CultureSep 27, 2016 by Josh de Keijzer
This article is part of our 'Explainer' series. The aim is to inform you of the prevalent arguments from both sides, relating to a specific hot topic. We are not explicitly supporting one side of the argument. This is a purely informative piece.
While it seems that those in favor of guns have the upper hand in this country and that they, with the NRA on their side, have little to fear in terms of their guns being taken away, the lobby in favor of gun control is growing. With each bloodbath their voice becomes stronger and with each massacre their logic is gaining ground.
If there ever was a need to ban gun control it is now that almost every day there is a public shooting incident that results in innocent deaths. People rather than guns may be killing people, but without a gun in their hands all these killers would be infinitely less successful in carrying out their evil plans. Take the guns out of the hands of the deranged before they have a chance of becoming killers. And the best way to do that is to ban guns now! What are we waiting for?
Here are some of the most powerful arguments in favor of gun control
1. The Numbers Speak For Themselves
America is a Western nation but judged by the number of deaths per capita, you have to wonder what that means. America is the land of the free, but what does that mean when more than 30,000 people are killed by firearms each year in this country. Compare the annual number of homicides in the US, 10,000, with 50 for Japan, 200 for Canada, and 150 for Germany, Italy, and France.
The first reason for banning guns is a very simple one: look at the numbers. “More than 30 people are shot and murdered each day. Half of them are between the ages of 18 and 35; One-third of them are under the age of 20. Homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year-olds, and the primary cause of death among African Americans of that age group.” It is simply shocking!
No one in his right mind will conclude that all is well. The ones who don’t want change are simply those for whom all this violence is far from their place or those who have grown so used to all this violence that they simply don’t see it for what it is: absurd. No self-respecting country can let this continue within its borders.
Especially Christians should revolt against this situation since the teachings of their own religion show that human life is of infinite worth. Every human being is created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-28). In other words, who kills a human being, destroys the image of God. The Bible clearly teaches that God hates violence (Genesis 6:11, 13; Psalm 7:9; 11:5; Isaiah 59:6).
2. Gun Possession Is Running Completely Out of Control
Guns used to make sense. That is to say, given America’s history, given its independence war and its constitution, given the era of the pioneers and all the dangers in that particular way of life, it makes sense that guns were part of the life style of those who came to call America home and had to struggle to make it so. Those who lived on the homesteads often lived far away from law and order and were in need of providing protection for their own. But when the dust settled the gun stayed. It made its way to crime, inner city violence, and drug trafficking.
Right now, we have reached a situation that we can easily call out of control. Americans together own more than 230 million guns. That is completely unnecessary. But this is not all. If those guns were simple revolvers in people's drawers it would probably not be so bad. But the type of guns owned by private citizens today are simply off the charts. It is precisely those type of guns (i.e. automatic and semi-automatic rifles) that have been used in mass shootings and have resulted in the high casualties that we know from Orlando, Columbine, and Sandy Hook.
3. Being Pro-Life Means to Be Against Unnecessary Deaths
As it is in this country, many people against gun control are also pro-life. It is apparently a conservative thing to combine these two standpoints. Recently, Robert Schenck, a prominent evangelical leader who in the past has been very active in the pro-life movement, pointed out the inconsistency of conservatives who hold to both a pro-life and a pro-gun position. How can you be pro-life, i.e. against the killing of the innocent lives of unborn babies, when you remain indifferent to the fact that guns kill innocent people again and again while it can be prevented.
Just like a lack of restraint allows for Planned Parenthood to abort thousands of babies each year so the lack of gun control, effectively guaranteed by the pro-gun lobby with the support of thousands of gun lovers in this country, leads to the unnecessary death of hundreds of people each year. The only way one can continue to be simultaneously pro-gun and pro-life is by having a split personality. Or a morally fraught conscience.
4. Our Children Deserve to Be Safe in School
The fourth reason in favor of gun possession is a bafflingly simple one: don’t our children deserve to be safe in school? Don’t citizens have the right to be safe in public spaces like cinemas, shopping malls, churches, and campuses? What is wrong with people who don’t see the obvious here? Something must be done and the gun needs to be taken out of people’s pockets, out of the school, away from the campus, out of the hands that cannot hand it responsibly. And we need to start today.
All measures that advocate less aid the proliferation of the gun and therefore violence. Those that advocate concealed carry or want to arm guards in church and arm security personnel are merely adding to the violence and fuelling the escalation of armed confrontation. They seem to want to turn America into one big Wild West movie, except that the victims are not sprayed with ketchup but their own blood.
In the Bible we see how God care for children. Jesus welcomes them (Mt 19:13-14 pp Mk 10:13-16 pp Lk 18:15-17). That is hardly the situation we find in America today.
5. More Guns Don’t Make Us Safer
The idea that more guns will make life safer is utterly foolish. There are 283 million guns in the hands of civilians. And some suggest that we add guns to make it safer? It will potentially lead to more confrontation and more violence.
The truth of gun possession is this. If you’re wise with the use of your gun you will have tucked it away in a drawer or on a high shelf. And it will be unloaded. But this also means that when violence comes knocking at your door in the form of intruders, thieves, rapists, you name it, you won’t have that gun readily available to use as a deterrent. On the other hand, you may think you can handle a gun wisely, and keep it loaded on your table. But your child is likely not going to be able to exercise the wisdom that you pride yourself in. And when push comes to shove and you end up in a very bad depression, the temptation is there to pick up that gun and shoot yourself.
6. Jesus was not in favor of guns
Luke 22:32-50 is often used in favor of gun possession. It is the passage where Jesus tells his disciples to go buy swords. But note that he only says this in order that the prophets may be fulfilled (Luke 22:37-38). Moreover, when Jesus is arrested, later in the narrative, and one of the disciples wounds the servant of the high priest, Jesus rebukes that disciple with the words "No more of this!" and heals the servant. This is consontant with the Jesus who told us to love our enemies.
In short, guns have to be banned. There is no other way. We all have to bite the bullet and come to terms with a changed situation in which the urgency to deal with guns can not longer be ignored.
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