Monday, December 7, 2015

RIDICULOUS RHETORIC

Allan R. Bevere


Mass shootings. Drive-by shootings. Random murders. Terrorist threat. Gun control. Gun lobby. Second Amendment. ISIS. Jihad. Concealed carry. Open carry. Background checks. Assault rifles. Cops killing. Killing cops. Riots. Peace vigils.


According to the Washington Post, mass shootings in this country (USA) have occurred at the rate of slightly more than one per day this past year. As of December 2, there had been 355 mass shootings through the 336th day of the year, for a rate of 1.05 per day.

This particular statistic was picked up by two local opinion writers, and made a part of the front page of the Editorial section in Sunday's edition (12/6/15) of the Mobile Press Register.

This is an example of rhetoric gone wrong.

I say 'gone wrong', because the numbers are more than misleading, and they are used to bolster an argument—in this particular case, an argument for gun control. (I admit to not being a thorough researcher, and that the same is probably true for the gun-owner advocates.)

For those who would like to follow through to see why I say 'gone wrong', click here.

Every time there is an incident of a mass murder, or a cop shooting a suspect, the shouting match begins. Gun-control advocates grab some misleading statistics such as the one above, and shout the need for getting rid of guns.

Gun-owners and advocates shout back, "Over my dead body!"

And the vapid venting of inflammatory invective begins bouncing from side to side on social media. All to no avail.

No one's mind seems to be changed on the issue.

Why?

Because the issue is not being dealt with—only possible solutions.

We are being offered possible solutions for the "proliferation of guns," or for the "terrorist threat," or for the "bad cops"—none of which are viable except to the believer shouting "hooray for our side."

Guns or the access to guns are not the issue.
Strengthening or repealing the Second Amendment is not a solution.

Cops killing unarmed citizens is not the issue.
Putting video cameras in every patrol car is not a solution.

Syrian refugees is not the issue.
Closing our borders is not a solution.

Islamic jihadists are not the issue.
Declaring war is not a solution.

As long as we continue to involve ourselves in this debate with only temporary solutions to minor problems, we will forever be as the dog chasing its tail.

Each side will be able to accuse the other of trying to apply a band-aid to a cancerous tumor and declaring it healed.

As an example, look at the two illustrations below:


These sorts of memes are spread all over social media by one side and then the other, with those "in the choir" shouting agreement, and the opposers posting a different meme.

The apparent logic of both memes gets anyone on that particular "side" nodding their head and wondering "why can't they see the logic in this?"

Again. All to no avail.

The western mind seems to be hardwired to an "either/or", "black or white", "this or that" mindset. The inability to admit a "both/and" possibility has us bound into continually searching for the right answer to the wrong question.

Certainly an exercise in futility.
Probably a good definition of insanity.



If we could see the two sides illustrated above as a "both/and" possibility, then we would be able to admit without any sense of shame for "betraying" our side, that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

People with guns kill people.

Before you go rushing to prove that this statement shows the "need" to ban guns, remember also that rocks kill people. (1 Sam. 17)

Let's also not forget that cars kill people.
And snakes kill people.
Cows kill people.
Drugs kill people.
Dogs.
Electricity.
Lightning.
Stupidity gets people killed.

Banning any of these, or the myriad other things that kill people, will not change the status quo one iota.

The issue is not the tool that someone may use to intentionally kill someone.

The issue—the problem that needs to be addressed—is "WHY?"
Why would someone intentionally take another's life?

Again, there are a multitude of so-called reasons for such:
  • insanity
  • stupidity
  • meanness
  • revenge
  • anger
  • jealousy, etc.
Addressing any or all of these is once again ignoring the problem, and not going for the heart of the problem.

The heart of the issue is an issue of the heart.

As a society, the global community has rejected a sense of value for human life.

The blame can be laid at the feet of any number of reasons, but as in the illustrations above, none of these 'reasons' are at the root.
  • break up of the nuclear family
  • legalizing abortion
  • permissive parenting
  • latchkey children
  • Islamic jihadism
  • poverty
  • oppression, etc.
The root cause is the heart of man.
  • The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer 17:9)
  • And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. (Gen 6:5)
  • For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (Rom 3:23)
  • They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one. (Psa 14:3)
  • For there is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. (Ecc 7:20)
All of our so-called solutions will have no effect on this aspect of our humanity.

Until the heart of mankind is changed, the situation will not change.

The rhetoric will continue.
The scoffers will scoff.
The haters will hate.

But, those who do know their God can and should be a stabilizing and sanitizing force upon the earth.

It is ONLY those who know God that have had the radical surgery necessary for a changed heart.

Do YOU know Him?

1 comment:

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