Several months ago, I felt the urge to write a booklet entitled, "The Demonization of Firearms and the Deterioration of Society." In brief, the booklet details how many venues are making firearms out to be evil and their availability responsible for many of the horrific acts occurring in society today. I disagree completely with this

presumptuous theory. There is no object to blame for the problems in society. The responsibility for those problems lies much deeper than an object.

Paraphrasing from the booklet, firearms lack, by definition, the properties to be evil. No inanimate object can be evil. In Websterís Dictionary, evil is defined as having bad moral qualities - sinful; wicked; corrupt; perverse. Reading this definition, one can see that objects lack the qualities to be or to become evil. Only people possess the qualities to be or to become evil. Objects can only be used as accessories or instruments of our evil.

As humans, not only do we possess the ability to be evil, we often choose to act upon that ability. If you believe the Bible, as I do, the first murder occurred without a firearm, but with a rock, when Cain killed his brother by beating him to death with a stone. The stone, itself, was no more evil than todayís firearms, but was merely

an inanimate object, made an accessory to one manís evil. As you can see, evil and violence are nothing new. But, you may say, violence and evil are increasing. To this, I would agree.

In our culture today, we seem to need to find a reason, or object, to blame for the increase in evil instead of looking at where the only source of blame could lieósociety itself. Evil increases through moral decay or decline. The only way for evil to increase is if good decreases. The opposite holds true as well. Good increases through rises in moral behavior. And for good to increase, evil must decrease.

We as humans, hold the keys that control which way the scales tip. I believe in God, the Bible, and the Devil, or Satan. God, being Good, Satan, being Evil. Our choice of which one to follow (Good or Evil) determines the increase or decrease in the tip of the scales.

As many would agree that evil and violence are increasing, so it is easy to conclude that we are turning from God and toward Satan. One doesnít have to look far to see this in modern society. Where do I start? Most of the behaviors that come to mind are not that of turning from God, but are the results of that turning. We turn from God when we remove the Ten Commandments from courthouses and public places.

When we remove prayer from sporting events, graduation ceremonies and public meetings. When we take Godís truths and dilute these truths, making a more socially acceptable Gospel. We turn from God when we remove Him from our funerals, weddings, decisions both personal and business, and family matters and home life. The easiest way to say this is, we turn from God when we remove Him from our daily livesóour daily thoughts and actions.

If we continue to blame objects and not identify and address the true source of the increase in evil, no matter how many objects we find to blame, evil will still increase. Unless we choose to follow God and His principles, the evil of today (which is shocking compared to a few years ago) will seem small yet again, to those in a few years.

The booklet was finished the day of the Aurora theater shooting and well in advance of the Sandy Hook school shooting. Where are many in society placing blame for these two tragic events (as well as many others)? Iíll leave that answer up to you.

John Barbee

Dublin