In the aftermath of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn., many are considering whether changes to America’s gun laws are needed.

I realize this may be controversial to some, but I believe we should be more concerned about the type of people who commit these heinous acts than the type of weapons they use to commit them.

When I grew up in an age when it was socially acceptable for a parent to occasionally use physical punishment to correct their children. There were a few times that I felt my dad’s belt on my backside and I can’t remember a single time that I was afraid of my dad’s belt. But I can clearly remember my fear of my dad when he became angry at something I had done to invite his wrath.

Why is it that we fear an object or thing more than we fear the one in control of that object or thing? Many are deathly afraid of tornados and hurricanes but have no fear of God, who controls them.

According to the FBI Crime Stats, the number of murders committed annually with hammers and knives far outnumbers murders committed with a rifle. A handgun is the weapon most often used in crimes. But of the 6,220 murders committed with handguns, most were likely obtained illegally.

According to reports in both the New York Times and Wall Street Journal, millions of mentally ill people could pass a gun background check today, because many states simply don’t bother submitting mental-health records to the FBI.

Consider the following  stats:

  • Virginia Tech: Seung-Hui Cho, 23, who killed 32 people and wounded 17 in Blacksburg, Va., in 2007 before killing himself, had a long history of mental illness. Cho was diagnosed with severe social anxiety disorder as a teenager. A judge in 2005 found that Cho presented “an imminent danger to himself as a result of mental illness” and ordered him to receive outpatient psychiatric treatment.
  • Tucson: Jared Lee Loughner, 24, who is serving a life sentence without parole for killing six people and wounding 19 others in 2011, was diagnosed with schizophrenia by a court-appointed psychiatrist. He also suffered from depression in high school.
  • Aurora: James Eagen Holmes, 24, who is accused of killing 12 and injuring 58 people at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater in July, has been described as mentally ill by his defense attorney. Prosecutors presented their case against Holmes at a preliminary hearing Monday.

Police have not revealed whether Adam Lanza had additional mental health problems. Yet the scale and nature of the shooting lead many to the inescapable conclusion that mental illness will be a large piece of the puzzle, as it has been with other mass shootings.

Mental health screening, early intervention, evidence-based mental health treatment and services, and family education and support will be a great help in alleviating this type of violence. But more concern should be placed on a bigger problem:

As is common for this type of evil, some have asked questions like, “Why did God allow this to happen?” or “Why didn’t God stop this evil?” The answer is that God has allowed mankind to reap the consequences of sin. Anyone who has had to deal with a rebellious son or daughter will tell you there are times when you just throw up your hands and say, “ Since you refuse to listen to me, just go and do what you want!” I sometimes imagine God doing the same thing with us.

This is not to say that the staff or the children killed in Newtown were in any way guilty of any particular sin that led to their deaths. The tragedy of sin is that the innocent often suffer due to the wickedness of others – As in the cases where children suffer abuse at the hands of their parents.

Romans 6:23 declares, “The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Sin always brings death – spiritually, and sometimes physically. Only Jesus Christ can truly transform a person and bring true peace and purpose to their life.

The problem is not just guns or mental illness. Disarming law-abiding citizens or institutionalizing everyone with a mental illness will do little to protect the public. Some people will still find a way to kill others.

What then is the solution to gun violence? Pray for God’s guidance and protection. But we must also pray for a true spiritual revival and return to God’s standard of morality. People who follow Biblical principles do not commit mass murder. The Bible teaches in Proverbs 14:34, “Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people.” It is ludicrous to expect God to bless us when we as a nation have rejected Him and embraced sin. While not every disaster will be adverted, as mankind is inherently wicked, but if we, as a nation, returned to God and followed His principals for living, much suffering and death could be avoided.

For more information on Mental Illness click HERE

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