Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Why Does a Christian own a Firearm? Part 1

There are many ways to ask this question: Why should a Christian own a firearm?  Is owning a gun a sin?

I was recently asked to explain the reasons why, I, though a Christian, own and use firearms. The person who asked me firmly believes in non-violence, and believes that by owning a firearm, I further the culture of violence. Moreover, by carrying a firearm, this person believes I am exhibiting a lack of trust in God.

Now, I have a 1939 Luger P08, which uses the 9mm Luger round. This pistol has been made famous through many war movies. It has a toggle action and fixed barrel. This gun has definitely seen better days, but since it has matching serial numbers (including magazine and wood grips), it’s a keeper. Furthermore, this thing shoots to point of aim and, mechanically, it is infinitely fascinating.

I also have a Stoeger (Beretta) Cougar 8000 in .40 caliber. This is also an accurate little gun and is very fun to shoot. It’s easy to carry concealed and is the one I use for that purpose.

I own a Rossi 68 5-shot, .38 Special revolver. This one, like the Luger, will not ever win any beauty contests. It has, however, become my wife's favorite.

Finally, I have the ubiquitous Ruger 10/22 carbine. I love this rifle! I use Tactical Innovations 25 round magazines (which I bought before the price skyrocketed because of the election). I also have a Tactical Solutions extended mag release. This rifle is the one I will use to teach my princesses the joys of target practice.

Now, when not being used, my firearms live in a gun safe. The gun safe is hidden in ... well, never mind. The point is that the guns sit in the safe when not in use. They sit. That’s all. They don’t go out by themselves or come in long after curfew. They don’t dirty up the house when we’re gone. They don’t fight amongst themselves or have verbal caliber wars. They don’t pick fights with the neighbors or start conflicts in the streets. They quietly and inanimately sit in the safe.

When I open up the safe to remove one, they do not react to me. Firearms, like kitchen knives, baseball bats, cotton balls, and teddy bears are inert objects, with no will or malice of their own. They are simply tools ready to be used when I need them. They are tools that I can use for target practice, dry-firing, hunting, self-defense, or simply admiring and cleaning. Although I practice regularly and carry a firearm in case I need it for self defense, that is just another use for the tool, again, independent of any thoughts or motives inherent in the gun itself.

Firearms do not perpetuate violence any more than cars do drunk driving, computers do identity theft, or forks do obesity. No, to get from the tool to the result, you need independent human action. Any attempt to eradicate violence, drunk driving, indentity theft, or obesity by banning guns, cars, computers, and forks will fail because these focus on the tool and not on human nature. And government will NEVER change the nature of man. No law will ever prevent human action. Man is innovative. He will find a way to accomplish his desires, whether for good or evil. He does not need handguns to do so. If handguns are not available, he will use something else.

Handguns are not violent, man is.

So then, if guns are not violent, do I personally perpetuate a violent culture by owning one? I'll cover that next time.


tim said...

Well written... The problem truly lies within the intent of man's heart, not the thing which he wields.

Anonymous said...

Hello Lawyer With A Gun,

I agree with most of your points in this piece, as target practice is indeed fun & can be useful. Yet when you get to the end of your piece (no pun intended), you seem to suggest that human nature and will alone is responsible for gun violence; yet the facts show that despite your statement's truth, fewer innocent people end up getting shot when guns are more difficult to procure. So while I don't necessarily reject your reasoning, I do reject the strand of absolutism that runs through it. But who am I?