An Intelligent Conversation (at last!) on Our Culture of Violence Guns/Entertainment/Law and the Republicans

At last, an intelligent discussion on our culture of violence. Where is the Republican Party? Please watch and please respond below. Let’s talk.

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Frank Schaeffer is a writer and author of Crazy for God: How I Grew Up as One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right, and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back.

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About Frank Schaeffer

Frank Schaeffer is an American author, film director, screenwriter and public speaker. He is the son of the late theologian and author Francis Schaeffer. He became a Hollywood film director and author, writing several internationally acclaimed novels including And God Said, "Billy!" as well as the Calvin Becker Trilogy depicting life in a fundamentalist mission home-- Portofino, Zermatt, and Saving Grandma.

  • http://patheos threeten2yuma

    Frank,

    The following post is currently circulating on Facebook. Can any in your audience refute the purported facts and statistics?

    A LITTLE GUN HISTORY
    In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated
    In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
    China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated
    Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.
    You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.
    Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.
    Take note my fellow Americans, before it’s too late!
    The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson.
    With guns, we are ‘citizens’. Without them, we are ‘subjects’.
    During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!

    • http://www.lara-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Lara

      No one is saying we should totally disarm completely. No one is saying we shouldn’t be allowed to hunt for our food. Now that we have that out there, can we talk about how to fix this situation? Right now we are not in danger from a Cambodian dictatorship. We are not in danger of being taken over by the Japanese. Right now we are in danger from our own children. Our own teenage sons are so mentally broken that they are using our own guns against us. What do we do? Kindergarteners died. Parents of 5 year olds have presents hiding in their closets that will not be opened Christmas morning. They will weep every time they fold laundry and fold up little shirts and socks that will not be worn again. This is not okay. Not okay.
      And no, total disarmament isn’t the answer, but can’t we reduce the amount of semi-automatic weapons as part of the solution? And what else? There must be more too. Mental health care must be part of this conversation. And what else? Public education. People need to know that by stocking their homes with weapons they have increased their danger of being murdered by their own guns in their own homes and have not decreased their likely hood of being over taken by the government (the government has tanks now, semi-automatic weapons aren’t gonna do a thing against our military). Right?

    • http://www.lara-thinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Lara

      P.S. this is totally awful and tragic that their are goverments so evil that they would implement total disarmament in order to exterminate their people!! This is not “gun-control”, this is genocide. This is awful. We need to keep these stories as part of the conversation too. We need to as a country be AGAINST genocide. We are not okay with this type of behavior, just as we are not okay with school shootings. We are a country that values having empathy for everyone. Not just the majority. Everyone. Mayan and Cambodian Natives and Kindergarteners. Everyone.

    • Jack

      threeten2yuma-

      Don’t worry about refutation- it’s silly to draw a line from “gun control” (interesting how forced confiscation is re-labeled to suit an agenda) to mass-murder. The periods in the stats that should be explored are from 1935-48 in China, and 1956-75 in Cambodia. What happened with gun-related violence in those years, before the Communists got genocidal?

      Your “name” has a prophetic tone at this point in history: If I remember the movie 3:10 to Yuma, it’s about a man who, feeling a need to prove himself, takes up guns then dies by guns. Profoundly suggestive vis-a-vis guns/violence/mental illness among young men in the USA. I pray that, as a nation, you can refute/stand up to the mentality that gun ownership equals citizenship/personhood, and do the sane thing.

      • http://patheos threeten2yuma

        Jack,

        Thank you for engaging both me and the facts and statistics I presented in a temperate and literate manner. I’ll confess that I haven’t ascertained that my Facebook post is in fact historically accurate, but it seemed sound enough for the sake of argument. And I wondered, myself, about those long periods in the countries you mentioned before the totalitarians “got genocidal.” Of course, that still begs the question of whether or not those monsters in power could have slaughtered their millions had the populace not been unarmed.

        I join you in your prayer “that, as a nation, WE (I’m sure you meant to say “WE” and not “you” here) can refute/stand up to the mentality that gun ownership equals citizenship/personhood, and do the sane thing.” Such a prayer being granted would be the only way a city like Chicago, or a nation like Mexico, which both have some of the strictest “gun control” laws on the books, could stop finding so many of its residents each morning literally littering the streets shot full of holes and dead. Which fact makes me think that “gun control” is never going to prevent another Tucson or Aurora or Newtown and that there is something else at play here.

        Speaking of prophesy, could these be the days about which Jesus said that before His Return both “lawlessness will abound” and “the love of many will grow cold?” Jesus’ injunction, of course, was for everyone in the world to ready themselves for Him and His coming Kingdom. And that’s some good advice in my estimation, however, this current national public policy debate gets resolved. Personally, I am not a pacifist. Maybe I should be, because I claim to follow Jesus. It’s a quandary, I’ll admit.

        I am a bit of a history buff, however. And when I was young, I once worked with a man who was a refugee to our country from Cambodia. He’d been a tailor in Phnom Penh, and he and his wife had eleven children. The bones of this man’s wife and ten of their children lie scattered in “the killing fields” the Khmer Rouge created when, as idealistic demons, they emptied Cambodia’s cities in order to purify them of Western corruptions and return the beautiful, peaceful Khmer people to an agrarian economy. They killed millions in the process, including most of my friend’s family.

        There are in this life things more heinous than what happened this Christmastime in Connecticut, as difficult as it is for me to even think, let alone write, that. What the Khmer Rouge did was infinitely worse. What Mao did was worse still. What Stalin did was worse. What Hitler did was worse. If an armed populace can deter another genocide ever taking place in this country, then I thank God for the Second Amendment.

        Your Friend, “3:10″

  • William

    We have got to change our culture of violence. We claim to be a Christian nation and yet we no nothing of true peace and love. Our entertainment is violent. Our police forces resemble standing armies. We allow our government to kill children all over the world because they just happen to be in the area where some perceived threat is. It is disgusting! While we spend billions of dollars every week chasing after those who actually pose no threat to us at all, those who do pose a threat to our children here at home because of mental illness or maybe some anger issue can walk into a gun show and pick up a military style assault weapon, go home and practice killing on some violent and gory video game or watch some movie that glorifies killing, and yes, I said glorifies because that’s exactly what it is, and we call ourselves a Christian nation. Wake up!

  • Pingback: Speaking Foolishly about God and Tragedy

  • http://patheos threeten2yuma

    OK, while Frank has moved on to his favorite pastime of “slam-dering” Evangelicals, the rest of us can continue this conversation he started. Charles Krauthammer has written the most cogent thing I’ve yet to read on the subject, as is his wont. I’ve tried to hyperlink his article from yesterday’s Washington Post below. If it works when I finish this comment and post it, please read the piece. If the link doesn’t work, then go find the article. I think you’ll find it worth the effort. Basically, the good Doctor explains why nothing is going to come of all this current political foment because the only way anything effective can be done will require President Obama and all the rest of us, for that matter, to take on the National Rifle Association, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Hollywood as we seek to alter the current liberties afforded by the Second, Fourteenth, and First Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. In short, that ain’t gonna happen.

    Why do all y’all think that President Obama tossed this political football off to his horse’s ass of a Vice President this week? It’s over, Folks. Time to move on . . . like Frank.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-the-roots-of-mass-murder/2012/12/20/e4d99594-4ae3-11e2-b709-667035ff9029_story.html

  • http://patheos threeten2yuma

    At the risk of really pissing some people off, I’ve invited a certain Vampire to come and share an idea about actually saving lives that she’s recently espoused in print. Please allow me a moment to skedaddle before all the chair-throwing begins.

    http://www.anncoulter.com/columns/2012-12-19.html#read_more


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