I would argue NO! The United States has nearly 400 million guns in the hands and homes of our people. The consequence of this avalanche of weapons is a hemorrhage of gun violence.

DATA: (From various sources: Protect Minnesota, Brady, Giffords, The Trace, Mom’s Demand Action, Everytown, CDC and others)
1. The USA has more homicides by gun than all of the other high income countries (HIC).
2. Americans murder each other with guns at a rate 20x higher than people in other HIC.
3. American suicide rate is 8x that of other HIC.
4. USA rate of firearm homicide for children ages 5-14 is 13x higher than other HIC.
5. A woman in the USA is 16x more likely to be killed by a gun than in other HIC.
6. The USA has the highest homicide rate, the highest number of guns per capita, and the highest rate of deaths due to assault than other HIC.
7. Almost 50% of the world’s civilian-owned guns are in the hands of Americans. (Jill Filipovic-TIME). The USA is #1 in gun ownership in the world at 120.5 guns per 100 people (World Population Review). Similarly, the USA is #10 in the world for gun death rate.
8. Japan, with a population of 127 million, is not in the top 50 nations with gun related deaths, nor in the top 10 in gun death rate, nor in the top 10 of gun ownership. To own a gun: 1) Attend an all-day class; 2) Pass written exam; 3) Complete shooting range test with 95% accuracy; 4) Mental health exam; 5) Comprehensive background check; 6) Only shotguns and rifles can be purchased; 7) Class and exam must be taken every three years.
9. “What we know for sure is that having a gun in the home increases suicides, homicides, gun accidents, at least of women. And we can’t find any benefit from it.” (David Hemenway-Harvard)

WHAT DOES IT MEAN THAT: 90% of Americans want background checks on all gun sales, 84% want gun safety education before gun purchases, 75% want 30 day waiting periods for gun purchases, 70% of Americans choose not to own a gun, and majorities want guns registered and licensed and assault weapons and high capacity magazines banned?

WHAT DOES IT MEAN that the foundational ethic of Jesus Christ is nonviolence? That the fruits of the Spirit are nonviolent? That Jesus calls us to love?

Blessings and Peace!

Ron Letnes (Rev. Dr.)