The Rushmore Report: Mike Pence Responds to Texas Church Shooting

Vice President Mike Pence has responded to critics who have questioned the usefulness of prayer following last Sunday’s mass shooting at a church in Texas which left 26 people dead. “Right now, I truly believe that covering those families in prayer is making a difference in their lives, and it will continue to support those families and that community in the days ahead,” Pence told Fox News in an interview.

Online debate has unfurled across Twitter and other platforms in the wake of the massacre at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, with some suggesting that prayer does not work if it can’t protect Christians at church.

“I’m a believer. I believe in prayer and I know that at this moment of such heartbreak and loss in that community that what most Americans are most able to do is pray for those families,” Pence said.

The vice president added, however, that prayer takes “nothing away from our determination to get to the bottom of what happened, to understand the why, to determine whether or not there were errors along the way.”

Authorities are investigating if and in what way existing laws and background checks were not properly applied to shooter Devin Kelley, who illegally purchased the guns he used in last week’s attack.

House Speaker Paul Ryan told Fox News in a separate interview that he stands by his offers of prayer, even though he was specifically targeted for his tweets.

Former “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Stand By Me” actor Wil Wheaton lashed out and wrote in response to Ryan’s prayer tweet earlier this week: “The murdered victims were in a church. If prayers did anything, they’d still be alive, you worthless sack of [expletive].”

Wheaton later apologized and explained he wasn’t trying to attack people of faith, though prayer continues being criticized in debates online.

“It’s disappointing. It’s sad, and this is what you’ll get from the far secular left. People who do not have faith don’t understand faith, I guess I’d have to say,” Ryan told Fox.

He added, “And it is the right thing to do – to pray in moments like this because you know what? Prayer works.”

The House Speaker blamed the “secular left” for much of the “polarization and disunity” in the country due to sentiments like that.

Prominent pastors, such as Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside and Irvine, California, told The Christian Post that while it is hard to understand God’s role in tragedies like church shootings, prayer is far from ineffective.

“The Bible does not promise anyone a pain-free life. In fact, Jesus himself said, ‘In this world you will have tribulation’ (John 16:33). Here is what I do know: these people that were gathered for worship at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, believed in and loved Jesus Christ,” Laurie added.

He said that the victims are now in God’s presence, “where there is ‘fullness of joy’ and ‘pleasures forevermore’ (Psalm 16:11). All of their questions are answered; our questions will have to wait.”

Pastor Ronnie Floyd, president of National Day of Prayer and senior pastor of Cross Church in Northwest Arkansas, separately told CP: “In this fallen world when the spirit of evil is raging, all things that happen are not good. Yet, our faith and hope remain in God alone. When we pray, we are depending on God for strength; when we do not pray, we choose to depend upon ourselves, which always leads to unbelief.”

About the Author

Stoyan Zaimov is a writer for The Christian Post.

The Rushmore Report: Three Lessons from the Texas Church Shooting

The worst mass church shooting in American history took place Sunday in the tiny town of Sutherland Springs, Texas (pop. 643). While holding regular Sunday services, the First Baptist Church was suddenly invaded by Devin Patrick Kelly, who killed at least 26 worshipers. From the deadliest shooting in Texas state history, we learn three lessons. To miss these lessons is to invite even more carnage in the coming days.

1. Christians are under attack.

If you are an American Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, or cultist, you are treated as royalty by the “mainstream.” But if you are a Christian or Jew, you are the cause of all that is bad in America – racism, bigotry – you name it. In the 25 years from 1980 to 2005, according to the National Church Shooting Database, there were 139 shootings at churches in America. In 2015 – just one year – there were 248. Christian principles and morality are under attack. We could give dozens of other examples – from education to politics to media – but anyone who needs more facts to be convinced will never be convinced.

2. Gun control is not the answer.

I offer two convincing arguments. First, at least two of Kelly’s weapons were purchased illegally. They were already subject to gun control laws. But, shockingly, Mr. Kelly did not obey those laws – killers never do! The argument that calls for the banning of more guns is predicated on the hope that murderous thugs who disobey our “thou shalt not kill” laws will happily fall in step with new gun regulations. It is hard to imagine a more insane position. (If gun control laws worked, Chicago would be the safest place on earth, rather than the most deadly city in America.)

Secondly, it was a gun that ended the shooting. A nearby resident named Stephen Willeford heard gunshots at the Baptist church. Willeford, an NRA member, jumped into action. He removed his rifle from the safety of his home safe, loaded it, and pursued the mass murderer. Shots were exchanged, and Kelly was hit. He died a short time later. Had Willeford not had a gun, who knows how many more lives would have been taken?

Joe Wurzelbacher astutely observes, “In 1939, Germany established gun control. From 1939 to 1945, six million Jews and seven million others unable to defend themselves were exterminated.”

Let’s review. The only man in this story who would follow more gun control laws was the hero – Mr. Willeford. It’s really not that complicated.

3. The problem is not guns, but evil.

We can eradicate guns from the world, but not evil. Mass killers have used cars, buses, airplanes, knives, pipe bombs – and guns – to achieve their goals. Until we enact laws to restrict access to cars, buses, airplanes, knives, and pipe bombs, these will all be used by evil men and women. The Bible makes it clear that evil is the root of senseless destructive behavior. The answer is not to treat the symptom, but the disease. The Apostle Paul said it like this: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place to live; not just because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” The small town of Sutherland Springs suffered immeasurably last Sunday, because of one man who was evil. But they were spared further, unimaginable massacre, because one man did something about it.

I’d like to think we’ve seen the last of men like Devin Patrick Kelly. But that would be naive. With the presence of armed evil among us, we would all be wise to be watchful, careful, and prayerful. And if – just in case – an armed good guy is nearby . . . that is a good thing.

The Rushmore Report: It’s Time to Confront Our Suicidal Immigration Laws Honestly

At some point, Congress needs to wake up to the fact that carrying a firearm is a constitutional right, while immigration is not. Whenever there is a major domestic shooting, the Left immediately screams “Gun control.” Never mind it doesn’t work. But when Sharia-believing Muslims from the Middle East commit terrorist acts on our soil – as happened two days ago in New York – the same Left has no desire to even discuss our suicidal immigration policies that facilitate such terrorist acts.

How many more will have to die before we have a national conversation about immigration?

The suspect in Tuesday’s vehicular (no guns were used) jihad attack in Manhattan is reportedly a man named Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov, an Uzbek national who was apparently issued a green card by Obama’s DHS in 2010.

How did this happen, and what’s the problem?

WABC-NY reports: “Authorities say he came to the United States seven years ago from Uzbekistan under what is called the Diversity Visa Program, which offers a lottery for people from countries with few immigrants in America.”

The terrorist didn’t fly into one of our airports under a false ID, nor did he sail over on an ISIS-sponsored ship. No, we welcomed him through our front door, just like we did the 9/11 hijackers. Meanwhile, Congress has had no serious discussion on the core problem since 9/11.

Immigration by lottery? Seriously? Yes, and we have yet to hear from the man who sponsored this law – the senator from the state where the attack occurred – Chuck Schumer.

Data shows that from 2001-2015, in the 15 years immediately following 9/11, 1.83 million green cards were granted to immigrants from predominantly Muslim countries. In fact, we have welcomed more immigrants from Muslim regions than from any other part of the world. And the same politicians who push for such immigration are the first to limit Second Amendment rights.

I offer two groundbreaking ideas.

1. Go to merit-based immigration. The thing is, immigration was not initiated over 200 years ago for the purpose of helping those in inferior lands; immigration’s purpose was to make America better. It’s called putting America first. This is, after all, the country our politicians were elected to represent.

2. Immigration is a privilege, not a right. Common liberal ideology acts as though foreigners have a right to free passage to America until proven otherwise. Newsflash – nowhere in our Constitution is immigration a guarantee or right.

Still, every year, we admit 155,000 students per year. This includes 59,000 legal immigrants from Uzbekistan since 2001. Does anyone want to guess how many of these subscribe to Sharia supremacism, which cultivates the climate under which these individuals migrate to America? We can only imagine.

But when President Trump proposes even a modest moratorium on just a few countries which promote and train terrorists, he is shut down. Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress are more interested in restricting the rights of native-born Americans than restricting the flow of terrorists who have no legal claim on our homeland.

We live in a day when any attempt to restrict the flow of immigrants – avowed to kill Americans – is considered insensitive. It’s time for Congress to stop the nonsense. And frankly, it’s time to stop making counterterrorism exclusively about endless Islamic civil wars overseas.

It’s high time for Congress – Republicans and Democrats alike – to clamp down on immigration. Call it “extreme vetting.” Call it “paranoia.” Call it “insensitive.” I call it “saving American lives.”

It’s time for all of Congress to care about all Americans – enough to do whatever is necessary to keep terrorists at bay. Gun ownership is a right; immigration is not. Is this the right time to pass restrictive immigration policy? No, the right time would have been sometime before Tuesday, when our insane, suicidal immigration policies cost the lives of eight innocent lives.

To rebrand an old phrase: Guns don’t kill people; Islamic terrorist immigrants do. Let the conversation begin. Let the madness end. And may Congress actually step up and spend as much time condemning Islamic terrorists as they do the president’s tweets. Until one of these tweets runs over and kills eight lives on the streets of Manhattan, I humbly suggest, Congress has another job to do.

The Rushmore Report: Why This Isn’t the Time to Talk Gun Control

In the aftermath of last week’s massacre outside the Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas, the political actors didn’t waste a second before launching into fresh calls for gun control. “If we don’t talk about it now, then when?” asked House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Of course, the immediate days following such an event are the days when public opinion sways toward more gun control laws. But this is actually not a good time to talk gun control. I offer five reasons why this is true.

1. Legislation should be proactive, not reactive.

Congress is good at chasing shiny objects. But with healthcare, tax reform, Iran, North Korea, immigration, and border security still unresolved – and with over 200 laws still waiting on the Senate to wake up to their Constitutional duties – this is not the time for a whole new debate that will have no end. Gun control legislation should result from regular order, not disorder. To let a madman dictate when Congress acts makes no sense.

2. The shooter’s motives remain unknown.

Any response to the recent shooting must therefore be rooted in what we know from said shooting. And so far, we don’t know much. Why did he do it? What were his motives? With whom – if anybody – was he working? Was this an act of terror? As Ben Shapiro writes, “The jump to making policy based off such lack of information is stunning.”

3. How the shooter acquired his weapons is still unknown.

We know some things, but not much. Before we run off down the pathway of gun restrictions – in response to this event – we must ask ourselves, “Would this new legislation even have mattered in this case?” If new laws are not being put in place in response to this shooting, what is the rush? And before we go crazy over the man’s guns, keep in mind, he passed all FBI background checks. As Charles Cooke of National Review points out, legal automatic weapons have been used in a grand total of three crimes since 1934.

4. Making policy in response to horror is not well considered.

Good policy is good policy regardless of timing and bad policy is bad policy regardless of timing. It’s human nature – when something tragic occurs, we want to do something – anything. We heard from gun control advocates after Sandy Hook, Pulse, Virginia Tech, and Columbine. But passion does not make for good policy. We must lead with “How will this legislation actually change anything?” rather than “We just need to do something – anything!”

5. New gun control laws will have limited success – at best.

I’m still waiting to hear about the guy who says, “You know what, I was going to kill somebody and go away to prison for the rest of my life, but then I realized it was illegal to use the gun I was going to use.” Madmen don’t obey laws. That’s why they’re called “madmen.” As the NRA is quick to point out, the number of guns in America has doubled since 1993, while in that same period gun deaths have been cut in half. And where we have the most gun control – Chicago – we have the most deaths. It is interesting that the same celebrities and left-wing political leaders who scream for more gun control and less walls are the same people who have armed guards and huge walls surrounding their own mansions.

The Rushmore Report: What the Las Vegas Shooting Will Mean for Gun Laws

The deadliest mass shooting in modern American history has thrust the bitter debate about gun rights back to the center of Washington politics. Predictably, everyone is reaching for familiar scripts. With at least 59 dead and over 500 injured, Democrats are already demanding more gun control, while Republicans, who oppose new firearms laws, have offered condolences and prayers. But the big question is what this will mean to the gun rights debate in the coming days.

Liberals voiced disbelief that such bloodletting, this time at a country music festival, had happened yet again. Sen. Elizabeth Warren warned on Twitter: “Thoughts and prayers are NOT enough.”

For their part, Republicans accused Democrats of politicizing a tragedy. Sen. John Cornyn said, “I just think this is disgusting,” referring to the politicization by the Democrats.

Much is still to be learned about the shooter, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock. We know he fired down on 22,000 revelers from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel late Sunday night. We will learn more about him in the months to come.

But what about new gun laws? The irony is that when President Obama and Democrats controlled policy, in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, they did nothing to pass new gun restrictions. But now that Republicans are in control, they would have us think such inaction is cruel and unpatriotic.

Trump’s Response

To his credit, President Trump’s immediate reaction has been measured and sympathetic. He has struck the right notes of grief and shock while calling for national unity. Trump has offered solace while avoiding the temptation to leverage tragedy for political gain. He said, “We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace. And we pray for the day when evil is banished, and the innocent are safe from hatred and fear.”

Democrats’ Reaction

Democrats have not missed a second in their attempt to take political advantage of the mass shooting. Sen. Chris Murphy told Congress to “get off its ______.” Democratic Rep. Seth Moulton refused to join Trump’s call for silence, saying on Twitter: “It’s time for action.” And Hillary Clinton has called the massacre “terrible and sickening,” while demanding further gun control laws.

What Will Happen

The middle of the nation is shrinking. While polls show most Americans favor greater background checks on gun purchases, it probably wouldn’t have mattered in this case, anyway. Conservatives will continue to point out that most mass shootings would not have been affected by the new laws that are often bantered about. Further, they will suggest that anyone evil enough to pick up a gun and kill dozens of innocent lives is unlikely to be deterred by new gun laws. And on that point, they would be right.

The Rushmore Report: If Gun Control Is the Solution, Answer These Six Questions

The Orlando shooting and the predictable response of President Obama have brought the gun control issue to the front pages – again. And Congress failed to pass any of five proposed bills – again. And the President and most of the media have missed the point – again. If gun control is the solution to avoid future massacres like Orlando, ask yourself six questions.

1. Why is Chicago a killing field? There is not a major city in America that has stricter gun control laws than Chicago. And there is not a major city in America that comes close to the nearly 300 shooting deaths recorded in Chicago so far in 2016. Chicago is mostly a gun-free city (on paper). And their prosecution rate is low, as they don’t want to overcrowd jails. The result is predictable.

2. Why did the Orlando shooter pick that particular club? He had been there several times. He knew the place was gun-free. And we know that the first gun didn’t stop shooting until the second gun showed up. If banning guns, as they did in the Orlando club, worked, why did the shooter successfully and mercilessly execute more people that night than have ever been shot on any occasion in the history of the United States? Or asked another way, if you wanted to shoot innocent people, would you pick a place where other guns were present?

3. Why does the Secret Service carry guns? Some of the very leaders and candidates who slam the NRA and demand a gun-free environment are protected by guns. Everywhere President Obama and Secretary Clinton go, they are accompanied by armed agents. I don’t remember hearing either of them asking the Secret Service to disarm.

4. Which proposed new gun law would have mattered? Even those recommending the new gun restrictions admit that not one of the recent mass killings – Sandy Hook, Boston, San Bernardino, Orlando – would have been addressed by these new laws. Not one.

5. Why would terrorists and other killers obey new laws? The idea that passing new gun laws will deter would-be murderers from carrying a gun into a newly designated gun-free area is laughable. Yet we are basically told, “These radical terrorists are willing to die for their cause, and willing to shoot 100 innocent people, but what they will never do is use a gun that is not legally registered, because that may carry a five-year prison sentence.”

6. Why don’t you put a “Gun Free” sign in front of your house? If guns aren’t a deterrent to criminals, tell the world you are unarmed. The fact is that only three homes in ten have guns. But the bad guys don’t know which three those are. Imagine that every home was required to put up a sign out front that either said “We Have Guns” or “No Guns Here.” If you were the bad guy, which home would you choose to vandalize?

I am not a gun owner. I have never owned or shot a gun. I’m not a member of the NRA. I don’t see a reason for assault weapons to be available to common citizens. But I do know this. If someone breaks into my home, I’m probably not going to say, “Just so you know, I don’t have a gun.” None of the proposed new laws would have saved a single life in Orlando. In Boston they didn’t use guns at all. But that won’t stop the tirades. The anti-gun lobbyists will continue to rant and half of Congress will fall in step. They will continue to propose bills that have nothing to do with the actual killings. And half of America will agree with them because it makes them feel better about themselves.

And the terror will continue, because those guided and inspired by ISIS really don’t care about our gun laws anyway.

Liberty Student Responds to Falwell’s Call for Guns

It was the cheers that shook me. They echoed around in the dome of the stadium, the outpouring of more than 10,000 Liberty University students during our weekly convocation.

The school’s president, Jerry Falwell Jr., boomed from the speakers, spurring them on. He reached for his back pocket and referenced the pistol he had there. Then, he encouraged the rest of us to arm ourselves as well, in case “those Muslims” ever showed up at our Christian college.

Some of us just stared in disbelief. As for the rest, perhaps they were excited to have someone speaking up about gun rights, a topic many conservatives feel passionate about. Perhaps they’d been waiting for an opportunity to release the pain and powerlessness over yet another attack on American soil. Perhaps they didn’t realize the exact implications of what Falwell was saying. Regardless, it turned out that their enthusiasm wasn’t limited to our Lynchburg, Virginia campus. As Falwell’s call to arms spread in the news, I saw fellow “gun-clinging, Bible-toting American patriots” from across the country offering their support.

There are people at Liberty who believe carrying guns to protect ourselves against attack makes a statement about what our school stands for. As a Christian who values life in all circumstances, I simply cannot agree. The cheers in the stadium that morning contradict our claims to valuing every life on this earth. Applauding while someone speaks about killing anyone – even Islamic terrorists – is unacceptable when we believe that every life is valuable from the point of conception into eternity.

Even when we agree that the world is a safer place without terrorist masterminds and jihadist attackers, we can still grieve rather celebrate their killing. A Leadership Journal article addressed the mixed responses to Osama bin Laden’s death, saying: “How evil are designs of Satan, how corrupting the nature of sin to take humans created in God’s image and twist them so far from his purposes – to the point that creation is better off without them? The snuffing out of God’s image, no matter how twisted it has become, is a solemn event.”

Many Christians side with Falwell – son of the late Liberty founder and Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell – regarding gun ownership and concealed carry on campus. And I appreciate his desire as president to protect and care for the students and staff at Liberty. Guns are not the biggest problem here, though; it’s the tone of our conversation over guns – and killing.

In front of the student body, and in a video now made public to the watching world, Falwell riled up the crowd, saying, “Let’s teach ’em a lesson if they eveer show up here,” after a few laughing asides and a sort of confident swagger, including asking whether he should pull out his gun on stage. He incited a reaction in the student body, booming in response to each mention of gun rights and the failure of gun control to protect us. While he has clarified that it was not his intent to overgeneralize and speak so harshly of the Muslim faith overall, that was the rhetoric he chose at the time (“those Muslims”).

As Tyler Huckabee wrote for Relevant: “Falwell speaks for the largest Christian university in the United States, and publicly calls for death to thunderous applause. Even if we allow for the distinctly unlikely possibility that Falwell or one of his students would ever have the opportunity to shoot and kill radicalized Islamic terrorists, ought the response really be one of – there’s really no other way to put it – celebration? Shouldn’t our reaction to violence elicit a slightly different response than a Monday night touchdown?”

And yet, Falwell’s remarks and the crowd’s response are not entirely surprising. What he said last week fits in with some of the recent political rhetoric about Muslims and terrorism. Most recently, Donald Trump suggested a ban on Muslims entering this country, following the attacks in San Bernardino and Paris. People continue to admire his fast and bold talk (“He actually says what the rest of us are thinking!”), but inflammatory speech – no matter how big the platform – often does more harm than good.

When Falwell grouped all Muslims together and used it as a label to refer to terrorists in particular, that kind of dangerous generalization misrepresented and demeaned their faith. Such attention to language doesn’t come out of a desire to be “politically correct,” but to speak the truth.

Moreover, any leader’s discriminatory or bigoted comments should be shut down with a lack of applause and support, not greeted with cheers and a flurry of Facebook likes and retweets on Twitter. In huge crowds where people can easily get wound up into a hive mind (or even in the echo chamber of social madia), we need to use extra caution about when and how we demonstrate our support.

As Christians, it is our calling to take the side of the weak, the one who faces injustice. And in today’s political climate some of those are people of Muslim faith who have unjustly suffered suspicion, discrimination, and even hate crimes in the aftermath of attacks by extremists. We don’t have to agree with them on religious grounds to support their rights as citizens of this country.

Proverbs 12:18 says, “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Our nation needs healing. It is up to us to use our minds, words, and bodies to think, speak, and act critically in our surroundings. In God’s name, we can work to counter our cultural celebration of violence and division and replace it with the hope of the gospel.

About the Author

Moriah Wierschem is a sophomore at Liberty University and competes on Liberty’s debate team.

California Shooters Left Note Behind

Last week, Syed Farook and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, were killed by police in a shootout after their deadly attack, which they planned in great detail. In addition to the 14 killed and numerous injuries, they had accumulated enough ammunition for a far greater terrorist attack. And as evidence of their plan, they destroyed computer data and cell phones. Clearly, it was not their intent to die the day of the initial attack.

But late last night, investigators discovered a note left behind by Syed Farook, to be read in the event of his death. He wrote, in part, “We were going to wait and conduct the operation sometime next year, but we were afraid Congress would pass new gun laws restricting the ability for others to buy guns, who don’t already have guns like we do, so we decided the only way we could shoot up the place was to do it now.”

Of course, I made that up. But that reflects the reality of the propaganda being trumpeted in the media. The “reasoning” goes like this. If we made it illegal for a segment of the population to buy guns, the terrorists and deranged killers who already have guns will suddenly turn them in and the terrorists and deranged would-be killers who don’t yet have guns will not ever own guns because, though they are perfectly fine with murdering dozens of innocent people and getting killed themselves in the process, they are too law-abiding to acquire a gun illegally.

The fact is, there is not a single new proposed law that would have made one iota of difference in any of the senseless shootings in recent years. A good place to start would actually be to enforce all the laws already on the books, quit supporting sanctuary cities that harbor and protect known criminals, and slow down the process of bringing in tens of thousand of refugees that the FBI and Homeland Security say we cannot properly screen.

Of course, it’s easier to rant about gun laws. Ninety years ago, Congress banned alcohol, yet millions still found a way to drink. Over the past 40 years, dozens of laws have been passed to ban illegal drugs, yet drug use is still rampant. Does anyone honestly think the passing of new gun laws will cause terrorists and mass murderers to turn in their already purchased arsenals or not find a way to acquire new guns?

More gun laws will serve one purpose – to make us feel better about ourselves when we turn on the Nightly News to hear about the latest mass shootings.

The Rushmore Report: NRA – Safest Place To Be During a Mass Shooting

I’m not a hunter, gun owner, or member of the National Rifle Association. But I have come to one clear, undeniable conclusion. If I am intent on avoiding a mass shooting, the kind that has taken hundreds of innocent lives in recent years, the safest place to go is an NRA meeting. These shootings take place in churches, restaurants, schools, and movie theaters. The one place you never read about a mass shooting is at an NRA meeting.

Founded in 1871, the National Rifle Association boasts a membership of five million. It is considered one of the three most influential lobbying groups in America. Originally founded to advance rifle marksmanship, the modern NRA teaches firearm competency and safety. The group is loved by many, loathed by others. The point of controversy surrounds the NRA’s stance on gun background checks and the sale of guns at gun shows. We’ll leave that debate for another day.

But one thing is beyond debate. You never hear about crazed gunmen walking into an NRA meeting and opening fire on the thousands in attendance. I wonder why this is? Could it be that the gunmen know that they would be walking into a room with hundreds of armed citizens? Maybe this is the same reason they don’t generally shoot up police stations. Maybe it’s the same reason gun control advocates such as presidential contender Hillary Clinton are perfectly happy to have their own family protected by armed security.

It’s interesting that the same political advocates for gun restrictions want their own Capitol Building guarded by armed security. None of this is lost on the dozens of criminals that have made the news the past several years. Nearly all of them bought their guns legally; none of the current proposals by gun restriction advocates would make a dime’s difference in any of these shootings. But more notably, I am struck by where these shootings do not take place. When a 26-year-old man decided he wanted to kill a bunch of innocent bystanders on October 1 in Roseburg, Oregon, he didn’t walk into the local NRA headquarters, where there would be dozens of guns. Nope, he walked into the Umpqua Community College, where he knew guns were banned from the classrooms.

The argument goes like this. Remove guns from the places where, by their very presence they are serving as a deterrent to crime. If many of our politicians have there way, fewer and fewer public places will allow for the presence of guns. I’m guessing the thugs and murderers might not take these laws seriously. If we hear a mass shooter is on the loose, you can take refuge in a gun-free zone if you want. But as for me and my house, we will head to the nearest NRA meeting.

The Answer to Oregon Shooting – Two Options

The mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon that resulted in nine deaths has once again brought the gun control issue to the front pages. President Obama commented, “It’s time to politicize this issue,” as he called for more gun control and background checks. What is the answer to these senseless shootings? There are two ways to fix the problem. But first, let’s get some facts on the table.

Fact #1 – No new gun restriction laws or background check laws would have had any bearing on the Oregon shooting. The shooter got he guns legally and passed background checks.

Fact #2 – The large city with the strictest gun laws has the most shootings. Last weekend saw 111 shootings in Chicago, where no gun sales are allowed.

This is not to say there is no solution to these mindless killings. There is a legal solution and a spiritual solution. Unfortunately, only one of them will work.

The legal solution: The solution offered by Mr. Obama and supported by millions of Americans is simple. Ban more guns and require more stringent background checks. This is a brilliant solution, predicated on one thesis – that crooks obey laws. This reasoning goes like this. We know criminals are willing to shoot innocent people, knowing they will die for their crimes. But if we tell them guns are not allowed on campus, they will surely be courteous enough and law-abiding enough to honor the “don’t bring guns on campus” law. So as long as insane mass murderers respect our laws, this will work.

Passing laws telling the bad guys to leave their guns at home will be as effective as Prohibition. Call me cynical, but I’m not sure mass murderers can be counted on to obey new gun laws. In Oregon, it is legal to carry guns on college campuses, but not in the classroom. Guess where the nine people were killed? In the classroom – the one place on campus where guns are restricted, where no one was able to defend themselves. Even the security guard on campus was not allowed to carry a gun. But the facts don’t get in the way of gun control radicals. Their position is simple. On the Umpqua Community College campus, put the same restrictions in place, all over campus, that existed in the one place where the shootings took place. Then cross your fingers and hope the bad guys are more worried about committing a misdemeanor than they are of capital punishment.

The spiritual solution: Confront evil everywhere we can. Mankind is inherently evil, but God is inherently holy. The Greek word for evil in the New Testament is “kakos,” meaning “of a bad nature.” The Hebrew word used in the Old Testament is “ra,” which means “disagreeable.” As long as we have disagreeable people with a bad nature, we will have problems that gun control laws can’t touch. Prohibition did not curtail drunkenness. More gun restrictions will not keep law-breakers from breaking laws. Jesus came to fulfill the law, not create new ones. He understood it is what is in a man’s heart that is the problem (Mark 7). When drinking was illegal, people still drank. When abortion was illegal, women still got abortions. When guns are harder to get, the bad guys will still get them. I’m not suggesting no limits on guns (or alcohol or abortion), but we need to understand the limited power that laws have on the hearts of man.

If more gun control was the answer, Chicago was would utopia. What if you were bent on shooting a room full of innocent children? Would you pick a classroom where you knew no one else in the room had guns or would you pick a classroom where you knew several others had concealed guns, and will fire on you immediately?

Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun. The problem is not gun control, but heart control. The answer to world peace is heart peace. Providing a safe haven for more shooters to fire on unarmed victims will only give us a reason to feel like we are doing something. In Chicago, they are doing something. Mayor Rahm Emmanuel proudly declared Chicago a gun-free city. Apparently, the 111 bad guys who shot innocent victims at a rate of one every 20 minutes last weekend did not get that memo.

Bad guys will stop shooting people when they become good guys. No law can make that happen. A change in a man’s actions does not come about because of a change in man’s laws. A man changes his action only after he has a change of mind. And he only has a change of mind after he has had a change of heart. And he only has a change of heart when he has a spiritual conversion. I believe in gun control. But it will never happen until we have heart control.