Letters to the editor
Highlands TodaySinful world
Published: December 19, 2012
Published: December 19, 2012
Please permit a concerned pastor a few words regarding the Sandy Hook massacre. I don't know how many more words are needed or can even be digested. But there is a perspective absent in the national conversation that needs to be heard.
A Newtown minister verbalized the question on the minds of many when he said, "What has gone so wrong in our world? How can we believe in a good, loving God that allows such innocent suffering?"
What has gone so wrong in our world is sin. No one could or should minimize the enormity of Adam Lanza's atrocity. It boggles the mind. But we won't find the core reasons for his actions through after-the-fact psychoanalysis. Ultimately, we'll find that he did what he did because his sinful nature (the inclination we all have to choose wrong over right) was somehow unchanged and unchecked.
We're told in the news that all over this Connecticut community people are taking down their Christmas decorations. It's hard to celebrate in the midst of such horrendous human tragedy.
We gain perspective by focusing on a good God who, although sometimes stepping aside to let sin have its sway, loved us enough to deliver us from that sin through the sacrifice of his own son. The message of Christmas is the effective remedy for their grief and ours. The angel said to Joseph, "And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins." He died so that sinners like you and me might live.
Gerald K. Webber
Stricter gun laws
If all firearms could be removed from the planet I would be the happiest person alive. However, that is a fairy tale world not in any way realistic or attainable — guns are here to stay.
When nuts get guns in an unarmed population insane things happen. Had the Connecticut horror happened in Israel, well, it wouldn't have happened in Israel. The gunman would have been eliminated when he first showed a weapon in a school. They deal with the reality of a world with insane people in it; we don't.
We wring our hands, ask why this happens and, of course, where would we be without the sleazeball politicians immediately jumping on the bandwagon demanding tougher gun laws for the publicity value. The Israelis do it a bit differently.
The Israeli vetting of would-be gun owners is vastly different from the U.S. They require government, police and a doctor's certification, and after all that, a signature from a certified gun range operator that the applicant passed the class and has shown he or she can safely operate a firearm after a rigorous training course. Most requests are denied unless the applicant has military experience. Then, and only then, can the applicant purchase and own only one firearm with a limited amount of ammunition.
Many in that besieged country do just that and firearms are prominently displayed outside clothing, unlike the silly laws in the U.S. that conceal weapons instead of displaying them to dissuade the bad guys. Weapons are tracked by their serial number and there is no excuse for a legally obtained firearm getting into the wrong hands. It is the original legal owners' responsibility to keep it safe.
Wishing guns away will not make it so; we must responsibly educate our children and enforce or tweak existing laws requiring a rigorous vetting and intense training of would-be applicants. When a deranged individual starts shooting in a school or other public place, try holding up a copy of some newly passed gun law to subdue him.