This morning, Rick Warren (pastor of a megachurch out in Commiefornia) Tweeted that his son purchased a gun with the serial number destroyed via a private sale over the internet in California. He Tweeted that he hopes the person that sold the gun asks for God’s forgiveness.
The entire intent of the Tweet is to imply that selling a gun without the government’s permission is a sin. But, only based on the fact that Christians are to obey the government’s laws is that true.
He obviously implies that what the seller did was sinful for breaking the law, because he conducted a private sale in California where such a thing is illegal for the weapon he sold. He also implies that the weapon’s registration status would have done something to prevent his son acquiring or using it to kill himself.
Finally, he implies that the weapon having a serial number would prevent it from being used in the manner his son did.
All of these implications are utterly FALSE. Not only are they false, but they are downright lies meant to conjure emotion instead of rational thought.
Would a strict, California background check and waiting period have likely prevented Rick’s son from acquiring a gun?
NO. Unless he was a felon or previously declared mentally adjudicated by a judge, neither of which are likely, he would not have been denied the purchase. Given that he actively sought and purchased the gun, it means that he would have willing waited more time to kill himself.
Would registration have prevented Rick’s son from turning the weapon on himself and pulling the trigger?
NO. Registration is only for people who don’t want to get punished in the future. Killing yourself negates all future consequences of broken laws.
Would a serial number have impaired the function of the gun?
NO. Is a license plate or VIN required for the mechanical bits on your car to operate?
Would the state be able to hold the seller liable for what was done with the gun?
NO. Can the state hold you liable for selling a car to a person who later goes and drives drunk and kills someone with it? (If it could, you wouldn’t find a car dealer in this country)
I state all of the above as someone who has experience the loss of a friend via suicide by gun. Several years ago, a longtime friend of mine shot himself with his hunting rifle. He showed almost no signs of depression, even to those closest to him (he was living with his parents at the time). Going to the funeral of a friend who was 2 years my senior and hugging his parents, siblings, his nieces and nephews in the reception line was one of the saddest things I’ve ever had to do. To know that I will never see nor speak my friend a peer again in this life due to his own actions is something that is still difficult for me to comprehend even years later.
Suicide is NOT a problem that can be solved by gun control. There are many methods to inflict a lethal wound on one’s self. It is a human problem.