I want to talk about guns. Guns are a controversial topic in today’s world, especially in the United States. Mass shootings, school shootings, or just everyday inner city violence always provides an opportunity for a politician or talking head in the media to cry out for more gun control.
“We need stricter gun control laws!”
“We need to take away AR-15s!”
“We need to ban assault rifles and assault pistols!”
The fact is there are already strict gun laws on the books, Federal and State. There have been assault weapons bans passed by Congress (1994). There is the National Firearms Act of 1934 and the Gun Control Act of 1968, none of which has prevented one criminal from shooting someone else. Every day there are also numerous stabbings, people beaten to death with objects, and other ways people have used to end someone’s life. I never see anyone calling for knife or baseball bat control, do you?
What all of this legislation and political grandstanding fails to do is address the wickedness of the human heart. Cain killed Abel with a rock. The object used is irrelevant. What’s in the heart? Only Jesus Christ can truly deal with the human heart. A criminal does not respect the law- that’s why there are criminals. One more gun law or the establishment of another gun free zone will not prevent a tragedy because of the utter evil and wickedness that lies within a depraved human heart.
Am I against all gun laws? No. I believe there should be age and mental health restrictions as to who can own guns. For example, you don’t want a small child or someone with a long history of serious mental illness to get their hands on a gun.
Now that I’ve shared a heavily partisan response, what should be the Christian response to guns? I believe that guns, like money, television, the Internet, cars and so on are not inherently evil, it’s what it is used for. If I work a job to make money and support my family, money’s fine. However, if I use money for illegal and corrupt purposes, that money’s is bad. If someone has a legal right to own a gun to protect their family and property, then they should express that right as outlined in the Constitution. If a career criminal uses that same gun to kill or rob, the gun is being used for wicked purposes. The proper or improper use of an object relies solely on the personal responsibility of the user.
Prior to writing this post, I did a cursory search of “Christians and gun control” and I found lots of posts and articles on the topic. No matter which side of the gun control debate you’re on, you will find multiple articles to support your position. I grew up around guns. I learned to shoot guns at an early age, but I was also taught the proper safety and respect for firearms. Guns are not toys. Guns are not a way for you to settle an argument nor to get respect or “street cred.” Gun ownership is a heavy and serious responsibility.
WWJD, or in this case, what does Jesus say about personal protection? Luke 22 tells Luke’s version of the Last Supper and Jesus’ time in the Garden of Gethsemane before His arrest. Jesus gives His disciples some advice:
“And He said to them, ‘When I sent you without money bag, knapsack, and sandals, did you lack anything?’ So they said, ‘Nothing.’ Then He said to them, ‘But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a knapsack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one. For I say to you that which is written must still be accomplished in Me: ‘And He was numbered with the transgressors’ For the things concerning Me have an end.'”(Luke 22:35-37, NKJV).
Jesus is contrasting the times he sent out the twelve and the seventy to preach the Gospel (Luke 9:1-6 and 10:1-4, respectively). Jesus sent the disciples out with nothing, but now things are going to change. Jesus was going to die on the cross, resurrect, and ascend into heaven. Jesus’ time on earth was limited and He was preparing the disciples for when He would not be with them.
Notice that Jesus told them to buy a sword if they did not have one. The type of sword Jesus is referring to would be considered a long knife or a dagger. Jesus knew the roads were dangerous, full of robbers and bandits ready to rob, injure, and possibly kill travelers along the way. (If you remember, in the parable of the Good Samaritan, the traveler was beaten and robbed along the road).
Jesus warned us about the lawlessness of the Last Days and how the earth would be full of violence as it was in the days of Noah. I believe that there is a globally concerted effort to disarm legal and responsible gun owners at the expense of dealing with crime. While many jails across this country seemingly have been installed with revolving doors so criminals can go back out, local, state, and federal governments are placing the average law-abiding citizen and their family in harm’s way. I believe it is a time for Christian men and women to stand-up for their God-given rights before they are taken away. I will leave you with a quote from President Ronald Reagan:
“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day, we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free,”