Discussing
Actually, guns do kill people

Branson Parler

Branson Parler
June 13, 2014

Every cultural artifact is created with some kind of intentionality or purpose, so we should not be surprised when assault weapons are used to assault others.

Christian Altena
June 14, 2014

I don't know how to articulate it perfectly, but I have a strong sense that I know this to be true: guns are things, tools, weapons, useful for protection, works of art, even; that our national pornographic obsession with them is sinful, and that our belief that they, combined with our own power, will deliver us from evil, is an abomination; that the Second Amendment calls for a "well regulated militia" which we currently do not enjoy; that the muzzle-loading, musket-packing founding fathers would be appalled at what we tolerate in the name of the so-called "right to bear arms."

Coryzipperle
June 14, 2014

It can also be said that the angle posed here also misses the point. The point of the "guns don't kill people" argument comes because guns aren't at the heart of the gun killings we're seeing; the condition of mankind is at the core of this problem. The idea that firearms are specifically designed to kill is also misleading and only allows part of the truth to be realized in this entire discussion.

The goal isn't always to kill, in fact, "to kill" is often an unfortunate side effect. While there are some who specifically only use guns to kill, those are a massive rarity when all the facts are considered... despite that one aspect's popularity among pop-quality thinking. Killing, for most gun owners, is a last resort. If you're attacked, if you show that you're willing to fight back with a gun, you have a very high chance of resolving the attack... without anybody ever getting hurt. Perhaps you have to fire off a couple of rounds, but even then, you're only likely to injure, and still stop the attack. Somebody dying from a bullet wound is an extremely minor event. With the hundreds of millions of guns in circulation, if guns were specifically designed to kill, we'd have a much larger murder problem than we're seeing today. And by "much larger" I mean we're talking in orders of magnitude greater than today's figures.

The truth is, if we're only concerned about gun violence, then it makes sense to restrict gun ownership. Sadly, our world is more complicated than "just gun violence." There's actually a lot more violence committed in our world than where a gun is involved. And the statistics have shown that places with tougher gun laws see expansions in many other forms of violence. Australia is a great example here as their own law enforcement's graphs clearly show that when they started cracking down on guns, all other forms of violence saw growth in popularity.

So while having guns does create a certain economics for certain kinds of violence, the lack of guns does the same, only to a wider and more costly extent. Ignoring this fact doesn't create more peace as many would like for us to believe - rather, it creates a more violent and depraved people. God created life to be valuable, and Holy Scripture shows that it's worth defending and fighting for... for today's Christian, that may mean owning a gun to defend against the tyrants that walk the streets at night, looking to maim and harm.

The dark reality in all of this is that the anti-gun lobby, the people pushing to dis-arm schools are actually doing more to contribute to the gun violence than the gun-rights lobby. They, their coverage, their efforts to dis-arm are going a long way to create an excellent situation for people of dark motive to grab a voice on a national level for themselves. They're, perhaps, and hopefully, unwittingly playing into Satan's hands - not God's.

John Parler
June 16, 2014

Your argument fairly presents the objective and subjective sides of intentionality – “inherent purpose does not negate subjective intentionality, but neither does subjective intentionality negate the objective intentionality built into our cultural artifacts”. However, you then give all weight in your argument to the objective intentionality of guns (as you define it – to kill people) inevitably overpowering any one individual’s subjective intentionality of guns (to not kill people). You conclude from your example of Tolkien’s Lord of the Ring saga that “the objective intentionality with which the Ring was made prevailed over subjective intentionality within Tolkien’s narrative world.”

I will give you credit for not stating outright that the same outcome is inevitable regarding guns in the hands of American citizens. But you come so close to it, that I feel compelled (of course I do) to offer some analysis.

The best estimates from the CDC and other sources are that there are approximately 270-310,000,000 guns of all types in circulation in America today. Also from the CDC, approximately 32,000 people die annually from gunshot wounds. Of those, roughly 60% are suicides (outside the scope of your essay), reducing that number to approximately 12,800. Another 3% are accidental deaths, leaving us with actual homicides hovering somewhere around 11,840.

Of those 11,840 homicides, the CDC has determined that a staggering 80% of those are gang related deaths, leaving approximately 2,368 annual deaths from non-gang related gun violence. A simple analysis provides some context: of ALL gun deaths (including suicide), 0.0001% of the guns in America are responsible for killing people; in all HOMICIDES, 0.00004% of the guns in America are responsible for killing people; and in all NON-GANG RELATED homicides, 0.000008% of guns in America are responsible for killing people. Conversely, this means in these three categories that 99.9999%, 99.99996%, and ™.999992% of all guns in America were NOT used by people to kill other people. It would appear in the case of guns in America, the subjective intentionality by which guns are used prevails overwhelmingly over the objective intentionality with which they are made. I absolutely believe that by focusing the debate on the “cultural artifacts” – guns – everyone in the conversation is drawn away from the root issues and problems. Until THAT changes, nothing will change. We cannot fix the real problem if we are constantly trying to fix what isn’t the problem.

Steve
June 26, 2015

John, your post has been bouncing around in my mind for a few days, and there are a few things that have really bothered me. Without getting too deep into them all, they can all sort of be summed up with this: it saddens me that it's so easy to hand-wave away "gang related deaths," as if those don't *really* count, or as if those aren't really people who have lost their lives. Or maybe they deserved it? I guess I'm not really sure that your numbers make me feel any better about the prevalence or glorification of guns in our country. Those are still people, whose parents, children, friends, sisters, brothers, significant others and neighbors mourn for them.

Doug P
July 24, 2015

Steve V your point that gang related victims still count is accurate, however it perfectly makes the point that without Godly moral values the gun becomes a much more deadly artifact and refutes the idea of this essay which states that guns do indeed kill people, and rather points to the depravity of the soul as the core reason for murder regardless of the tool used to commit the act.

Nrgxmsn
July 24, 2015

I've been to several gun shows, and served in the Army and I am yet to see or hear of a gun getting angry and shooting someone.

Walli Daniel
July 25, 2015

Imagine my surprise tonight to read an article on "gun control" after subscribing a few weeks and assuming these would be apolitical, well intentioned articles for the purpose of refreshing readers by directing them away from the controversies of the day and to the Word of God. My physician husband, has ministered overseas evangelistic crusades for 25 years - is asleep or I would read this to him. I'm
aghast this is written under the guise of Christianity. We won't debate the moral and ethical reasons for gun ownership.
What a sad, naieve commentary this is indeed. I won't attempt to dazzle you with rhetoric, but simply say you need to reassess your mission. I don't believe my post will be selected as acceptable to be seen by viewers because I don't agree with your attempt to persuade readers responsible gun ownership is wrong and to attempt to spiritualize your position. You failed. It was unimpressive. As Americans we are unique being a young nation with a pioneeri spirit. It is in many of our DNA to own guns for self defense and to hunt. Period. This nation is boiling over with frustration and I believe we will see more incidents in "gun free zones" until they are met with severe retribution from armed citizens. For example, in Ok City a woman was beheaded by a disgruntled emoloyee/terrorist then shot and killed as he was attempting to kill his next soft target - a middle aged woman. A trained concealed carrier shot him all within 3 minutes before the police arrived. He SAVED a woman's life and was the owner of the business as well! A hero! Did the media report that? Very little because it didn't support their political agenda as it doesn't support your narrative. Would the Lord frown upon saving the wan's life? Being ready to protect defenseless child people. No way. We are living in perilous times and being weak and passive will make you vulnerable and possible a victim. Emotionally unstable people desiring to kill choose soft targets - the defenseless. Everytime. I had a criminal knock on my door asking to come in a while back. Soon after I denied him that request helicopters with search lights were flying overhead trying to apprehend him. I was grateful for common sense, my gun, and being educated in self defense. Advertising gun free zones attracts cowards wanting to hurt people without a chance for retaliation. We shouldn't leave theater goers and especially school children defenseless. I represent all those who won't care enough to voice their dissent, just fade away from your messages after you have violated trust. For me, I thought this idea had real potential, but will unsubscribe for now.

Teresa Mack
July 25, 2015

I see Otis of fancy lingo here and lots if numbers, but the point is if people didn't have guns they wouldn't be shooting and maiming and killing. Would Jesus own a gun? Don't confuse basic questions like this one for over simplification. The gospel is simple: LOVE! Guns are not about love. I realize you can say that we need guns to shoot animals for food, but that's not really true. Let's get less dangerous hobbies. How about throwing darts? How about archery? We can research ourselves into very high brow, multi syllabic theoretical discourse or we can just be honest.

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
July 25, 2015

In Reply to Walli Daniel (comment #27331)
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Hi Walli,

Josh Larsen, TC editor here. I'm sorry you had a different understanding of Think Christian's purpose. We're not necessarily here to affirm Christians in their previously held opinions, in part because that would be impossible (look at the variety of "Christian" opinion in this comment thread alone). Instead, we hope to create a space for all Christians to come and wrestle with tough issues, discussing how we might approach them from a Biblical worldview. Sometimes we use an article from a particular, pointed perspective to start that conversation, as we did here. But we always allow for other points of view, graciously and responsibly stated.

To that end, would you be able to provide a link to the incident in Oklahoma City that you referenced in your comment? I know you said that the media doesn't report such things, but perhaps there was a local news account you could direct us to.

Thank you.

Jerry Hamberg
July 25, 2015

What was the most used efficient weapon in Jesus day? Perhaps you might say a sword. Swords were readily available for purchase in Biblical times. You ask a question Tersea Mack; would Jesus own a gun? Since there were no guns available that is true,so let me ask, would he own a sword?

Look at Luke 22:36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.

I'm saying He purchased with the purpose of protection, perhaps a concern not for Himself but for His disciples as well as a fulfillment of scripture.

How would that be different than a Christian purchasing to defend themselves as well as family?

There are so many stories each month about people have saved themselves or family members with guns. The media does not print or use video about these stories because it does not fit their agenda. The well known media wants one slant, not the whole truth. Are you just listening to the big media to get your information about guns?

You need to search the web about people that have used their guns for good. Search for those that have saved themselves and family members from people with anger,greed and hate in their hearts. The stories are plentiful.

Teresa Mack
July 26, 2015

Thanks for teaching me about the reference to a weapon that Jesus advocates. I'll look it up.
I don't share your views of the media in general, but I have seen how some stories are sensationalized. I realize that bad news sells. All the bad news about gun violence make lots of people run out to Walmart and buy more guns! Bad news sells guns, for crying out loud!
I wonder what would happen if we had better gun control laws. I wonder what would happen if only good hunting type people, like my husband and father-in-law, and experts, like my brother who was a sharp shooter in the Marines, had guns. I wonder what it would be like if gun and anti-gun lobbyists stepped out of the scene. What would happen in gun manufacturing? Would there be so much a need for single women and family men to own guns to protect themselves? I oppose the proliferation of guns that plagues our society. In Jesus' time, life was primitive, wasn't it? There was no real benevolent police system to protect and serve. And now our public servants are afraid of us because we often have guns.
It seems to me that our society is extremely violent and primitive compared to our other "advances." All I know is that killing wouldn't be as easy if people weren't so easily carrying around their guns.

Doug P
July 26, 2015

In a world without sin the direct result of gun laws would be less violence. However if there was no sin we wouldn't have violence. The reality of gun laws is that law abiding citizens are turned into easier targets, and gun toting criminals perceive defenseless victims. If you could remove the guns from criminals the civil population would see no need for a gun. A soul devoid of a conscious that is capable of murder will have no problem going to any length including breaking gun laws to obtain any weapon giving them a physical advantage over their prey.

Julie
June 13, 2016

Cory,you couldn't have said it better!! We are dealing with the depravity of people. If no one had guns, then those who get them illegally can just shoot us, with us having no defense against them! Guns can also be used for recreation! ! TY for your comments. Praying for Orlando. ... Sad that this is supposedly a Christian site and this is what they write! I hv n I tied this about other articles here.

David Shultz
June 13, 2016

This argument sounds logical until you take a moment to consider that no piece of metal has a mind with which to determine its purpose, it is just a tool used to carry out the will of a being with desires for good or evil. It is one tool among many. I remember hearing news reports of people who were struck by a vehicle on a sidewalk somewhere. The report said, "An SUV struck killed 3 people today in (a particular place). While I grieve the loss of innocent people, what difference does it make what kind of vehicle it wasn't? The report revealed the reporter's bias against SUV's. I wonder if they even cared that anyone died.

Japan has the highest murder rate in the world and most murders there are done by poison or knife. As people who bear the image of a holy God, we trifle away our time and energy debating guns. Let's address the the need to change the nature of the human soul and work to grow one another into Christ-likeness and let us start with ourselves.

Efm
June 13, 2016

Guns are inanimate objects. Guns do not kill people. People kill people. This Orlando thing will be politicized to hilt and be used to further the "progressive" agenda. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. The hate, violence and killing that is rampant in our country and around the world right now is due to the turning away from God and the disregard for the sanctity of life. All of this violence and "brother against brother" was foretold in scripture...it should not come as any big surprise. It IS time for a return to common sense, however.

Kerry
June 13, 2016

I will disagree with you on this topic. You certainly are free to your opinion (hey, isn't it great to live in such a country where people still believe individuals surpass the State in priority?), as am I.

I'll just throw out, though, that until our nation gets serious about drunk driving (almost 10k deaths a year), it's hard to really believe we care about innocent lives.

Also, I have a question for you - do you believe the United States should unilaterally destroy all nuclear weapons? After all, what is the purpose of such weapons, if not to kill millions?

Only problem is, others far more malign do have such weapons, and so I would argue that our nuclear arsenal actually has a different primary purpose - that of a deterrent.

If you are willing to believe this (and I hope you are), then it's not really a stretch to believe that for many of us a gun's primary purpose isn't to kill, but to deter being killed by evil people who *do* have guns or other weapons. If three men are coming at my family with bats and knives, I will be helpless to defend my family unless I have my gun.

I won't argue with you, but if and when you try to legislate gun control, then I will certainly resist those attempts.

Regards,
Kerry

Glenn Griffis
June 13, 2016

Ridiculous, yes, guns are created to kill. The question is not are their those who use them for nefarious purposes, but it killing another human being in self-defense acceptable. If so, the issue is not weather Guns should be legal. In Luke 22:35- 38 Jesus appears to instruct the disciples to defend themselves. In Genesis 14: 1- 16 Abraham uses violence to defend his family. The second Amendment is much broader than a militia:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of THE PEOPLE to keep and bears arms shall not be infringed." Every time this has ever been challenged the court has concluded that the individual does have a right to bear arms http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/29/us/29scotus.html?_r=0
The question for us today is what would an assault weapons ban accomplish. I am a substitute teacher in one of my local school districts. We are required to take ALICE training, which is the DOE approved training about responding to school shootings. The training begins with the facilitation saying, "The average shool shooting takes place in 3- 5 minutes. The earliest police response to a mass shooting has been six minutes and the average is eight." The lesson we learn from that is that when confronted with a person who is intending to kill you. YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. You must defend yourself. My interpretation of that is that if I am ever in that situation I hope I or someone else is packing. You see the first responders can not help. They are after all, responders; they are reactive not pro-active. This is what the founders of the Constitution understood. Notice that mass shooters prey on vulnerable locations where there is likely to be no defense, and where police will have difficulty entering.

Your argument was the typically emotional argument that is completely ignorant of facts. Since the bible appears to allow both self-defense and a government authority over evil; one cannot conclude that the individual who bears a weapon is ignoring scriptural principles. Christians have differing opinions on this issue, as they do on so many. There are thinking Christians on both sides. Every Christian has to do what his conscience and his government allows.

https://drglennspage.blogspot.com/search/label/Gun Control

Lloyd Short
June 13, 2016

As we saw with the creation of the Atom bomb,
its sole purpose was to kill and destroy.
Mankind has a bad record, anything created to kill is eventually
used for that purpose

Twitch
June 13, 2016

You are missing the whole point of the "guns don't kill people" argument.
Unlike the One Ring, a gun does not have a will of its own; without bullets and a person holding it, it is just an inanimate object. It can be used for both good and evil, but when a gun is used for evil purposes, that isn't the gun's fault--it's the user's fault.
A single armed citizen could have stopped that massacre.

Ben Whorton
June 13, 2016

In Reply to Josh Larsen (comment #27333)
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Josh, I know this is a little late, but I believe this is the story that Walli Daniel was referencing: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/police-woman-beheaded-at-oklahoma-workplace/

As far as the article goes, it does little (as addressed by another commentator) to specifically address the root problem, the sin issue and depravity of man. Touting gun control as a solution to a sin problem would result in the same outcomes as Prohibition or the "drug war". Prohibition may have severely restrained the legal trade in alcohol, but the black market filled the void and along with it, crime syndicates and a substantial increase in murder and other violence followed. Outlawing a "cultural artifact" does more to further the dark subjectivity of the "artifact" without addressing the root problem. Evil is the problem and one that must be withstood by prayer, loving one's neighbor, and if necessary and a last resort, taking a life to protect another.

The political, media, and cultural narrative that refuses to acknowledge the sin issue and the problem of evil is where the blame lies. I agree that we win others to Christ through our love and actions, but I also believe that God gave us the tools and sense to protect our loved ones from those who would seek to harm us. If we removed the word "gun" from the story and replaced it with "icepick" or "bowie knife" or "samurai sword", would the story/narrative change?

Attacking cultural artifacts may make us feel better, but it doesn't resolve the issue of sin and evil. Only a recognition of the Sovereign work of Christ and an indwelling of the Holy Spirit can remove those stains and that is what we should pray for and work towards.

Doug Vande Griend
June 13, 2016

The author of this articles suggests a connection between the subject matter of the article (guns owned by the citizenry) and the warning by President Eisenhower about the "military-industrial complex." I would argue Eisenhower speech warned the citizenry about the risk of growing control over society by the federal government, made in ways necessary because the US could no longer (post WWII) refuse to maintain a large military, which in turn requires a certain interconnectedness between the private sector by the federal government.

Eisenhower's warning then, correctly understood, should make the citizenry wary of the federal government's control over the private sector and the nation's citizenry, including I would argue, the over-regulation of citizens' rights to own guns.

Rally
June 13, 2016

David, I'm curious where you got your information regarding Japan having the highest murder rate. From what I can tell, based on UN research from 2012/13, a number of countries in the Americas and Africa top the list for highest rate of homicide. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/10/worlds-highest-murder-rates_n_5125188.html I'd be interested to read about what you're referencing re: Japan.

Terry
June 13, 2016

With all due respect, your argument is fallacious on at least two counts: first, transferring human intentionality to artifacts created by humans is anthropomorphism. Guns don't pull their own triggers, load their own clips or chambers, aim themselves at inanimate or living targets, and so on ad nauseum. YES - those are acts arising from human intentionality, but transferring that intent and purpose to the object used to fulfill is logical fallacy.

Second, that anthropomorphic fallacy is a form of solipsism: the view that the self is the only thing that exists - or at the very least the only thing that matters in existence. This is neither rational nor realistic - it's plain hubris and vanity. Not 'Jesus' at all.

As an evangelical Christian, pursuing my DMin at this time, I won't rely on meaningless labels such as 'liberal', 'conservative', 'right' or 'left' wing, and all the rest, to characterize my theological or political views. Please do me the courtesy of not assuming those labels apply to me or my views.

In closing, I've seen two memes lately that speak in response to the fallacious reasoning - like yours - regarding 'gun control' legislation. One, from Jeff Cooper (), reads as follows (I replaced "rifle" with "weapons" and inserted the comment about legislative constraint):

"The (weapon) itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda (or constrained to it by legislation), they can certainly be corrected by good men with (weapons)."

The other meme simply makes the point that if we are not to judge all Muslims by the actions of the (alleged minority) of violent Islamic extremists, then how do we justify outlawing weapons for all gun owners because of those extermists' weapons of choice?

I am not persuaded by your argument. Nor should others be.

David Martin
June 13, 2016

I have been appreciating the "Think Christian" articles... up until this one.

I don't have time to offer any sort of rebuttal, but as it turns out, a number of very articulate people have done that job quite well in the comments section... particularly the one from Terry (https://thinkchristian.reframemedia.com/actually-guns-do-kill-people#comment-28412).

David Martin

Robert Roberson
June 13, 2016

The scriptures do not forbid protecting yourself or others. Jesus himself told the disciples to buy a sword. It was an object used to kill. The reasoning by the author and many of the comments does not include the full spectrum of the context of the scripture and is therefore highly biased in my opinion. Every contemporary hot topic does this twisting the word to fit their prejudice. It's a tactic older than sin itself using only part of God's words. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, "Indeed, has God said, 'You shall not eat from any tree of the garden'?"”
‭‭Genesis‬ ‭3:1‬ ‭NASB‬‬
http://bible.com/100/gen.3.1.nasb

Rocky
June 13, 2016

With all due respect Mr. Parler,

I have to disagree. Swords are made to kill too - do you say that swords kill people? Jesus commanded His disciples to carry a Sword. Peter obviously had one the night Jesus was betrayed. Swords main purpose is to cause harm to somebody else if deemed necessary.... yet swords never harmed or killed anybody - the ones yielding the sword however... have.

I have yet to see any gun to just kill somebody or anything without human intervention. Guns are inanimate and as such do not kill.

Can they be used to kill people? Yes.... so can fertilizer (Timothy McVeigh - Oklahoma City bombing), knives, rocks, water...

Guns are a tool, and as such can be used for good.... and for bad. Just as any other tools.

In regards to the first poster who states "that the muzzle-loading, musket-packing founding fathers would be appalled at what we tolerate in the name of the so-called “right to bear arms.”"

No - they would not. If you read the writings there desire and intent was that the government to be terrified of the people. They firmly believed that was the best way to keep the government from being corrupt and not representing the views of those it governs. I submit they'd be appalled that the government is what it is today.

John Vegt
June 13, 2016

At the time the second amendment was written I doubt the the authors considered a free pass for mentally unstable persons to buy an AR 17. Can the US at minimum start with better oversight and licensing practices. A 5000 pound car is not dissimilar to a gun if operated by mentally unstable people, yet we require significant licensing to operate one. From a Canadian perspective the second amendment may have suited a different time but should be amended again. It is not sacred or infallible.

Dixon
June 13, 2016

I like your article as far as it goes. Switzerland has guns in every home and has had for years but no shootings. Morality and respect make the difference. We didn't start seeing these shooting until we took God and prayer out of schools and government.
If folks are really concerned about human death why don't they raise cain over abortions - some 50 million since the Supreme court approved them.
Drunk drivers is another big killer but we don't hear about that. As a people we have given up our morality.

Gordon VanderMeulen
June 13, 2016

What does it matter what guns are designed for? The fact is, there are so many other thing are responsible for far more deaths than guns. Sure, guns are designed to kill. But it's how they're used and for what moral purpose that matters. What do you think the swords Christ commanded the disciples to arm themselves with were designed for? Nowhere in scripture are we told to cower in fear from evil. We are to use the means available to defend ourselves and our families from attacks and evil, just as Christ commanded his disciples to arm themselves with swords, the finest assault weapon of the day. I, for one, if my family is attacked, will not be "harmless as a Hobbit" but will follow Christ's advice to defend them with whatever means necessary for their survival. What you do is entirely up to you.

DB
June 13, 2016

Gordon VanderMeulen said "Christ commanded his disciples to arm themselves with swords, the finest assault weapon of the day."

Christ didn't COMMAND his disciples to arm themselves. He just agreed that two swords for his 11 disciples was plenty. Jesus *didn't* say make sure you have one (or more) swords each!

Luke 22:38 The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That's enough!" he replied.

When will the NRA start petitioning for "the right to bear nuclear arms"?

Since the big bad government has them, then God-fearing law-abiding citizens should have them too! 8-)

Pete Zynski
June 14, 2016

In Reply to Walli Daniel (comment #27331)
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As I scrolled down and read the responses, I was refreshed to read yours. Someone with not only sense but common sense. Killings will take place until Jesus returns. The problem is the curse of sin, not guns,drugs, or gangs. Gun control will only empower the criminal element. If gangs didn't have guns they'd go back to stabbings and beatings to kill each bother. GOD, Guns and guts. Thank the LORD and pass
the ammunition.

Chris Hamby
June 14, 2016

Grace and peace to you all, and may we speak the truth in love. Much of what i feel has already been written in previous posts so I will not repeat it all, although I may touch on a few that were nagging at me while reading the OP. Twitch hit a main one for me. The One Ring had a mind of it's own and magical power over its bearer. My wife and I have both used the statement "guns don't kill people...", and our meaning in saying so is indeed the heart of people. If our focus is on the symptom (killing people) and not the cause (Godless hearts)then we will be led astray and solve nothing. One quick personal example and I'll leave it alone. One night someone was seen breaking into our trucks in the driveway as we all sat in our living rooms with our families. The ladies called for police while the men grabbed our guns and jumped outside to defend our loved ones from what may be coming. We fired one warning shot and began our search of the property to insure the houses were not being invaded while the wives warned police that we were armed. It took over 20 minutes for the police to arrive. When they did, we holstered our weapons and they drew theirs. Apparently the warning shot was enough as a thorough search revealed no intruders, and no one was harmed. Being in Texas the police never batted an eye about us being armed. I remember praying as we searched the property that we would not find anyone as i had a knot in my gut thinking I might actually have to use my weapon if we did. I remember praying with my wife and 4 year old after the incident for the heart of the thief, and that they would be touched by Jesus. It might be noted that I am a martial arts instructor, but that pistol was the only thing that I felt confident with in defending my home and family. May we not lose sight of the root of the problems we face, and that is the systematic removal of God from our society. As followers of Jesus, may we speak the truth in love, and behave in ways that honor God and draw people to Jesus. Peace and love to you all.

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
June 14, 2016

Thank you, Chris, for the gracious nature of your comment.

Gordon VanderMeulen
June 14, 2016

In response to DB:
We're parsing words here. You cannot deny that Christ desired for his disciples to be armed as a group. In fact, 2 out of 11 is probably about right, and reflects the percentage of Concealed carry permit holders in many states. The No one, NRA or anyone else has ever suggested everyone should be armed. Admittedly, it's not for everyone. Nor has anyone even talked about possession of "Nuclear Arms." This is a tactic of the anti-gun media, putting words in the mouths of gun-rights advocates. To continue that practice is not helpful to the conversation and does nothing to help find a cure.

Crystal
June 14, 2016

Ok with this thinking then we should see many things as deadly items just because they are made for killing. Tweezers was made to kill(pulling unwanted hair or abortion), knifes are made for killing(hunting, cutting flesh, cutting of nature), and so much more. With all of these items even with guns is how they are used and who uses them that makes these none living items deadly. The things by them selves will not kill anything until they are put in the hands of HUMANS. Yes a gun was made for a purpose of war death but at same time made for protection of self family and freedom. A gun by itself will not kill anyone or anything. It is not the nature of the gun to murder. Please show one case where a gun got up out of its case off the table out of its drawer and just pointed its self and fired till someone or something was dead. You can not cause that gun cant do that unless a human grabs it in their hands points it and pulls the trigger. Humans kill humans for differences of race, religion and color of ones skin, justice, arguments, being stupid for almost anything. Humans kill nature to survive and for sport. Humans kill even their own body by suicide, bad habits, bad diet, being stupid and so on. Humans kill anything, everything or anyone they feel deserves death. Humans are the deadliest created being. Not guns, not cars, not knives, not cancer, not AIDS, not anything but us humans. It is not our nature to kill but it of the nature of disobeying God that brings us to lifting that gun and pulling the trigger. Grabbing the gun and pulling the trigger is not loving God with all you heart, body and soul and is not loving our neighbors. The two greatest commands God ever gave us. SO to be honest we need to ban ungodliness and be angry at ourselves for turning so far away from God. Bring God back. We need to be on our knees, be in a relationship, seek, transform and love as God has loved us. Gun crimes did not come about till we took God out of our daily lives and stopped teaching our children.

John Smith
June 14, 2016

Simply saying a thing doesn't make it so. "... they are for domination..." and not sport or protection simply isn't true. MANY guns are even specifically designated by their manufacturers that their design and intent is protection or target shooting. Why does Parler get to decide intent? There's also the defensive nature of the sword that The Lord has in mind when He warned His disciples that they would be without hospitality and protection, so they'd better bring a sword along; in fact a sword would be more important than a warm cloak (Luke 22:36). He certainly isn't telling them to go and attack or "dominate" just to be able to defend themselves, so two swords would be enough. The world where swords are beaten into plow shares is a perfected and glorified world ruled politically and directly by God Himself. Have you noticed that this doesn't describe the world in which we live?

This is a BADLY skewed perspective. Tolkien SPECIFICALLY says that an evil spirit- a part of Sauron's own evil nature- was purposely forged into each ring. And he writes that the ring itself has evil intent- this giving a mythological object personified traits. Mythology. And it has NO place in a discussion of Biblical truth- let alone proving a theological point!

William Laxton
June 14, 2016

If anything is resounding clear, it is that in this fallen world, murder and terrorism exist. If it were that guns did not exist, it would be crossbows, or slings, or swords or what have you. Thus the point is that the root cause is in the hearts of those who CHOOSE to maim, kill and destroy. It is also in the hearts and minds of those whose choices influence the lives of the ones who kill and terrorize. As stated in Ephesians chapter 6:13: "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the world powers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens." So I therefore choose to pray for our lawmakers, to pray for a move to change the hearts of those who foster death and destruction, and that as a military member, that I would carry out my duties on all occasions as God would have me do.

I humbly suggest the same for any and all Christians.

John Vegt
June 14, 2016

The argument that tweezers are analogous to guns is spurious. The contention that individuals and families need to defend themselves in today society is equally spurious. I wonder if there has ever been a study done when someone had to defend themselves in a home because someone threatened their life. Likely not enough to warrant 300 million guns.We don't even lock our door during the daytime; often not even when we are not home. The ratio of gun death in the US is eight times higher than any other country in the world. So I assume 300 million guns did not make you safer; it made it more likely to get killed. At what point can you say the second amendment is not a religious statement and that an amendment to that amendment is necessary; at minimum to take army assault weapons off the table.

John Smith
June 14, 2016

Yes, tweezers can't be compared to guns. I guess knives and baseball bats can't really be, either. However, there are literally (used correctly, not the way 12 year olds use it to mean 'almost' or 'figuratively') literally thousands of stories about people who protect themselves and others in their homes with shotguns, rifles, and handguns. Praise God that you live in a safe environment where such has never been necessary for you; but don't insist that the same is true for everyone.

Also, we have a higher murder rate, but there are two things you have to take into account. We do not have the highest world per capita gun possession- therefore it's not the guns that are doing it. And, two, if you remove Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles and one or two other small areas (relative to the size of the whole country), the murder rate per capita drops us WAY below many other countries- and there's also a much higher per capita of legal guns outside those areas- again, not the guns, it's the people.

Finally, the rifle he used is not an "army assault weapon". It is a weapon the US military evaluated (originally called Armalite or AR for short) but requested extensive redesign including the ammunition before it became the M16 which is not available to the public.

John Vegt
June 15, 2016

You are grasping for justification and a semantical discussion whether a gun technically is an assault weapon. Your own American Medical Association today has called your gun culture a medical epidemic. What is so sacrosanct about the second amendment? If you are worried about some to come in your house to kill (which I don't believe hardly ever happens) why does anyone need the fire power the Orlando mentally and religiously disturbed person could buy. Amend and limit the second amendment. In the western world the US is very significant outlier with regard to guns and it shows by the killings; never mind arguing excluding big cities, gangs or suicides. Statistics are not on your side.

John Smith
June 15, 2016

John Vegt, do you see what you did there? You said people don't need "army" guns, I said it's not an army gun, you said 'it doesn't matter.' That was your argument not mine. Just admit you were wrong.

I said people do use their guns for protection ALL THE TIME, you said 'I don't believe it' and 'it doesn't matter'.

You said it's a gun problem, I said where the most guns are is where there isn't a problem, you said 'it doesn't matter.'

In other words, you're saying "don't confuse me with facts, my mind's made up." You see, I'm not trying to show causality (I'm not saying 'more guns =less crime') but I am saying you can't claim causality, either, because where there are more guns, both in areas of the US and internationally such as Switzerland, where there are more guns, there isn't more crime.

What you didn't see is that where other crime, including drugs which are illegal but still in rampant supply, is prevalent, the illegal use of guns is also a problem. Again, it's not a gun problem, it's a crime (more specifically a CRIMINAL) problem.

No mistake, ISIS has brought the beginnings of its war to our shores. The Kurds are crying for arms, not because of the military, but because women and children are being tortured and slaughtered in every city ISIS reaches. Disarming now is absolute folly.

Want numbers? The N.I.H. lists 88,000 US deaths due to alcohol (almost 2,5 million worldwide) CBS News reported 30,000 US deaths due to firearms, mostly suicides. The CDC reports 699,202 US abortions. Do we have a societal, moral, problem? Yes. God help us, yes. Is it a gun problem? No.

If you ever touch a drop of alcohol, you're as much a problem as any gun-toting American (of course, you know specific scripture about drunkenness and self control). I have never even considered pointing my gun at another person- have you or someone you know gotten behind the wheel while slightly buzzed? 30,000 isn't a good number, but there are far more preventable deaths due to alcohol, drugs, and abortion. It. Is. Not. A. Gun. Problem.

John Smith
June 15, 2016

Ok, I get rather... upset about this. Here's why; if you blame guns, then it's logical to disarm. That does two dangerous things. One, It misplaces the blame and makes you think you've solved a problem which is far from solved. And two, it leaves vulnerable people even more vulnerable. So, now you're blissfully ignoring the 'solved' problem of wickedness, and evil men now have more opportunity than ever. ...just the way ISiS preys on vulnerable targets.

Gordon Vandermeulen
June 15, 2016

One day I would hope people and pandering politicians will realize how ridiculously silly they sound, trying to blame a physical, inanimate object for what is, in reality, a moral problem. Every day spent on the fool's errand of limiting or banning guns is another day that could have been spent on solving the moral problems that cause the violence in our society.

Ken G.
June 16, 2016

This article is (in my opinion) intellectualy weak in it's premise and makes light of the role of personal responsibility in peoples actions. While the author insinuates that we freedom loving Christians are "naive" because we recognize the ability of a tool to be used for both good and evil based on the users choice, I say this article highlights a fundamental misunderstanding of how the real world works outside of an idealistic view. Guns are not mythical rings forged in the fires of Mordor that will magically corrupt us when we use them. Guns have righteously saved as many men if not more than they have killed.

I am a born again Christian myself and a police officer by trade. I own lots of firearms and I recognize they were designed as weapons, but like king David's sword, they serve a just and honorable role in the hands of good men. Evil exists in this world and requires we be equipped to deal with it. While as Christians we should always seek to resolve conflict through gods love, the reality is sometimes we need more than kindness to defend ourselves against the wolf at our door. David slew Goliath with a slingshot, and the Israelites defeated the Philistines with their swords and spears, with God's will on their side.

Fact: The only thing that stops an evil man with a gun is a good man with a gun.

We shouldn't live by the sword, but that does not mean we shouldn't have a sword and be able to use it when the defense of good requires nothing less.

Shanti Roy
June 17, 2016

Ugh, so many posts. I thought I would weigh in here as an Australian citizen. Yes, murders still happen here, even a bit of gun violence (nothing compared to the United States though) but guns were designed to kill fast, so I feel much safer here than I ever would in America.

Robert Dyson
June 18, 2016

The Lord of the Ring analogy falls short in one account. The ring was inherently evil. It had a will of its own and used whomever, to its own end, that tried to wield it.

I can setup or go to a shoot range and put a thousand rounds down range and the gun will not bend me towards any evil purpose. Therein lies the flaw in your analogy. Fire arms are not inherently evil or are they only applied to evil purpose. The ring was evil and could only bring about evil. Fire arms don't have a will of their own. No firearm that I and many others have ever picked up caused us to do evil. The evil intent is in the person. Any individual that wishes to do evil, that evil deed that they wish to perform is the problem, not how they execute the deed.

To say the fire arms can only bring about evil is your opinion and opinions are not facts. Explosives, can be used to a good purpose or to and evil one. Just as knives, clubs and even someone's bare hands.

Any inanimate object cannot cause anyone to do anything. That's not even a logical though process to say that it is. When someone uses a firearm to prevent evil, do they then become evil? Did the firearm now force them to take action to prevent evil from occurring?

We are born with the capacity to do either good or bad. The choice to do bad is the problem.

Thermonuclear devices have only been used twice in war. Yet over the intervening 70 years they haven't been used again, period. That device has but one purpose, destruction. Yet, not one of the many thermonuclear devices around the world has forced someone to set it off. From your point of view, that device made to only one purpose, destruction, hasn't force its will on anyone, in 70 years. Reason being, thermonuclear devices have no will. They can't make anyone do evil.

The heart of man is the problem and the solution to the problem is Jesus Christ. That was so even before fire arms were invented.

The truth doesn’t care what I think of it. It just keep being true.

Phillip McCurry
June 18, 2016

I can conceive of no gun, when I pick it up, saying to me, "Use me to kill", but rather, "Do with me as thou will."

Eric
June 18, 2016

In Reply to Josh Larsen (comment #27333)
----------------------------------------
Since Josh apparently cannot do research on his own, I did it for him. I searched "OK Man Beheads Woman" and took the first article that showed up: a NY Daily News article that explains that COO Mark Vaughn shot Moore before he could kill another victim.

Here's a link for those who cannot run a simple Google search for themselves:
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/crime/okla-man-beheads-woman-workplace-fight-report-article-1.1953778

Common, Josh, I hope you're better than that.

Eric

Josh Larsen
TC Staff
June 21, 2016

Thank you for sharing the link, Eric. Generally it's good form for the commenter to provide a source when making claims in a discussion thread.

Kerry
June 21, 2016

With all due respect (and I mean that) to people who say that "Love means not owning guns" I disagree. That's akin to the old (stupid) song, "Imagine." "Imagine there's no war, it's easy if you try." Tell that to the six million Jews and another six million non-Jews murdered by Nazis, or twelve million Ukrainians murdered by Stalin, or millions who died at the hands of Pol Pot, Idi Amin, and on and on.

The point is, I may "feel" better if I don't have a gun, and I may "feel" better if my nation unilaterally destroys all its nuclear weapons, but I posit that this is one of the most *non* loving positions one can take, if you love the innocents who would be murdered as a result, or the nation that would be destroyed, or the freedoms lost, and on and on.

I own guns, and my son has been trained how to use them. Prayerfully, we'll never have to point them at another soul, but I would much rather do that than to stand over my raped, mutilated wife (or anyone for that matter) and say, "I'm sorry, I just don't believe in guns, and I wish criminals didn't have them either. At least I didn't shoot anyone."

Kerry
June 21, 2016

I cringe and fear for our country when I read "What is so sacrosanct about the second amendment?"

Seriously? What is so sacrosanct about *any* of the Bill of Rights, for that matter? I mean, should speech be free? What if you say something hurtful, should that be protected? What about religion? What about the right to not have government troops come into your home without justification, and you not having to board them?

My gosh, do people not study history and human nature? I'm glad our founding fathers can't see today's nation.

John
July 16, 2016

are you trying to say we need to be pacifist and not own a something designed to kill?

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