I was about 40 years old before I shot a gun for the first time. . I was a candidate in the FBI Citizens Academy. Former Governor Rose Mofford (a fellow candidate) and I went to the FBI shooting range and experienced shooting an old fashioned tommy gun as well as other FBI weapons. I never considered owning a gun because they always scared me. The second time I held a gun was when I had to disarm a suicidal young man in front of the entire SWAT team in Mesa. That experience did not do much to calm my fear of weapons.
To be honest, I have always supported people who own guns and use them responsibly. I do believe the Constitution provides that right. I never wanted to own one. Now, for the first time, at age 67, I have seriously thought about buying a gun. The events at my condo facility, the riot at Scottsdale Fashion Square, and the violence around the country make me want to take steps to protect innocent people, especially those who cannot protect themselves.
When I calm myself down and think about the situation, I ask myself the question, “What would Jesus do.” I answer that question in three ways:
(1) Jesus would tell the truth;(2) Jesus would pray for everyone involved, and (3) Jesus would do everything He could to put an end to racism. So, if those are the things Jesus would do, those are the things I should do as well.
So, let me tell the truth. The looters are agents of chaos. Chaos is always a cover for evil. The rioters have no valid purpose other than to steal, destroy, and harm. To me, this is the very definition of evil. These people have nothing to do with justice.
Second, I need to pray for the looters as well as those who have been harmed. Some prayers get stuck right in your throat. Jesus did call us to pray for our enemies and as hard as it is, it is important that I pray God’s mercy on all those involved. So, I ask God to comfort those who have been harmed and to touch the hearts of those who have caused such destruction.
Third, as Jesus would do, I need to continue to work for equality and justice for all. I need to speak out when something egregious happens as it did in Minnesota. And beyond that, on a daily basis, I need to be aware of injustice that happens around me and work to put an end to it.
That leads me back to the gun issue. I know myself well enough to know I probably will not get a gun. If I did, I would be like Barney Fife and shoot myself in the foot. So, while respecting those who do own guns, I will put my trust in a power greater than any gun — the power of God. I will put on the armor of love and trust that God will help us to bring order out of this chaos. As Billy Graham once said, “I read the end of the book and it’s all going to be all right.”