Automatic or semi-automatic military-style weapons are becoming increasingly available to civilians. In some areas of the world it is relatively easy to acquire such guns. They show up not only in the street, but in the hands of youngsters at school. Many crimes are committed through the use of these kinds of weapons. They are made to kill people. They have no legitimate recreational use.
The teachings and example of Christ constitute the guide for the Christian today. Christ came into the world to save lives, not to destroy them (Luke 9:56). When Peter drew his weapon Jesus said to him: "Put your sword back in its place . . . All who take the sword will die by the sword" (Matt. 26:52 TEV). Jesus did not engage in violence.
The argument is made by some that banning assault weapons limits the rights of people and that guns do not commit crimes, but people do. While it is true that violence and criminal inclinations lead to guns, it is also true that availability of guns leads to violence. The opportunity for civilians to acquire by purchase or otherwise automatic or semi-automatic assault weapons only increases the number of deaths resulting from human crimes. Possession of guns by civilians in the United States has increased by an estimated 300 per cent in the past four years. During the same period there has been a staggering increase in armed attacks and resulting deaths.
In most of the world such weapons cannot be acquired by any legal means. The Church views with alarm the relative ease with which they may be acquired in some areas. Their availability can only open the possibility of further tragedies.
Pursuits of peace and the preservation of life are to be the goals of Christians. Evil cannot be effectively met with evil, but must be overcome with good. Seventh-day Adventists, with other people of good will, wish to cooperate in using every legitimate means of reducing, and eliminating where possible, the root causes of crime. In addition, with public safety and the value of human life in mind, the sale of automatic or semi-automatic assault weapons should be strictly controlled. This would reduce the use of weapons by mentally disturbed people and criminals, especially those involved in drug and gang activities.
This public statement was released by the General Conference president, Neal C. Wilson, after consultation with the 16 world vice presidents of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, on July 5, 1990, at the General Conference session in Indianapolis, Indiana.
ZJ you do not know what I care about or how much I care and it is not for you to judge. I only go by what I see you write and I see much about the USA and little about other countries where people are violently butchered on a regular basis and it is happening not that far from your part of the world. Third world nations don't deserve your consideration? Is it due to race or wealth? As an Adventist do you care that Adventist Hospitals do abortions? The few people killed by rifles in the USA is a tiny percent of people murdered in other ways and an even smaller percent compared to abortions. In Chicago alone more young people are murdered by hand guns but they are Black and in gangs so no one cares and it is also Obama's former home so it is bad politics to mention this. Never heard you say anything about gun violence in Chicago. Maybe you are more of an emotional person rather than a rational person and you have not thought about it in a logical way.
You have some assumptions that are very wrong and I would assume it is due to your culture and acceptance of what every your are told by those above you to be the absolute gospel and also an over zealous fear of anything reprieved to be dangerous such as a firearm.
The 2nd amendment was not put into place for people who like cool toys that go bang, it was not for hunting or dispatching the sick cow or pig. It was for a Protestant nation who understood tyranny all to well to defend themselves against forces that would enslave them. As an Adventist I do not believe in arming our selves at all as SDA but I do believe that once the 2nd amendment is gone the state ( what ever that is in the near future) will be able to do as it wishes with out hindrance to those who it sees as an enemy to the state. So it is not guns that protect SDA in the USA but rather the law as long as it is followed, the 2nd amendment and the idea that home owners my have a weapon to defend themselves if other parts of the US Constitution are broken makes it more difficult to just round people up.
History shows that once a population is disarmed such as in Russia, Germany and China the state does at is wishes and large amounts of people die as a result.
If someone has a record, or is a felon, they are denied access to a legal purchase. These guys get their firearms through illegal means, which no law will stop. Federal law prohibits sharing of mental health data out of the circle of a patient’s caregivers (a law passed by the very people calling for gun control today), so nothing can be done there. People have the right to keep and bear arms, recognized (not granted) by our Constitution, which our Supreme Court has already said would exist even if there were no Second Amendment.
So what would you have done, ZJ, that is consistent with the law? “Nobody wants to do anything about it” is simply not true. No one wants these school or mass shootings. But the only demonstrated way to stop them or limit their damage, is to eliminate “easy targets” (also known as “gun-free zones”). However, one entire political party ignores the evidence that posting signs does not protect children, and does not want the children to actually be defended. So again, when we are prevented from mandating the only thing that will prevent these fatalities, what would you have us do?
Your problem seems to be that you have already decided what the only solutions may be, and require that these and these alone, be undertaken, quite ignoring whether or not they will work. Australian-style gun confiscation will not work in the United States. It will simply ensure that criminals will be well-armed, and citizens will not. How will that accomplish what you claim to desire?
I think the evidence is quite clear that the US has the highest concentration of guns in private hands and also has the highest number of gun deaths.
Talking about Australia.
Attempts over the last two years have been made to remove Australia's strict gun controls and now we have just had the first mass shooting since 1996.
Interesting message from the Pope
Pope Francis has called for a gun ban in the US, urging authorities to confiscate all weapons, and has begun using Twitter to preach the New World Order doctrine that individuals should not have the right to personally defend themselves against evil.
The Pope’s comments come as Second Amendment experts warn the United Nations are launching their most serious attempt yet to ban all privately owned firearms in the United States and other countries.