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Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Setting aside freedom for the greater good

In this country I am free to own guns and I do. I've hunted with all but one of them, and at one time or another they have helped put meat on my table. Deer, pheasants, grouse, turkeys, rabbits, geese, and ducks have been part of my diet because of the guns I own. Elk has not, sadly, but that is not the fault of the gun--that's all on the hunter. I have no trouble with guns, as I have been around them all my life, but I am willing to give up my guns for a greater good.

I want the mass shootings to stop. (The mass killings will not stop, but I at least want them to happen without guns.) I want the shootings to stop, and the only way to do that is to eliminate the things that shoot, namely, the guns. Yes, the criminals are going to run rampant as armies masquerading as police forces no longer have guns to stop them. Yes, the unregulated black-market for guns will just make things more dangerous when guns are used. Yes, the pent up anger of people will just be exacerbated when guns are taken away. (I truly believe that if we try to take away guns at any level, mass shootings and assassinations will increase by a lot. If you think the mass shootings are bad now, wait until we try to take away people's guns.)

But we created this mess, so we have to die for this mess. Granted, the people who started this mess are too old to matter much these days. Every citizen immigrant, non-documented alien, and visitor of or to the United States since World War I had a part in this mess. And now some of us are just going to have to die if it's every going to be better for my grandson and his generation.

I'll do as many funerals as I can before someone has to do mine. I just hope people see that doing the right thing comes at a cost of all you hold dear; in my case, my freedom. I have to lay aside my freedom so down the road my grandson can be free--maybe.

My proposal is simple: make it illegal to do anything with guns: make them, buy, own, collect them, build them, store them, Any and everything. If you want to hunt, get a crossbow. We'll go all Games of Thrones for 30 years. After 30 years, revisit the situation. Start all over. But at least we had 30 years of trying to stop the insanity. Oh, and make the punishment for getting caught with anything but a picture of gun, 30 years of working in the smelters that melt the guns so we can use the steel and plastic to repair the schools and post offices we've shot up over the past 200 years.

I know most people cannot join me in this because you cannot trust anybody. I have friends, who the only reason why they feel safe at all, is because they have access to a gun. I have other friends who have never even touched a gun in their lives. We've had 200 years of owning guns, with even gun owners not feeling safe; how about we try 30 years of not-owning guns and seeing how it goes?

By the way, if you're angry at this, or disappointed in me, know that I am disappointed in myself too. I wish I didn't have to give up my guns so kids don't go shooting up schools and churches. But I can't think of anything else that might work--in the long rung. Remember, a lot of people will die until the guns are gone. You can kill me first if you have to, but just do me one favor after you've shot me: prove me wrong, and don't kill again.

May your tables be full, and your conversations be true.

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