Can you help a non-American understand what is the deal is with guns in America?

As Jacob Gonzales just mentioned on the race discussion here, the Apostle Paul wrote: “One of themselves, a prophet of their own, said, “Cretans are always liars, evil beasts, lazy gluttons.” This testimony is true. For this reason reprove them severely so that they may be sound in the faith” (Titus 1:12-13).

Generalizations are Biblical. Racial generalizations are true. National generalizations are true. So what are American sins? What are Welsh sins? What are Maori sins? What are Japanese sins? What are Evangelical sins? What are Roman Catholic sins? What are Scot-Irish sins? What are Black sins? What are Jewish sins? Then note how the heat rises at the last two because even to ask the questions makes one guilty of racism.

What we know in the US is that blacks make up a hugely disproportionate percentage of murderers and victims of homicide, and whites aren’t really concerned about it. If the slaughter is kept on the south side of Chicago (read the stats), no one cares, including the mayor. It’s been going on for generations and is never stopped. But when children in a school are killed, whites wake up—even in Scotland and New Zealand. “Here! What’s this about guns in the US? We don’t have guns in our countries and our elementary schools aren’t getting shot up!!”

Americans entertain themselves with guns and bloodshed. Look at our video games and movies. It’s our glamor. It’s our addiction. Then life imitates or copies our fantasies. Add in the romantic aura mass killings have among misanthropes and what we have is a mass murder contagion. It’s much like a suicide contagion.

Speaking of suicide:
UK 7.9
Sweden 14.7
US 16.1
Belgium 18.3
Ukraine 21.6
South Korea 28.6

Speaking of New Zealand, specifically, in 2016 the suicide rate of Maori men reached 32. And while we’re on the subject of New Zealand, this from UNICEF by way of the BBC: “The rate of 15.6 suicides per 100,000 people is twice as high as the US rate and almost five times that of Britain.”

Now then, back to the list above:

USA 6.3
UK 1.2
Canada 2.0
Sweden 1.2
New Zealand 2.6
Australia 0.9
Russia 7.3

Adding in suicide, controlling for race, and taking another look makes things appear a little different, and keep in mind the suicide stats don’t include physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia. Nor do they include the slaughter of little ones people like to call “abortion.”

New Zealand 19.7
US 20.8
Sweden 19.7
Australia 20.2
UK 17

Keep in mind that abortion stats never include the majority of abortions which are done by chemicals preventing the baby from implanting himself on the wall of his mother’s uterus or causing him to be sloughed off.

But not to keep on, the world is a mass of bloodshed, just as always. We love bloodshed and there’s little difference between the UK, New Zealand, Australia and the US on this front. What’s really significant is the racial composition of those who murder (including self-murder) and those who are murdered, and what their means of choice in killing themselves is.

Some would want to dismiss any racial correlation by pointing at poverty, but at some point, we have to face the moral squalor of certain ethnic groups without simply hopping on the look-at-the-birdie bandwagon of systemic oppression.

What there is a great absence of in the developed world is individual responsibility, and that is caused in large part by the refusal of any authority inside or outside the church to discipline anything or anyone. For instance, if we really want to control violence and murder, we have to restore fathers to marriages and families. Look at the stats on female-led homes for absolutely appalling stats. But there’s not the slightest will for the restoration of male authority anywhere—and this is particularly true inside the Church of Jesus Christ.

So we can talk about race and mass killings and guns, and it is true that the slaughter of living children out in broad daylights evokes a special kind of horror in us, but guns? Seriously? Bloodshed all around us and we want to talk about guns? And this from a guy whose parents didn’t let him play with the kids down the street whose family owned guns, not because of danger physically, but morally. We weren’t allowed even to have squirt guns in our home. To this day, I’ve never had a gun in my home…

So I guess what I’m trying to point out is how gun violence and mass shootings serve the interests of the bloodiest among us by allowing them to focus the nation’s attention on the birdie, leaving them free to slaughter at will those whose body count is stupendously horrendous. Love,


Just to reiterate, I am a New Zealander, but I live in Australia. So, while they no doubt noticed in NZ, I noticed in Australia. (My Kiwi-ness must be very strong).

I’m totally with you on racial generalisations, for good and bad. My favourite book on this topic is still “One Human Family” by Carl Weiland, though too old to address more recent events. And I also agree with the book (and the Book) that racial generalisations can be turned around. Impossible, though, when the doctor is failing to diagnose the problem correctly.

Murder is rife everywhere. There is an war against fathers and this adds to and drives the carnage. I agree. Our eyes are directed at only certain tragedies. Yes. But that does not mean that guns are not an issue now that we have such malformed societies. Just because murder in other situations is not being discussed, it is not wrong to discuss it in the light of elementary school shootings.

The difference between murder with a gun and murder without a gun is that a fatherless, messed up man does not have to put in the hours of disciplined training that used to be required for other weapons, overseen by experts. Without a gun, the damage such a man can do is limited. With a gun, he has the potential for destruction and death that way outstrips his skill level.

Abortion is an evil I detest. Suicide is an evil I grieve over. But I don’t think the question of guns is a distraction. We take away dangerous objects from untrustworthy, damaged people. There are so many damaged individuals in our societies, I have no problem restricting access to guns until a person can be proven trustworthy and reliable. And I’ll be thinking that until the deeper level problems driving some of the carnage are addressed and society returns to some greater level of sanity - if it ever does.

Thanks for the insight into the US. I believe I have a better understanding of the situation.

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Yes, dear brother, but discuss it as much as we want, I think the majority of us here on this forum would declare that taking away the 2nd amendment would have catastrophic consequences with regard to civil rights, generally. There are other easier and more effective ways to end mass shootings, but they are not on the table because the pagans want to disarm the contrarians. Just my own take on it, you understand… Love,


This probably makes great sense from the perspective of Au/NZ, but let me provide an American perspective.

The latest reports about the shooting in Texas indicate that children called 911 from within the classroom, begging police to intervene, but the police waited outside for an hour. This slowness to intervene is parallel to a recent shooting in Florida, where an armed officer designated to protect the school instead went outside and hid behind a car. Similarly, police in many cities stood back in the summer of 2020 as mobs looted and committed arson and other violence. Perhaps all of those were the best choices to make given the information at the time, but they certainly don’t provide confidence that the civil magistrate is zealously wielding the sword to protect citizens.

So when a crazy man uses a gun to kill a score of children, @Alistair sensibly takes the lesson that we should restrict gun access so crazy men don’t have as much ability to conduct indiscriminate violence. But my guess is that the median American will instead take the lesson that the police are not going to protect him and his family when they are threatened by a crazy man, so he better go out and get a gun himself.

Accordingly, there has been a loosening of gun regulations in many states despite the apparent increase in mass shootings over the past several decades. In fact, the thought occurred to me just now that even California may become a “shall issue”* state within my lifetime – some on this forum may scoff, but stranger things have happened.

  • “Shall issue” means that a state has passed a law requiring that a permit to carry a concealed gun must be issued to anyone who requests it and has passed a reasonable background check and training and removing discretion from officials to deny requests merely because they think the requesting person doesn’t have a good enough reason to receive a concealed carry permit.

Depending on how the USSC rules in the Bruen case, California could become a shall-issue state in the next 30 days.

I guess I wouldn’t bet a lot on it, but it’s well inside the realm of possible outcomes from that case.

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The problem is that now you’re dependent on people who hate fathers for permission to protect your family from those damaged individuals. Guess whether they will give you permission.

And what will the ramifications be of a country taking away that right, leaving aside the question of whether gun deaths or overall murders/suicides will decrease? A citizenry that is even worse off in the long term. I don’t think it’s an accident that Australia is also now probably furthest along at taking away encryption from its citizenry.


Joel, you are flipping back and forth between the specific and the general. My response was to the general comment that there is general violence and murder because of fatherlessness etc. “That is why these shootings occur,” I’m told.

Nor have you have presented a cogent contrast. You can restrict gun access “until a person is proven trustworthy and reliable” (my position) and still have trustworthy and reliable people owning guns to protect their families from the crazy man. Where is the contrast?

Respectfully to both you and @tbbayly, supporting restrictions on the purchase of guns and throwing out the 2nd Ammendment (as I understand it) are not the same thing. To me the difference between your (Joel’s) position and mine is that you want easy access to guns so that when crazy people go crazy, they can be dealt with, whereas I support making it difficult to access guns so that only sane people access them and can deal with the occasional crazy that slips through.

I am speaking from another continent and another culture, so I hope that you will excuse my questions and opinions. I asked the original question to get a better understanding for myself, and yet as a friend and Christian brother, I hope there might be a willingness to consider whether the cultural fears and history of the US may be a blessing and an impediment to biblical thinking about these things.

If that sounds arrogant, my apologies. I leave it in your American hands.

If you trust the liberty of your country to guns, perhaps so. But I don’t see that as a biblical position.

Alistair, you shouldn’t have to be told this. Just look at the stats of woman-head-of-household violence and victims, then think Biblically. After all the prophets have documented the wickedness of Israel and Judah, both people and priests, the prophets end with God’s prophet turning the hearts of children to their fathers and fathers to their children. Implicit in that promise is such a miracle will happen when God brings righteousness on the nation, but also that this righteousness will bring with it a cessation of bloodshed.

Pundits may well take the stats and use them to prove causations like neighborhood, poverty, education, and then back to generations of second-class Gibeonite citizenship, and beyond that, slavery, and beyond that African moral depravity and idolatry. But Christians think Christianly, and preach God’s Moral Law to the oppressor and oppressed, alike.

About the guns themselves, what problem you set out to solve too easily determines your solution, often leaving the other problems you are creating unseen until they hit you in the face. We are telling you that the consequences of a thousand cuts into the 2nd Amendment would inevitably carry with it a worsening of so many matters of truth and justice and character, nationally, that the solution would be, not just obliterating the 2nd Amendment (what you think can be referred to as “making it difficult to access guns so that only sane people access them”), but the Constitution and Bill of Rights entirely.

Think about this. From the beginning, the 2nd Amendment was tied to an armed and ready militia. Guns are a very real threat to all the much-more-bloody crazies strutting around our nation with their terminal degrees and public offices who are wreaking havoc on the citizenry by, for instance, emasculating the black male through welfare provided the mother of his children. Guns suppress wickedness much more than they are used to further it. Death of children is easy to see and mourn, whereas an armed citizenry across our nation (do you have any smallest idea how ubiquitous guns are here?) restrains evil men and women from being even more aggressive in their policies and laws than they already are.

Now I don’t doubt that, not being a US citizen, understanding this is difficult, but remember, I own no gun. Never have. Not a hunter. But there’s not the slightest doubt in my mind that, despite decades of Europeans laughing at our 2nd Amendment and thinking us rubes, it is precisely that 2nd Amendment and the prevalence of guns across our heartland (owned and carried by many, many godly) that has had critical importance in restraining members of our chattering class who are, at heart, cowards. And this is not stats. Instead, it’s my deep and abiding judgment. Love,


@Alistair, you came here looking for a better perspective on American gun culture, and I responded with a description of with what I believed to be a typical American reaction to gun violence. I was describing what is, not making an argument for what ought to be. Remember that I affirmed your perspective as a sensible one.

Again, a very sensible perspective. So why are so many Americans opposed to gun restrictions? It is because they don’t trust the government to be fair and objective in determining who is sufficiently trustworthy and reliable to own a gun. For example, California and New York are “May Issue” states, meaning that permits to carry a concealed gun are provided solely at the discretion of a local official, and it is well known that officials in many jurisdictions routinely deny requests from ordinary people, no matter what personal threats to safety they’ve received or the danger of their occupation, and instead give permits only to former law enforcement officers, celebrities, and friends of politicians.

Biblically, I don’t think one can say that either strict or lax regulation of gun ownership are inherently sinful, so it comes down to a question of prudence, in which case culture and history are very important factors in determining the best course of action. Practically speaking, I think what’s preventing the stricter regulation of guns advocated by @Alistair is the demonstrated incompetence of government at all levels in protecting and promoting the well-being of ordinary Americans combined with the demonstrated lack of fairness in the administration of laws and regulations, not just in the area of guns and public safety, but across the board. Maybe on the level of abstract biblical principle, the widespread sins and failures of the civil magistrate shouldn’t matter when it comes to gun regulation, but on the level of political feasibility, they hugely matter. This is what I think you are missing, @Alistair


Permit approvers sometimes are themselves also elected officials. In California, concealed carry permits are approved by county sheriffs who are elected officials. New York City cops periodically get busted for bribery schemes involving New York City concealed carry permits also. I believe one of them that I read had the going price of a NYC CCW permit somewhere between $10,000 and $30,000.

There are approximately 1 billion firearms in private hands in the US. Any proposal for gun policy that doesn’t deal with this fact is just spitting into the wind. It’s essentially impossible to keep guns out of the hands of non-incarcerated people who want them.

Additionally, America has no commonly-held definition of “crazy” at the moment. Keeping guns out of the hands of crazy people might have been a tenable position 70 years ago in America, but it is no longer. One party labels the other party as terrorists, while it promotes “trans” ideology and promotes obviously mentally ill people to 4-star Admiral. So who is crazy and who are the terrorists?

While some perpetrators of recent massacres have obviously been cuckoo (Aurora and Newtown come to mind), others were more likely misfits than crazy in any strict sense. So far I think the Uvalde murderer falls into that category. The Parkland murderer almost certainly does.


My apologies, Joel. I originally read your comment as sarcasm.


Here is a question but what is the relationship of those nations and states with strict gun laws and those that had the strictest Covid policies? As an American I can’t help but think of Australia’s frenzy over Covid and their strict laws against guns.


Also Canada and the UK.

I think your understanding of the lockdowns in Australia is off-base. Victoria certainly had strict lockdowns, but in other states in Australia, not so much.

The people of Victoria voted the godless Premier of Victoria back in with a big majority during Covid.

It is more accurate to say, though not totally, that the further left a premier was, the greater the restrictions.

Guns have little to do with it, unless you want to suggest that the minority of voters should have guns to overturn the election. No, they weren’t stolen elections. The people really did vote in these men and women.

Here is some empirical support for the above guess.