Friday, January 18, 2013

Response to Ann Coulter Regarding Men Who Kill

Ann Coulter writes, "Guns don't kill people, the mentally ill do" (link) as the title of her post documenting the various testimonies to obviously disturbing behavior of several spree shooters.

Ms. Coulter thinks that these young men suffered from a mental illness. Clearly, their behavior was abnormal - normal people don't go around killing other people: their consciences and their fear of punishment stop them.

Perhaps part of the explanation for their behavior is an actual illness - something physically wrong with the people. Maybe they needed more vitamins in their diet or maybe the folds of their brain were malformed from birth.

I wouldn't count on that.

The fundamental problem with these men is one of sin. They disregarded the law of God and man to commit one of the most heinous crimes, the crime of murder. Those of her list who are already dead have had to answer for their deeds, and the remainder will have to answer one day as well, unless they repent and turn to Christ.

Ultimately, it is only God's grace that can stop the wickedness of men.

Yes, we can try to identify people who are especially depraved and restrain them. That was part of the whole "stone the rebellious son" provision in the Old Testament law - a provision for parents to turn over especially depraved young men to the civil authorities for removal from society.

Thus, there is a place in the law for trying to stop particularly depraved people before they act - whether that depravity is spiritual (as I suspect) or physical. But we need to remember that depravity is sin.

Sure, I agree with Ann's basic point that the problem is not guns. If the problem were guns, we'd take guns away from our brave soldiers and honorable peace officers. The problem is not guns, but sin - depravity.

We can try to address the depravity through law and gospel (and we should!) - but simply trying to take guns away from everyone won't do it. Look at how easily people who want to can buy illegal drugs. Do you really think a ban on guns will keep the guns out of the hands of the most depraved people in society?


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