And [Jesus] said, “No prophet is accepted in
the prophet’s home town.”
….When they heard this, all in the synagogue
were filled with rage. They got up, drove him
out of the town, and led him to the brow
of the hill on which their town was built,
so that they might throw him off the cliff.
But he passed through the midst of them
and went on his way.
Luke 4:24, 28-30
Prophets of love often speak the jarring truth to those closest to them. Why? Because love jars the status quo. Love plows new rows, opens unexpected paths, and surprises us with the unexpected.
So it is with gun violence prevention. We hear of prophetic actions which can water the flowers of peace. But those same actions may cause discomfort, a reorientation of thinking, risk unpopularity, affect profits, and advance disfavored laws that will equate love with safety.
What are these prophetic actions? In my opinion, there are 15 ways to make a difference in gun violence prevention
1. Insist on universal background checks for licensed dealers and private sellers, including sellers who are passing guns to family members.
2. Require all gun sellers to be licensed.
3. Register all guns, keeping serial numbers, make and model, and buyers’ names on file. This would allow for tracing of weapons used in crimes.
4. Require all gun purchasers to enroll and pass a gun safety course.
5. Prohibit sales of assault rifles. Make them available at gun clubs.
6. Develop and market smart gun technology.
7. Prohibit straw purchasing of weapons. A person who passes a background check cannot then pass the gun on to someone who has not passed a background check.
8. Prohibit inter-state trafficking.
9. Hold gun dealers accountable for the illegal sale of guns. Fine them, shut them down, or send them to prison.
10. Prevent those on the Terrorist Watch List from purchasing guns.
11. Hold gun manufacturers accountable for failure to develop safe guns and for illegal marketing.
12. Require that guns in home be locked up and bullets kept in a separate locked site.
13. Prohibit the significantly mentally ill from purchasing and owning guns.
14. Allow for temporary restraining orders to be filled by family or professional counselors to prevent a stressed person from purchasing a weapon until the time of crisis has passed.
15. Disallow open-carry in public places including schools, courthouses, and commercial businesses.
For many, passage of the above laws will be a jarring awakening. Some may insist their Constitutional rights would be violated. But, in my opinion, regulations like these would have the potential to create a safer gun environment. Furthermore, hunters, sport shooters, and those who want to protect home and family can still own guns. The only people affected will be the criminal, the terrorist, and the significantly mentally ill.
Who will speak the prophetic word and move to pass these safety laws? Who will insist on greater safety from guns? Who will provide gun owners with a greater level of acceptance by demanding safety laws?
Who are the prophets? Who will risk being thrown off the cliff? Who will speak a jarring truth? Is it I?