I liked Columbo. Peter Falk was an award-winning actor, and his working-class detective character was always entertaining to watch. Unlike other TV cops, he didn’t carry a gun. Hearing the tragic news from California where yet another shooter killed multiple people before himself, I think about the proliferation of guns. The New York Times runs story after story showing that nowhere else in the developed world are gun deaths remotely anywhere near what they are in the United States. Not only do we have a super-abundance of firearms, we have politicians on the dole from the NRA who simply won’t take action because they personally stand to lose money if they do. And apparently they can sleep at night. As a nation, our guns outnumber people.
Estimates for the number of guns in America stand at around 466 million. 98% of them are in civilian hands, as opposed to the military. And we have multiple mass shootings per year. Is there any chance that these facts might be related? Ironically, many firearms are owned by those who loudly proclaim they hate the “culture of death”promoted by those who try to make gun ownership more difficult. I’ve written on this topic so many times before that I really don’t know what else there is to say. Perhaps it’s time to just give up and weep. Last year, excluding suicides, there were over 20,000 gun deaths in this country. There have been 15,000 or more per year since 2016. Approximately 120,000 gun deaths in just six years. And yet nothing is done.
The public strongly favors stricter gun laws. Government officials do not. In fact, some Republicans are now attempting drive-by shootings of suspected Democrats. I’m not anti-gun. I am anti-insanity. You see, that was the thing about Columbo. He never pulled a gun, but he doggedly pursued those who did. The culture of hate that has swept this country since 2016 needs to be reminded of Columbo’s message. Guns aren’t the answer. Pursuit of the truth is. How a purportedly Christian movement does nothing but support the gun lobby is a mystery requiring investigation. It has to be asked where in the Bible does this idea of arming yourself come from. It has to be asked which commandment declares obtaining deadly force and making guns easily obtained by the mentally unstable is God’s will. I guess that about wraps it up. Just one more thing—what would Jesus do, really?