the self-defense argument for guns examined

This really isn't much of an examination. There have been many great articles on the irrational American obsession with weapon ownership. I've read several at Slate.com (expected), the Economist (the non-American perspective which is WTF?) and at the American Conservative (totally unexpected).  The argument that armed citizens stop crime is pretty weak. Trained and armed police are more effective, but even they can cause collateral damage, see the NYC story. More guns in our country seems to have a pretty close correlation with more gun deaths in our country. If you need more depression in your life, make sure you follow the twitter feed @gundeaths, which tracks all reported gun deaths in the USA. It tends to fill up my twitter feed every single day. But many of my fellow americans, read the comments on facebook or on news websites, and the NRA just keep hollering that citizens need to be armed to protect themselves. Previously, I suggested people get dogs instead. I do realize not everyone can keep a dog. So maybe I can find a compromise with the NRA. Why don't they advocate that everyone have access to a Taser instead? Their lethality is limited. One can't commit suicide with them. One can't commit mass murder with them. They do work at a distance. They are only good for defense.

But I don't think the NRA really cares about protection. They support an industry. The industry is also supported by several magazines (no pun intended) that were awfully disturbing to view on the library racks yesterday. The covers are advertising instruments of death. Why don't we have guillotine magazine as well? That industry does not make money off of Tasers. Perhaps they could, if the 2nd amendment were understood as "well regulated" meaning not capable of killing unless in the hands of soldiers and police. Maybe the government could offer an exchange program, handguns for tasers. I much rather prefer those successful trade-ins of guns for groceries. But there seems to be a deep rooted affection for guns. Some Christians call this modern American idolatry, even modern worship of the ancient Middle Eastern idol, Molech. That cult required the sacrifice of children for protection. Eerie.

I'm a follower of Jesus myself. Here is what he said about those who treat us violently in his sermon on the mount.
38"You have heard that the law of Moses says, 'If an eye is injured, injure the eye of the person who did it. If a tooth gets knocked out, knock out the tooth of the person who did it.' 39But I say, don't resist an evil person! If you are slapped on the right cheek, turn the other, too. 40If you are ordered to court and your shirt is taken from you, give your coat, too. 41If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles. 42Give to those who ask, and don't turn away from those who want to borrow. 43"You have heard that the law of Moses says, 'Love your neighbor' and hate your enemy. 44But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too. 46If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. Matthew 5
The way I read it, I need to hold onto my stuff loosely. It's not worth protecting. But the lives of others are worth protecting. Here is a great summary of what some pacifists have done, with remarkable bravery, without weapons in war. Jesus lived out his words and let himself be captured and killed. Martin Luther King Jr. lived out Jesus' words and got rid of his firearms when his home and family were threatened. Those words can change the world. And they have. If only they would be trusted by Americans. Europe has found that restricting access to firearms, and making bullets very expensive, results in less gum crime, even by the criminals. The police don't even have to carry side arms. The experiment has been conducted and found successful. What are americans waiting for?
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