Gun Violence in America and the World

America is divided again over guns and gun control.  30,000 people die each year from guns.  That means over 1,000,000 Americans have died from guns since President Kennedy was assassinated.  Yet some of us say that nothing is wrong with guns.

There seems to be two reasons why this is happening and no one is talking about them except Pope Francis.

The first is that people are making lots of money on the sale of guns, particularly automatic and assault weapons.  Francis said it well in his address to congress.  The conflicts around the world are being fueled by money, “Blood Money.”  This is also true inside America.

I heard it said that the inventor of Uzi, on his death bed, wrote a bishop in Austria, worried that his invention, while making him wealthy may have cost him his soul.  I hope the bishop did not say, “Pray three Hail Marys and send a check to the Vatican Bank.”

Let’s face it: There is not enough money to be made selling rifles for the hunting of deer, wolves, and birds.

The second reason is hardness of heart.  After every mass killing, gun advocates vehemently refuse to discuss any solution except arming ourselves against bad people.  Meaning every time we leave our homes we should be prepared to kill our neighbor.

The Bible often calls the Israelites a hard-hearted stiffed-necked people.  Hardheartedness is the great sin of the Old Testament.  Jesus often talked on hardness of heart, but seldom do Christians talk about it.

It is easy to see the hardness of heart of ISIS, the Taliban, or a suicide bomber, but seldom do we face our own hard-heartedness.  Hardness of heart causes a gang member shoot into a crowd of mostly innocent people.  Hardness of heart causes a man to kill his wife or girlfriend, witnesses, and even his own children. Hardness of heart causes us to invade a country without worrying about the consequences then continue justifying those actions when we are wrong.

Hardness of heart plus a gun, a drone, a missile, or a bomb (suicide, nuclear, homemade, or even a bomb in an airplane) are bad combinations.   Hardheartedness leads us to pretend looking for root causes, blaming mentally ill people, and denying that certain fire arms are designed for mass killing.

As a human being I know about hardness of heart.  Many things cause us to harden our hearts.  To grow as a follower of Jesus, we have to learn to consciously soften our hearts, so that we can find better solutions.  But when money is at stake, human life becomes secondary to economics.

–Brother Jim Fogarty, BSLgun violence

About Brothers and Sisters of Love

The Mission of Brothers and Sisters of Love is to be a visible sign of Jesus’ Love, Peace, and Presence to the poor in gang-infested neighborhoods in Chicago and to be a bridge between gangs & the poor with the Church. This is done by: 1. Loving everyone 2. Trusting in God 3. Forgiving everyone everything 4. Never being afraid.
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