G.K. Chesterton taught me that lust is more powerful than reason. A human, committed to the dark desires of his heart, will trump those who call for rational sanity. This truth was again show by the NRA’s Wayne Lapierre news conference in response to the horror of Newtown. A blood color moon of doom rose on my spirit as I listen to him. I have been active around the issue of guns since Columbine. Then, I had seen gun fanatics shout down parents of Columbine victims with taunts. If only he, the parent, had armed (illegally) his 16-year-old child with a gun, then all would be well and only the killers be dead. Then, I witness a nation in shock and mourning do nothing about our crazy gun laws that turns us into shooting gallery of innocents. Now, weapons of such destruction, if anything, are more readily available. Gun laws have been so relaxed that any self-respecting drug dealer will be armed better than the George Washington’s Revolutionary Army.
I saw in horror as the NRA sponsored gun laws like Florida’s Stand Your Ground law or Indiana’s Cop Killing law are making it easier to get away with murder. The NRA by 2006 made sure to cut off the head of the ATF by sneaking a provision that the top cop for guns had to be approved by the Senate, where the NRA's allies could filibuster any nomination. The legislator that did this damage was, of course the NRA’s legislator of the year. America has lacked a top gun cop since. So, tuning in to the NRA’s response to Sandy Hook, I knew what to expect.
It was not surprising. The NRA blamed the media and video games, and their supporters drank the drug without so much as a glance into the mirror of self-reflection. Lapierre coined the phrase, “only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun.” He did not even bat a eye in the direction of the obvious. The video games and movies he had just trashed actually play out “good guys with guns taking out bad guys” lust tale he was now lauding. He was selling the same fantasy that drives the video games and movies only without the realistic graphics. He was selling the same Devils brew of Manichaeism. Eric and Dylan saw themselves as the good guys taking out the bad guys. So did most of the mass murders of the last 15 years.
But, not one to let self-reflection or honesty get in the way, Lapierre offered his solution to the flood of guns: more guns. I knew at that point he had won. There will be no meaningful action to the gun violence. The dark fantasies that imagines our nearly 240-year democracy was about to descend into a dictatorship and only the brave gun owners of America could stop it, like they stop the Imperial Armies of Japan from invading, could have stop Hitler, was working on the weakness on men’s lust. Like Jerry Sandusky, he gave them a justification for their lust.
The innocent children that were brutally gunned down at Sandy Hook will join the teenagers at Columbine and the college victims of Virginia Tech, sacrifices to the weird power of gun lust and the bottom line of gun makers. Last week President Obama introduced the best he could do with 23 modest presidential orders and calls, really, for such things as scientific research into gun violence. (The NRA used its minions in congress to dry up research when it was found that guns in the home made the home dramatically less safe than having no guns. Truth, when you are in the death business, is bad for business). He was greeted with calls that he was a tyrant and a criminal and calls for his impeachment as if trying to keep the guns out of bad guys’ hands was somehow a crime against the constitution. Websites put up pictures of Hitler and Stalin next to Obama’s modest actions to pound home the point that any rational thinking was going to shot down like first graders in Connecticut. Assault weapons have two forces behind them. The force of those making a arsenal of money and the lust of those wanting the assault weapons for a personal, erotic and power fantasies. The NRA knows this and has a template for stoking these two fires. The biggest disappointment, though, is how many Christians have swallowed this line of unchristian death message. We Christians know that there is only one good guy and that good guy stops the bad guys not with a gun, but with a cross. Until we Christians can answer with the cross instead of an AR-15, we will continue to bury the dead.