Recently, there has been a lot of talk of banning semi-automatic rifles. The logic goes that they have been used in mass shootings and that they are intimidating to look at. Anything semi-automatic (one bullet, one pull of the trigger) can be devastating when someone decides they want to kill a lot of people. Handguns, shotguns, rifles can all be semi-automatic. I am against legislating banning semi-automatic rifles because it’s symbolic. It doesn’t actually solve the problem of getting guns out of hands of those who would use it for the wrong reasons or the mentally ill. Like most symbolic legislation, it wastes times from the real problems we as a society are not willing to face head on. Things like mental illness, bearing each other burdens, looking after the orphan and widow and our cultural ethos of redemptive violence.
I also felt this way with those Christians who fought to keep crosses on hills. The logic goes that we are a Christian nation (or founded on Christian principles) and we need to respect that. So countless amounts of money, time, legislation, goes into trying to keep it. It’s symbolic keeping it on the hill and diverts the Christian’s real energy from sharing the gospel, feeding the hungry, and striving for justice in our world.
The problem with these symbolic actions are that they waste time and energy.