05 January 2016

Guns Don't Kill People- But They Certainly Make It Easier

Regardless of one's position with regard to guns and their ubiquitous presence in American culture, it simply cannot be denied that fewer guns on the street will mean the elimination of mass shootings.

In the American context it is often argued that even if guns sales were suspended there are so many guns 'out there' that crime and mass shootings would not be affected. That may be true but I'm not sure that continued unrestricted gun sales are either the solution or correct moral response.

It's an issue for Babylon. Only Christians who have confused the 2nd Amendment with Christian doctrine or have somehow synthesized the two into a syncretistic ethic believe it is somehow a 'Christian' issue.

If the government were to require that we all hand in our guns then in terms of the New Testament's imperatives with regard to the civil magistrate, we should hand them in.

I know that's sacrilege to many. They believe that such a law would be 'sin' and therefore something that we should collectively disobey. Turning over firearms is not sin, at least not according to the New Testament. No right-thinking Biblically minded Christian would be part of the military or police. No Christian would carry arms in order to exact revenge or kill an attacker. Beyond hunting and perhaps some very limited notion of self-defense... I'm trying to be charitable... there's no reason for Christians to bother with them.

They needn't worry anyway. No one in Washington is mad enough to try and seize guns at this point. They're already afraid of insurrection. Such a move would all but guarantee it.

The mass shooting issue couldn't be made any plainer than by the recent incident on the London tube.

It was certainly a terrorist incident. It was political retribution for the UK's involvement in the Syria War. He injured three people. No one died.

Now the pro-gun argument is that if the locals had been carrying guns they could have shot him down and no one would have been injured.

Why this is the 'Christian' position, I'm not sure. There seems to be such eagerness on the part of so many professing Christians to shoot people.

Without a gun, the man did some harm but was quickly subdued.

What a contrast compared to Dunblane in 1996 or Breivik in 2011.

Again the pro-gun position is that they could have been stopped if teachers or counselors were carrying guns.

But of course had these killers (Hamilton and Breivik) been restricted from obtaining firearms in the first place, then they would have never succeeded in killing the numbers that they did.

Yes, guns don't kill people. We all know the line.

But, people simply can't massacre people on the same scale without semi-automatic firearms.

If we restrict law abiding citizens, then only criminals will have the guns...

Yes, we know this argument too. And again with millions of guns in the United States it would take many years for them to be weeded out.

But is gun proliferation the answer?

It may be the answer in a lost world that embraces the boast of Lamech but it's not an acceptable position for Biblical Christians to embrace. Those that do so, and they are many, have abandoned the teachings of the New Testament and have denied Scripture as the basis for ethics. Instead they have embraced a philosophical system that borrows in part from Scripture and synthesizes its doctrines with Consequentialism and the need for power and the protection of one's assets. This is wholly contrary to the New Testament's teachings in both the Gospels and Epistles.

The way of the cross is not easy and we will be counted as fools. We are called to suffer and be prepared to bear witness and die. Many who proclaim Christ's name are wholly unwilling to live by faith and for many it must be wondered if they possess it all.

Our society is breaking down and there is bound to be more violence and chaos on all levels. This is necessarily unpleasant but we must be certain that we don't abandon Christian ethics because we've decided they just don't work in the real world. Likewise we must be careful that we don't take concepts like 'providing for one's family' and use it as an excuse to negate larger and more prevalent concepts found in the New Testament. Provision does not mean we take lives in order to protect our own, let alone our property.

Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also. The body they may kill, God's truth abideth still.