North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists Issues Statement on Umpqua Shooting

The president of The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, Daniel R. Jackson, issued the following statement on October 2, 2015 in response to the deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon:

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Just imagine … our church would take a stance against violence, against the NRA, for peace, and for non-violent conflict resolution - what an impact this might have.

It is my understanding that in this particular case Christian were targeted - which makes it all the more important, to give a Christian answer, rather than the obvious one.


It is the NRA which has continued, successfully, to fight any restrictions on gun ownership and purchase. The incidence of fatal gun use in this country far exceeds any other first world nation. It is a fact: the restriction of firearms restricts fatalities by guns.

The obverse is also true: the more guns and easy availability results in greater fatalities by firearms. The NRA fights all efforts to have background checks prior to selling firearms. That makes absolutely no sense.


A timely well composed statement. Adventism at its best. tom Z


You know, I find it funny. Everyone always likes to talk about gun violence this, gun violence that. Is there something more noble about murder by knife, asphyxiation, bat or other blunt object? Why are we only worried about the murders that happen with a gun involved. Had this tragic event happened with a knife, would it be gathering this much attention? I recall the Santa Barbara murderer, he murdered just as many, if not more people with a knife and his car, than he did with his gun, yet he was always framed as a shooter, not a murderer.

Less guns = less gun violence, yes that is true. In the same way that less VW Clean Diesel vehicles on the road = less diesel vehicles on the road. The result is that there are still plenty of other diesel vehicles on the road, and there are still plenty of instances of violence and murder in the world, even in countries that have confiscated firearms.

Can anyone, show me a piece of legislation proposed by any lawmaker of any party, or can you show me your plan, short of total gun confiscation, that would have prevented an incident such as the one that occurred yesterday from happening? (not the specific incident, but the incident of a bad guy entering a gun free zone, with intent of murder) If you can, I’m all ears, because so far all I’ve heard is nasty rhetoric from folks who I’d guess have never had to fill out an ATF Form 4473, which is required for the majority of gun sales, both at a gun shop and at a gun show (all FFL’s require form 4473, and requires a FFL transfer). Because with all of the talk about how we should stop bad guys and crazy people from obtaining weapons, ATF Form 4473 covers all of those and already bars them from doing so.

Finally, let’s be real, criminals do not follow the law. Even if we pass federal law to close the so-called “gun show loophole”, which more accurately should be called the “private party transfer loophole”, since all FFL’s/gun retailers selling at a gun show are required to perform a background check, and it’s only private party transfers that are exempt. What is to stop two bad guys from meeting in a back back alley to do an illegal gun transfer when no one is watching?

Once again, I want answers, show me proposed legislation, or show me your plan.


Here are some ideas on making guns less likely to be used to commit crimes like yesterday’s, if you are interested:

Of course putting these or other ideas into practice would be very difficult politically, but they would not require abridging or repealing the Second Amendment.

If people truly wanted change (against gun violence), like Christ, they would come to the realization that you would need to change peoples hearts, not keep adding new laws, which for the most part will hurt regular folks, not criminals. Rather they should spend their time fighting places like Hollywood and the music industry who glorify gun violence; and have far more to answer for how society has been shaped than any law, or lack thereof.

And therein lies the problem Margaret. If we allow that then why not the 1st amendment:

  • free exercise of religion
  • freedom of speech
  • freedom of the press
  • right to peaceably assemble

I am sorry 4327 but this sounds like an NRA press release rather than a Christian response and no, it’s not funny.

It is also very illogical. He could have attacked them with a salad fork so violence is violence. The point is there is a gradient and the less efficient the weapon the fewer people who die. It’s not rocket science.

It’s not a zero sum game. We don’t say people die on the roads with a speed limit of 60 so we may as well do away with speed limits altogether.

As a dual US citizen I have an understanding that Americans, unlike most other western democratic people, see their freedom attached to guns. I don’t ever see anything like a mass confiscation happening because it would mean civil war, but restricting access and the availability of military style weapons would help in the long run.

I must say though that I am not confident of meaningful change even if dozens of elementary school kids died every day.

The bottom line is Americans love guns and with the inculcation of American history, people feel like the war with the British was last week and are vigilant about “tyranny” on a daily basis.

PS they are called amendments because that’s what they were and still are. Change them, add new ones. Why is democracy static in this regard. We aren’t talking muskets now.


Because guns are a great force multiplier compared to knifes. It is a whole lot easier for a group of people to tackle someone with a knife than it is someone with an automatic weapon, or a bomb.

You might note that farmers are no longer able to access what was a very nice fertilizer, Ammonium Nitrate, because it too is a great force multiplier in the wrong hands. That was a far more useful item in society than guns are, and yet we took that away due to the threat it posed.

Most of these mass murders are carried out by people who aren’t overly likely to acquire weapons if acquiring weapons is reasonably difficult. Perhaps you could explain why other Western countries have less gun violence than we do??


Just compare the American murder rates to those of other developed countries that have far stricter policies concerning firearm possession…Great Britain, Japan, Italy,etc. We have thousands murdered each year at gunpoint, and they have maybe a few dozen murders per year…total, and you’re questioning the correlation? Please, get real!



Then follows a defence of gun ownership.Your above statement is true so act on that.
As society becomes more violent more of these events are going to happen so either act or accept these events are part of modern American society. There is a lot more that could be done but the willpower to better the gun lobby is not there. As an outsider this need to have a six gun slapped to the side is immature to say the least. Strikes me as similar to many macho cultures around the world were the men are not men unless they hold a gun of some sort, the size inversely proportional to their emotional need. Not yet grown up, take my picture please mentality, pre photography selfie stick.
Get ready the British are coming!


"Why are we only worried about the murders that happen with a gun involved."
Because there have been 300,000 of them in the last decade or so. That way outnumbers all other weapons of homicide combined. Get real!


It isn’t just another mass shooting after a lull of several weeks. If measured by a single shooter shooting and striking four or more persons in a single incident, there have been 274 such events in the past 294 days in the U.S.

Half a century ago, the percentage of people having easy access to guns was no less, and even much more casual than today. Yet this type of shooting was far, far less frequent. Essentially, mass shootings were non-existent half a century ago by comparison.

What is different today is that society has become atomized to the point that individuals are lost track of and move about without social support or restraint. Compounding the situation, society has ‘mainlined’ people who were housed in mental hospitals half a century ago, thereby having no system for isolating people who are a threat to themselves and society before these kinds of shootings occur. And that is not the wrong thing to have happened, though it puts much more obligation on the wider society.

We do well as a church to announce what we are going to do in response to this state of society, rather than call for “our society to engage in open, honest, civil, and productive conversation about finding solutions to put an end once and for all to gun violence.”

It is time to make claims rather than conversation.

Let’s claim the truth that the Gospel of Jesus makes no distinction between the shooter and the victims or indeed between any of us and those swept up in the horrific event.

It is time that we consciously depend on loving one another openly and relentlessly rather than thinking we can outsource the results of loving one another to the state, which is obviously impotent in the sweep of society. It is time that we publicly display affection for one another as undifferentiated objects of God’s love and reinfuse society with hope and assurance that is at once beyond ourselves and yet undeniably within ourselves.

We have so much more to offer than the siren call to talk.


There is no law, or action that anyone can take that will stop all deaths by guns. But we can stop some deaths. Just listen to the women’s shelters and the police up here in Canada. We are grateful for the restrictions that we have. The registry has saved and will continue to save lives. Its not perfect but it helps. Some abusers and ‘bad guys’ ARE scared of the law; they DON’T want to go to prison. Gun restrictions stop them getting hold of guns. That’s some lives saved right there. Then when a person is convicted of domestic violence they are told they are not allowed to own a gun. Some comply and some lives are saved. Also the fact that some abusers do have restrictions on gun use gives police the right to search and check on this. Women’s shelter advocate the restricting of guns because we know it saves lives. I’ve worked as a crisis worker in a women’s shelter and I know. I’ve worked as part of a team with the police who have been able to restrict gun use for abusers and it saves some lives. If some lives can be save let’s do it. If we don’t take action because not ALL lives will be saved then the perpetrators win. All we can do is what we can, where we are, one life at a time and pray. Let’s continue on the path to restricting guns. The writer is right, where there are less guns there is less death from guns. The police in the U.K. are still holding off from carrying guns all the time because the day they do they know that more criminals will arm themselves and so the spiral up will escalate dramatically. Less people are killed by guns in the U.K. in proportion to the huge number of people who posess guns in the States where masses of people die by guns every year, many of them women and children in domestic violence situations. During the years of the Vietnam war there were more women and children killed by guns in crimes of domestic violence than soldiers in the war. That is not to devalue the loss of life in the war, but to highlight the craziness that is going on in our own back yards… When the good guys escalate the bad guys escalate. When guns are restricted less lives are lost to guns.
This is my response to those who poo poo gun restrictions because it won’t save ALL lives. Let’s save some for pity’s sake.

1 Like

As a physician who has taken care of more gunshot victims than most other folks I will share a few thoughts.

  1. What has changed over the past few years has much more to do with a heart problem than any other factor.
  2. The areas with the tightest “gun laws” are usually the most violent. examples: Chicago, Washington DC, Baltimore, Los Angeles etc. Why would that be true???
  3. Far more people are killed by “drunk drivers behind the wheel” year in and year out but where is the “outrage” on this issue?? (by the way I have also taken care of many of these folks as well )
  4. Where I live currently (about 2hrs. away from Roseburg ) virtually everyone owns a gun. Gun violence is very low and is usually from hunting accidents not from attempted murder. I saw more gunshot wounds in 2 years at the main trauma hospital in DC than I have seen in 30yrs. here!! It is not gun ownership that corresponds with violence but societal factors. ( Switzerland is a good example )
  5. Mental illness, gangs, drugs, hatred of people (Christians in this instance), evil manifested in the hearts of people, the loss of God as the foundation of society and the family is what fuels these incidents.
  6. You cannot legislate “good behavior” any more than you can legislate “good medicine”. (unfortunately)
  7. Only God’s love manifested by the changing of peoples hearts will correct this problem. Unfortunately that won’t be completed until Christ’s return. (With what we see going on in the Middle East currently that appears to be close at hand, hopefully!!)
    Praying for those hurting from this latest tragedy!!

So strange to hear anyone on this webpage using convolted reasoning in favour of the free and uncontrolled usage of Guns in America!!

America was not a frontier society last time I checked! Yet it still clings to an Amendment to it’s constitution that was fashioned to address the realities of frontier life.

Let’s join the 21st century and repeal this amendment!!


“I keep hearing this [expletive] thing that guns don’t kill people, but people kill people. If that’s the case, why do we give people guns when they go to war? Why not just send the people?”

Ozzy Osbourne

Wake up USA. This is tragic and stoooopid.

1 Like

From one of our friends on FB:

[quote]Let me try to explain to non-Americans why it is impossible for American politicians to enact rational gun laws:

In most countries, people have guns for three reasons: 1) hunting 2) sport and a distant third, personal protection. In the US, these are also important factors, but there is a fourth that is unique to the US and which is the real reason behind the power of the NRA: many Americans harbor an irrational hatred of government. They have, since the founding of the nation, been afraid of federal power. As a consequence, they arm themselves with assault rifles and heavy weapons in case the government should turn on them in order to establish some kind of Soviet tyrannical government. Weapons, to these people, are not for hunting or personal protection, but to protect yourself against your own government. The Civil Rights movement of the 1960s inflamed these irrational sentiments because the federal government sent troops into the American south in order to make sure that African-Americans be able to access the rights granted them by the US Constitution. These feelings are so close to the surface that when the US Army announced it was holding a military exercise called Jade Helm in and around Texas in the summer of 2015, it was widely feared that this was part of Obama’s plan to enslave the people of the South and put them in concentration camps. My father-in-law was a hard-core member of a pacifist church, was also an NRA member and argued (this was about 1980) that if people had to register their guns, the government could swoop in at any time and confiscate them. So dead kids is simply the price of freedom from the ghost of king George III and an imaginary government army out to enslave the American people. @aage_rendalen[/quote]

Trust The Process.


Succinctly stated and very accurate. I would add another: Americans tolerate violence because we internally promote it. A plethora of “mass-killing” movies flood our silver screens, radiate through our eyes and brains, benumbing the shock of death by violence justified because it is usually set in the moral “good vs. evil,”. Thus, we cleave to our weapons having compartmentalized our attraction to violent video deaths secretly thinking “we are always the good guys.”

Another issue is the mass killings are all done by unhinged individuals. People with a record of mental conditions that gravitate toward ugly means to address their embittered, powerless lives. Laws can’t stop that. They can perhaps lower the possibilities of such events.


This is far from my area of expertise, but why is so little said about the role that psychiatric drugs may be playing in mass shootings? I realize there is an entire industry around development and dispersement of these drugs, and they put up a strong defense of their product/profits, but is it possible that some of these drugs are playing a role in increases in violent behavior and violent suicides?

Is Dr. Breggin’s testimony on this matter correct? I’d be interested for the mental health professionals among us to comment. Here are 3 links (of many) to Dr. Breggin’s discussion of this matter.

According to a research study of this concern, by Moore et al.,, “These data provide new evidence that acts of violence towards others are a genuine and serious adverse drug event that is associated with a relatively small group of drugs. Varenicline, which increases the availability of dopamine, and serotonin reuptake inhibitors were the most strongly and consistently implicated drugs.”

Guns have been prevalent in American society for centuries. Mental illness has also existed throughout our history. And yet, the epidemic of mass shootings is a recent phenomenon. What has changed? Is it the massive increase in use of these drugs?