This is an important question. Was alcohol or evil the problem in early 20th Century America? Are guns or evil the problem in early 21st Century America? Evil is a reality that will exist until Christ returns. We live in the time of the Fall. This means that evil actions are certain. Will the elimination of alcohol, vehicles, drugs, or guns end evil? No, the reality is that if even all of these things were made illegal the world would not be a safer place. Why, because evil would still remain. Man would still maim and murder. Legislation will not drive evil from the human heart.
Because of horrific abuse, Congress made the consumption of alcohol illegal. Thus, Prohibition became a notorious example of what happens when we attempt to legislate the actions of the human heart. Alcohol abuse was not ended and organized crime was given the stimulus it needed to thrive. The answer for alcohol abuse is the same answer for gun abuse – the gospel of Christ. Even though it was against the law, alcohol abuse and use did not end with Prohibition. Even though it is against the law murder continues. Similarly, gun violence will not subside if gun ownership is made illegal. Prohibition offers ample proof of this reality.
Christians must not cede our responsibility to be salt and light to the government.
Christians must be about the proclamation of the gospel. If evil is the problem, then the gospel is the answer. Trusting legislation to end evil is a double-edged sword. It is legal to murder children in the womb or to rip them out of the womb and watch them die. It is legal to defy the standards of God for marriage and sexual conduct. It is legal to quash even the mention of God’s name in many educational situations. It is legal to demand that Christ must not be associated with Christmas. Making something legal or illegal will not solve the problem of evil.
Should our hearts be broken over the shootings in Newtown? Of course! But, if we think we can end violence by removing the object used to commit violence, we have tragically misunderstood the human heart. The only real protection we have to offer is the gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing else powerful enough to address and conquer the evil of the heart.