Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Simple Question

Why is your right to bear arms more important than safety of innocent civilians?

I understand that if you are one of the 100K that signed the petition to deport a British journalist for adding his opinion to the call for tighter gun control that you have several concerns.

1. That Americans need to defend their amendment rights or they will lose them. Sure, okay. But are there any significant words (especially those written over 200 year ago) affecting how a society functions that haven't been debated or rethought or updated to reflect change in culture that happens naturally over time? Think of the Bible. I believe that God's laws, intentions and heart for humankind is contained in those words, but I don't wear a head covering to church and have several tattoos. I also believe in evolution and am against slavery. The point is, if we took every word in the Bible literally and did not consider cultural context and overall intention, Christians would have a really difficult time living everyday life in our present culture.

*and while on the subject of context.. let's just read the original statement.
 Article the fourth..... A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

What do you think about the fact that your right to bear arms is linked to a well regulated militia?? There was a context to civilians bearing arms (as well as a debate to whether the original intention of this amendment applied to citizens at all), and it isn't so you can have a pistol in your bedside stand in case someone breaks into your home to take your stuff.

In my mind there is a very clear cultural intention.The second Amendment isn't about making sure citizens get equal face time to debate whether or not America should be a free nation. The new colonists literally needed to be armed with muskets (read: one shot, reload guns) to protect their freedom.

How are you using the Second Amendment to push back on tighter gun control in 2013? How many of the gun murders in the past 100 years have been citizens protecting themselves against government tyranny? And how many have been mentally unstable individuals who got ahold of a semi automatic weapon and destroyed lives? Or, in my neighborhood, kids getting ahold of handguns and killing other kids.

2. Hunting. I don't really even feel this is worth mentioning. From my understanding of guns legally used for hunting, there is not one multi-firing weapon on the list. I believe all hunting guns have to be single shot. (can any hunters help me on this?) In the last 50 years, 15 of the 25 worst mass shootings in the entire world happened in America. Mass shootings are not done with a single shot rifle, they are done with a semi automatic assault rifle. So keep your hunting rifles, I am not after them. Also, the skill involved in hunting requires a serious knowledge about the guns used so thank you to all my hunting friends who use your weapons safely and responsibly.

3. You don't like some of the decisions made by the US government over the past decades and are pushing back so hard because you feel like your control over your money, your health care, your job, your religious expression, etc has been diminished. I understand. In a democracy, we like the idea that when we elect our officials, they will represent our personal ideals.

At the end of the day, let's say that you have to give up your guns. You lose your right to protect yourself with an instrument that the rest of us just have to trust you know how to use safely and wisely. You lose your Second Amendment rights with tighter laws that keep guns out of the hands of those who will not use them simply to protect themselves. Let's say that happens. And let's say because you gave up that right, a classroom of 6 year old children gets up in the morning and goes to school because they are still alive.

I know it is more complicated then that, but it is a simple question. What are your rights worth in the commodity of human life? It is unfortunate that we all can't have unlimited rights and that our wise and altruistic behavior wouldn't allow for peace in our present day culture. The world unfortunately won't work that way until Jesus comes back. In the meantime, we can actually prevent the loss of human life by imposing stricter gun legislation.

Isn't it worth it?

I want to urge those of you who are fighting so hard to keep gun laws loose to remember the words of Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes,

"The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins."

Too many faces are being punched. Stop swinging your fist.

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