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We are all saddened when evil humans commit heinous crimes, especially when children are victims as in Uvalde, Texas. Instinctively, we want to point blame on why or what caused the crime. Recent mass murders have caused some to point the finger at so called “assault rifles “as the problem. Texas gubernatorial candidate, Beto O’Rourke, wants to round up the most popular rifle owned by law abiding citizens, the AR-15, while President Biden took aim on the most popular hand gun, the 9mm.
Let’s look at some examples in the bible of weapons used to cause death. In Genesis 4, Cain killed his brother Able with a stone. In1 Kings 22, Ahab was killed by an arrow. In Judges 3, Ehud used a dagger to kill Eglon. Judges 3 tells the story of Samson killing 1,000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey. The worst example of causing death is told in Matthew 27, the crucifixion of Jesus. Thank God, He conquered death and was resurrected as we patiently wait until his return.
When our founding fathers put the 2
Amendment in the US Constitution, the reasoning was based on biblical principles. A well armed militia, comprised of everyday citizens, trained in the use of fire arms, could defend us from enemies of our republic, both foreign and domestic. This could also mean a tyrannical government. The right to individual self defense is a God given right. Luke 11:21 says
“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are safe”.
To be fully armed means weapons equal or superior to those used to attack us. As Christians, we should always be armed with “the full armor of God” to defeat the devil.
When I was 18, I enlisted in the US Air Force and was trained in law enforcement to protect myself and others. I was issued an M-16 rifle and a 38 Special revolver. Training was given on how and when to use the weapons responsibly. The M-16 I carried looked like the civilian AR-15 that’s been around since the 1960’s. The big difference is the M-16 is fully automatic. The National Firearms act of 1934 banned civilian use of fully automatic weapons.
We keep hearing the term “assault rifle”. That term was made up by politicians to scare you into giving up your right to self defense. I can tell you as one who knows firearms, the AR-15 is mechanically no different from any other semi-automatic rifle. In fact, hunters prefer larger caliber rifles for hunting because they have more knock down power. Vilifying the make, model and style of a gun is scapegoating. In America today, the gun murder rate has gone down 49% since 1993 while gun ownership has increased by 53%.
When I was growing up, many fathers, mothers, sons and daughters hunted and did target practice. In some parts of the country, they had shooting clubs in schools. When I moved to Tucson in the 1960’s, it was common place to see rifles and shot guns hanging in the gun racks of pickup trucks. Tucson was one of the safest places in the country. Mass murder was unheard of.
One of the things that has changed since then is the number of fatherless homes. Back then, some men were threatened with gun violence to promote marriage and family. It was called a “shotgun wedding”. Men were expected to do the right thing. The result of men not taking responsibility for the children they father is increasing poverty in single family homes, leaving daughters with a sense of abandonment and many angry young boys who turn into violent young men.
Another factor is the number of families who go to church. From 1937-1976, church membership was 70%. Today it has dropped to under 50%. Moral decay, the glorification of drugs, sex and violence has infiltrated our institutions. We see it in the media, the arts and in our schools and universities. Government has shown contempt for the sanctity of life by condoning the killing of the unborn by legalizing abortion in the Roe v Wade Supreme Court decision and state laws. Hopefully, God willing, that might soon end.
We in the church must do our part to raise our children in fertile ground, teaching them from birth the love of Christ. Children must be raised to obey the law, God’s law.
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