Monday, March 7, 2011


Malcus's ear--Peter's sword
In my last posting, if read carefully, one could find from the Doonesbury cartoon that 270,000 Americans have been killed here on our soil, by our own guns, since 9-11-2001. That’s an average of about 80 per day, and we possess in our home-based arsenals almost one gun per U.S. citizen. Lethal gun violence by Americans against Americans has certainly outflanked Al Qaeda in this decade of the War on Terror.

I must here state that my bias, as a Christian who believes that Jesus teaches firmly against justified violence, and as a vegetarian, is to have decided long ago I would never own a gun. Yet I do respect hunter friends who hunt for food, see what they kill {as humanely as possible}, and dress it out themselves. 1

uns are not inherently bad. As Fr. E.C. McCarthy likes to point out, it is the mind that tells the hand to pull the trigger--killing friend or foe, or deer in the woods. But it becomes a grave problem when a whole society comes to rely on them as personal savior and protector, as the ultimate authority in resolving problems of evil, or threat to personal well-being. Belief that having enough firepower, in our house or in an enemy’s country, can ward off the specter of death itself. Guns are then promoted as an idol, assuming a power over life & death they truly do not have. Only God is author of our time on this earth.

n a 1-12-2011 NYT article [2] the author offers a practical analysis of the gun violence in our country, and lists some solutions. Faced with home invasion, dialing 911 is more effective reducing injury than brandishing a weapon. Children are 11 times more likely to die from a gun accident in the U.S. than in other developed countries. He balances this with the fact that a home swimming pool can be more dangerous to a child, than a gun. Please read for yourself online.

His argument opens this way.
“Jared Loughner [arrested for shooting Congresswoman Gifford and others in Arizona] was considered too mentally unstable to attend community college. He was rejected by the Army. Yet buy a Glock handgun and a 33-round magazine? No problem. To protect the public, we regulate cars and toys, medicines [I’ll add cigarettes] and mutual funds. So, simply as a public health matter, shouldn’t we take steps to reduce the toll from our domestic arms industry?”

y conclusion from this article, and 33 years work as a Physician Assistant, very attentive to preventative medicine, is that we must expand our concern even beyond the proliferation of the guns themselves. The culture of violence, and hateful assault language, epidemic in our mass media, cries out for a mega-dose of public health healing—and spiritual conversion. “Put back your sword [gun, A-bomb, tongue] where it belongs. Those who use the sword are sooner or later destroyed by it.” Mt 26:52

2 “Why Not Regulate Guns as Seriously as Toys?” By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF
Review of good book on the subject:

1 My gun owner friend Jim sent me a video link on the history of a classic air rifle which helped facilitate the Lewis and Clark expedition, just by a demonstration of its powers to the Indian tribes encountered.
It’s an argument for the benefits of deterrence—the expedition made it thousands of miles apparently with no loss of life in warfare. I’ll look into it more [e.g. what or whom was shot at in the demonstrations?]
My emphasis would be on the value of Sakagawea, an excellent translator of the Indian languages and cultures.


Remember that thou art dust, and to dust you shall return.

Illuminations and Botanicals by Kathy Brahney

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