W A R D U N I
V E R S I T Y|
Faces & Voices IV
AN ANTHOLOGY OF VERSE AND PROSE
The first essential point DeLay made was when he said, “We become consumed with the ‘how’ of a crime. Instead, we might do better to focus on exposing the ‘why’.” The only problem was DeLay left out an imperative question (the question he asked is discussed below). What he should have asked is why do children have access to guns in the first place, which would lead to the deeper and more pertinent question of why guns are even accessible to anyone aside from law enforcement officers? Well, why are they? Why is it that we need a license for something as simple as driving a car, but when we want to buy a killing machine all we have to do is fill out some papers? Why do we have to adequately prove we have the capability of operating a vehicle in a manner that ensures the safety of those around us as well as our own before we are allowed to legally drive on our own, but if I want to buy a lethal weapon all I have to do is prove I am of age and have no criminal background? Furthermore, if police officers have guns to enforce the law why does the everyday citizen need one? An understandable response to this question would be to protect oneself when the police aren’t around. In that case, why not just give everyone guns and do away with police altogether? Because the whole concept of a police force is to take the obligation of preserving safety and civility out of the hands of the individual and to put it in the hands of an organization devoted to that one cause of controlling those who threaten order and safety.
Another response to the question of why the everyday citizen would “need” a gun would be to protect oneself from those who are supposed to be protecting you. What would have been a mild joke ten years ago is now a frightening reality: some people justifiably feel the need to protect themselves from the police. Now is where DeLay’s question poses some relevance, “why, at the most base level, does … any person make one moral choice over another?” Why would four police officers choose to empty 41 rounds into a man reaching for his wallet? Why would two police officers choose to hold down a man and ram a broomstick up his rectum?
The answers to these questions and many more like them DeLay feels will “help us determine what action by public and private institutions will make a contribution to rebuilding the country’s moral center.” First of all, who is “us”, and exactly which institutions have been deemed righteous enough to rebuild the country’s moral center? Although the idea itself is sound, there will always lie one major flaw with its implementation (which is a dubious prediction in itself): the people in these public and private institutions are the same ones who have stood by and silently watched this country deteriorate to its present state, they are the same ones who have tolerated the corrosion of communities where children are now brought up in crack houses, they are the same ones who have tolerated grown men making the excuse that they were trained to act like automatons (i.e. the shooting of Amadou Diallo, where the accused officers claimed that once they heard gunfire it was an “automatic” response to shoot in the exact same direction 40 more times). Is DeLay suggesting that we depend on the morality of these people to “rebuild” the country? Exactly what kind of morals would they be drawing on to determine how to restructure America’s morality? In other words, how are they going to rebuild the moral center of this country when their own moral centers are either stale from lack of use or just plain non-existent?
This is where
DeLay stopped short of admitting the truth (maybe he just didn’t know).
Perhaps it is too simple a concept for America to grasp, but God
is the only one who can rebuild the diseased and dying moral fiber of
this country. Is it naïve of me
to believe that there will never be an instance when it would be necessary for
me to carry a gun for my safety? Not
if I also believe that God is the
only one I need to be safe. Is
it shortsighted of me to want to take away guns altogether from the general
public? Ask yourself, would the
general public feel the need for guns if they really had faith that God
had their best interests in mind?
Really? Would people have tolerated the deterioration of their
society if their morality had been based on the standards God
says we should have for ourselves? American
society has drastically deviated from the path of emulating a biblical society
– and I’m not in any way claiming that it ever was, but it had that goal
in mind for a time – and look where it has gotten us?
Our society is at the point where kids are killing kids and all we can
do is ask questions that don’t seem to be changing anything.
It will not be until we, the world, not just America, start to base our
morals solely on God’s
word (the Bible) that we will find any sort of change in the direction in
which our global society is headed; unless, of course, we’re content with
the direction in which our society is headed.
Are we? If we aren’t, do
we show it? If we’re not
showing it what else has to happen before we do?
Is it foolish of me to want the world to trust and follow God
more than other men? Would it be
foolish of the world not to? The
world isn’t getting any better; it’s time to decide.
2000 Howard University.