Cleansing Fire

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Timely Refresher on Biblical Basis for Gun Rights

March 26th, 2021, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Who ordered lethal weapons to be brought to the Garden?

Although much political muscle and media opinion favors “gun control,” that does not mean the loudest voices are on the side of morality or responsibility, let alone on the side of righteousness.  Rather, the dialogue should be broader, at least as much in moral terms as in consideration of constitutional rights, which come from God, not from the government.   On May 6, 2013, then VP of the United States (Joe Biden) asked clerics to preach gun control from the pulpit, taking for granted that religious leaders would be aligned with the Obama administration’s concept of gun control, and without seeming to understand that there is, indeed, a biblical basis for gun rights.  Even a cursory exegesis of New Testament Scripture leads to a deeper understanding of these issues. Luke, the only non-Jewish (Gentile) New Testament author, was a Greek physician, a man with close attention to detail and access to eyewitnesses.  His Gospel also helps to form conscience on Second Amendment Rights.

Christ’s true teaching has often been watered down, even from the pulpit, to a “nice” modern, non-controversial, secularly popular interpretation. Issues of self-defense are barely mentioned.  Yet, Christ did not avoid controversy.  He drove buyers and sellers from the Temple with a whip of cords (#1).  He spoke clearly, and often at personal risk, accusing Scribes and Pharisees of being “whitewashed tombs … full of dead men’s bones… (#2), calling Herod the Tetrarch a “fox (#3), and laying out Truth for the Roman governor of Judea, Pilate, who didn’t know or care what Truth meant (#4).  There is no reason to believe, facing imminent death, that Christ would have spoken with diminished candor.

Elsewhere in Scripture, when Christ was misunderstood, He persisted and did not allow His apostles to abide in error.  For example, after He deliberately delayed responding to Lazarus’ impending death, He used the softer word that Lazarus had fallen “asleep.  The disciples misunderstood, but He set them straight:  “Then Jesus told them plainly, ‘Lazarus is dead….’” (#5)  Similarly, when a large group of disciples walked away from Jesus in John, Chapter 6, because they could not accept His Words about eating His flesh and drinking His blood, He let them go.  They did not misunderstand; so He didn’t soften the Truth for them, but reiterated it even more strongly.  So, it makes sense, just hours before His arrest and death, that Jesus would not say something He did not mean.  Christ did call for swords to be carried to Gethsemane.  But why?

Arming the Apostles:  All four Gospels mention Christ’s apostles carrying swords to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He was arrested.  Only Luke explains that Christ was the One Who directed His followers to carry those weapons!  Luke writes:  “[Christ] said to them … let him who has no sword sell his mantle and buy one.  For I tell you that this scripture must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was reckoned with transgressors;’ for what is written about Me has its fulfillment.”  “And they said, ‘Look, Lord, here are two swords.’  And He said to them, ‘It is enough.’” (#6)

Enough!  One comment should be made on Christ’s words: “It is enough,” lest misunderstanding be carried into the following discussion. The Greek word for “enough” is hikanos and has been inappropriately characterized in the Sacra Pagina regarding the Gospel of Luke to mean “exasperated termination of this discussion,” but that is not what the Greek implies.  “It is enough” seems best translated as “sufficient.”  Luke uses the word hikanos nine times in his Gospel, translated also into English as “worthy,” “many,” and “long,” and never with an almost snide modern meaning of “Enough already!”  The word has been used regarding John the Baptist’s not being worthy to untie Christ’s sandals, and about the centurion not being worthy that Christ should come under his roof. It is used for “many people,” “many swine,” and for a “long time.” Such eisegesis, reinterpreting hikanos 2000 years later with a gun control bias, does a great disservice to the Bible and to those who hold it sacred.

Protection: Christ’s words focus on protection, asserting that henceforth a sword would be needed even more than the mantle’s protection from cold and chill.  The mantle (or cloak) was so important that the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy (24:13) required, when it was given as a pledge, that it be returned by day’s end so that the wearer would not suffer in the nighttime chill.  One might also hear in Christ words His Own sense of obligation to protect those whose care had been entrusted to Him by the Father and even, since Peter had one of the swords, the continuation of such protection of the apostles through Peter.

CCC 2265: “Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others.  The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm.  For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.”

The Machaira:  The sword carried by Peter was likely a “machaira,” variously described as a large knife, a small sword, or a straight one-edged sword for thrusting.  Given the size of the machaira, it would be used in close quarters, against a near threat.  The word machaira occurs in fifteen Gospel verses.  Of these, eight are references to the apostles’ taking and using the weapon at Gethsemane, plus five refer to the crowds, to whom Christ said:  “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs….” (#7)

 

CCC 2264: “Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life.”

Why did Christ Call for WeaponsAs He faced His Crucifixion, Christ was concerned about the safety of His apostles.  He prayed for them, but He also called them to protect themselves.  Carrying weapons, they would have some protection, might make enemies hesitate to attack (i.e. deterrence), and perhaps even offer some self-confidence to control their fear.  Christ, about to die, would no longer be protecting them in an earthly sense.  His Priestly Prayer to the Father, just before His arrest, was: “While I was with them, I kept them in Thy Name, which Thou hast given Me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.” (#8) He said that He, their Shepherd, would be struck, and“the sheep will be scattered (#9).  He even told the apostles the reason they would be in danger; i.e., because He would be “reckoned with transgressors….”  It is logical to think His closest companions might be subject to harassment or attack for having been so long in the company of someone about to be crucified between two thieves, convicted of a capital crime.  Even the accusers presented Christ to Pilate as a transgressor:  “If this man were not an evildoer, we would not have handed Him over.” (#10)  The apostles’ risk further increased because they soon would preach Christ’s Own mission and work.

CCC 2269: “The moral law prohibits exposing someone to mortal danger without grave reason….”

Why was Peter Told to Put Away the Sword?  The machaira which Peter carried was not intended to protect Christ from fulfilling His own mission, but for the apostles’ self-defense. His response to the crowd which came to arrest Him was: I told you that I am He; so, if you seek Me, let these men go.” (#11) Clearly, Peter did not understand his own role and reacted in a most human way, attacking:  Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s slave and cut off his right ear.  The slave’s name was Malchus.  Jesus said to Peter, ‘Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given Me?’” (#12)  These words illustrate that their swords were not to protect Jesus, Who had already prayed to the Father: “… not My Will, but Thine, be done.” (#13)

CCC 2262: “He [Christ] did not defend himself and told Peter to leave his sword in its sheath.”  Matthew 26:52.

There is no evidence Christ wanted His apostles to do anything illegal either.  Apparently just carrying a sword for self-defense was not illegal, or Peter would not have been told to put it back into its sheath, but rather it would have been confiscated by the armed guard.  One should not suppose that arming the apostles meant that they were to initiate an attack.  Peter was told to put away the sword, not to throw away the sword; i.e. not to “disarm.”

In Matthew’s Gospel, Christ adds:  “… for all who take the sword will perish by the sword” (#14), criticizing drawing a weapon against someone who is not attacking, or perhaps not even armed.  Although the crowd had swords, we are given no evidence that anyone had used a weapon against Christ or the apostles.  A few translations of Luke 22:51 (#15) have Christ say (when Peter draws his sword) “No!” or “Stop!” but the Greek does not support using either word.  The better translation of the Greek would seem to be in the King James Version: “Allow even this,” an expression of Christ’s willingness to go to the Cross.  Then Christ healed the servant’s ear, protecting Peter once again, this time from potential criminal charges of assault.

The Gospels say little about whether the apostles were again threatened that night or soon after by armed authorities, but there must have been fear, for one young man, who was about to be seized, ran away naked.  The only apostle to show up at the Cross was John.  Peter’s fear was manifested in his three denials around the charcoal fire in the High Priest’s Courtyard during Christ’s trial:  “One of the servants of the high priest, a kinsman of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, asked, ‘Did I not see you in the garden with Him?’” (#16)  This accusation was immediately followed by Peter’s third denial of Christ.

The Choice to Defend Oneself:  Misunderstanding or misreading these texts causes them to be overlooked as approving righteously carrying a self-defense weapon.  The Bill of Rights enshrines our God-given rights, rights not originating from the state, which is charged to protect those rights.  The Gospels affirm the “right” of self-protection and, at times, the obligation to protect the vulnerable (as a father protecting his family) and, by extension, for the protection of self for the service of God, for the work of His Church, for the service of others, and for the good order of society.

CCC 2263: The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing.

Later, after being strengthened by the Resurrection and Pentecost, a disciple could freely choose not to protect himself further, when his own martyrdom, not a senseless death, became a higher calling. In other words, exercise of the right to bear arms was not mandated as an obligation for self-protection. Hence, even the willingness to give up one’s life in martyrdom, to drink of the cup one is given for the sake of soul over body, would  seem not to violate the obligation to oneself:

CCC 2264 “Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality.… Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow….”

But there is nothing about guns in the Bible.  Of course not, nor about the Internet, space travel, chemotherapy, fission, cloning or fracking, e.g.  Yet the Gospel never becomes outdated.  Christ clearly authorized the right to self-defense.  The weapon in the biblical pre-gun society was the machaira, requiring close proximity for use.  But today, in a society with firearms, where an attacker has a clear tactical advantage, swords have no role.  The Bible does not fix the actual means of self-defense, but rather the right to self-defense, to use a weapon for protection.  If we are to hear about weapons from the pulpit, may it be God’s word, not politicians’ manipulations.

So, do gun-rights apply in Church? Well, Christ Himself called for weapons for the protection of His Own Apostles in the Holy Garden of Gethsemane. Doesn’t the answer seem clear?

 

References:  All Bible citations are from the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition unless otherwise noted:  (#1)  John 2:15, (#2)  Matthew 23:27, (#3)  Luke 13:32, (#4)  John 18: 37-38, (#5)  John 11:10-14, (#6)  Luke 22:36-38, (#7)  Matthew 26:55, Mark 14:48, Luke 22:52, (#8)  John 17:12, (#9)  Mark 14:27, (#10)  John  18:30,  (#11) John 18:8,  (#12) John 18:10-11, (#13) Luke 22:42, (#14)  Matthew 26:52, (#15)  Luke 22:51, (#16)  John 18:26

 

Diane C. Harris

 

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10 Responses to “Timely Refresher on Biblical Basis for Gun Rights”

  1. avatar BigE says:

    As a theologian famously once said, “A text without context is a pretext for a proof text.”

    1) I have trouble reconciling someone carrying around a gun while at the same time being filled with the “Fruits of the Holy Spirit”: peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self-control.

    2) “Maybe” there’s an argument for handguns and self defense. But assault rifles? I can’t see it. Those aren’t for self defense. They’re for military use and designed to kill a lot of people in a short amount of time.

    3) Again, I understand the logic for self defense. Yet I also feel the prevalence of so many guns are a contributor to the endless violence in our society. It’s difficult to imagine that the One whose own Passion models the redemptive power of non-violence would actively advocate for these guns. Reminds me of the early expectations of a “Warrior” Messiah who would over throw the Romans.

  2. avatar Diane Harris says:

    And that, my friends, is the kind of approach which reveals the gun-grabbers intent, and their lack of meaningful argument. “I have trouble…” and “Maybe” and “I can’t see it” and “I feel” and “It is difficult to imagine” etc. Fortunately, the founding fathers could well imagine what a government would be like if the people were unable to bear arms.

    It would be a country where millions could be put into a lockdown situation in their own homes, where they could be forced to wear facemasks in public, where just being Catholic could lead to their persecution, where children are kept out of their own schools, where millions of trespassers could just walk across the border and take away from those who earned what they had, where even patriotic supporters of the bill of rights could be kept from serving (or harassed for serving) their own communities, and where gathering size would be so limited that it would be meaningless, where churches would be ordered to turn their backs on their own people, and deny them the treasury of the Church (Mass and Communion) thus starving them for months on end for spiritual food, and now giving virtually no opposition when the government demands to inject almost untested materials into citizens’ very bodies, by the hands of a medical community / government alliance, which already presides over and foments the scourge of abortion. There was a reason that Christ made a point of not just permitting, but calling for, bringing swords to the Garden, and teaching us the right to self defense.

    Commentary on Big E’s 3 points: 1) think harder — a week ago a police officer, TLM Mass-goer, and father of 7, gave up his life for protection of people he didn’t even know. Greater love hath no man…. 2) assault rifle is widely misused term. A rifle with one bullet per pull is NOT an assault rifle….3) no— what is hard to imagine is any protector of his family so negligent as to NOT have what he or she needs for their protection.

    When seconds count, the police are just minutes away.

  3. avatar christian says:

    “where they could be forced to wear facemasks in public,” -I take exception to that remark as being unconstitutional and unfair. The welfare of all people outweighs the complaint of the minority, who don’t want to bothered purchasing or wearing masks, either because they think it’s government interference and it violates their constitutional rights, or they feel it’s uncomfortable and they think it interferes with their breathing.

    In healthcare, it has long been a precedent for a physician, nurse, and other members of the healthcare team to enter a patient’s room wearing a mask (over their nose and mouth) if the patient had, or was suspected of having, respiratory pathogens which could be excreted through droplet or aerosol transmission. Any family members or significant others who were cleared to visit the patient had to wear a mask (over their their nose and mouth) during the visit.
    (Other than a NIOSH certified fit-tested N-95 filtering face piece (FFP) or a powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) worn by staff sharing the same air space as a patient with Tuberculosis, the normal disposable masks widely being sold to the public were the masks worn in these rooms). At one time, there were no NIOSH certified fit-tested N-95 filtering face piece, and staff used either cloth or disposable masks in rendering care to Tuberculosis patients.
    In the same manner, if a physician, nurse, or other member of the healthcare team felt like they were coming down with an illness during their shift and/or developed a cough, they were expected to don a mask to protect patients and fellow co-workers for the remainder of their shift. The disposable mask needed to be replaced at intervals as moisture rendered the mask less effective.

    Masks work both ways -to prevent contraction of respiratory infection, and to prevent to spread of respiratory infection. Masks need to be worn over the nose and mouth.
    I have come across some people who comment regarding masks, “They say they aren’t effective.” When I question who it is that states they’re not effective, they can’t come up with a name. No medical authority will tell you they aren’t effective. There may still be a chance for people to spread or contract COVID 19 while wearing a mask, but the incidence is greatly lowered. Individual immunity is involved also. Stress, lack of sleep, exhaustion work to reduce people’s immunity).

    When you get an abrasion or cut, you clean the area and bandage it, to avoid infection. Often a topical antibiotic cream is also applied before bandaging. Do these methods to prevent infection mean that you have no chance of getting an infection? No. But these preventive measures they greatly reduce the chances of infection.

    Masks were a Universal Mandate during the Spanish Flu Epidemic of 1918. There are accounts of people being fined and imprisoned for not wearing a mask, or not wearing a mask over their nose and mouth between 1918-1919. Owners of establishments and authorities could also shoot a person out in public not wearing a mask over their nose and mouth trying to gain entry to an establishment or public office.

    In my mother’s day, when a child or adult came down with a contagious condition, the Board of Health would come to the house and post a sign that it was under Quarantine.
    In the time of the Tuberculosis epidemic, children and adults were taken from their homes and locked up in sanitariums for treatment to protect the spread of the disease to the rest of the population.

    Public health law has always superseded individuals’ civil liberties.

    An article regarding Public Health Law verses Individual Rights:
    EMBO, Dec. 7th, 2007, Science and Society, “The continuing tensions between individual rights and public health. Talking Point on public health versus civil liberties.” Author: Ronald Bayer.

    Quotes from this article: “The first tensions over the scope of public health and the acceptability of its measures arose during the fight against infectious disease in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. They resurfaced in the last decades of the twentieth century in the wake of efforts to address chronic conditions that began to inform the pattern of morbidity and mortality in industrial societies. They reveal an enduring tension between public health and individual rights—a tension that we ignore at our own peril.”

    “Scientific advances in Europe during the nineteenth century, notably in the laboratories of Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) and Robert Koch (1843–1910), identified the causative agents of many infectious diseases. This ‘bacteriological revolution’ transformed our understanding of how disease spreads and laid the foundations for a new public health ethos (Baldwin, 1999). In this regard, it is worth noting that the discoveries of infectious bacteria by Pasteur and Koch provoked sharp resistance in those nations that were concerned about whether and how the imposition of quarantines would interrupt the free movement of goods and people (Ackerknect, 1948).”

    “Early advocates of public health in the USA, such as Mitchell Prudden (1849–1924) and Hermann Biggs (1859–1923), who was general medical officer of the city of New York’s (NY, USA) Department of Health in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, were unabashed as they defended the legitimacy of coercion in the face of public health threats.”
    ““[E]verything”, said Biggs when talking about efforts to curtail tuberculosis, “which is detrimental to health or dangerous to life, under the freest interpretation, is regarded as coming within the province of the Health Department. So broad is the construction of the law that everything which improperly or unnecessarily interferes with the comfort or enjoyment of life, as well as those things which are, strictly speaking, detrimental to health or dangerous to life, may become the subject of action on the part of the Board of Health.””

    “US courts almost always deferred to public health authorities that have deprived individuals of their liberty in the name of public health. One US state high court declared at the beginning of the twentieth century that, “[i]t is unquestionable that the legislature can confer police powers upon public officers for the protection of the public health. The maxim Salus populi suprema lex is the law of all courts in all countries. The individual right sinks in the necessity to provide for the public good” (Parmet, 1985).”

  4. avatar BigE says:

    @Diane
    My “maybe”, “I have trouble”, “I can’t see it”, etc – was my attempt to be respectful of an opposing point of view. As for your commentary on my three points: I DID think harder. I even did a little research too. So if you want more meaningful arguments, here they are:
    1) For every time a gun is used in self-defense in the home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts, and 4 accidents involving guns in or around a home.
    2) According to FBI data, nearly eight times more people were shot and killed in arguments than by civilians trying to stop a crime.
    3) A recent study looking at 30 years of homicide data found that for every one percent increase in a state’s gun ownership rate, there is a nearly one percent increase in its firearm homicide rate.
    4) A 2015 study in the American Journal of Public Health found, states with more guns also have more cops die in the line of duty.
    5) Drivers who carry guns are 44 percent more likely than unarmed drivers to make obscene gestures at other motorists, and 77 percent more likely to follow them aggressively.
    6) Mass shootings stopped by armed civilians in the past 33 years: 0

    As to your second point on assault rifles. I was assuming the common definition of an assault rifle: “any rapid-fire, magazine-fed rifle designed for military use”. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban enacted in 1994 expired in 2004. Attempts to renew this ban have failed to date.

  5. avatar Diane Harris says:

    Since you say you did the research, please provide citations. For the sake of readers, I’ll illustrate with your point #2. You mention an FBI source, so just please provide a link so folks can read the parameters and caveats in using the data. I would point out that many of the 6 statements you made totally ignore the deterrent benefit of armed citizens. Or even the deterrent value that the target of a crime “might” be armed. Most of this kind of data makes an implicit assumption that gun deaths prevented would not be replaced by other weapons. There is no rationale for such an assumption.

    Further, it is totally logical that a state with more (civilian) gun ownership might have more police die in the line of duty. It is an effect/cause, not a cause/effect. In a dangerous place (like Chicago, NYC) where cops are getting shot, of COURSE people will want to be armed. It’s not that people wanting to protect themselves are causing cops’ deaths, which you seem to want to imply. And it seems that such areas have the most gun laws where there are the most police deaths, doesn’t it? Gun laws, aside from other arguments, just don’t work. Criminals don’t obey them.

    Here’s the acid test for the gun-grabbers. Put a sign on your front and back doors: “This house is NOT protected with a fire arm.” At one place I spoke, I offered free pre-printed labels that said just that. Not a single gun-grabber was willing to put such a sign on their house, or to wear a button that said “I am NOT carrying a gun.” When nobody has guns, that is the sign that de facto is on the door, and which everyone would be forced to wear.

  6. avatar Pariot23 says:

    Some big objections that I have to gun control: First it is not about guns, it is about control. Whoever controls the guns controls everyone. Nobody can control a nation without first taking away our guns. Guns are what made this a free country. Our forefathers tried to reason with the king but he ignored us. Reason and logic only work when the other person is reasonable and logical. When seconds count Police are minutes away. I do not want to wait minutes if I am being attacked. The person most responsible for my personal safety is me. I was taught by my father how to handle guns. There are people who have no idea how to handle a gun. Just like there are people who have the wrong idea what an assault weapon is. A lot of these same people have no idea what the difference is between an automatic weapon and a semiautomatic weapon. To those people I would say don’t lay a finger on any of my guns whether they be rifles or nail guns. I have heard people say how dangerous a loaded gun is. Well, what good is an unloaded gun? If someone is breaking in to your house, do you ask them to stop while you put ammo in your gun to stop them?

  7. avatar Diane Harris says:

    In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control: From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    ?TURKEY In 1911, Turkey established gun control: From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    ——————————
    ?GERMANY established gun control in 1938: From 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.
    ——————————
    ?CHINA established gun control in 1935: From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    ——————————
    ?GUATEMALA established gun control in 1964: From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    ——————————
    ?UGANDA established gun control in 1970: From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    ——————————————
    ?CAMBODIA established gun control in 1956: From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.
    —————————–
    ?56 million defenseless people were rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control .
    ?You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.
    ——————————————-
    ?Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.
    With guns, we are ‘citizens’; without them, we are ‘subjects’.
    ?During WW II, the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!
    ?Gun owners in the USA are the largest armed forces in the world!
    If you value your freedom, please spread this anti-gun-control message to all of your friends.
    The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense.
    ?The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either.
    ________________________
    ?SWITZERLAND ISSUES A GUN TO EVERY HOUSEHOLD!
    ?SWITZERLAND’S GOVERNMENT ISSUES AND TRAINS EVERY ADULT IN THE USE OF A RIFLE.
    ?SWITZERLAND HAS THE LOWEST GUN RELATED CRIME RATE OF ANY CIVILIZED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!!
    ?IT’S A NO BRAINER! DON’T LET OUR GOVERNMENT WASTE MILLIONS OF OUR TAX DOLLARS IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE ALL LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS AN EASY TARGET.

  8. avatar Patriot23 says:

    I would like to address the answer that BigE gave on Apr 6 in which the writer gave 6 statements.
    Number 1. You stated that every time a gun is used for self defense in the home, there are 7 assaults or murders, 11 suicide attempts and 4 accidents. How do you know that these number changes were due to someone defending themselves? If someone tries to kill them self by sitting in a garage with no ventilation, is it the fault of another person using a gun to protect their own life? Is that person who defended them self responsible for a person that got mugged on a subway? Is the gun owner who knows how to handle a weapon responsible for another person who has no training and might be doing something stupid with a gun?
    Number two. You had said that according to FBI data, nearly eight times more people were shot and killed in arguments than by civilians trying to stop a crime. That and the numbers make no sense. If civilians did not try to stop crime, the number would not be 8 times, but a much bigger number.
    Number three. According to you, a recent study looking at 30 years of homicide data found that for every one percent increase in a state’s gun ownership rate, there is a nearly one percent increase in its firearm homicide rate. There might and I say, might be, an increase in homicide rate with an increase in gun ownership but you are missing the point on what is causing that increase. A possible cause would be that those 1 percent of people who now have a gun can now defend themselves and therefore the law breakers, muggers, robbers and killers no longer have an advantage.
    Number four. In your own statement, 2015 study in the American Journal of Public Health found, states with more guns also have more cops die in the line of duty. There is very logical answer to that also. Maybe, with more people armed, criminals have more sources of weapons to steal to commit their crimes and we both know that the first person to respond to the crime in a police officer. A police officer will not ‘shoot first and ask questions later’, they will announce their presence and tell the criminal to ‘freeze’. The criminal, since they are not law abiding, will shoot first. Should a persons right to own a gun, guaranteed by the second amendment, be put aside for the sake of criminals? Criminals will always get guns. Giving up a God given right to make it a little harder for criminals does not make sense.
    Number five. I read your claim that drivers who carry guns are 44 percent more likely than unarmed drivers to make obscene gestures at other motorists, and 77 percent more likely to follow them aggressively. This argument is not even worth the space to refute it. Armed drivers are the most peaceful because of the training they undergo before getting their weapon. Your argument does not make sense I know armed and unarmed drivers and your statement holds no water.
    Number six. Your contention is that mass shootings stopped by armed civilians in the past 33 years: 0. You could not have been further from the truth. #1 November 2017 killer stopped after 1 kill and 1 paralyzed. #2. November 2017 Off duty police captain shot a man who said he was about to kill people. #3. September 2017, a man entered a Nashville church and shot 7 people. a church usher grabbed his gun and stopped him. #4. May 2017, a man entered a bar in Texas and began shooting. A customer stopped him. #5 June 2016, a man shot 3 people in SC until a 4th with a concealed permit stopped him. #6 July 2015, a Cincinnati man shot at 4 people including a 1 year old boy. One victim had a concealed carry and shot back stopping him. #7 May 2015 A man pulled into a lot filled with children and began firing. 2 firefighters shot back ending it. #8 April 2015, a man was shooting a pistol onto a group of people. An uber driver stopped him with his concealed weapon. #9 March 2015, in a Philadelphia barbershop a man pulled a gun and began shooting customers and barbers. A man outside heard the sounds and went in with his own weapon and shot the attacker. #10. July 2014 a Doctor killed a shooter saving many lives. #11 July 2014 a military serviceman shot a man shooting at a group of 4 people. #12. July 2014 at a Portland club a man shot and injured a bouncer another bouncer shot him. There were 50 people in the club. #13. A man with a stolen rifle entered a mall in Oregon and began shooting. Another man stopped him. #14. May 2008. A man entered a bar in Reno killing 2 brothers. Another patron shot and killed him. #15. October 1997. a shooter killed 2 people and injured 7 until a teacher with a hand gun stopped him. This is just a small group. I did not even list them all in order of there occurrence. These are only a small percentage. If you were to read First Freedom an NRA magazine, you would find a lot of cases of civilians who stop mass shootings.

  9. avatar christian says:

    My issue is gun owners who are not responsible for the ownership and safety of their firearms whether in the home, car, or on themselves in public.

    Gun owners are supposed to check on their firearms on a frequent basis and report any firearm that is missing to Law Enforcement. Currently in New York State, a gun owner is supposed to report a missing firearm within 24 hours to Law Enforcement.

    According to Gifford Law: “Gun theft is a growing problem across America. Unfortunately, a substantial number of these thefts are never reported to law enforcement agencies.”

    “From 2006 to 2016, the number of guns reported stolen from individuals increased by approximately 60%. Similarly, many cities have reported alarming spikes in the number of firearms stolen from cars.”

    “Nationally–representative survey data indicates that approximately 380,000 guns are stolen from individual gun owners each year.”

    “However, less than 240,000 gun thefts are reported to police each year —suggesting that nearly 40% of the guns lost or stolen in the United States are never reported to law enforcement.”

    Many gun owners do not know they are supposed to check on all their firearms on a regular basis to see if they are still there and not missing. At one time, I believe a gun owner had 36 hours to report a firearm missing, now it is 24 hours, which suggests that a gun owner check on their firearm(s) every day and if it is missing, report it to Law Enforcement within 24 hours. Gun owners can be up on charges if they didn’t report their firearm(s) missing and they are used in the commission of a crime.

    Gun owners with children are supposed to keep their firearm(s) in a safe place away from their children. Their firearm(s) should be in a locked drawer or cabinet in the home, when not safely holstered on their person. There have been alarming statistics (do not have them handy now) of a parent or parents who have left a loaded gun under the pillow of their bed in the parents bedroom, to then have an innocent, unsuspecting toddler pull out the gun and inadvertently fatally shoot themselves. (It happened to a nephew on someone I knew years ago). And if the toddler does not shoot themselves, they inadvertently fatally shoot a sibling. There have also been accounts of children a little older who have found a loaded gun in a drawer or other place in the home, unsecured, who have shot a sibling or friend dead while playing a type of cops-robbers or cowboys-outlaw game. So the very tragedy a homeowner is trying to prevent in defending family, home, and property, comes about unintended by the hand of their child when a loaded gun is left around unsecured.

    There have been gun owners who have left their firearms unsecured (locked up in a safe place)when they have had emotionally unstable teenagers or young adults living in their home. There have been heinous crimes committed after these emotionally unstable persons have gotten hold of legally owned firearms owned by a parent or parents. To be clear, it is not the fire arm that commits the crime, but the person. But an emotionally unstable person with a firearm can create a lot of death and massive injury when they armed with firearm(s.

    One such example of firearms left unsecured was when Adam Lanza got hold of his mother’s unsecured firearms Friday, December 14th, 2012, and shot his mother dead in the morning where she lie sleeping in bed in her pajamas. He then proceeded to Sandy Hook Elementary School to start his shooting and killing spree.

    A gun holder should holster his gun appropriately, and in area which can be in his/her grasp at all times. Example: Years ago, when my boys were young, I took them to a nearby Mall near Christmastime, in late afternoon hours. I was in line with my boys at an ATM teller inside the Mall to withdraw cash.

    The ATM machine broke down and they sent a repairman to fix the ATM machine. The ATM repairman was directly in front of me when he bent over to fix the machine, and I saw a large revolver gun sticking out of his back jeans pocket. I immediately thought this to be a potentially dangerous situation.

    I was scanning the crowd continuously while watching my boys. I then noticed a young man zigzagging through the crowd, but making a direct line toward the ATM repairman. I just knew he was going to reach for his gun. When this young black, gang-banger type of guy came near and looked like he was going for his gun, I quickly blocked the repairman’s pocket with the large handgun sticking out like you would do in a basketball game to prevent him from getting the gun. As the gang-banger type young man was pushing against me, in effort to get past me, he managed to knock me against the repairman. The repairman then quickly stood up and turned around, with his pocketed gun facing the ATM machine, and his face was reddened. The gang-banger type young man gave me an extremely exasperated, angry look, but then told the ATM repairman, “Hey man, give me your gun! I got in a fight with a dude outside and I need to finish him off!” The ATM repairman, nervously said, “That’s no way to settle your differences, son!” After the gang-banger type, black young man left, the ATM machine repairman said, “Maybe I shouldn’t bring my gun to work anymore!” I said. “Especially in your back jeans pocket, where anyone could pull it out when you bend over to fix a machine.”

    That repairman put all of us at risk as well as himself by not properly holstering his gun, but housing his large handgun in his back jeans pocket out of his sight and reach, when he bent over to fix the machine. Anyone could have grabbed the gun easily out of his back jeans pocket and started firing into the crowd. What at least I do know, the gang-banger type young man planned to kill someone with that gun that he got into a fight with, directly outside near the bus stop, because the gun was visible and accessible.

    I do not condone retaliation with a handgun, but the young gang-banger type man, even if he had gotten the gun to shoot the guy in which he had a fight, he could have had many other unintended victims, because often in these type of impulsive, revenge shootings with an unregistered gun owner, the shooter doesn’t know how to handle a gun properly, and doesn’t know how to shoot properly.

    There are a lot of responsibilities to being a registered gun owner. All registered gun owners should familiarize themselves to the law and safety regulations, as well as periodically safely dispensing their weapon at a shooting range to hone their skills.

  10. avatar christian says:

    Regarding my comment awaiting moderation: I had wrote it in separated paragraphs making it easier to read regarding my points, but the preview is all bunched together. I want to make my position clear – I am not against gun ownership, I am against irresponsible gun ownership.

    There are registered gun owners who don’t seem aware about the law requiring you to check the safety of your firearm(s)frequently, reporting any missing firearm(s) to Law Enforcement within the specified period of your State. Currently, it is listed within 24 hours in New York State. The registered gun owner is responsible for how their gun is used. How many gun owners know they can be up on charges if they have failed to report their Firearm(s) missing and it is used in the commission of a crime by another person?

    I agree with Patriot 23 in regard to a gun used for self-defense-“Well, what good is an unloaded gun? If someone is breaking in to your house, do you ask them to stop while you put ammo in your gun to stop them?” But I do assert that a parent(s) or guardian(s) of young children should keep the loaded hand gun either safely holstered on their person, or locked away in their bedroom in a drawer, or locked up somewhere else in the house, when they are not around, so the loaded hand gun doesn’t get into the hands of young children. As soon as a child is old enough, it should be stressed that a handgun is not a toy and is only used for self-defense.

    I don’t think hunting rifles should be loaded though. But I do think they should be put in a safe place and secured. I grew up in a two parent household where the Christian faith was practiced and lived out, and there was strict discipline. My father had his hunting rifles in a gun rack mounted on a finished basement wall, and the ammunition was secured in the drawer of the gun rack. I, nor my siblings, would have never thought of touching my father’s hunting rifles. When we became older, my father taught us how to shoot a hunting rifle the correct way, and used targets for us to shoot. I never went hunting like two of my other siblings, but I knew how to shoot a hunting rifle.

    But nowadays, there is a overall change in the family dynamic. There doesn’t seem to be the same discipline meted out with consequences; reward for good behavior and punishment for bad behavior. Less and less children are raised with a major faith religion such as Judaism or Christianity and their precepts, and less and less families attend a place of worship. Generally, parents don’t seem as involved with their children as parents have of times past. Parents are involved with work and their profession and other outside interests. Parents often work long hours and some have to travel for their jobs. Some households only have one parent, and they are working multiple low-paying jobs to make ends meet, or are working many hours at one job, so they are not at home very much of the time.

    So I deem it is more important than ever to secure firearms in the home if they are not holstered securely on your person, so either children, their friends, or acquaintances, can not get access to them. There have been occasions of emotionally unstable, angered teens or young adults who have gained access to their parents’ legally owned, unsecured firearms and committed mass shooting sprees.

    All registered handgun owners should properly holster their handgun on their person; not in the back pocket of their jeans, or loosely in the pocket of their coat or purse. There are all types of holsters available, including those designed for concealed carry.

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