Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Problem I'm Having Regarding the Gun Control Debate

I like Facebook. While its usefulness may be debatable, there's no doubt that it can be enjoyable for those of us who like to engage in dialog. Whether it's a silly joke or a more serious topic, if there's a discussion going on regarding something I'm even mildly interested in, I want to jump in.

The last few months, countless discussions have come up regarding gun control, and how much our laws should be changed. Thing is, I have many friends who take both sides of the issue. All of them truly believe that if people will see things their way, more lives will be saved, and if their views are ignored, then more lives will be lost. And that's fine.  Passion about something you care about is a good thing.

That said, I saw something on Facebook last week that, several days later, is still very troubling to me. Before I tell you what it is, I want to be clear that I agree with those who say that:
(1) our Constitution gives citizens the right to protect themselves with weapons;
(2) any changes/alterations to that right, if any, should be addressed through due process.

On the other hand, I am not comfortable with the idea of using guns myself. There's a long list of reasons for this, but I'd rather not go into all that now.

But I will share that someone made a Facebook comment last week that really bothered me. No, it's better to say it grieved me. Someone, a conservative pro-gun-rights person from my church, posted a link to a story or video clip or something that backed up the pro-2nd Amendment position. Which is fine.

But then someone else from the church (not a FB friend of mine, though) commented:

(My paraphrase, because I don't recall the exact words)
"Hey, I know we are to love our enemies, and I want them to know God, but if someone threatens my family, I'll be more than happy to arrange their meeting with God as soon as possible." Then they ended their statement with a smiley face.

I am disgusted and saddened that so many professing believers have this hatefulness in their heart. If one must kill to protect their family, fine. But rejoicing in the idea of doing so is abhorrent and, IMO, not in the spirit of Christ.

3 comments:

Luke Montgomery said...

I certainly respect those who believe that violence, even in self-defense, is abhorrent and they refuse to exercise any such right. What I cannot accept is a liberal statist mindset that tries to impose their values on everyone else, usurping what must be a MOST fundamental right and that is to defend oneself from violence. The founders called these rights God-given and inalienable. If the right to bear arms and protect oneself, one's family and one's property from tyranny and violence, whether visited on them by the government or individuals, is not inherent to the human condition, then it is impossible to speak of human rights at all. Americans fought a war with the British to overthrow the idea that "aristocracy" had rights that the "commoners" did not.

Carey Morgan said...

True, James, there is a huge heart matter at stake here, no matter what position one takes with regard to gun laws or gun ownership. If an armed citizen thinks, "If you threaten someone I will kill you." instead of "I will stop you.", a seed of revenge lives in his/her heart. If an unarmed citizen thinks, "If you threaten me I hope someone kills you." instead of "I hope someone stops you.", that same seed of revenge is there. We all know that stopping someone sometimes involves killing them, but wishing for their death is a very different, dangerous thing. No matter who holds which weapons, the gun debate might reveal something about our hearts we may not have considered. May my fellow followers of Jesus maintain compassion toward aggressors no matter who holds the gun used to stop them as quickly as possible.

Carey Morgan said...

True, James, there is a huge heart matter at stake here, no matter what position one takes with regard to gun laws or gun ownership. If an armed citizen thinks, "If you threaten someone I will kill you." instead of "I will stop you.", a seed of revenge lives in his/her heart. If an unarmed citizen thinks, "If you threaten me I hope the police or an armed neighbor kills you." instead of "I hope they stop you.", that same seed of revenge is there. We all know that stopping an aggressor sometimes involves killing them, but hoping they die is a very different thing. So regardless of whether we or someone else holds the weapon, this gun debate may reveal something in any of our hearts we had not previously recognized. May we followers of Jesus maintain true compassion toward aggressors no matter who happens to hold the gun used to halt their aggression.