My friend Kevin Jesmer serves as a gospel worker with UBF in DeKalb, Illinois. A few years ago DeKalb was rocked by gun violence on campus at Northern Illinois University, where Kevin has spent time with students in Bible teaching for many years. Kevin sent me these points about such violent tragedies last evening. I share them with the hope that they will ministry to more people.
1. Never loose hope… in humanity, in our society, in finding a solution…but especially in Jesus.
2. Continue to preach the Gospel as a matter of life or death.
3. Pray. Pray. Pray. Stop thinking that we have all the answers without Jesus. These shootings are happening in middle class, well equipped with well funded police forces. Our best efforts are not enough to stem the tide of this violence. I want to try my best, humanly, but I also want to trust in God and seek his help.
4. Be a better parent to my kids so they can find the love, support and affirmation that they need.
5. Support my local church and especially the youth out reach.
6. Support mental health programs in the community
7. Reach out and befriend the disenfranchised and those who have fallen through the cracks in society. Don’t hide. Make myself vulnerable. My friendship can protect the hearts of many who are on the edge of a crisis. It also puts me in a place where I can see problems and help people.
8. Keep my eyes open for problems and be ready to act at the right time.
9. Teach my kids how to be safe and also teach them to befriend the disenfranchised.
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10. Support a federal ban on all privately-owned firearms.
Even if I agree, and I do not, you will never gain a national consensus in the USA on this idea. All serious political and social responses must gain such consensus here or they cannot work in such a free society. The last Western society to take away all firearms ended up submitting to the Fuhrer Adolf Hitler in Germany. The very remembrance of this historical fact will never convince enough people in the United States to accept it thus most will not surrender their weapons under any federal mandate. While I would love it if this solution worked it will not work in the real world in which we now live in 2012 America. Non-Americans can verbally assault our history but it is unique on this point. We have what is called The First Amendment.
Then someone needs to start challenging the status quo immediately.
Today’s “normal” was yesterday’s “extreme” and “impossible”.
The “new” normal is much more complicated than gun laws. This is a part of it but only one part. The issue is rooted in a complete breakdown of community and rising anger in young frustrated males that can only be addressed by a number of different means, including the work of faith communities.
I agree that removing privatelyowned firearms is not the whole story. Just a necessary component, in my opinion.
Thanks for your patient interaction and response Al. We agree more than you may think but the means toward such an end will differ in the U.S. because of uniquely historical and personal realities.