world where guns and gunism is ubiquitous, the words of Jesus, ‘He who lives by the sword will die by the sword’ then applies. Be ready to have a short life or witness the lives of those around you shortened. If you want to leave the gun culture in America and still be American, join the Mennonite and Amish communities – say goodbye to the rest of society as you’ve known it. Nothing wrong with that.


    Comment by Flagrant Regard — June 21, 2015 @ 10:06 pm

    • Thanks for this comment.

      I think Obama is caught in the middle between what he knows to be the case domestically, and the people he must deal with on the world stage.

      Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — June 21, 2015 @ 10:31 pm

      • Many of the decisions that Obama has made as president have been the reason we are considering obtaining a gun. Never before in the history of this country have we felt so betrayed and unprotected from within.

        Comment by yokedwithhim — June 22, 2015 @ 12:15 am

  5. homocide rates by country

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — June 21, 2015 @ 11:04 pm

    • Even this thread reflects how easily we get distracted from the real issue. I wonder if that isn’t exactly what those in power want.
      FR posted their version of the real issue.
      Given we live in a mostly secular society I chose to address the mental health crisis especially with our young men.

      Mental health is so taboo in every socio-economic class, despite record consumption of prescription drugs to alter the mind ( to treat depression, anxiety etc.), let alone the rampant substance abuse issues of illegal drugs and alcohol people rely upon to make it through the day, that we would rather spend precious resources of time, energy, and money on the topic of “guns” rather than direct our efforts and resources to the minds (hearts) of our hurting people and come up with real, long lasting solutions that would create a culture of respect, compassion, honor, and safety for all peoples.

      We all need strong families, strong communities, authentic leadership, and this is going to take something that I am unsure exists any longer in the free world. We need to make a different choice individually and collectively, and that has nothing to do with altering or abolishing the 2nd amendment.

      Comment by MJ — June 22, 2015 @ 11:01 am

  6. I find it sad that people cannot seperate guns and religion, guns and patriotism, etc. Owning a handgun is not a BIBLICAL right. The reality is that we have to look at how to reduce the number anbd frequency of these random shooters. It is too easy to access guns in the US and that is a fact and saying so does not mean we want to throw out the constitution!

    Comment by rickda — June 22, 2015 @ 9:48 pm

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