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What is the best way to end mass shootings? First, let's get wise to the big picture.

Freedom is the most important secular thing we do here in America. Millions have forfeited their lives in various wars and conflicts over the centuries so that we can enjoy it. Yes, it's a sad truth that hundreds have died in mass shootings in this country, but when compared to the millions that have died to preserve our liberty, I digress.

Why do Americans need assault weapons? It is so that the citizenry can overthrow the government if it becomes too tyrannical or authoritarian, as is twice stated in the Declaration of Independence. The Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting or sport shooting. Article 1 Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution states that Congress is to provide for organizing, arming, disciplining and calling forth the Militia. And the Supreme Court has determined that the Second Amendment, with its reference to the Militia, is an individual liberty.

In 1759 Benjamin Franklin said, "They that give up essential liberty for a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

In 1775 Thomas Paine said, "[Arms] discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world. ... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived the use of them.

In 1778 Samuel Adams said, "The Constitution [shall] never be construed to ... prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms.”

In 1788 Richard Henry Lee said, ''To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms. ..."

Patrick Henry said, "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect anyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will protect it but downright force. When you give up that force, you are ruined.”

You may have never heard these quotes before. That's because there are certain groups of people that don't want the children of today being taught these key concepts that our country was founded on.

They want to rewrite true history with a distorted version in an effort to brainwash a new generation with their utopian ideals and discredit those who risked everything, even their very lives, to bequeath to us our great nation.

There's an old adage that says "Bad Times Make For Bad Laws.” Every law, rule, regulation and ordinance must be weighed on the scales of freedom. Banning all sales of semi-automatic, high-capacity firearms will not put an end to mass shootings. There are already millions of them in private hands. The American citizenry will revolt if confiscation is attempted, which will result in thousands more being killed. We have seen and learned what happens in countries whose citizens are unarmed:

authoritarianism, dictatorship, tyranny, loss of freedom, genocide.

So how do we put an end to mass shootings? We need to change the direction of the path that America is currently going down. We need to stop walking down the path that leads away from God, turn around, and start walking toward him. Parents must lead by example. The Bible is the instruction book for life. Get into it. Read and study it. Learn what is right and what is wrong. What is good and what is bad. What is true and what is false. When you choose to do what's right, you're blessed. When you choose to do what's wrong, the wages of sin is death.

Get into a church that uses the Bible and no other book as its sole source of knowledge, and continue to learn and develop. One of the Ten Commandments says ''Thou Shalt Not Commit Murder." If people would follow God’s Commandments and live the Christian life, mass shootings would end. Knowledge and understanding of God's law is what will guide you in knowing when to use a firearm and when not to.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to kill, and a time to heal. He is our father. He created us. He knows what's best for us. Follow him and he will lead you in the paths of righteousness.

Vernon Davis is from Orangeburg


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