a dumb xian ponders american gun rights

I'm not speaking of anyone pejoratively in the title, because I am the dumb Christian. I've seen many insensitive Christians on my Facebook feed make sure the world knows where they stand on the 2nd amendment in light of the Newtown massacre. Insensitivity is not stupidity, though. I'm wondering though, as a citizen of another kingdom, an ambassador of Jesus, how I am to represent Him in these times, in this country I was born in, the USA. I keep thinking of Jesus' statement in Matthew, which I tweeted yesterday, because it seems to throw a monkey wrench in the 2nd amendment argument. When Jesus is arrested in the garden of Gethsemane, at night, by a cohort of soldiers, one of his closest friends, Peter, whips out his sword and manages to clip the side of a servant boy's head, taking off the poor boy's ear. Jesus miraculously reattaches his ear and tells Pete, "Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword." Matt 26:52.

I think that about sums up what I see in my country. In the cause of "self-defense" personal arsenals have to keep escalating. Personal assault rifles? Really? High capacity magazine pistols? Really? It's as if americans believe the world of entertainment, is the world they need to prepare for, in case the Russians invade, in case the walking dead take over. Maybe it is time to hire more peace officers to be a presence at schools and public spaces. I wrestled with this topic a few years ago when a deranged shooter shot up a YWAM campus and New Life church in Colorado in 2007. He was eventually stopped at the church by a volunteer security guard, an ex-policewoman. She did not kill him, but her bullets stopped him. He killed himself before his guns could be taken away. I am not a pacifist, but I wondered if retired police dogs might be an acceptable option for pacifists in hindering an active shooter. Whatever means, trained security, police, dogs, aren't all of these are better than letting everyone arm themselves as they see fit? Without training? Without gun security (trigger locks, gun lockers, fingerprint recognition)?

As it is now, 40% of americans own personal firearms, yet that extremely high percentage has not been enough to stop these maniacs. Current gun law and enforcement haven't stopped them either. The government cannot compel me to own a firearm, but it can make it much, much more difficult to own weapons of mass destruction. I can't buy myself a bazooka. Why should I be able to own a Bushmaster? I can't own a fully automatic machine gun, why should I be able to own a semi-automatic with a magazine that holds 20 bullets?

I am friends with hunters. Their weapons are not useful for mass killing. If one really needs a pistol in belief that it will protect them, how many home invaders does one expect to encounter? Is any magazine that holds more than 6 bullets realistic. Is any caliber over .22 necessary to convince an invader to leave? Is death preferable to injury, if both result in cessation of attack?

It seems that in most cases, guns in the hands of civilians end up hurting those like the slave boy in the garden of Gethsemane. I think guns, in the hands of trained police or security, do bring an end to wicked events, but they are usually turned at those using guns they legally purchased or stole from those who legally purchased them.

If you want protection at home, get a dog. They are much better companions than a piece of steel under your pillow. I'm not sure this is what Jesus would advocate, but I think any idea that doesn't involve killing others is probably closer to his Kingdom's way than guns.
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Comments

Drew Sumrall said…
Good post. Certainly not 'dumb'.
John Umland said…
Thanks Drew.
God is love
jpu

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