There remains one aspect of this issue that is often passed over or ignored entirely and yet, in my mind is perhaps most important of all. Earlier I said, “Most of our laws are prohibitions against actions or behavior that we commonly agree is not compatible with the maintenance of an orderly society or which or society generally agrees is immoral.” Although many in our modern culture would like to forget it, our nation was founded on principles that were heavily influenced by the writings of the Bible and much of our legal system stems from the legal foundations of Christianity with notable contributions from other religions as well.
The legal precepts of the Bible are largely prohibitions against actions and behaviors, not the ownership of things. It is people who are immoral and not objects. John Adams (second President of the United States) once said, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” If we are to be truly effective in our efforts to reduce violence and to create a safer society we cannot ignore the contributions of culture and religion on morality. As much handwringing as we do about violence and gun control, we ought to be equally concerned about declines in culture and morality. My suspicion is that many of the very people who publicly rant in favor of gun control would be appalled by the idea of content controls on movies, television and musical artists. I am not advocating censorship, but to me it seems that any perceived increase in criminal activity can be blamed on declining culture, politeness and morality just as easily as it can on guns and gun owners.
As I said, there are no easy answers but if John Adams was right, teaching morals to our children, getting people back to church and developing a better relationship with their God will do far more than any laws that we can pass. These are things that each of us can do and I believe that this is where we have the greatest opportunity for success.
At the very least, that is where I intend to spend my time.