After the banning of guns narrative was again pushed in the media after the tragic loss of lives in Texas recently, I wondered if Jesus walked among us today as he did over 2000 years ago, what would be his stance on the issue.
The loss of any life is difficult to analyse while removing emotion from the situation. This can be even harder when children are involved. Here are just some of the facts I saw highlighted by those able to address what has happened constructively.
Guns in America
I’m old enough, and knew enough about history before recent events that if you were able to time travel back a few decades you’d be able to visit multiple high schools in America with guns in their school lockers, and in their cars in the school car park, yet without the gun violence we see today.
I’ve seen many Americans posting online who either went to school in this time or had parents who did. Depending on where in the country they were, depended on whether lots of guns on school property ended in the 70’s, 80’s or 90’s.
So what has changed in those decades?
In 1980 in America more families owned guns than families in 2016. If guns where more restricted how would that solve the problem?
In America the cities and states that have the most restrictive gun laws actually have the highest gun crimes. The cities and states that are less restrictive in their guns laws statistically have less gun crimes.
So looking at this issue rationally is banning guns the solution?
Christianity in America
What else has changed in recent decades that could account for the change we have seen as a society? Biden used the word God a lot in his speech after the shooting. Using his name and living for him rather than oneself are two very different things.
The original sin in the garden of Eden was one of selfishness. Our world has progressively become more and more about living for oneself rather than for others.
In previous generations more families regularly prayed, read the bible, and went to church. Interactions with our creator have been on a continual decline over the past few generations. Could this be why we now see an increase in violence in our society?
Robberies in the New York transit system are up more than 70% this year. Felony assaults are up 28%, Grand larceny is up 100%. Violent crimes in LA involving homeless people is on the rise from 11% in 2018 to 15% in 2020 yet they make up only 1% of the population.
With the majority of death by guns in America every year being suicide, how can we best help those most in need?
Media in America
The days of a family sitting around the radio listening together are long gone. The days of a family sitting together for anything are almost non existent. The hours an individual spends in front of a screen are still on the increase.
The tech companies spent over $70 million in 2021 lobbying congress. The NRA only spent $2.2 million during 2020 lobbying congress in an election year. In 2020 adults in America spent on average 8 hours every day being consumed by digital media.
How much time does that leave each day for real time interactions with other humans?
Drugs in America
Big Pharma spent over $92 million lobbying congress in the first quarter of 2021!
Between 1991 and 2018 the increase in use of antidepressants in America was up over 3000%
In Canada state funded antidepressants for young people doubled over the last decade. During the past 2 years prescriptions went up a further 20%
Suicide attempts in America are up 51 % with adolescents, with girls aged 12-17 some of the worst affected.
More than 107,000 died from drug over doses in America in 2021 a 15% increase from 2020. Should we ban drugs?
What is causing the disconnect in our society?
What would Jesus do?
If you are old enough to remember a time when the world was less violent you may also remember a time when wearing a W.W.J.D.? wrist band was popular. I can only imagine the grief our creator must feel seeing how we treat each other in 2022.
When stealing from someone is more common than giving them a hug. When injuring or killing someone else or yourself is more common than inviting someone over for dinner.
As an Australian looking at America a country I’ve had the privilege to visit it breaks my heart to see what is happening there. I’ve met wonderful people in multiple states. All with different shades of melanin, different family structures, and different bank balances. The one thing they all had in common was they were all created by a loving creator. And maybe, just maybe, if we stop focusing on ourselves so much and start focusing on him more our society just might become a little less fractured.
3 of Neville’s previous encouraging articles:The Power of Community Hugs save lives Have you ever known a love like this?
Neville Hiatt was the 2020 Press Services International Tronson Senior Writers Award Winner for Australia. His previous posts for can be read here.
He spent a decade working for Radio Stations before his career was intermissioned by someone in a hurry to get home from work. For more of his award winning creativity visit http://nevillehiatt.com.
He also blogs for http://altcoincollege.com/covering the way cryptocurrencies and blockchain are changing our world.