Friday, February 6, 2009

Why Does a Christian own a Firearm? Part 2

Do I personally perpetuate a culture of violence by owning a gun?

Gun ownership does not make me a violent person. I am not now, nor have I ever been, a violent person. Owning guns has not changed that. I did not suddenly become a violent person when I purchased my first gun. In fact, over time I have become more observant, more cautious, and more eager than ever to avoid trouble. I'm more likely to try to walk away than feel like I have to prove something. Rather than concentrate on winning an encounter, I simply concentrate on getting home.

I own firearms. Our culture is exposed to a lot of violence.

The two preceding sentences, though true, are independent and unrelated. If I, and all other law abiding citizens, were to get rid of our guns, we would not stop violence. Take a look at this article. Great Britain has gun laws that make the Brady Campaign proud. Has that stopped crime? No. Criminals just use other weapons. It's become so laughable there that at one point, Great Britain wanted to ban knives. Because, after all they believe that man is not violent, knives are. As you read that article, substitute the word gun for knife and you'll read some of the same arguments used to further gun control. It did not work in Great Britain. It will not work here.

Please note that society has always known violence. The first recorded murder did not require the use of a firearm (Genesis 4:8). Ever since then, man has been incredibly creative at devising ways to kill his fellow man, with or without a firearm. Many wars were fought and murders committed long before the invention of the gun. As early as Genesis chapter 6, God himself observed that the earth, during the time of Noah, was filled with violence. This had nothing to do with gun ownership. It is inherent in man’s nature. To believe for a minute that the firearm is single-handedly or even primarily responsible for the current violence of our society requires the blatant ignorance of history.

Jeremiah 17:9 says:

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Evil, whatever its manifestation, finds its roots in man's heart and mind. If we ban all firearms, we will not stop violence. Because violence resides in their heart, criminals will either choose another method or find ways around the law. The fact that I own guns has nothing to do with that.

We will always have firearms, even if the law forbids it. Think of counterfeiting, drug trafficking, murder, rape, theft, etc... All of these are prohibited by law, yet all continue to take place. We have strictly controlled the medicinal use of ephedrine—yet that has not stopped the manufacture of methamphetamine. We have banned all sorts of controlled substances, yet illegal drugs are sold under our noses every day. Laws do not (and cannot) prevent crime—they merely provide the mechanism to punish those who are caught.

Note this: I don't cause violence; my guns don’t cause violence. The violent do. No law will ever change that.

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