This weeks mass shooting is brought to you by the radical right and the National Rifle Association, said the meme after yet another tragedy.

The outcry for sensible gun laws to stop events like this were all over the TV screens and small screens via social media and the mainstream media.

It just feels like we need to do something and we aren’t, say some of my conservative but atheist friends.

So the call to our duly elected national leaders goes out once again to pass universal background checks, stop the sale of high capacity weapons and what ever else they can do in Congress to write bills, pass them into the law of the land and make us all safe.

But all of this ignores too many factors, namely The Purpose Of The Law.

Do a Google search for the purpose of the law and you’ll find biblical references mixed with the results, so this is not a modern problem but one as old as time.

If passing more laws was the answer to keeping us safe, I believe nearly everyone would jump on that bandwagon.

But it’s not.

The purpose of the law is to create a written record of what is illegal.  That’s about it.

Enforcement of a law is two-fold.

There is the voluntary compliance of us to follow the law, which most of us do, depending on the law.

Then there is a whole ‘nother path of enforcement of a law for those who break the law.

Killing people is already against the law in our country.  The first written record of it was probably the ten commandments found in Exodus, chapter 20.  Even before it was written on those stone tablets, it was instilled in our hearts that killing another human being was wrong.

But like they did in old testament times and we continue in our current society, they added more and more rules and laws to build layers of rules and clarification to the original, Do Not Kill.

Does it work?


The Purpose of the Law, any law is not to stop bad things from happening.

The Purpose of the Law is to clarify what actions and behaviors are unacceptable and thus against the law.

The Purpose of the Law is to establish consequences of breaking the law (in some cases).

The law in itself does not stop mass shootings, nor does it keep people from breaking the speed limit.

When the outrage of tragedy sparks people to tell their government to outlaw stuff, those people are asking their government to take the role of God himself.

It won’t work.

God himself lets us do stupid human things.  We are not robots, we are just people who need to continually ask God to guide and direct our thoughts, our actions, our hearts, to follow what Jesus ultimately commanded us to do as he summarized all the Laws of God and man in Luke chapter 10: He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”


A footnote to those who are using the Texas church shooting as a reason for more governmental laws:

There were enough laws and rules on the books to prevent this from happening.  

Under federal law, the conviction of the gunman, Devin P. Kelley, for domestic assault on his wife and toddler stepson — he had cracked the child’s skull — should have stopped Mr. Kelley from legally purchasing the military-style rifle and three other guns he acquired in the last four years.

So what happened?

A day after a gunman massacred parishioners in a small Texas church, the Air Force admitted on Monday that it had failed to enter the man’s domestic violence court-martial into a federal database that could have blocked him from buying the rifle he used to kill 26 people.

Big oops.  Tragic oops.

For those who want to blame law abiding gun owners for allowing the shooting to happen, the opposite is true.  Read this story about how it was an NRA member that stopped the tragedy from being even worse.

Our late night talk show hosts don’t have the answers, but they are jumping in with their two cents.

Bottom line to all of this is that we cannot create laws that criminals will suddenly obey and thus keep us safe.

Because that’s not really The Purpose Of The Law.