Dr. Richard Land

Gun Violence Out of Control in a City That Controls Its Guns

September 13, 2016

Dr. Richard Land Analyzes Fact that Chicago Has Recorded 500+ Homicides This Year, Already Topping 3,000 Gun Violence Victims

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Over a deadly Labor Day weekend, the city of Chicago saw its 500th homicide of 2016, already surpassing last year’s total—with four months to go.

August homicides in Chicago climbed to a 20-year high, and the bloody holiday weekend saw 65 people shot, the Chicago Tribune reported. And according to Fox News, the 13 killed brought the city’s skyrocketing homicide total to 512—already well past the 491 logged in 2015.

Evangelical leader and Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu) President Dr. Richard Land recently discussed gun crime and the link to communities where citizens carry guns for safety. Chicago has some of the nation’s most stringent gun laws.

“A new Rasmussen poll reveals some startling shifts in Americans’ attitudes about gun ownership,” said Land in a recent installment of his daily radio feature, “Bringing Every Thought Captive.” “Evidently, an accelerating majority of Americans—68 percent—feel safer in a neighborhood where guns are allowed. Recent polls by organizations as diverse as ABC News, Gallup, Pew Research and the Washington Post all confirm this trend.

“A rapid increase in gun ownership in the American population also reflects this new reality,” Land continued. “The number of concealed handgun permits has virtually tripled in the last eight years alone. And the number of women with concealed gun permits is rising twice as fast as among men, and the rate of gun ownership is rising twice as fast among African-Americans as among whites. Why? Well, the homicide rate has dropped nationwide, coinciding with this surge in concealed weapon permits. In the past eight years, the murder rate has dropped 25 percent while concealed weapon permit holders have increased by 156 percent. The data also shows that localities with the largest increases in gun permits have experienced the sharpest decreases in homicide rates.

“This is very strong evidence indicating that given the fallen nature of humanity, an armed citizenry is a strong deterrent to crime, and publicly declared ‘gun-free’ zones are an invitation to mayhem—inherently more dangerous places than localities where law-abiding citizens are permitted to carry weapons to defend themselves against those who would do them and their loved ones harm.”

The Chicago Tribune is also reporting that the city has now surpassed 3,000 shooting victims—at 3,033 as of Sept. 13. According to the newspaper, the total stood at 2,930 as of that violent Labor Day, with “the first grimly inevitable milestone” at 2,988—the number of people shot in Chicago all of last year.

According to the coverage, “Tribune crime reporters keep a detailed spreadsheet, which shows 546 shootings sinceAug. 1. That works out to be nearly 15 people shot every day—the majority on the West and South sides. Summer is always the most dangerous season in Chicago, but the violence this year is worse than it’s been in two decades. The city’s homicide total: about 500, most of them on this roster of shooting victims.”

While the nation focuses on gun violence and legal gun ownership as two heated election issues, the American Culture & Faith Institute (ACFI) recently studied conservative Christian gun owners and discovered that, in general, they are not the working class, unsophisticated people that some portray. “With a majority having earned a college degree, and a median household income exceeding $100,000,” the study found, “the typical Christian conservative who owns a gun does not conform to the stereotype.”

Other key survey findings of SAGE Cons—Spiritually Active, Governance Engaged Conservatives—included that:

In one month, SES will kick off its 23rd annual National Conference on Christian Apologetics, one of the premier apologetics events in the nation. Hosted by Calvary Church, 5801 Pineville-Matthews Road in Charlotte, the event begins Oct. 13 with a women’s conference and continues through the weekend. 

  • Overall, 58 percent currently own one or more guns. Nationally, it is estimated that about one out of three U.S. adults own a firearm, which means that Christian conservatives are nearly twice as likely to own a gun.
  • Less than a quarter (23 percent) have military background.
  • Nearly 6 in 10 (57 percent) describe themselves as “extremely proud to be an American,” considerably higher than SAGE Cons who do not own a gun (46 percent).
  • 93 percent of Christian conservatives who own a gun are not happy about the condition of the country, expressing a high degree of dissatisfaction with the way things are in America. In fact, 92 percent described themselves as “angry about the current state of America” and 56 percent said they are “worse off now” than they were in the past.
  • These gun owners are highly devout followers of Christ. Nearly 9 in 10 reported attending a church service and reading the Bible during the past week. They were also more likely to listen to Christian radio (68 percent in the past week), discuss their religious beliefs with someone who had different beliefs (56 percent during the prior week), and watch Christian television programming (39 percent in the past week).
  • Overall, 96 percent either believe that the Bible is “the actual word of God and should be taken literally, word for word” or that it is “the inspired word of God and has no errors, although some verses are meant to be symbolic rather than literal.” Among all U.S. adults, just 54% hold these same beliefs about the Scriptures.
  • Of this group, 86 percent plan to vote for Donald Trump and 92 percent say Hillary Clinton to do a “poor job” if elected president.

Taking place just three weeks before the presidential election, SES has lined up an impressive program of nationally known speakers who will tackle the many tough topics that have been debated both in society and on the campaign trail. The seminary will welcome such top names as Norman Geisler, Richard Howe, Richard Land, Josh and Sean McDowell, Hugh Ross, Jay Sekulow, Lee Strobel, Frank Turek and J. Warner Wallace, along with many others.

The theme of the conference, “The Defense Never Rests,” focuses on the ongoing charge to Christians to defend their beliefs rationally, intelligently and lovingly.

SES is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. Many courses focus on societal issues from a Christian worldview, delve into scientific apologetics or contemplate creation research.

SES explores ethical issues through its “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program; for more information, visitwww.ethics.ses.eduSouthern Evangelical Seminary also recently unveiled a new apologetics blog atwww.WhyDoYouBelieve.org, where Land and other SES voices address the most pressing issues of the day.

Land is featured in his nationally syndicated daily radio commentary, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs on almost 400 stations nationwide, including nearly 200 on the American Family Radio Network and 100 on the Bott Radio Network. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” is also podcast daily on the free SES mobile app and airs locally in the Charlotte, N.C., area every weekday. The “Bringing Every Thought Captive” television program, hosted by Land, airs on the NRB Network Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and midnight EST. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” also reaches nearly 2 million households in the Chicago area on the Total Living Network. For details about stations, times, downloads and more, click here.

Land has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor for several seminaries and has authored or edited more than 15 books. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England and his bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. Land also earned a Master of Theology (Honors Program) degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received the Broadman Seminarian Award as the Outstanding Graduating Student. Dr. Land was the 2013 Watchman Award recipient from the Family Research Council for his leadership on moral and cultural issues. He also received the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth from Biola University in 2010. Land served previously (1988-2013) as president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families. In 2014, he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow of the ERLC’s Research Institute, and in 2015, he was named in the top 15 of Newsmax’s “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.”

Southern Evangelical Seminary invites visitors to its web site to join the more than 20,000 people who have already downloaded the SES Apologetics App for Windows mobile devices and Android and Apple phones and tablets. Those with the app can get the very best news and information in Christian apologetics, including articles, audio, video, blogs and more from today’s most able defenders of the Christian faith—William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, William Dembski, Frank Turek, Hugh Ross, Gary Habermas and other well-known speakers, authors and teachers. SES has also been ranked as one of the top graduate programs for General Christian Apologetics by TheBestSchools.org’s “Top 10 Graduate Programs in Christian Apologetics.”

For more information on SES, visit its web site at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH. For more information about SES’ “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program, visit www.ethics.ses.edu.

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For information on SES or to set up an interview with Dr. Richard Land or another representative, contact Jen Retallick, 610-584-1096, ext. 100Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton, 215-815-7716or 610-584-1096, ext. 102.

Southern Evangelical Seminary is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. The Christian college and seminary offers a wide variety of bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees. Programs can be completed through residence in the Charlotte area or online. The award-winning education at SES is distinctively Christian and focused on evangelism and world-engaging defense of the Christian faith—Christian Apologetics.