Thursday, October 08, 2015

On Guns

Social media is atwitter with the gun question again, thanks to another mass shooting by a deranged individual and kept alive by comments from amateur pundits and Presidential contenders alike. It is always a terribly difficult discussion to have because many people have firmly established notions one way or the other. So I thought I would add some fuel on the fire by throwing in my two (cyber) cents.

I am something of an oddity, a non-resistant Christian who abhors war and bloodshed but opposes gun control legislation. That may seem somewhat contradictory but allow me to explain.

I support the right of American citizens to keep arms not because I think we should all pack heat to defend ourselves against criminals but because as a realist I understand the very real deterrence an armed population has on a would-be tyrannical government. I don't advocate armed rebellion, even the rebellion that led to the formation of this country, but I do recognize that the state is properly understood in the size and scope of ours to be an enemy of liberty. The primary motivation of most institutions, including and especially our government, is to retain and expand its own power and thereby preserve itself and those who benefit from it. An armed populace stands as a counter to a state that seeks to reduce individual liberty and force conformist behavior on said populace. Even a casual glance at our government and the accompanying bureaucracy sees a state that is in multiple ways seeking to increase control over a largely flaccid and disinterested people who don't seem to mind losing freedom as long as they can watch The Bachelorette. As I wrote in my post Why worry about things that don't matter? I believe that even things that are not Kingdom issues still have meaning. It is better for people to be more free and to enjoy more liberty than it is for them to have less. If you don't think that many of the ideological drivers behind gun control are more concerned about law abiding citizens who are armed than they are about mass shootings, I have to assume you are naive.

Of course as I have pointed out before, making something illegal only impacts those who obey  the law, i.e. not criminals. By definition a criminal is someone who, typically, is aware of the law but has decided to break the law anyway. The gun control movement never seems to get this. Perhaps a better way of stating it is that the gun control movement doesn't trust people with guns, even when the evidence points to law abiding gun owners as being, again by definition, not criminal. Most gun control legislation, existing and proposed, treats every America citizen as a law breaker waiting to happen.

Some claim that it is inconsistent to be a pro-lifer who is anti-abortion but pro-Second Amendment. Abortions kills people. Guns kill people. Right? Wrong. The United States has some 300 million guns in the hands of private citizens if the stats are to be believed. Some insane percentage of those citizens with their hundreds of millions of guns, 99% perhaps, have never shot anyone, threatened to shoot anyone or even considered pulling a gun on someone. I own a number of firearms ranging from shotguns to rifles to hand guns. I have never and likely would never shoot anyone and the only exception would be a heat of the moment defense of my family and even that I don't consider to be proper for a Christian.

On the other hand, with a few rare exceptions where a child somehow survives the butcher's forceps and is born in spite of the best effort of a "doctor", abortions always end a human life. Not only that but they are intended to do just that no matter how much clinical and sterile language we try to hide it behind. It is the exact opposite of gun ownership. I would guess that 99.99% of abortions end as expected and desired with the death of a child. To recap, legal gun ownership almost never results in the death of someone else, much less an innocent except in the cases where a negligent parent fails to secure their gun and fails to educate their child.  Conversely abortion is intended to and almost always succeed in ending the life of another human being and by definition that child is innocent in a way that virtually no adult could be.

Get that? Owning a gun by a law abiding citizen is almost never going to lead to the death of an innocent and is generally not intended to. Having an abortion almost always leads to the death of an innocent and it is intended to do so. Comparing the two is asinine. Now one can make the argument, and I have, that being pro-life when it comes to abortion but at the same time being pro-war is inconsistent. War is intended to take life and innocents dying in those wars is an expected result.

So there it is in a nutshell. Feel free to tell me I am wrong but be prepared to use facts and reason rather  than simple emotionalism.

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