Franklin Graham is wrong.
For the record, I’ve got no problem with Mr. Graham. He does a lot of good for a lot of people. But even good men aren’t immune from being wrong. This time Franklin Graham is wrong when it comes to President Obama and guns.
In a recent Facebook post directed at the president, Graham rightly pointed out that Obama was looking in the wrong place in regards to gun violence. Graham tells us that the human heart, not a gun, is the real culprit behind the violence we are seeing in our nation. I agree with him. If guns are outlawed, people with murder in their hearts will just find something else to do their killing with.
Graham went on to recommend a better remedy to the problem than the president’s Executive Orders, namely the gospel of Jesus Christ. Again, Franklin Graham and I are in agreement.
But here’s where we part ways.
“Your proposal will do nothing to stop the violence that is being glorified by Hollywood. Every night the networks, movie channels, and theaters are filled with programming that glamorizes gun violence—guns are used to shoot, to kill, and to splatter human blood all over screens across America. There needs to be legislation to curb this. I would propose starting with a heavy tax on the manufacturers of any film or game that graphically depicts violence. If violent films and games were taken off the shelves, I believe we would see a dramatic drop in gun violence over the next few years.”
If the real problem is the human heart, why should the government ban movies that glorify violence? And if the real remedy is the gospel of Jesus Christ, why are we so quick to run to the government for a supposed cure? Also, how should we define graphic violence and who gets to decide this?
The second amendment matters. It matters a lot. But so does the first amendment. That’s why it’s a bad idea for the federal government to establish a Do Not Cross Line for violence in media and then impose a heavy tax on any who dare to step over. The founders were not interested in protecting popular speech. Their aim was to protect all speech.
For far too long, we have had a love affair with big government. Even conservatives have fallen into this. Everyone, it seems, is a Don’t Tread On Me flag waving Libertarian until they want something from the government. And the government is always eager to step in to offer their help. But there’s usually a catch.
The loss of freedom.
That can show up when you go to the store to buy a gun or when you sit down to watch television. If the government stops you from doing one, the other is sure to follow.
When it comes to violence in media, we have to use a tool that has grown frightfully dusty in many minds. It’s called discernment. There is some violence that needs to be seen. Schindler’s List is violent but when I feel that my kids are old enough, I’m making them watch it. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is also violent and I’m never showing that to my kids. But I don’t need any help from the federal government as we walk through that process. I can manage just fine.
Progressives seem to think that all of our problems would be solved if the government would just do something about guns. I just watched quite a few of them applaud Whoopie Goldberg on The View when she suggested banning automatic weapons which, for the record, are not even available to the general public.
Many Conservatives believe that the government needs to do something about violent video games and movies in order to solve our social problems. Over 170 thousand of them clicked the like button on Mr. Graham’s Facebook post.
Both groups are showing their stripes and they look eerily similar. They are the red, white and blue stripes of big government.
We must remember that there will never be a perfect society here in our fallen world. But we can do our best to make it a free society. That can only happen when we hold our government accountable in matters such as balancing the budget and protecting us from enemies foreign and domestic.
But with regards to the movies you watch, the games you play and the guns you shoot, we’re all better off when the government minds its own business.