18 April 2007

Thoughts on Virginia Tech

I find it hard - almost insensitive - to comment on the events at Virginia Tech. Friends and regular readers will not be surprised that someone who calls herself a pacifist is appalled at the events.

First of all, my blog-friend, Michael Westmorland-White has written an excellent post:
Tragedy at Virginia Tech.

I offer prayers to the family and friends of those who have been killed as well as to the Virginia Tech community.

I'll offer what I think are, to me, obvious comments: 1) The right to bear arms was enshrined in the US Constitution for the purpose of raising a militia against national enemies, not so that every citizen could "defend" himself or herself from other citizens. 2) I appreciate the huge consequences of making a change to the Bill of Rights and I don't think that there is any easy answer. I can testify from experience living in the UK that most here people manage to live without guns in the house. Given the level of petty and mindless anger, aggression and vandalism that goes on, frankly I'm happy that the people who throw rocks at elderly people (for example) don't have easy access to guns.

I do wonder whether our culture of violent television programmes, violent films and violent video-games desensitises us to violence and makes us think that it is in some way acceptable.

It seems to me like a total no-brainer that from a Christian point of view, violence against another human being is a total violation of the Great Commandment ("love your neighbour as yourself") and also the sixth commandment ("thou shalt not kill").

May God's Spirit comfort and draw close to all those in mourning; I honestly have no words, only prayers.

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