Conversation With a Closet Gun Grabber

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Sheepdog-Iconography---How-to-beI recently shared an image on Facebook that depicted a couple of badly mangled cars. The caption proclaimed: “We don’t blame cars for drunk drivers. Why blame guns for violent people?” In response, I had someone who I know completely surprise me with a vehement reaction to the image. Their supposition was that cars were made for transportation, but weapons were made for harm and some should be banned. As I worked through my response to them, I thought I would repeat here what I said.

I agreed with the first part of his premise, the original intent of the car was efficient transportation, and the original intent of the firearm is as a weapon-granted. Keep that in mind – the car is NOT a weapon, the gun is. I found some interesting facts from the DOT/NHTSA and the FBI respectively. The DOT figures are from 2010, which are the latest figures available, and the FBI numbers are from 2010 and 2011 for the same reason. Please note, these are official government-released statistics.

Cars:

  • There are approximately 627 cars per 1000 people.
  • In 2010, there were 10,228 DUI deaths (manslaughter/murder) – which were 33% of all traffic deaths.
  • There were 1.4 Million drivers arrested, and there were 112 million people who self-reported that they drove under the influence. That means about 1/3 of ALL Americans admitted that they drove while they were under the influence.

Firearms:

  • There are approximately 888 per 1000 people, which means that there were more guns than cars in the US.
  • In 2010, there were 8,775 Firearm murders/manslaughters. Of those crimes, only 358 were from rifles, while there were more murders by knives and other bladed weapons (1,704), other weapons (1,772), and fists/feet (745) than murders by those evil rifles that politicians are yelling about.
  • In 2011, there were 8,583 Firearm murders/manslaughters (less than the year before). Of those crimes, only 323 were from rifles, while there were more murders by knives and other weapons (1,684), other weapons (1,659), and fists/feet (728) than murders by those evil rifles.

That picture depicted a non-weapon that is far more LETHAL (murder-wise) than firearms. Yet the hysterics want to ban GUNS, and somehow ignore cars. In other words, cars driven by DUI drivers are FAR more dangerous, yet we don’t ban cars. In fact, if you can pass a minor test you can legally drive a car – no test or even background check needed to BUY one. And cars are not Constitutionally protected as far as ownership.

Why does someone “need” a gun, especially one of those “military-styled assault rifles” that President Obama keeps talking about? I believe that is the wrong question. The right question is this: Why does the government feel that it can legally mandate/forbid/ban a constitutionally protected right? Politicians say they do not want to ban ALL guns, only the evil black rifle that nobody “needs”, RIGHT?. In fact the STATED goal of the gun-banners in congress is to get rid of ALL firearms. Senator Diane Feinstein, Senator Charles Schumer, Vice President Biden, and President Obama and several other national, state and local politicians, all have stated ON TAPE that they want to get rid of all guns. Case in point, the recent New York law had NO exceptions or “grandfathering”, and all “banned” guns and magazines must be sold out of state or destroyed within the next year, with no exceptions.

What’s so big about restricting the 2nd Amendment? Other than the whole “shall not be infringed” verbiage, if we were to restrict the first amendment like we do the 2nd, there would be a cry that would be heard around the world. In fact, let’s think about that:

The 1st Amendment was never created with the computer and internet in mind, and widespread miscommunication, half-truths, and conspiracy theories can cause injury – like the riots and deaths caused when the media erroneously reported that the Korans were being routinely mistreated in Gitmo. So let’s make anyone who wants to buy ANY internet-connected device, or even a copier/printer, go through a comprehensive background check to make sure that they are not a felon and not mentally unstable (just like the 2nd Amendment’s right to keep arms). Now, if they want to actually write anything on the internet (the right to bear arms), or carry around a mobile internet-capable device (concealed or open carry), they must be an official reporter (law enforcement) or pass a more intensive background check and get a special license to post their opinions or information (CCW). Oh – telephones certainly weren’t around then, so lets officially sanction phone conversations with similar measures while we’re at it. Also, without a special license, political speech is limited to hand-written or hand-printed (manual type-set) pamphlets and flyers. What do you think about that?

I could certainly go on about any of the other amendments, but that would get droll. There is not ONE solution that will work to stop ALL mass murder. There are some effective ways to minimize it though, and none of those methods include punishing law-abiding citizens. Chicago has the MOST strict firearms laws in the nation (even more strict than NY’s new set of unconstitutional laws). They had 2500+ assaults with firearms and over 500 murders in 2012 alone.

Gun laws have not worked – ever. Law Enforcement knows this. Congress and the President surely know this. The Mass Murderer from Newtown killed his mother (against the law), stole her guns (against the law), carried those guns in public w/o a permit (against the law), carried those guns into schools (against the law) and then murdered 26 people (against the law). Which extra gun law would have stopped someone who is ready to commit murder with a gun?

Instead, why don’t we try the Israeli model – train and arm the teachers and parents? You want to protect innocent life, I can give you a couple more stats: Over the last 10 years, with mass-murder/casualty killings, if an armed civilian or off-duty officer is present, there is an average of 2.3 murders. If the on-duty police are the first to respond, the average is over 14 murders (not including the Aurora and Newtown massacres). The Clackamas Mall massacre was stopped when a CCW holder drew down on the killer. In that case, the CCW holder did not fire because he did not want to hit bystanders behind the killer. The killer looked at the civilian holding a firearm on him and took his own life. Verification? Look at the LOCAL news reports. The national news somehow left out that fact.

And if you look for “mass murder” stopped by civilian, you typically won’t find those reports. Conveniently, the “official” definition of “mass-murder” requires at least 4 deaths, not including the killer. Surprisingly, if the average killing spree is stopped with two or three victims by an armed civilian, it doesn’t get the attention, and doesn’t get the “official” name.

Instead, the media and the President, have demonized a rifle that shoots the same caliber, same magazine size and has the same semi-automatic characteristics as a rifle that has worked on ranches for years. Instead, this rifle (functionally the same) has black plastic grips and barrel shroud (instead of wood stock). Yeah. That makes sense. Let’s demonize products because of how it looks, not what it does…

Regardless – the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution is the main crux of the argument. “Need” plays no role in a right. Right to free speech? What do you “need” the internet for? Right to Free Religion? You don’t “need” to have a church congregation. Right to assembly? Why would you “need” to protest anything? Right to keep and bear arms? What do you “need” a rifle for? And once more – it’s NOT an assault rifle, it’s a rifle. Any real “assault rifle” is already heavily regulated, and is fully automatic.

As a follower of Christ, I’ve been asked why I carry a firearm, especially if Jesus honors all life. Jesus absolutely honors life, as do I. I do not advocate for the willful killing of innocents. By that logic, there is no such thing as a Christian police officer or soldier. Although I believe that self defense is a biblical principal. In the Old Testament, the Israelites were commanded to be armed while rebuilding Jerusalem, being ready to defend themselves and their state at all times. Jesus, Himself, also told the disciples to go buy swords for their journey to defend themselves (Luke 22). I own and carry firearms for one purpose – to defend my life, my family’s lives, or other innocent lives if I need to.

Many people have accepted a false premise – that banning certain guns will stop evil people from doing bad things to innocent people. Evil is not stopped by laws (as the Apostle Paul pointed out in Romans). Evil is stopped by good. If guns are so evil, don’t let anyone have them – no police, no soldiers. Or, we could recognize that since the bad guys have guns, it takes good guys with guns to stop them. Good guys don’t have job descriptions and aren’t limited to law enforcement or the military – good guys are, by definition, good. In fact, I’d say that the “good guys” are true sheepdogs.

There are three kinds of people in this world. The first, and most populous, is the sheep. Being a sheep is not a bad thing. They are gentle. If they follow the Good Shepherd, they live and thrive. The second type is the wolf. The wolf has fangs, and does evil to the sheep. It is in the nature of the wolf to attack and kill the defenseless sheep. The third type is the sheepdog. They have a tougher calling. They are called to protect the sheep at the calling of the Shepherd. The sheep don’t often like them, their fangs remind them of the wolves too much. But when the wolves draw near, it is time for the sheepdogs to rise to defend.

If the sheep don’t like the sheepdogs around, that’s ok – say, “Baaa”. It’s not the sheepdog’s concern that the sheep don’t like them. We simply do their calling as best as possible.

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