Stance: Pro Gun – with restrictions

My Thoughts:

Guns. – My thoughts from one of my other company’s websites.

Probably one of the most controversial and hotly contested topics in America with passionate supporters on both sides of the equation. I am pro-gun, but I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings on this subject.

First off, to anyone whom has lost a loved one to gun violence, I am truly sorry for your loss and your pain. I have never experienced such a horrid tragedy, but I could imagine the anguish and despair I would feel if such a tragedy came upon my family or my children. Death is tragic regardless of the reason and God grieves the murder of all his children as should we.

In America, we are so quick to point fingers, rationalize, externalize and deflect rather than really look deeply at ourselves and our own shortcomings. I would like to propose that there is not a “gun” problem, but a “heart” problem in America.

Blaming guns for all the tragedies is a very easy target. It gives us a target to attack and it also shields us from having to look at ourselves and see us for what we really are – evil people that are inherently selfish and greedy. Yes, we are all selfish and capable of evil in one way or another. There are really only two groups of people when it comes to this topic – those that know they are and those that are self-righteous and in denial.

I have been in both camps at one point in my life and I discuss this in great detail on my podcast, “It’s a Mindset.” So if you want to hear my first hand narrative of my destructive behaviors and the hope that I have found, I encourage you to listen.

Looking at ourselves and admitting we have flaws, we are weak and that we have the potential to commit horrid acts goes against everything Western Society has taught us to believe. After all, we are good enough and we are smart enough. The truth is though, as American’s, we are selfish, greedy and only becoming more self pleasing and focused each and every year.

There are several reasons for this. However, I (personally) think one of the biggest contributors to this epidemic is the degradation of the family and lack of real meaningful relationships. We all have friends (some of us 1000’s on Facebook), but do you really know your coworkers, fellow students, teammates or even family members? Do you know what they are worried about? What they are struggling with? Their fears?

How often do you have dinner together with your family? Do you know your child’s friends? Their friend’s parents? Do you know what your child’s loves to do? Do you know what your child hates about going to school? Do you know if your child is being bullied?

Granted, none of us will know all the answers to all these questions about all our relationships or even our own family members, but how hard are we really trying to find out this information? How much time do we spend each day working on building real meaningful relationships?

In America we are all very busy. We wear our busyness like a badge of honor. I cannot even tell you how many times I hear, “Busy,” when I ask someone how they are doing. What does that even mean?!? Over the last decade our relationships have grown exponentially in number (thanks to technology), but more and more superficial at the same time. Of your thousands of friends, how many can you count on to drop everything and help you in a time of need? Or how many can you confide in about the struggle you are facing right now? Do you even have time to build a real relationship or are you too busy?

American’s have more “friends” than ever yet are reporting the highest levels of loneliness and depression ever. We are meant to live in community. To build real relationships. To encourage one another and to support one another in times of trial and in victory. We are to put others needs above ourselves.

Real deep meaningful relationships are not easy to come by. They mean being vulnerable. They mean getting to know the real you. Real relationships mean both sharing those hurts and struggles that keep you up at night, and being there to support and encourage our friends and family when they are going through difficult times.

At the core we know this to be fundamentally true. We all are wired to form meaningful relationships, yet in our society we not “other” focused, but instead “me” focused.

Almost all tragic gun related crimes are committed out of selfishness, hate, anger, pride, arrogance, self righteousness, jealously or anguish. How many of these could have been prevented if someone would have taken the time to really build a relationship with that individual? A channel created to share those feelings eating one up on the inside.

The truth is that humans have always been selfish and greedy. We have always wanted to do, conquer and have more. It has been this way since the beginning of time. The weapons have changed – rocks, clubs, spears, arrows, swords and now guns, but the real issue at hand is not the weapon, but the condition of the heart.

It is easy to blame a gun or to lobby for stricter gun laws, but if real change is to occur we need to look at our hearts. We need to admit we are selfish and greedy and find REAL friends that care for and support us. We are naturally bent to follow the path of least resistance. Taking the time to form real relationships, to admit our own shortcomings and to put others needs first is is extremely difficult in our busy society, but it is the only way to make a real change. Blaming the gun is only treating the symptom. It is not treating the fundamental problem that is one of the heart.

I encourage you to make it a goal to be vulnerable and try and form at least one new, real relationship over the next six months. Spend time with your family and friends. Get out of the house. Spend time together hiking, biking, shooting or exploring. Talk, share and do life together.

This is why I build companies – not to sell countertops, build homes or sell Kammoks, but to bring families and friends together to do life together successfully.

Ne Oublie – “do not forget” what really matters – relationships.