I am writing this blog as I sit on a train on my way to the annual Jamaica prayer service in London. This year is particularly significant because Jamaica celebrates its Golden Jubilee in 2012.
Last year I was in Jamaica to bury my father and it was while there I began to feel the burden to pray for the peace of Jamaica. I wrote a number of blogs (18 and 19) while there and returned to the UK with a determination to pray and work for the peace of Jamaica. Part of praying and working for this peace included having a Golden Jubilee service in 2012.
In December 2011 the general elections in Jamaica was the most peaceful in recent memory, all praise to the Prince of Peace, the Lord Jesus Christ.
At the start of the year I went to see the Jamaican High Commissioner to share with her the burden on my heart for Jamaica and also to discuss having a Golden Jubilee Praise and Thanksgiving service to mark the 50th year of independence. The meeting went well and I left the High Commission with the support of the High Commissioner for such a service which will be held on 18th August in Luton, my home town.
I now turn to the subject of this blog, “madness.” Again America mourns the sudden loss of fourteen of its citizens with scores wounded, with many critical, in a single act of madness by a troubled, or as some may say, evil young man.
The young man had purchased four very powerful weapons with over six thousand bullets. When will America come to its senses and give up this madness that guns don’t kill. The argument the defenders of guns use is its people that kill not guns. Clearly this is factually correct but those who use this argument are being silly, disingenuous and irresponsible. Something is seriously wrong in a nation, a so called God fearing nation, that would have as its second amendment to the American constitution the right to bear arms, coming only after freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government whereas the right to trial by jury and the right that established the voting age at 18 were amendments 7th and 26th, respectively. To get an amendment to the American constitution is not easy there have only been 27 in its history, with the last one being enacted in 1992.
There are two ways to amend the U.S. Constitution. The first way is for both houses of Congress (the House of Representatives and the Senate) to propose a constitutional amendment. This requires a 2/3 vote in each house. Once this happens, the proposed amendment is submitted to the individual states for ratification. The legislatures of 3/4 of the states must ratify the amendment, within a certain period if specified. At this point, it becomes part of the Constitution. The president has no official role in amending the Constitution (he doesn’t have to sign the amendment for it to take effect, and can do nothing to defeat a constitutional amendment once it has passed). Of course, unofficially, presidents can use their political clout to influence public opinion one way or another, which can affect the chances of a constitutional amendment passing.
The second method starts with the states, and was likely included to give states a check on overreaching federal power. The legislatures of the states apply to Congress for a convention to propose amendments to the constitution. If 2/3 of the states make such applications, congress must call the convention. Once such a convention is called, and amendments are proposed, the amendment(s) must be ratified by the legislatures of 3/4 of the states. This method has never actually been used to amend the constitution, but Congress has proposed amendments in response to threats by states to call a convention, likely to retain some control over the amendment process. Congress can also stipulate that ratification be made by state conventions, rather than legislatures. The only time this has occurred is the 21st Amendment (repealing the 18th Amendment, which was Prohibition). This method was used to circumvent grass roots opposition to the repeal (the primary impetus for Prohibition in the first place). State legislatures retained the ability to restrict alcohol sale within their borders.
In the case of lifting the prohibition on alcohol ingenuity was deployed, for the will was there but not so with gun control. For instance why doesn’t America simply restrict the purchase of bullets if they are so enamoured with the gun? No, this is too simple, for of course that would be unconstitutional according to many.
So the president, governors, senators and the entire nation will continue to express regret for the senseless loss of another set of people, it’s just a matter of time. Families will weep for their dead and madmen, for they are usually men, will continue to mow down the innocent simply because they have access to weapons.
The most disturbing feature of the recent killings is the fact that the young murderer had an impeccable record. Also he would not fit the profile of a killer in waiting. Another disturbing aspect is the scale of the killing it’s as if each atrocity is being topped by the most recent. No longer does a single killing or even a couple of killings make national news but serial killings or multiple killings like the one in Denver Colorado will.
Let me end this blog with an encouragement to pray for America. I began to pray for Jamaica because it too is God fearing and Bible loving like America yet it too has a problem with guns and murder. God! Please have mercy for we know not what we do.
If you or anyone you know is in need of help: prayer, someone to talk to or write to, then do get in touch by email, telephone or by ordinary letter. My email address at the church is: firstname.lastname@example.org; or 90, Dunstable Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, LU1 1EH, UK; Tel: 01582 391503.
God save the UK. Our platform is the world and our congregation the people.
The Lord’s servant
Apostle Lloyd Denny