Victims of the AME Church Massacre

Pro-gun advocates argue that mass shootings, like the one in Charleston, can be prevented if someone else is ready to return fire.




On the evening of June 17, 2015, Dylann Roof walked into Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church with a handgun in his pocket. He sat down during Bible study and patiently waited until his fellow parishioners put their heads down in prayer. Roof then stood up, pulled out his gun, and began firing. In total, he killed nine people before fleeing the scene. Roof was sentenced to death earlier this month. The tragedy shook the South Carolina community to its core.

Gun ControlTotal number of guns and people in the United States

As leaders explored ways to prevent something like this from happening again, the conversation inevitably shifted toward gun policy in the United States. As is often the case after mass shootings, two opposing opinions emerged in this debate. One side argues that stronger gun control measures must be implemented to achieve community safety. They advocate for stricter background checks, more “gun-free zones”, and restrictions on the types of guns/ammo that can be purchased.

The other side contends just the opposite, insisting that such measures would do nothing to stop criminals from getting guns and would only affect law-abiding citizens. Far from being the source of the problem, guns may actually be the answer to it; if someone in the AME church that night had been armed, they point out, the chances of stopping Dylann Roof would have been much higher.

The statistics don’t lie: Americans love their guns. In fact, the number of guns has now surpassed the total number of U.S. citizens. Concealed carry permits have also skyrocketed over the past decade – reaching an astounding 14.5 million last year. That’s a 210% increase since 2007.

Religious Involvement

We recently posted on Facebook about the findings of a study regarding gun ownership. According to research conducted at Wake Forest University, gun ownership in the U.S. is measurably lower among people who are involved in faith congregations. Interestingly, this suggests that the more religiously involved someone is, the less likely they are to own a gun. Some people were surprised by these findings, for cultural stereotypes often portray religious America as being primarily comprised of gun-toting Christians.

A bible verse against killingMorality of Guns

Beyond political measures, there exists a fundamental moral debate surrounding gun ownership and use. For example, religious anti-gun activists often cite “Thou shalt not kill” (Ex. 20:13) as an overarching rule which ought to preclude anyone from purchasing a firearm. In their mind, owning a gun indicates an intent to harm, and indeed to kill.

Pro-gun people of faith, on the other hand, view such thinking as overly-simplistic. Not everyone who carries a gun wants to kill others, they say. However, there are certain situations where self-defense is necessary. If an incident were to occur, gun owners point out that they can fight back. In fact, not doing so could be a sin – they insist that allowing evil to go unchecked is far worse than refusing to stop it if you have the capability.

Does Religion Take Sides?

It seems that there are faith-based arguments to be made on either side of this issue.Guns and a Bible What is more sinful? The violent tendencies of a gun owner, or the inaction of an unarmed bystander? The director of the Wake Forest study, David Yamane, offered his own conclusion: “It is tempting for groups on both sides of the great gun debates in the United States to co-opt ‘religion’ for their side. But neither side has a monopoly on people of faith in America. That is a very important story this study tells.”

Takeaways

Given the numerous mass shootings that have occurred in the U.S. and around the world in recent years, it’s only natural to seek meaningful solutions. As we’ve outlined, the stark disagreement revolves around what those solutions ought to be. Some folks want more efficient, targeted gun control policies. Others insist that we have plenty of those measures already on the books, and they are not working.

Should we promote more gun control measures, or instead try fighting fire with fire? Where do your religious beliefs guide you in the debate over gun policy?

 

247 comments

    1. rabbi jim says:

      rabbi jim here: I am 100% in favor of gun control. I feel that the only people that should be permitted to own guns should be cowboys who live on a ranch and tend herds of animals. They need guns to defend themselves and their herds from wild animals, such as, mountain lions and cougars, and such. And, the only guns they should have should be six shot western revolvers and Winchester rifles – guns that cannot be concieled. Other than for that, no guns should be permitted to anyone and anyone caught with a gun, should receive a stiff penalty like a long jail sentence and a steep fine.
      Police officers should be permitted to carry necessary firearms including stun guns under strict control. Only then, will
      these senseless killings be stopped. Guns will never be safe as long as idiots are permitted to have them.
      I don’t know about Jesus, but I think that Yeshua of Nazareth would agree with me fully. We have no right to take another persons life, or threaten them with a gun in their face!
      May the peace of Yahway be with all who reads my comment. Sholom and have a blessed day!

      1. Guairdean says:

        Well, Rabbi, I don’t consider myself an idiot, but I do carry a firearm for self defense. You seem to forget that the most dangerous wild animals aren’t those in the woods and the wild, they’re the wild animals that prowl our streets. As a Rabbi, do you not follow the law given in the Torah? Habah l’hargecha hashkem l’hargo — “If someone is coming to kill you, rise against him and kill him first.” This is derived from Deuteronomy 22:26-27 (26) “But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter” (27) “For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.” In your world there would be none to save us all. Just the police to do the paperwork afterwards.

        1. rabbi jim says:

          rabbi jim here: My dear Guairdean, I did not imply that all who possess a gun are idiots, but, it only takes one idiot with a gun to cause harm and kill. What you say is true, there are wild animals on our streets, but, if they had no guns they would not be as wild and dangerous.
          You seem to miss the point, my dear friend, if no guns were in the hands of the people of our land this would be a much safer environment in which to live. When I hear stories of thirteen year old children taking a gun to school and blowing away their teacher because they got a bad grade, it makes me sick. I was riding a city bus once and a teenager had a gun in his pocket. He
          didn’t handle it wildly, but, he could have and I and other passengers could be dead now.
          If there were no guns on the streets, you would not have to carry one yourself.
          Forget about what the bible says and use good thoughtful common sence.
          May Yahweh bless you and take your gun away from you and everyone else on our planet!

          1. David says:

            Even if all the people who can legally have guns had them taken away, ( and I do not support the idea of taking them away) the criminals will still have them.
            As far as the comment, “Forget about what the bible says” I do Not understand how you can say that. The Bible should never be forgotten. Ever. Jesus even told the disciples to arm them self’s. And yes, it was to protect them self’s. Not to use them to attack, but defense.
            As far back as Exodus, YWHW told His people to take up arms. And even told them when to use them. He set the standard for which we are to live in this time.
            First and foremost, we are to Love one another. But sadly, that is very act is not followed by very many.
            I do have my firearms. I have had a lot of training to handle them. And my son is learning the same safe ways to handle them I was taught. I live in an area where gun violence happens a lot. Not from people who can have them, but those who are not supposed to have them.
            I live by my Bible, (and not I am not nor do I claim to be perfect), And I trust in YWHW and His Son Yeshua. I seek guidance from the Holy Spirit every day in prayer.

          2. espinja says:

            So what you really want is idiot control.

            And in lieu of that, you suggest no one should have guns.

            Tell me, did violence begin with guns? How did Cain kill Abel?

            This has nothing to do with guns. This has to do with the fact that some human beings choose to harm other human beings.

            The initiation of force is never moral. No man has the right to injure or kill another man.

            Retaliatory force, which is the only logical response to an initiation of force, is morally justified.

            So, with that said, assuming that you agree that a man is right to defend himself against an attacker, then it follows that a justifiable response should be as effective as possible.

            A gun allows one who is physically smaller or outnumbered to defend himself against an aggressor.

            A hunter kills his food to survive.
            A victim kills an attacker to survive.
            A country defends itself so that its citizens can survive.

            This is what guns are for. They are not meant to kill, they are a means of survival.

            The fact that a gun can be used to attack does not negate their original purpose as a means of survival.

            You do not have a right to take away a person’s means for survival because you fear the potential for misuse. This is a fear you must mitigate by being able to defend yourself.

            The gun is civilization’s best method for reason and rational behavior to not just continue, but also to flourish.

            I look forward to your thoughts, but please spare me any response if you can’t concede the most important premise to my argument, which is that no one has the right to hurt you or kill you, and therefore self defense with a gun, if necessary, is always justified.

          3. Amber Fry says:

            Rabbi Jim, I think the point you seemed to miss is that if we ban concealed fire arms across the board then the criminals alone will be the ones carrying them. We could shut down all manufacturers and merchants but criminals will just have them smuggled in and that only causes a fill up of our jails with people who could actually help protect and defend when the real murdering thugs make their rounds. A better solution would be to keep pressing a value to life, compassion, understanding, love, and personal safety and protection. If everyone is given that then it will greatly reduce the anger and hate that feeds these thugs and reduce the the drive to violence. Just banning or severely restricting the gun ownership gives thugs more of an opening to shoot up the good and innocent people they decide to target.

          4. John Owens says:

            Your thinking is not evil, Jim, but somewhat pie-in-the-sky. Reality says, when this world feels safe and our government seems good, we may not feel the need or desire to carry arms. As long as habitual criminals are not put to death, we’re going to need the weapons. You can’t have it both ways. Sorry. If you want a world where fatherhood means being baby-daddy instead of father, and criminality is subsidized, good people will need weapons.

          5. cenlaman says:

            “Even if they had no guns…” Really? They are the first to get them legal or not.

          6. Keith says:

            We in Australia have very strict firearm control. Those who need them can still possess firearms but they must undergo a thorough police check, firearms training, and show that they have the permission of a landowner to shoot on their land. There are very strong penalties for those with guns illegally in their possession. We still have a few shootings but compared to the US, the number is extremely small.

            We do not have the paranoia relating to self defence that Americans have, probably because there are so few firearms in the hands of criminals. We have the freedom to walk down the street without fear of being shot.

          7. William R Clapie says:

            For Keith. Upir only fear in walking down the street was getting shot, and now you feel safer because that is much less of a risk in Australia? So, there is no crime? There are no gangs? Gee, no evildoers? What a blessed place, I must move there. I see folks on here forget a simple fact. Many religions ( I think) think we are created in (a) God (s) image. Great! However, it is forgotten that man is still an animal, there are many that will still prey on some. Will you also ban, knives, clubs, rocks too? Weapon control is not an answer. I am not perfect and dont have a perfect answer. We have I think, the most expensive medical system in the world, yet the most suicides of 15 to 24 year olds that could have had help. We have the mass shooters that obviously have a problem, anger, depression, personality disorder etc, again, never noticed! Why? Smile on your brother was a good phrase in a song and a good similar idea in many books. If there was more of this the mass killings anywhere would decrease. I have written my thoughts. Peace. Pastor Bill

          8. John Owens says:

            I lay all of the mass killing right at the feet of liberalism. 95% of all violent crime is perpetrated by people who identify as liberals, and most criminals come from households that espouse and vote as liberals. What’s the liberal solution? Condemn conservatives. Blame the guns. When I went to school, most people carried a pocketknife. If we were going hunting after school, our shotgun or rifle would have been in the vehicle. Most of us didn’t lock our vehicles because people WEREN’T thieves. This was an integrated country school. Everybody had a father and a mother, except for one or two kids whose mothers were widows. Everybody went to church. Everybody said the pledge of allegiance and stood and sang for the national anthem. By today’s standards, every single one of us were staunch conservatives, and not ONE of us became a murderer. I know we cannot go back to that time, but we will not improve our lot one iota by marching further into liberalism. We must learn to analyze the fruits of societal behavior and learn from it.

        2. WRD says:

          Thank you Guairdean, the problem for mispelling words is no t the pen but the person with the pen. Take away my pen & I will paint the message or scribe it…and continue to mispell. Remving my pin will not keep me from mispeling if I am bound to do so.,

          Problem is not the gun but the soul of the person… and yes I have a God given right to defend myself and family and I will and have.

          1. John Owens says:

            Amen, WRD.

        3. Thomas Harkness says:

          I think (and I believe Jesus also said), we take the little things too serious. “Peter drew his sword” would indicate that Jesus did not need a “Gun” because he was surrounded by well armed disciples (I am being facetious here). However, the fact that Peter was well-armed for the day would indicate that being armed for self defense was not something that was considered repugnant to Jesus or the disciples. When Jesus replaced the ear of the soldier he did not say that violence was bad — He said that this was not the time for this action.

          Rabbi Jim – Even the Jews (in Deuteronomy) became so obsessed with making people follow the rules that they created laws that (much like the IRS) created an environment so oppressive that eventually you could not wake up and take a breath without breaking a law. And, just like the criminalization of America – the only way the Jews could avoid prosecution was to be affluent enough to “afford to be innocent”. Gun Laws are just such a failure. As these laws are rarely properly enforced (if at all) – apply only to the law abiding – and are more often based on “Can you afford to be innocent?” — I would suggest that gun control is more a rogue than useful.

          In Washington DC and New York, the federal gun laws that enforce a mandatory criminal sentence of 20 years for a felon that committed a felony with a firearm have been replaced with State Gun Laws that require up to 40 years for the same offense. This may sound like “Being tough on crime”… but actually is the opposite as the average amount of time that a felon that commits a crime with a firearm now gets an average of 4 to 6 weeks in jail….. WHY? Because the words, “UP TO 40” can now be interpreted as “any amount of time ‘up to’ 40 years” (as opposed to a mandatory 20 years)… and you cannot be tried twice for the same crime.

        4. Joe says:

          Had there been guns in Jesus day, I’m sure he would have had something specific to say about them. Back then what he told them to pick up was their swords, very specific. He didn’t say arms. Today we have guns that are clearly overkill for anyone not fighting a war. I certainly don’t believe Jesus would tell us to take those up for self defense. Even smaller arms make killing too easy. We need to keep guns out of the wrong hands. It would be nice if we could do away with them altogether, but it’s unrealistic.

        5. Ama Nazra says:

          Keith, you wrote “We have the freedom to walk down the street without fear of being shot.”

          You obviously weren’t in Melbourne a short while ago when some unruly b*st*rd drove his car into a crowd and then shot some of them. The streets are getting more and more violent here in Victoria, and have been that way since I was a teen growing up in Sydney. I wished we lived in a Utopia, but we don’t. We all have to be careful when walking in the dark, or even now, in daylight. We are lucky our country is not as violent as some of the others, but we may well end up that way, if we don’t all choose a more peaceful path.

      2. Stripe (@Backnblack_66) says:

        Thankfully Rabbi JIm, You don’t get to choose what my Rights are.

      3. RF says:

        Rabbi, I have to agree with Guairdean and his comment. I do agree with responsible gun ownership however, I disagree with your comment about more gun control. Problem is, is that we have plenty of laws on the books. Unfortunately they are not being enforced and is there any question what with all the angst with law enforcement by the politicians as well as the rabble-rousers who want to cause more problems. Problem is the illegal guns and a problem with society…more laws will not cure the ill only enforcement of those on the books.

        I for one do carry, no even though I am in the agriculture business, I don’t carry to “protect me from wild animals” unless you consider those who hijack vehicles, rob on the streets and such as wild animals.

        As Christians, the Bible does take the side of conceal/carry. I refer you to Exodus 22:2, Nehemiah 4:13-23, Psalms 144:1,2. As believers AND as heads of households we are charged with the protection of our families, our wives, children and property. If it is required to take someone’s life in our defense or of our family, while it is something that is very sobering and takes a sound mind as to what to do and it is something I am never faced with however, if I ever am, I want to make sure that I have at my disposal the ability to defend myself from thugs who want to harm me/us or from a tyrannical government who wants to take away my freedoms allowed by the Constitution.

        With due respect, my suggestion is to take time and think more clearly on issues such as this—regards.

        1. Paul says:

          RF there is a reason that most laws are not enforced, and that is there are far too many laws to be enforced equally. So what happens is that laws are enforced as Law Enforcement and the Courts see fit. This is a very bad thing, as it makes being an honest person a crime in this country. That is because if you say anything that even to most reasonable people would not find a crime, there often is somewhere on the law books somewhere a law making what someone says a crime. This is why many people now say things such as Lawyer up, or end up going to jail for expressing your opinion. Also it is not uncommon for someone that is the victim of a crime to go to jail and the person that harmed them walk free and also sue the person with the help of the local police.

          Times are now in this country that we are afraid to say things because we are worried that we will be going to jail for reporting a crime, or be killed by someone that knew the person that a honest bystander reported to the police about. The laws here are to protect those that are accused of a crime, not to protect us that have not been accused of a crime, but foolishly admit to committing a crime. That goes with ignorance of the law is no excuse.

          I am glad that others have already noted that Jesus said to his disciples to be armed, as how else can he help us though the valley of the shadow of death?

      4. John Owens says:

        2nd Amendment rights were not codified so that we could hunt animals, and there is not a soul alive who could say what Jesus, or Yeshua would say about guns. I know He DID tell His disciples, “Let he who has no sword, sell his garment, and buy one.” (Luke 22:36) I’m not sure exactly what He MEANT, but He did say that.

        If you but recognize that Jesus, or Yeshua, is the God that molded Adam from the clay and spoke to Moshe from the burning bush, and gave the Commandments to him, and spoke through all the Holy Prophets and said David was a man after His own heart, then you might be able to understand a tiny bit more of the things of which you speak. Yeshua is not a panty-waist.

        Joel 3:10 “Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.” These are perilous times. We carry our weapons, not just for our own protection, but for those among us who are too deceived about God or government to protect themselves.

        We will not disarm. Ever. You should preach about morality and godliness, and do not try to twist the word of God to fit your agenda. God Himself will judge you for that.

        1. rabbi jim says:

          rabbi jim here: Greetings John. Thank you for your comment. But, we are not talking about swords here. We are discussing guns. Swords are fine to carry in public. They cannot be conceiled, and, if you are confronted by one, you may have a chance to escape its harm.
          But, a gun can be conceiled and a bullet is extremely hard to dodge.
          I was riding a bus once and a teenage boy had a gun in his pocket. He could have fired it on the bus and I and others could have been killed. I was scared to death! Fortunalely, for us passengers, the kid didn’t take the gun out and wield it – but he could have. This is no passive issue. As long as there are guns on the street, there will be killings. The only purpose of carrying a gun is to kill, weather in self-defence or otherwise. The law of averages states, if you
          carry a gun, one day you will use it. Forget about what the Bible says. The Bible was written in a land where fighting is a daily way of life. This is America – a civilized country. If you are permitted to carry a gun, then all people should be permitted to carry one. Let’s all kill each other
          and end humanity. I suggest that people quit watching all of the gun violence on TV and in the movies and face reality. Guns are not toys to entertain on Hollywood sets, they are real life-threatening weapons. I have no further comments to make on this subject. I have no desire to offend anyone and I acknowledge all of your comments. But, I can’t except those in defence of guns.
          Bless you all and have a gun-free safe day!

          1. Nedward Marbletoe says:

            Swords are fine in public only because they pale in comparison to a gun. Throughout history, people have been disarmed by oppressors, and taken advantage of by criminals. Thus, the 2nd amendment.

            The most relevant graph was left out of this article — the one showing violent crime going down by an amazing 50% since the 1990s, despite (because of?) a doubling in privately owned guns.

            Gun safety laws are good, but I am not in favor of gun bans. The data shows that the answer is to crime is not disarming victims, but rather empowering society.

          2. John Owens says:

            Jim, I am armed right now. I am armed when I go to church. I am armed when I watch TV. If my arms were taken from me, I would still be armed, because of my mind. Even when I go into a courthouse, I carry a very sharp metal ballpoint pen, just for a weapon. I can snap your neck with a notebook. Our Bill of Rights says we can carry a weapon. We have to get permits to CONCEAL them. The Constitution gives any citizen the right to open carry. Just because you are afraid of weapons, please don’t try to rationalize your fear onto others. Guns are tools. They can be offensive or defensive. No object is evil in and of itself.

      5. Dr. Joe says:

        Ignorance is bliss Rabbi….

        250,000 Americans die annually from medical malpractice -Johns Hopkins
        37,000 Americans die annually from motor vehicle accident -ASIRT
        18,000 Americans die annually from injuries in the home -ASecureLife
        12,000 Americans die annually from Gun Homicides -CDC

        So lets see, with your logic we should outlaw healthcare, outlaw vehicles, and outlaw living in our own homes. How about we enforce the laws on the books. Allow our law enforcement officials to do their job without political correctness, crack down on crime in the major cities which happens to be the vast majority of gun crime. Finally read the 2nd Amendment, those of us who will always stand and defend against those who wish to do us harm may even have to defend those like yourself someday.

        1. John Owens says:

          Good paragraph, Joe. Thank you.

        2. Nik says:

          The problem with cities is they want money from the Feds and have codified school funding from their respective state. Thus when it is Census time, more people counted means more Uncle Sam dough and the more people enrolled in the public schools the more money the school districts get from the state. As far as quality of life goes, they don’t care.

          Would love to see a city say we are downsizing our population, because things are out of control and it’s just too much. About the only time that happens is when a criminal is ordered, usually after prison time, to never come back into the county.

          But yeah, I agree a gun used not in self defense against a person truly needs to a capital offense. No suspended sentences for first time offenses for gun misuse or a charge being downgraded to manslaughter or littering.

      6. Gene Collins says:

        Rabbi Jim they have great laws in Chicago and the bad guy’s do not give a thought to breaking the law.. They are worse than the wolves out West. Up there they kill each other right and left. Gun control only works if the bad guy’s respect the law… They don’t and they never will. Gun laws do not work… Unless you want to take over the country..

      7. David Rediger says:

        Jesus (Yeshua) preached love. Love your neighbor, But that is not a new concept for the Jewish people. All the Law and the Prophets promote peace and love. Yet God has destroyed civilizations that where wicked beyond reparation. And He used people (armies) to do it. Even Peter carried a sword and when Jesus was arrested Peter cut off the ear of the slave. Jesus told Peter to put away his sword and rebuked him saying “Those that live by the sword will die by the sword”.

        The framers of the Constitution believed that a well armed militia was the best deterrent from aggression, either foreign or domestic. 10 U.S. Code § 311 defines the militia as all able-bodied males at least 17 years of age and, except as provided in section 313 of title 32, under 45 years of age who are, or who have made a declaration of intention to become, citizens of the United States and of female citizens of the United States who are members of the National Guard.

        Since the militia is not funded by the government they must buy their own arms, pay for their own billeting and supplies. Which means any law that restricts those activities are unconstitutional. But it also means that the militia is under the rule of law and can not act in such a way as to violate the rights of others.

        Any good soldier would rather stand on the wall than to meet his foe on the battlefield. But every good soldier prepares to meet his foe on the battlefield because that is what a good soldier does. But the good soldier is not just a senseless killer either. He does not grind under his boot heel those that he conquers. But rather rebuilds his foe to become his friend.

        Peace in our time will not be achieved. Jesus prophesized that we will have war and rumors of war until He comes again. If God wants us around he will place His hand on our head and bless us to strong. Our purpose is to love God and do as He commands. He has placed those in power to lead us for a reason. Trust in His ways.

        Peace be with you.

        1. John Owens says:

          Until Kingdom come.

      8. Michael LiDonne says:

        Rabbi? Jim – You must not be very well educated in the history of your own nation. You’re living a life of freedom because of circumstances God was in control of. Do you enjoy your life of freedom? If not maybe you’d prefer living in Serbia. If guns kill people, then pencils cause misspelled words. Crime has gone down since the 2nd Amendment was enforced. Choose your words carefully before typing them out in anger, you only discredit yourself. You’re probably not old enough to have had family members fighting for your freedom during the many wars we’ve encountered.
        Molon Labe!
        NRA Instructor and Padre

      9. Thom says:

        Killing including mass murder was going on for thousands of years before the creation of firearms. Guns are not the issue hate is

      10. David Rediger says:

        I am surprised that you have misinterpreted the Commandments in such a way. Jewish law views the shedding of innocent blood very seriously, and lists murder as one of three sins (along with idolatry and sexual immorality) that fall under the category of yehareg ve’al ya’avor, meaning “One should let himself be killed rather than violate it.” Jewish law enumerates 613 Mitzvot, or commandments, including prohibition of murder and a number of other commandments related to the preserving of human life and administration of justice in cases of shedding of innocent blood.

        A number of sins were considered to be worthy of the death penalty including murder, incest, bearing false witness on a capital charge, adultery, idolatry, having sexual relations with a member of the same sex, etc.

        It is forbidden to murder, as it says “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17).
        A murderer must be put to death, as it says “He shall be avenged” (Exodus 21:20, see Leviticus 24:17,21); it is forbidden to accept compensation from him instead, as it says “You shall not take redemption for the life of a murderer…; and there shall be no atonement for the blood that was spilled… except the blood of him that spilled it” (Numbers 35:31-33). It is forbidden to execute a murderer before he has stood trial, as it says “And the murderer shall not die until he stands before the congregation for judgment” (Numbers 35:12). However, we are commanded to prevent an attempted murder by killing the would-be murderer if necessary, and it is forbidden to refrain from doing so, as it says “And you shall cut off her hand; you shall not be merciful” (Deuteronomy 25:12); and similarly for attempted fornication, as it says “[If the man seizes her and lies with her…] just as a man rises up against his friend and murders him, so is this thing”(Deuteronomy 22:26). It is forbidden to refrain from saving life when it is in one’s power to do so, as it says “You shall not stand on your friend’s blood”(Leviticus 19:16).
        — Rabbi Dr. Azriel Rosenfeld

        As described in the Torah, the ancient understanding of the prohibition of murder made an exception for legitimate self-defense. A home defender who struck and killed a thief caught in the act of breaking in at night was not guilty of bloodshed. “If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; but if it happens after sunrise, he is guilty of bloodshed.”[31]
        A man’s house is his castle, and God’s law, as well as man’s, sets a guard upon it; he that assaults it does so at his peril.
        — Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Exodus 22

        The ancient Hebrew texts make a distinction between the moral and legal prohibition of shedding of innocent blood and killing in battle. Rabbi Marc Gellman explains the distinction between “harag” (killing) and “ratzah” (murder) and notes the different moral connotations. “…there is wide moral agreement (not complete agreement) that some forms of killing are morally just, and killing an enemy combatant during wartime is one of them.” For example, the Torah prohibits murder, but sanctions killing in legitimate battle. The Bible often praises the exploits of soldiers against enemies in legitimate battle. One of David’s mighty men is credited with killing eight hundred men with the spear, and Abishai is credited with killing three hundred men.

        1. John Owens says:

          Thank you so much for sharing your understanding and knowledge with us. There are far too many people pontificating upon things of which they have no understanding. You seem to have a very good grasp on Holy Writ, as well as the ability to understand that which you have read, which is a separate gift unto itself. On this subject, I think your knowledge is superior to my own, but our understanding is very much the same.

          Amen, David.

          1. David Rediger says:

            I am just doing battle with false prophets.

          2. John Owens says:

            I, too, David.

          3. David Rediger says:

            Actually Jesus would want everyone to live in peace. No threat of violence at all. But we life in a fallen would and Satan roams like a roaring lion.

          4. John Owens says:

            Yes, and if Christians had never defended themselves since the beginning of the Faith, there would be none alive today. The King David was a man after God’s own heart, and he was NOT a panty-waist, a hand-wringer or a pacifist in the common sense. The God that spoke with and through David BECAME Jesus the Christ, so, I know these blind, false messengers have no understanding of the real Jesus.

      11. Semper Fi says:

        Hey Rabbi
        I hope you need a gun to defend your family and you don’t have one….then you will understand the need for one….praying wont stop a predator…Oh and your Jesus in 2017 would carry an M4 Carbine because he would be hated by the liberals who hate god

        1. Joe says:

          Semper Fi, you are wrong on sooooo many levels. First of all, there is nothing about being a Liberal that requires anyone to hate God. Most Liberals love God, and are Liberals because they follow the teachings of Christ. Jesus, who taught people to turn the other cheek, and who allowed himself to be unjustly accused and killed without fighting back, would never carry a gun of any kind let alone an attack rifle as you suggest. And hoping Rabbi is in such as situation as you describe hardly marks you as a Christian. “They will know we are Christians by our Love.”

      12. Ty Richard says:

        Guns properly used protect the innocent from harm. Your essay is theoretical but we live in a real world.
        Have a good day.

      13. David says:

        Yes he would have. Onward Christian soldiers. God and his son were Christians.

        1. Ama Nazra says:

          David, you’ve made me laugh. God has no religion, he-she-it is the foundation of all religions. And Jesus Christ was a Jew. Christianity developed after he died on the Cross, not while he was living. 🙂

          1. JOHN MAHER says:

            SHOWS ta go YA JUST HOW LEARNED and INTELIGENT SOME PEOPLE REALLY ARE, JESUS WAS SOMEONE I do NOT BELIEVE that I WILL EVER SEE, READ HIS TEACHINGs DAVID,HE ONLY MARCHED to the CROSS FORCED UNDER VIOLENCE.

          2. Joe says:

            John, when brought before Pontius Pilot Jesus did not defend himself. He directed his followers not to defend him when he was taken. You need to read the Gospels yourself.

        2. Joe says:

          God is not religious, and Jesus was Jewish.

    2. bill cathcart says:

      Jesus would not have carried a gun. Jesus taught about love and forgiveness. I believe that is how it should be also today. Living that way Jesus didn’t live very long. How long do you want to live? People who can’t defend themselves are the ones who are most often attacked.

    3. Gene Collins says:

      All it says is. —– “have it your way”

    4. Edwin Howard Brubeck says:

      We should try the novel approach of enforcing the laws we have. If someone lies on their 4473 form, and they are denied, they have committed perjury. Prosecute them!

      If the laws in place, at the time had been followed, John Hinckley would not have been able to purchase the pistol he used.

      I would support holding firearm manufacturers liable for misuse of their products if ALL manufacturers were held to the same standard.

      If a Louisville Slugger bat is used to kill someone, then they would be liable.

      The fact that kids are killing kids in Chicago is a symptom, not the problem. The problem is that kids are learning, somewhere, that killing is an appropriate response to others actions. This needs to change.

      People are responsible for their actions.

    5. Richard says:

      Jesus would pass a background check, seriously. I have many and carry one but i also advocate responsible ownership, in the event its ever drawnwill be due to my commitment to protect the people. 2000 years ago there wouldnt be a heartfelt story of the cross if guns existed. My great ancestor Ester (yes the story in the bible) would have had her uncle carry one if they existed.

    6. Rick says:

      If we were a nation without guns at all and were trying to decide whether to allow them, I’d say no. If no one has a gun, no one will be shot. Of course, knives and bats aren’t safe in the wrong hands, either. But guns can kill from a distance, and that’s the problem.

      Unfortunately, guns are already widespread across this country. Hundreds of millions of them. Trying to take them out of the hands of the law abiding public, our second amendment rights not withstanding, it would create a greater problem than exists now. Criminals would never give up their guns. In fact, they’d probably acquire more. If you have a country where no law abiding person owns a gun and only criminals have them, I don’t think I have to tell you how many more shooting deaths there would be.

      Since ridding every gun from every hand is not, or ever going to be possible, the next best thing is the ability of the law abiding person to fight back. This, believe it or not, is a huge deterrent to many criminals. Their bodies are just as pink and soft in the middle as anyone, and they don’t take kindly to return fire. So there it is. The only reason I believe that our gun rights should never be diminished or taken away. I want the odds in my favor as much as possible.

  1. Gary Shade says:

    We base a firearm self defense course on what the Bible discuesses on use of self defense.

    http://www.firearmsandliberty.com/store/index.php?crn=242&rn=1776&action=show_detail

    1. John Owens says:

      Good for you folk, Gary! I like that.

  2. Brother Bill says:

    Gun control is just an emotional issue. The crux of the issue is that NO thing made by man will kill all on its own. For a gun to kill, a human MUST pick it up and use it. That is where religion comes into the issue. The secular world has separated human actions from things, thereby making a thing guilty. Only people are responsible for gun use and the resultant chaos. Religion MUST promote the sanctity of life! That is where the Lord God or Jesus would focus, on our actions / free will.
    Exodus 20:13 is actually mistranslated by the KJV Bible. A more accurate translation is Thou shalt not murder. Purchasing a firearm for protection is no sin. Rather the sin enters in HOW that firearm is used.
    Additionally, the author let’s their bias show with this statement: “What is more sinful? The violent tendencies of a gun owner, or the inaction of an unarmed bystander?”. I am a gun owner, know many who are gun owners, and none have violent tendencies. Protective tendencies? Yes! Violent tendencies? No!
    Bottom line – it is not the thing (an inanimate object) that the Lord God cares about. It is the condition of the human heart, the actions of the human being that the Lord God is concerned about. But the free will given humanity by the Lord God results in some people being saintly / good and others who are demonic / evil.

    1. Amber Fry says:

      Sorry Bill but the Secular world has a very large humanist movement that manages to keep the understanding of the importance of an individual’s mental and emotional states and how they affect the persons actions A person prone to anger and violence, regardless of religious leanings or lack there of, will find some way to be violent. We have seen over and over again people who believe so strongly still go off on a mass killing spree under the belief they are doing a spiritual cleansing of evil. They learn it through religious means, perhaps not mainstream but still, a strong faith and belief in God. There are a great many people who are not religious at all who manage to do great things, and treat people very well… no religion added. Unfortunately no matter how much people wish to make a hard divide in religious ideals teaching the sacredness and everyone else just flounders but the cross overs are just too great to cleanly split.

      As to your remarks on guns I have to agree. I was raised around them as my father came from a long line of people who lived off the land, farmers, hunters, etc. He still owns the smaller side arms and has always been one of the least violent people I’ve ever met.

  3. Guairdean says:

    Luke 22:36 (KJV) is fairly specific. “Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.” He knew there were people around who would not hesitate to attack them, even though they were a fairly large group. He also knew that they would be safe if armed. He didn’t advocate starting a fight, but he didn’t shrink from finishing one. Luke 11:21 (also KJV) is also fairly specific. “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace.” No, Jesus wouldn’t advocate gun control.

    1. Brian Balke says:

      The use of the Lord’s words without context has supported a long history of tyranny.

      Luke 22:38: The disciples said “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.
      Luke 11:22-23: “But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder. Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

      From this, I conclude that Jesus regulated the possession of weapons by his disciples, and taught that love was the only certain security.

      And we have the famous “He who lives by the sword, dies by the sword.” We have two choices: eternal life, or death. When we trust in the instruments of death, we forego the former.

      1. John Owens says:

        Living “by the sword” has nothing to do with self-defense or defending one’s home or belongings. Living by the sword is using the sword as a means of making a living– as in, mercenary, professional soldier, professional bank-robber, hold-up person, mugger, assassin, something along those lines. THAT is living by the sword.

        You probably own a shovel and occasionally use it. Does that mean you “live by the shovel?” That would mean a gardener, ditch-digger, pipe-layer, something along those lines.

        I sometimes will sew a button back on a jacket or shirt, but that doesn’t make me a tailor. I have carpentry tools, and build and make things for a hobby, but I do not “live by the saw”. Perhaps you have a boat, and like to fish, but that does not necessarily mean you are a fisherman. I have flown, as a passenger, but that does not make me an airman.

        I am just trying to point out that practicing self-defense and neighborhood defense, which includes the possession and use of firearms, does NOT constitute “living by the sword.” Therefore one would not be destined to die by the sword, which occasionally DOES happen to innocent people who do not carry weapons.

        1. Brian Balke says:

          You interpret Jesus’s words as though he was a trade unionist. He was not: he was a revealer of
          spiritual truth, and everything that he says should be read in that context. As a mystic deeply
          enmeshed in the process of Christ, that is how I interpret them. So please excuse me, but your words of “practical wisdom” mislead you from the message that I convey.

          I remind: Jesus WAS one of those “innocent people.” He could have chosen to come as a conqueror, but instead submitted to the powers of violence in order to prove their impotence. His resurrection was intended to free us from fear of death. Even more, by imbuing death with love, he attained the means that make him the “Prince of Peace”: he uses that impenetrable barrier to divide warring spirits until they attain the wisdom to seek reconciliation.

          1. John Owens says:

            I remind you– all we have to go by is what HE said and what WE imagine regarding what HE said. Owning a shovel is not the same as living by the shovel. How you can find any error in that logic is illogical. I didn’t interpret anything. I READ something. YOU are reading something INTO what you read.

          2. Brian Balke says:

            John 3:1-21

          3. John Owens says:

            John 3:1-21 HAS NOTHING TO SAY, RELEVANT TO THIS SECTION OF THE CONVERSATION.

          4. Joe says:

            Not if you heart is closed to it, John.

  4. Nancy Willingham says:

    Sounds simplistic, but the answer is love. If you can shoot out of love, that is the answer. If you forgo firearms out of love, that is the answer. Our response should not be fear driven. Giving in to fear is giving up love. “Love your neighbor. Love your enemy.” Who said that?
    As to the cause of gun violence, 2/3s of the gun deaths result from suicide. A large percentage of the remaining 1/3 is committed by young men raised in fatherless homes. The “Baby Mamma” subcult is a cancer eating away at the fabric of our society and filling our prisons with wasted young lives. These two things can and should be addressed. Laws mandating who can legally carry a firearm are a very small factor in a complicated equation. Children raised by violent TV, movies and video games (often while their single moms are at work) is another another factor. Liberal education is a factor. Poor, ineffective schools are a factor. The teacher’s union lobby is a factor. As to the statistics, the numbers cannot tell whether the rise in gun ownership caused a rise in gun violence, or the rise in gun violence, caused by the above mentioned societal problems, created an atmosphere where people thought they needed a gun for protection. Then, whenever the anti-gun groups make a lot of noise or a lot of headway, the gun sales go up out of fear guns may soon become unavailable. Actually, the gun industry thrives on the threat that gun sales might be curtailed by legislation. I am a minister now, but I was a police woman, a prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer before that. My final answer is that if we successfully neutralize the cultural factors that feed gun violence, the gun laws will become a forgotten debate.

    1. Ama Nazra says:

      Good comment, Nancy. I agree that every society needs to neutralize the cultural factors that feed gun violence, but .. I do not live in America. I believe that easy access to guns just adds to the growing problems of gun violence. Yes, since America was ‘discovered’ gun violence has always been a problem there, but its increasing now, as it is in other countries around the world, as the boundaries that define good, honourable, loving behaviour fall away, leaving people floundering as they try and cope in societies that live in fear. If all the guns, large and small, in the world suddenly evaporated, people would still find ways to hurt and kill each other, but they would have to do it more personally – and accept total responsibility for what they did.

      IMO, Jesus would want gun control .. but more than that he would want ‘people control’ – that each individual would control how they behaved towards each other. That they would do what he commanded “love one another as I have loved you”. Let me also quote the New Testament, just a few lines later than Guairdean’s quote – Luke 22:49-51

      “49 When those who were with him saw what was coming they asked, “Lord, should we strike with the sword?”
      50 Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.
      51 But Jesus said, “No more of this!” And he touched his ear and healed him.” (NOAB)

      He might have said men needed ‘swords’ to protect themselves, he did not say ‘buy a gun’. With a gun you can kill from a distance, both physically and emotionally. With a sword you have to hold it in your hand, and choose to swing it to injure another person. This is a responsible decision that you cannot excuse with ‘it went off by mistake’.

      Jesus wanted us to be responsible for everything we do, think, say and feel. No excuses. No easy ways to kill and walk away. At least with a sword we are face to face .. not, as just happened here in Australia, some guy in a car driving into a crowd of people, and then shooting some of them. Wasn’t the car bad enough? He killed a 12 week old baby.

      Enough is enough. No more guns. And don’t reinterpret the words in the bible to say they mean something they don’t. Jesus was a man of Peace, not war. Even with moments of bad temper, he proved his love for all people over and over again. He never shot anyone, nor raised a weapon against them. He would be horrified to see how far our societies have fallen into darkness. If we had the ‘second coming’ now we would all be in ‘hell’, and deserving of it. Or are we already there?

      1. John Owens says:

        He did actually say they needed swords. Luke 22:36 Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

      2. espinja says:

        It’s not increasing. Gun ownership is up, gun violence is down. Just like all violence is down.

        Read “The Better Angels of Our Nature” by Steven Pinker. The world is safer than ever, even though the nightly news would have you believe otherwise.

    2. Nancy Willingham says:

      I’m with Ama. Once our hearts are in the right place, we will do the right thing, both individually and politically. Once our hearts become manifestations of The Divine, we will know how to interpret and apply scripture.

    3. Gary Cunningham says:

      Finally a comment that is reasonable. Every argument for self defense I read was based in fear. Keep love in your heart not fear, you know, nothing to fear but… Protecting your possessions was often sighted, come on really? Blame it on the liberals another lame argument, us and them. Where are the insights, the true thinkers. We must change the hearts of these that want to do evil. When our culture gives up this consumer driven economy and moves into placing education on a high plane than money, maybe we can begin to heal the evil thinkers.

  5. Clayton Beardmore says:

    The one that always “gets” me is this: Whenever there is a bombing, we blame the bomber. Whenever there is a Driving Under the Influence charge, we blame the driver. Why then, when there is a shooting we blame the gun? (Not the shooter)

    Jesus would be against “gun control” because He was love, and love doesn’t take anything away.

    1. Stephen Wehrenberg says:

      I blame the shooter, not the gun. But I blame us all for making it possible for the shooter to have that gun. We just don’t need them. And I argue that love does take something away … hate.

      1. Clayton Beardmore says:

        Since we don’t NEED bombs or vehicles, shouldn’t we advocate “bomb making items control,” and “vehicle control,” as well as “gun control?” While we’re at it why not take away anything we could hurt each other with? This is a VERY slippery slope.

        Love (Jesus) does not take anything away – He is everything – He just uses everything in His great plan for us.

        1. rabbi jim says:

          rabbi jim here: Greetings my dear Clayton. I think bombs should be outlawed as well as guns, yes indeed. But, it would be impracticle to remove all items from the environment that could harm or kill.
          Vehicles can kill, but, they are not classified as a weapon – guns are weapons. But, consider this,
          a knife is a weapon, but for it to be affective as such it would have to be used up close. If someone is chasing you with a knife you at least could out run them and get away. Likewise, if someone had a chainsaw, you would see it from a distance and could flee the scene. It could not be concealed from you. But a gun can be concealed and that is what makes them so dangerous.
          At least against a knife or chainsaw you have a chance to gey away unharmed. But, it’s hard to dodge a bullet.
          May Yahweh bless you and keep you safe from all harm.

          1. Graham says:

            Good morning Rabbi Jim! You state that “bombs should be outlawed as well as guns.” Do you mean to imply that nation-states like our country should not have such weapons? What would have happened during WWII had we not had bombs to use against Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany? I doubt seriously if there would be any Jews left in our world had we decided not to join the Allied powers, or had we decided not to use artillery or aerial bombing during the war. Just a thought. Maybe you think that would be OK. I know some pacifistic Christians who believe it is better to die, and allow your loved ones to die, rather than to engage in self-defense. I disagree with them, but I respect their beliefs, though they differ from mine. At least they are consistent! Moreover one might argue against the use of bombs (but not necessarily guns) on the basis of St. Augustine’s rules for a “just war” and that fact that bombs are somewhat indiscriminate and often kill (purposefully or not) noncombatants. But I must say, I know very few rabbis who would make that argument. If more rabbis taught that, I doubt the nation of Israel would be around for much longer. God bless!

      2. rabbi jim says:

        rabbi jim here: Greetings Stephen! I agree with you fully. Well said. The shooter is at fault. But, who can control the shooter?
        A man goes into a Walmart store and buys a rifle and takes it to his car. He then returns to the store to purchase bullets for the gun. He loads the gun in his car and returns to the store with it and blows several people away and then shoots himself. Without the gun, he could not have done that. This is a true store. It really happened. How tragic and stupid.
        Let’s outlaw all guns and melt them down and make beautiful jewelry with the metal.
        Have a blessed day

        1. Clayton Beardmore says:

          Nice thought, but get real! Remember, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns!

          1. rabbi jim says:

            rabbi jim here: My dear Clayton, It would not be enough to just outlaw guns. Guns need to be eliminated from the streets. Purhaps many more prisons need to be built and all outlaws locked up. If a person is found with a gun in their possession, they should be fined $10,000 and given a five year jail sentence with an added year for every $1.000 they can’t pay, no exceptions. Then, they might think twice about aquiring a gun.
            Again, policeman and herdsmen need guns to do their work. But, the rest of us can live without guns. The guns have to be confiscated and melted down. This would be an enormous task, if even possible. But, no one is safe until it’s done. If people wish to hunt animals, they can learn to use a bow or simply do without hunting. If the above stated law is not efficient then make it stiffer. The simple truth is that guns are made to kill, pure and simple. Carry one and one day you will probably shoot it and kill.

          2. Pastor Pete says:

            My dear Clayton, I live in the UK, where firearms are Stictly controlled, I have only ever heard a firearm discharged once in my life in London, and that was the cops firing a warning shot…. Having lived in Chicago, where the atmosphere is somewhat different, I have to absolutely disagree with you on this. Would Jesus have wanted gun control? Who knows? I’m not in the business of putting words in the mouth of the Prince of Peace, but I think the main thing to remember about his teachings is surely “love one another” I think he himself would have wanted us to forgo weaponry in favour of love and compassion. Anyway, all the best to you and yours…

          3. David Rediger says:

            the answer is not outlawing guns or knives or bombs or even harsh words. The answer is to Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and make disciples of them.

            The key words is make them disciples. i.e. followers of Jesus. Hence lover of man.

          4. Joe says:

            Yeah, David, because no one who has been baptized has ever committed murder, right? Do you know how many murders have taking place in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit?

          5. John Owens says:

            Joe, you may be exaggerating a little bit. Just saying. Haven’t been a lot of murders in the name of OUR God since the Middle Ages, and that was thanks to the Unholy Catholic Church. A lot more in the name of Planned Parenthood, Chairman Mao, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot, Allah, stuff like that. Not saying religious nuts don’t kill, just very few these days in the name of Jesus or the God of Abraham.

          6. Joe says:

            Sorry, John, but no, people are killed in the name of God and Jesus all the time. I’m not exaggerating at all. By the way, Allah is the same God we refer to as The Father, not a different God. Baptism does nothing to prevent violence when people professing to be Christian advocate for violence, and they do. The KKK claim to be Christians, and they all get Baptized, but they are a terrorist organization. Wake up.

          7. John Owens says:

            You need to wake up, Joe. Maybe I should say Rip Van Winkle. The KKK hasn’t been killing since the 60s, and even then it was done only in isolated cases which got so much press that it brought too much attention on them. Allah- the muslim god, is not another name for Yahweh, the Hebrew God who became a human in the form of Jesus. If you knew 1/10th of what you think you do, I’d listen to you.

          8. Joe says:

            John, history, based on the beliefs of both religions and their origins says differently. Both Christianity and Islam came from Judaism. All 3 worship the same God. The Bible also doesn’t say that God The Father took human form as Jesus, that was his Son. I never said that Allah and Jesus were the same. I understand the modern contrivance to conflate the Father and the Son, but I don’t agree with it. As for the KKK, they have just gotten quieter about what they do, they haven’t stopped. Now they, and their kind, are hoping to take control of our government through the Trump administration, and that would be a nightmare. We don’t need apologists like you down playing their evil.

          9. John Owens says:

            Islam did not come from Judaism. That may be what some teach but the differences in how they treat people show that it did not. It did not come from Christianity.

            Jesus IS the being we call Father, and He has a Father, also. He said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” He said, “Before Abraham was, I am.” “Jerusalem, Jerusalem,… how oft I would have gathered you under my wings…” There are many scriptures that tell this Joe, namely John chapter one, Hebrews chapter one, Isaiah 9:6, and many others, but I see I am trying to teach someone who thinks they already know everything. Again, if you only knew 1/10 as much as you think you know…

            Then you try to bring Trump into this and lump him with the KKK. You lie and call me an apologist. I haven’t apologized for anyone. You are following Satan’s ministers and you are proud of it. The Trump people are just trying to get control of OUR government BACK from leftists, which means back from globalists, who want to damn the US to be an integral part of one world government rather than the greatest nation that has ever been until now. It is people like you who are trying to rip it apart. People who know so little but presume to know so much. People who call names every chance they get. People who argue for the sake of arguing, not caring what is correct or true or just or fair. People who pretend to know the scripture, but do not, and only use it to work toward their own nefarious ends.

          10. Joe says:

            John, you have just shown me that you and I do not share the same beliefs. There is no point in my arguing with you. I am one of the leftist from your POV, and the world you want and the one I want are never going to be the same. Most of what you believe about me is absolute BS. You don’t know how much I do or do not know. Christianity is not monolithic, and there are different interpretations of the Bible, but I have never encountered anyone who referred to Jesus as Father before. It’s not a mainstream belief. He is referred to as the Son of God, and in the trinity seen as co-equal to God, but not the Father.

          11. John Owens says:

            The fact that you have never encountered anyone who referred to Jesus as Yahweh PROVES how much you do not know. Apparently you did not ever read the very scriptures I referenced. One of the scriptures, the one in Isaiah, is one of those prophecies the heathen-imitating Christians read every year before Christmas. It says the Christ shall be called “Everlasting Father”, “Mighty God.” I don’t guess you ever read that, either.

            You said I don’t know you. Why would you say that after you have presumed to know EVERY gun-owner? Huh? You think you know about the KKK, when you don’t. You just say they are doing a better job of covering themselves. Yeah, there is no use in talking, because you think you know everything, after admitting you know HARDLY anything. I don’t mean to be critical in the argumentative sense. You just can’t reason with leftists, because their minds are weak, like their arguments. They think they are so rational and civilized, but they are primitive and irrational.

            There are a couple of proverbs that fit here. “The more you know, the dumber you seem to dumb people,” and “Truth sounds like hate to people who hate truth.”

            You just want to argue, and you don’t care about truth. If you did, we could reason together and maybe both learn something.

          12. Joe says:

            John, from my perspective you are the one who thinks he knows everything. I have never made such a claim for myself. I never said anything about “all gun owners.” I have never claimed to have the knowledge you seem to think I am so sure of. I simply am telling you what I have experienced in the real world, and it is not typical for Jesus to be referred to as Father.

            Not only are you taking your interpretation of the scriptures and putting it on everyone else, but you are putting words in my mouth to give yourself an argument against me.

            It seems to me you are the one who just want’s to argue, and doesn’t care about the truth. So stop. I’m done with you.

          13. John Owens says:

            Joe, I love the fact that now you are walking backward on your smugness, like a crayfish (we call it craw-dadding when someone walks backward). I also love that you keep talking . It shows you are not satisfied and your mind is urging you to ask for more, while your personality tries to get you to stop, your subconscious wants to learn more. That’s good. It means you are still in there, inside your head. Your mind, I mean. You are not totally limited by your programming. That’s good. You might still learn something, if you investigate.

            Oh, I know. Try to use the scriptures to prove I am wrong about Jesus being God, the Ancient of Days, Yahweh, the God of Abraham, the one Moses saw from behind. You know it couldn’t have been Jesus’ Father, because Jesus himself said, “No man hath seen the Father at any time.” What can you do with that scripture? Either Jesus was wrong, or it was not Jesus’ Father that Moses saw. You know it IS possible to BE a father and HAVE a father at the same time, right?

            You made me smile. Thank you. I have to sign off for a long drive. Au revoir.

        2. Ama Nazra says:

          David R, you wrote: “the answer is not outlawing guns or knives or bombs or even harsh words. The answer is to Baptize them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, and make disciples of them. The key words is make them disciples. i.e. followers of Jesus. Hence lover of man.”

          I don’t think you actually meant that people be forced to become Christian. Our hearts are called to Jesus by choice, just as some Christians become Jews or Muslims, and visa versa from both religions. We cannot force people to be baptised as a solution to their behaviour or beliefs we don’t hold sacred. Early Christian missionaries tried that among the ‘heathen’ and often ended up ‘matyred’ for their practices. It would make us no different from those small groups of people calling themselves followers of Islam that are destroying their own kind .. humankind .. in the name of what they think is right. Or are they doing it in the name of ‘power over others’ and simply choosing to wear a label that identifies them with one religion or another?

          I have to wonder how God would treat a person forced to be, or proclaim themselves Christian, or any other religion, while in their hearts they still followed one of the other in a multitude of other systems of beliefs the humans of this planet follow. Since he created humanity, and humanity created all the different belief systems, I think he would be very kind – or I certainly hope so.

          1. Joe says:

            Well said, Ama!!

        3. Paul says:

          What many I have noticed seem to overlook is that people do not need firearms of any kind to hurt and kill others. However, it is very sad that we live in times that our media is so biased that they only present events that support their bias. When there was a number of college students killed here in Santa Barbra, there were twice the number of casualties that were reported. That is because only the firearm related deaths were reported. Those that had their throats cut did not make any TV coverage and were also omitted from many papers as well.

          Murder is murder, and it really does not make any difference to many of us how it happens. It is still a violent crime and there is no changing that. What the problem I see is that we as a society are saying that it is acceptable to murder people with knifes, cars, and other things, but it is only seen as a crime by most of the public if it is a shooting. This I find horribly wrong, and it needs to be stopped. Murder needs to be treated as murder and reported as such regardless of how it happens.

          I agree getting rid of the firearms in UK and some other countries has reduced the firearm deaths, but has it really stopped any murders? Just because something is not reported does not mean that it did not happen. If a tree falls in a forest and none hear it does that mean the tree is still standing? I think not… Just with putting cameras in some areas, it has reduced the crime in those areas, but the crime has actually just moved to where the cameras are not located.

          We have many vile people in this world that are the physical manifestation of the Devil by their actions. Just because they act normally most of the time does not make them good people all of the time. As with most sociopaths they take pleasure in the harm that they do to their victims and also by extension society at large.

          We must all stand against evil, as when we let it get away by doing nothing we are giving it a right to exist. People can change, but they have to want to change.

    2. Brian Balke says:

      Love healed the wounds made by Peter’s sword in Gethsemane. So it does take away. As most gun deaths are suicides or domestic violence, I wish that gun owners would allow love to take away their anger and fear. We have police departments in a civil society.

      1. John Owens says:

        I am not angry. I am not afraid. You may be afraid. The police and the ambulance pick up the pieces. If society were civil, the police would not need weapons anyway. All they would do is direct traffic and investigate accidents. If they are carrying weapons, I will also carry a weapon. Equal protection under the law.

        I’ll be 60 this year. I’ve had a firearm since I was 10, and a handgun since I was 16. I’ve never committed a crime with one, never accidentally fired a weapon, never drawn one in anger. I carry. I will always carry. If you see me I am carrying. You can hate me for that if you like. It is my right and my responsibility.

        Where I live, it would take police AT LEAST 20 minutes to get there in an emergency. It takes 2-3 seconds to draw, aim, and fire. You do the math. If you are willing to put burglars, home-invaders and meth-heads to death upon conviction, I will be glad to put my handgun in the safe, with the caveat that I may remove it and carry it at any time.

        Do you know why terrorists and nut-cases go to gay bars, schools, churches, and theaters to murder? Because they know those places are full of unarmed people, most of whom probably think as you do. They NEVER attack biker gatherings or gun shows, because they know the attendees do NOT think as you do. I will not think ill of you for thinking as you do. I don’t consider it evil–just perhaps a bit naïve, or quaint. A lot of churches teach that kind of thought to their parishioners. Do you know why? Because centuries ago, the unholy church was in bed with the governments, and they taught the parishioners to be good victims. The bible teaches us that Satan has ministers and synagogues and actually deceives the whole world. That continues to this day, as evidenced by so many on this blog.

        1. Brian Balke says:

          This is the power of love: in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed for strength, and when the guard came to arrest him, weapons at the ready, he had to remind them of their purpose. I have had people come into my presence with the intention to harm me, and I opened my heart to them and they found healing and courage in love.

          When the little Amish girls were held at gunpoint in their school house, the eldest stepped forward to say: “These others are younger than I. Kill me.” She won a great victory for love and peace on that day. She emerged victorious over Satan, and was received in Jesus’s arms.

          1. John Owens says:

            That’s a wonderful story, Brian, but has nothing to do with daily life for most people. If this mythical little girl had known how to use a weapon, the mythical bad guy would have been lain low instead of the innocent. Why would anyone preach that victimhood is superior to strength and independence? What kind of insanity is this?

          2. Brian Balke says:

            It is the Christian “insanity.” Look, you make valid secular arguments. But leave JESUS out of it.

          3. John Owens says:

            That is not “CHRISTIAN”. Show me one scripture that says, “Thou shalt not defend thyself at all.”

    3. Clayton Beardmore says:

      Who’s John? Please place your mouse pointer over the Post Reply button immediately below the comment you are replying to and click it – a box entitled ‘Leave a Comment” will appear – type your reply in the box – then press the Post Comment in the Leave a Comment box. Thank You!

      My post does not reference the Bible or the KKK!

      1. John Owens says:

        There are at least two Johns on this blog. The other’s name is John Maher or something like that. If you are speaking of my comments somewhere above which are connected to yours, They were in response to Joe, whose comment was under yours. Joe and I have had several exchanges on this blog. Some are testy and one or two almost friendly. That’s the thing about blogs, they don’t necessarily follow a script.

  6. Rich Calton says:

    Luke 22:36
    New Testament
    Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.

    1. Ama Nazra says:

      Theologians have spent decades trying to untangle the knots in the different translations of the Christian Bible e.g unicorns in the KJV. Let’s stick with written ‘Word’. As I wrote earlier, Jesus was talking about swords, not guns. We should not re-intepret the bible to make it mean something we want it to. People get angry when other Christian groups do that. We have to lead by example, the way Jesus did.

      1. Gary Shade says:

        He was talking about weapons. Not just swords.

        1. Ama Nazra says:

          Hi Gary, that is your interpretation. I think Jesus would have said ‘weapon’ if he meant weapon, and one weapon, not many.

          Let’s now dip into Matthew 26:51-56, which is the same story from a different perspective …

          “51 Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it, and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
          52 Then Jesus said to hum, “Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.
          53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?
          54 But how then would the scriptures be fulfilled, which say it must happen in this way?”
          55 At that hour Jesus said to the crowds, “Have you come with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I sat in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me.
          56 but all this has taken place, so that the scriptures of the prophets may be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled.”

          You see, he was quite specific when he mentioned items, not a general term of ‘weapons’, and then there’s a really good explanation of the whole situation on this website http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/no-jesus-didnt-command-we-own-weapons/

          Jesus was a man of peace. He expected us to be like him. His only weapons were Love and Faith. I wish we could be the same.

          1. Gary Shade says:

            You see, he was quite specific when he mentioned items, not a general term of ‘weapons’, and then there’s a really good explanation of the whole situation on this website http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/no-jesus-didnt-command-we-own-weapons/
            Read more at https://www.themonastery.org/blog/2017/01/would-jesus-want-gun-control/#IIReQ1BuImSGLTaH.99

            “The Garden of Gethsemane

            Now, the next passage we come to follows these events. Jesus and the disciples are in the garden, and the men come to arrest Jesus. At least two of the disciples are armed, with the knowledge and consent of Jesus. Here is the question: Will they use the sword against the armed multitude which has come against Him? Let’s look at the three passages which recount this event.

            Luke 22:49-53 (NAS) 49 And when those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?” 50 And a certain one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. 51 But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. 52 And Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as against a robber? 53 “While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.”

            Matthew 26:51-56 51 And suddenly, one of those who were with Jesus stretched out his hand and drew his sword, struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. 52 But Jesus said to him, “Put your sword in its place, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 “Or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels? 54 “How then could the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must happen thus?” 55 In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you, teaching in the temple, and you did not seize Me. 56 “But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”

            John 18:10-11 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”

            In these three passages, you get a sense that Jesus is saying, “Though we have a right to employ our swords in defense of this unrighteous arrest, we are intentionally putting aside our lawful right, and I am allowing myself to be taken without resistance.” See how this is expressed: “Lord shall we strike with the sword?” “No more of this.” “This is your hour, and the power of darkness.” “Put up your sword… or do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father… all this was done that the Scriptures…might be fulfilled.” “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup…?”

            Why Christ tells Peter to put up the sword:

            Christ is willingly laying down His life, though He has the right to use sword and angelic legions to deliver Himself from this unjust arrest (Luke 22:51, John 18:11).
            Those who are quick to resort to violence will die by violence (Matt 26:52). The Lord hates the one who “loves violence” (Psalm 11:5).

            The sword is not always the appropriate response, especially in persecution for Christ.

            There is greater protection than swords.”

            You also said Ama,
            “Jesus was a man of peace. He expected us to be like him. His only weapons were Love and Faith. I wish we could be the same.”

            Man has been killing man since he first appeared on this planet. Man likewise has had a moral right to self defense which is codified and discussed at length in the Bible.

            19 Or know ye not that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God? and ye are not your own; 20 for ye were bought with a price: glorify God therefore in your body. (1Co 6:19-20 ASV)

            Psalm 82:4 Rescue the weak and needy; Deliver them out of the hand of the wicked.

            Proverbs 24:11 Deliver those who are drawn toward death, And hold back those stumbling to the slaughter.

            Ezekiel 33 “… 6 ‘But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and a sword comes and takes a person from them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require from the watchman’s hand.’

            It is moral obligation that good triumph over evil. And it’s not the gun we are talking about. There is no good nor is there evil found in the gun. Certainly the firearm has far more uses for good then bad. The same can be said of fire.

            The good or evil is what is men and women’s hearts. Not the object they wield.

        2. Clayton Beardmore says:

          Guns weren’t even invented when the Bible was written. He was definitely talking about weapons, not just swords (the weapon of the day).

      2. Brian Balke says:

        It’s worse than that, Ama. The verse (Luke 11:36) is taken out of context.

        1. Ama Nazra says:

          Hi Brian, did you mean 11:21? If so, I agree. It’s spiritual protection, not physical.

          1. Brian Balke says:

            You’re correct, Ama. My point is that Luke 11:22 cautions that there’s always someone stronger to come along (or the strong man becomes weaker as he ages). My interpretation is that Jesus was saying “don’t trust in violence – the only lasting security is with the Father.”

          2. Ama Nazra says:

            Agreed Brian .. now how to we encourage others to listen?

      3. John Owens says:

        As I said, waaaaay up at the beginning of this blatantly liberal blog:

        NOBODY KNOWS for sure what Jesus would say about guns, as He never mentioned them, except for HIM, and HE’s not saying anything out loud right now. You can speculate all you want, but that’s all you can do.

        WHATEVER you think or say, the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with hunting, and everything to do with self-defense. The word Militia has nothing to do with the National Guard or the Army, and the word People means people–human beings. The Right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Period. If you want to be a victim, be one.

        You ought to be preaching to young people that they shouldn’t be fornicating like it’s going out of style. I think we can all agree Jesus would probably go along with that one, and it would go a LOOOONNNNGGG way toward stopping the killing sprees, because people would come from loving, stable homes instead of whatever is the messed up norm these days.

        Instead of focusing on political hot-topics, we could focus on good and evil. I can already hear you, “WE ARE, WE ARE,” but if you have no scriptural guidance, you have nothing on which to base your opinion, EXCEPT SPECULATION. You COULD extrapolate, like, “if a guy slaps you on one cheek, offer him the other,” would extrapolate “if a thug shoots you in one arm, let him shoot you in the other,” or, “if a pedophile abuses one of your children, offer him the other.” You can easily see how ridiculous the extrapolation becomes. That is why the question originating this blog is ridiculous. There is not sufficient information for any of us here to answer it, unless there is a true prophet here.

  7. Sam says:

    Jesus would not want the average person to be able to buy semi automatic weapons and go into a building and shoot people up.
    How many people must die before the GOP gets it?
    Love does not kill.
    The NRA own the GOP.
    Hypocrites who say they love God and Jesus but let the laws continue so people can get guns and keep killing in massive ways.
    Shameful.
    Praying for them to have the courage and dignity to stand up to the NRA
    God bless them.

    1. Gary Shade says:

      Hard to know where to start with your post “Sam”. But here goes…

      You wrote “Jesus would not want the average person to be able to buy semi automatic weapons and go into a building and shoot people up.”

      No argument on that. Nor would he want an arsonist to burn a church down with his matches either. Wouldn’t you agree? And would you not agree that it would be silly and stupid to argue that matches should be banned?

      “How many people must die before the GOP gets it?”

      Far more people are killed by cars than guns every single year. In fact the medical profession kills around 195,000 out-patients out of the total of 785,000 medical deaths logged every year. As an out-patient you have a 600% more risk of dying by using your doctor rather than of picking up a gun.

      “Love does not kill.”

      Then you have not seen the aftermath of a crime of passion. Love shouldn’t kill. But possessive, jealous and smothering love often does.

      “The NRA own the GOP.”

      Oh come on Sam. You now turn a theological debate into a political debate? Shame on you. Plus your statement is not true. Democrats, many Democrats routinely vote with their GOP counterparts AGAINST gun control measures.

      “Hypocrites who say they love God and Jesus but let the laws continue so people can get guns and keep killing in massive ways.
      Shameful.
      Praying for them to have the courage and dignity to stand up to the NRA”

      And I will be praying for you that you see what you did here. We’ve trained many pastors and ministers in our firearm training business to defend themselves and parishioners should the need arise. And the NRA had nothing to do with it. A moral obligation of the preservation of good over evil did.

      1. Brian Balke says:

        Gun regulation is not necessarily elimination of guns. It includes measures to ensure that the use of a gun is traceable (microstamps on firing triggers) or biometric locking mechanisms that prevent children from shooting parents or each other.

        When you speak about “crimes of passion”, you are deeply confused about the nature of love. Lust, anger, shame and fear are also forms of passion.

        You speak of doctors as thought they don’t serve the purpose of healing. Let me ask you: how many guns have ever prescribed insulin or mood-stabilizing drugs? How many have sewn up a bullet hole in an innocent bystander?

      2. John Owens says:

        Okay, if anyone else who is in favor of gun bans addresses me, please tell me at the beginning of your statement whether or not you are in favor of abortion on demand. If you are, don’t bother talking to me about gun control because you are super-conflicted and don’t even know it because you have been fed thoughts or programmed or whatever you want to call it, by NPR, TV, and the mainstream media. Just in case you don’t understand– if you support the slaughter of innocents your opinion on gun-control or Jesus is worth less than nothing from an informational standpoint, in fact, you blaspheme by mentioning Jesus. That is taking His name in vain.

  8. maiane santos Santos says:

    There are already 20,000 and more laws that haven’t put a dent in delusional behavior of nutcases that their main goal is hurting more people than the last moron did.

    And as for would he or wouldn’t he from Jesus, it’s strictly rhetorical, but I’ll bet he wished for better hammer and nail control.

  9. Minister Carey says:

    If so-called Christians (people and countries) want to lead by example, they should start by not using weapons of mass destruction (guns, drones, bombs, biologicals, etc.) to kill masses of people to steal their lands, resources, and their right to life and clean water. And once a land is stolen and it’s people conquered as prisoners of war and limited to live on reservations and in ghetto/projects, prisons, etc., “ownership” of the land has to be sustained by the gun and propaganda/fake/alternative news. As one may well know, labeling a people to be non or half human, heathens, violent, uneducated, inferior, creating dependency, etc. will not keep them down. They will rise like “Jesus”. I see no masses of Christian groups marching in protest of these things. I see them sending their children to war on other people, foreign and domestic. This is the biggest gun violence ever. Mamma baby’s daddy. That’s funny.

  10. Tom Jaynes says:

    Sadly, we can quote all the religious texts there are until we run out of breath. The reality is that those who do inappropriately use weapons are not reading these texts or listening to their contents when we quote them. We expect them to play by the rules, yet, they ignore the rule makers. We have a pretty full steam ahead approach to a no gun control society. Just today, the President of the Unitd States advocated concealed carry nationwide. This cannot result in anything good coming about. In order to grant this right to those who desire it, the rest of us are going to have to be very careful about exercising our rights to free speech, free assembly and the right to dissent, lest someone who cannot use words effectively decides their only recourse is to pull a trigger. To your question about what Jesus would do? Sadly, it only seems to matter to those who believe in Jesus. The rest are on their own.

  11. Gary Shade says:

    A Psalm of David. Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:
    Psalm 144:1

  12. Ellis says:

    The problem with the belief system is the foundation to deal with. Christians believe in capital punishment for Jesus who it is believed was sacrificed through torture and murder but the effect of this moral axiom is that all are condemned because the belief is self perpetuating. No matter the nonsense that one died for all, the effect is that there is no scapegoat, therefore you are the divine victim and object of worship because the collective mind does not distinguish between self and others.. An understanding of human divinity and respect for life can be accomplished by sacrificing the sacred passion, let it be apart and removed from custom of worship. It is immoral to thank one for there suffering and death because an entire system of injustice is created in doing so and we have made those false standards the cornerstone of civilization. Any reasonable mind should be offended that the basis of belief is that salvation is obtained by being washed clean in the blood of innocents. Jesus is the Antichrist whose mark on the forehead is in your mind so it is possible to awaken from the illusion and realize the ancient eternal common good of everything that is instead of creating evil through delusional standards that condemn the natural world in favor of other worldly non-existence.

  13. Ama Nazra says:

    Dear Gary, I am not picking on you specifically .. but you provide such great points to write from .. so thank you. 🙂

    Psalm 144 – an angry man begging God for help. Could also be used by a Jihadist who believes in their right to defend their religion, before they take it into their own hands, since the foundation of their faith is the same as ours. In a way it reminds me of Jesus’ ‘take this cup away from me’ .. except that Jesus knew he had to sacrifice his life for ‘his’ people, and wished he didn’t have to .. which is wholly different from picking up a sword and taking war to someone else’s. It’s not justification for everyone demanding the right to own a gun.

    The problem with taking a verse here and there, out of context, is that it’s too easy to make the Bible say what we want. That man is demanding that ‘God’ ”subdue the people’s under him” (verse 2). He is not saying ‘give me the power to ….’, he’s begging that God come down and defend him.

    1 Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
    who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;
    2 my rock and my fortress,
    my stronghold and my deliverer,
    my shield, in whom I take refuge,
    who subdues the peoples under me.

    3 O Lord, what are human beings that you regard them,
    or mortals that you think of them?
    4 They are like a breath;
    their days are like a passing shadow.

    5 Bow your heavens, O Lord, and come down;
    touch the mountains so that they smoke.
    6 Make the lightning flash and scatter them;
    send out your arrows and rout them.
    7 Stretch out your hand from on high;
    set me free and rescue me from the mighty waters,
    from the hand of aliens,
    8 whose mouths speak lies,
    and whose right hands are false.

    9 I will sing a new song to you, O God;
    upon a ten-stringed harp I will play to you,
    10 the one who gives victory to kings,
    who rescues his servant David.
    11 Rescue me from the cruel sword,
    and deliver me from the hand of aliens,
    whose mouths speak lies,
    and whose right hands are false.

    12 May our sons in their youth
    be like plants full grown,
    our daughters like corner pillars,
    cut for the building of a palace.
    13 May our barns be filled,
    with produce of every kind;
    may our sheep increase by thousands,
    by tens of thousands in our fields,
    14 and may our cattle be heavy with young.
    May there be no breach in the walls, no exile,
    and no cry of distress in our streets.

    15 Happy are the people to whom such blessings fall;
    happy are the people whose God is the Lord.

    … and then he asked for peace. Not armed peace, simply peace. Like Jesus. He didn’t ask for armed peace either. He asked that we ‘love one another’ and treat with each other from that Commandment.

    The Old Testament was a verbal ‘history’ drawn from any different societies. It’s God appears to favour war and death. It’s God (Jehovah) demands sacrifices, like whole societies that just happened to have annoyed IT at the time. IT punished the innocent (Job and his family and servants). IT destroyed people who disobey IT (Saul when he refused to kill the last living Amalekite (1 Sam 8) sent an ‘evil angel’ to send him insane). I think we should be grateful that the nature of God appears to have changed since Jesus came. If nothing else, it does not smite the wicked, or the innocent. Perhaps it can’t find enough innocent now without wiping out the whole of humanity? The majority of us take the Commandments and twist them in knots, or forget them completely – e.g. “You shall not murder”. (Deu 5:17) And people tell themselves that Jesus would advocate people having guns .. the man who taught Love and Peace and Healing from all manner of illnesses and demons? If he wanted to make a war, he would have had every Israelite following him. They were looking for a Warrior Messiah. Many of them were extremely disappointed that he didn’t want to make war with their oppressors. No, we delude ourselves that he would have thought it was all right to encourage others to fear and hate us. When one man, or woman, picks up a weapon, the other is afraid and picks up a weapon, and another is afraid and picks up a weapon – and so it has continued all across the world, all through humanity’s existence, since Cain killed his brother, and God didn’t punish him. Are we now going to use Genesis to justify the right to bear ‘arms’ .. or should that be ‘the right to ‘bare arms’ (no weapons)? Guns are not the solution. More guns just lead to more of the same. No, we need the brave men and women who put down their ‘weapons’, whether guns or swords, or even Words, and say ‘I will be like Jesus, who walked among all societies advocating Love and Peace’. He was not the first person to make the ‘ultimate sacrifice’ .. but his was actually the ULTIMATE sacrifice .. he saved us all from the hell we are so busily recreating on earth. When will we save ourselves? The gun won’t save anyone if God decides the Second Coming is NOW. And that gun in my hand, will mark me as someone capable of murder. Don’t expect God to treat us like Cain. IT’s not the same God that demanded destruction of humanity .. we know that because Jesus came to SAVE us, and we crucified him.

    1. John Owens says:

      I’m sorry. You seem to think “Old Testament” refers to a book. That is totally erroneous, but widely thought. IN THE SCRIPTURE, “testament” does NOT refer to a book AT ALL. I don’t know from whence that idea came, but it is TOTALLY WRONG. Old Testament is not a book and New Testament is not a book. I know people try to make it into that, but in scripture, it is NOT. The word “testament” refers to a covenant and not a book. Just saying.

      1. Ama Nazra says:

        🙂 No, John, I don’t think the OT or NT are each one big ‘book’, but they are being used as ‘one book’ when people start quoting collections of different verses from the different biblical ‘books’, that were chosen to create the Bible many centuries ago, to support their continuous arguments on the subject of their choice.

        For fun I actually looked up the meaning of Testament – “something that serves as a sign or evidence of a specified fact, event, or quality”. Pity the Bible, in any form, doesn’t. I assume (carefully) that all the writers (and readers – I received 150 messages today from ULC, and from only two blogs) know that the books in Bible has been redacted, reinvented, and just plain changed over the millennia. The fact is that we don’t know what Jesus said, or would not have said, about guns because, as someone wrote earlier today, he never mentioned them – so assuming he would abhor them, being a man who practiced Love, Peace and Forgiveness, is an choice I make based on close reading of Jesus’ own words, and his by examining his actions. (For the benefit of clarity, I am a Christian Theologian).

        Personally, I think this subject has been discussed to death. It’s obvious that it’s unlikely there will be a consensus on it. I have to wonder if Jesus, watching from wherever he is today, wouldn’t just groan at the fact that humanity is still arguing, still hating and still destroying each other .. in the name of Peace. How many people ignore the majority of his teachings when searching for the answer they want to find in the Bible .. even when its not there.

        Have a wonderful day, mine is just beginning.
        Love & Peace to all.

        1. John Owens says:

          You have a nice day, too, Ama. I was the one who said no one knows what He would say about guns. I look forward to the day the New Covenant comes into being. We shall beat our swords into plowshares. I truly yearn for that day. That is why we are supposed to pray, “Thy Kingdom come…” “They shall teach no more their neighbor saying, ‘ Know Yahweh,’ for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest.”

  14. Brother John says:

    What a surprise that the world’s #1 consumer, manufacturer and exporter of weapons has a problem with gun violence domestically. Deep roots that are both economic and societal will be difficult, if not impossible, to sever.

  15. Bernard Moleman says:

    I bet if Jesus had an AR-15 I doubt he would have ended up on the cross!!

    As for me, the only gun control I support is keeping guns out of the hands of libtards and black lives matter activists. They don’t deserve the 2nd amendment because they are mentaly disabled. Jesus doesn’t like them so why should they get the privilege of one of his amendments?

    1. Guairdean says:

      I’m probably somewhere to the right of Atilla the Hun in my politics, but name calling and labelling have no place in a civil discussion.

      1. Ama Nazra says:

        I agree, Guairdean.

      2. maiane santos Santos says:

        Ahhhh Attila, gotta luv him, his mantra might have been, kill’em all and let God sort’em out.

  16. Jef Feltman says:

    Without guns we are no threat to politicians. Guns allow we the people to take back the government. Cars kill more people than guns. Shall we ban transportation. Illegal aliens kill people should be send them back as that can prevent a death. As well as all Muslims as we do not know who is radical or not. And a lives will be saved. Death is part of life. There are many things that kill more than guns. Food kills people. Sugar kills people.

    Do we want only criminals and law enforcement to have the power of firearms.

    Police kills are about 30% innocent kills. Citizens kills are around 10% innocent kills. Criminals have a 80%+ rate of killing innocent people. These are federal gov stats.

    Who do you want pointing a gun at you.

    Jesus knew his alien father would come save him as he did in a cloud of smoke and fire as he went into outer space.

    All I can say is treat me like I want to be treated and I will do the same to you. I do not want to be treated the way you want to be treated. If you do not know ask.

    The coyote would have killed my dogs if I did not have a gun.

  17. Clayton Beardmore says:

    Iceland has the highest percentage of gun ownership, and Iceland also has the smallest percentage of gun violence. Figure it out.

    1. Brother John says:

      I tried to figure it out, but couldn’t based on your statement, Clayton. Can you provide verification? Perhaps you were referring to the linked list and assumed Iceland was #1 because it was at the top (when it’s actually #15). Looks like 30 per 100 citizens for Iceland and 88 per 100 for the #1 gun ownership country, the U.S. I’ll assume this was the case rather than you posting misinformation to make a point.

      http://www.deseretnews.com/top/2519/0/15-nations-with-the-highest-gun-ownership.html

      Here’s a verification…. http://www.gunpolicy.org/firearms/region/iceland

      While researching I found this astute comment posted….

      “And right there you hit the root of the matter.
      Iceland doesn’t have a culture of violence. Violence is glorified in the United States, from wiping out the Native Americans through our movies and games right up to our wars of choice and glorious campaign of murder by drone.
      It’s the CULTURE, not the number of weapons per capita.”

      1. Joe says:

        It is important to understand, however, that in spite of the high number of Guns in the U.S., only about 1/3 of Americans actually own guns. The ones who do just own a lot of them.

        1. John Owens says:

          Which goes to prove they are obviously not homicidal.

          1. Joe says:

            How do you make that “logical” leap?

        2. John Owens says:

          Because they aren’t shooting people as we speak. Look, you talk about they psyche of people who own guns as though you know each and every one of them. That is bigotry. The fact that they are not out causing mayhem, but are at their jobs being productive and not protesting and burning cars and stores or shooting police is VERY STRONG EVIDENCE they are not homicidal. How big of a leap in logic does that take?

          1. Joe says:

            I agree. But that’s where those arguing against gun control miss the point. And it’s another matter of changing your opponent’s argument so you have something to argue against. The point of gun control is not to take guns away from law abiding citizens, but to make it harder for those who would be out there causing mayhem, as you call it, from getting guns. I admit, I don’t like having guns around me at all, but I’m not talking about taking away all of your guns, I just don’t want the ones with mental issues, who are likely to go out and commit a mass killing to get the guns, nor do I want the guy who beats his wife to get a gun and go home and kill her. There are good reasons to limit gun ownership, because not everyone can be trusted with a gun.

          2. John Owens says:

            We might actually be able to find some common ground there, Joe.

  18. Nancy Willingham says:

    I agree with Clayton on the level of sense consciousness. Common sense. And, if we were just meat eating plains apes with highly evolved communication and tool making abilities, there were not be much else to say.

    In Jesus day, and in Buddha’s day, people heard their teachings and said, “Get real!” But they were not teaching common sense. I am not teaching common sense. If you just want common sense, read Confucius or Proverbs or Ben Franklin. The foolishness of God is wiser than men.

  19. Rev. Brien DeMartino says:

    First off, let me say that the comments I have read here seem to be coming from intelligent, thoughtful people. I congratulate you all on having a very reasonable discussion on a topic that has always sparked the worst in people. You are to be commended. I only hope that your individual thoughts make it to more people. I wish to add my own, and I sincerely hope that I do not alienate myself from the rest of you.
    1. While I do enjoy quotes from many teachings, I think that it is important to remember that guns are of no particular belief. They do not care what God you believe in or not. They do not care if you are police, soldier, terrorist, soccer mom, ect.
    2. All animals kill. Guns or no, all animals kill. Most all species kill for 2 main reasons, to protect territory and/or for food. It seems that man s the only species that kills for sport, and also kills en mass, i.e. has created tools to destroy. No other species has done this.
    3.What is needed is… self control. We have the intelligence to learn, grow, adapt to almost any environment and yet we seem to go out of our way to wreck ourselves and the environment around us.
    What is needed is an over all change in the way the human species views killing. Our mental health is a big concern. We need to get better at understanding ourselves, better at recognizing early warning signs of psychosis and how to treat it before it turns into mass killing.
    4. Guns are not the problem. People are the problem. And now, here is where I alienate myself. In my younger years, I was a sharpshooter. I enjoy the competition and to this day I still enjoy going shooting. I am a gun owner. In all my years of shooting, none of my weapons have ever done anything on their own, nor have I ever caused them to do anything but shoot at targets. None of my weapons has ever jumped up, loaded itself, and gone hobbling down the street shooting up the place. I think in the end, you will agree, that it is man that needs controlling. Anything can kill. Cars kill. A baseball bat can kill. A rock can kill. Bare hands can kill.

    It has been my intent to add a bit more thought to the table. I hope you all receive it as such. For those of the religious texts remember it is man that kills, God does not care how man kills. He simply views the taking of another life as a sin. Guns are NOT a sin. It is what a man chooses to do with a gun, car, bat, bare hands, that either creates the sin or not. Peace be with you.

    1. Brian Balke says:

      Actually, God is the problem, since he made people and all the stuff in the universe that allows us to do violence to each other.

      Joking, of course. Look: we are on the path of the “knowledge of good and evil.” We’re supposed to think about what works and what doesn’t, and make reasoned judgments regarding practices that prevent harm to ourselves and the world around us. So we regulate pollutants; we regulate lobbyists; we regulate medicines. We shouldn’t we regulate gun ownership?

      Ultimately, of course, this whole debate is moot, because Jesus demonstrated that death has no power over those that surrender themselves to love. When we all get to his level of understanding, we won’t want to have a gun, because we perceive clearly that use of a gun doesn’t solve the problem of fear and anger – it simply puts it off to another day.

  20. rabbi jim says:

    rabbi jim here: Greetings Rev Brien. I agree with your argument particially but not in whole. It seems that you have been and are very responsible in your actions in handling firearms. I commend that. But, what about all the people who are not responsible for their actions? What about your children? Suppose you child got hold of your hand gun, providing you own one, and the bullets and
    took it out into the street. What about all of the senseless killings that took place in schools where young children brought hand guns to school and blew away their fellow students and or teacher because they received a bad grade?
    Guns are not cars, bats, bare hands or hand tools. Being threatened by one of these other items, one may at least have the ability to dodge it and run away unharmed. They at least have a chance. But, one cannot dodge a bullet.
    A friend once told me he was proud to own a hand gun and protect his home with it. Fine. He kept it at home. But, I asked him what if he encounters a person on the street who pulls a gun and threatens to shoot him, would he say; ‘wait a minute, I’ll go home and get my gun and bring it here and we can have a shootout? What would the assaillant do? they would probable blow his ass away right then and there, right? And just get it overwith.
    For every 100 responsible people with guns there only needs to be 1 irresponsible person that can wreck havac. All guns have to removed from the streets of the world. What a laborious task, indeed. Remember the story of Frankenstein. He created a living human being. He did not know the brain he installed was criminal. He created a monster. The only way to stop it’s destruction was to destroy it. Guns are monsters in society!
    May Yahweh bless you, sir, and keep you. I did not try to offend you with my comment, I offer only respect. So, please don’t take it that way. Let us all bare in mind what another person would or might do in any situation involving handling guns, even though we may be fully responsible.

    1. Rev. Brien DeMartino says:

      Rabbi Jim,
      Nice to speak with you. I would like to respond to your concerns, which I do see as problems, but a little different than yourself.
      Ok, let’s hop into it:

      1. “Suppose you child got hold of your hand gun, providing you own one, and the bullets….” I will take care of this point right now. I am a FIRM believer that PARENTS are responsible for their children…at all times. In the natural order of things, the elder is responsible for teaching and keeping from harm the young. Since there are parents, (who own guns), that manage to do this, it is not impossible but in fact the way things should be. If the child gets a hold of ANY dangerous item and causes harm, it is the parents responsibility and the consequences that go along with it. I do not believe in gun accidents since the handling is 100% in the control of a human. Human mistake, 100% preventable. In the case of school shootings, I addressed this as a mental health issue, and the parents, (yes, the adults once again), not paying attention to the needs of the child.
      2. I do not believe that anyone except trained law enforcement need to be carrying guns with-in the cities and/or townships. They are not needed. Hunting, target shooting, remote rural areas and the like would all be appropriate places for a firearm. The second amendment does not in fact give you the absolute right to carry a gun anywhere you want to. People need to go back and read it.
      3. Guns are things. They are neither good nor bad. It is the decision of man that makes that distinction. If we simply correct our lack of responsibility, stop making up things in the constitution that simply do not exist, and maybe recognize those that are in the most desperate of mental needs, the whole gun violence thing would shrink dramatically from our society. But until mankind gets off his/her collective butts, we are always going to experience dramatic disappointments.

      Peace be yours my friend. May we live for the day when more people care.

  21. Dave A says:

    This article is poorly written by someone with an agenda, who is probably afraid of guns. The Commandment does not say “thou shall not kill”, it says “thou shall not commit murder”. Murder is a premeditated act. You have a right and a duty to protect yourself and your family. This right exists not only in the Bible but it is also a law of nature. Who would blame a bear for defending her cubs? The only thing a firearm can do is level the playing field by assisting those of us who are smaller in size and don’t have hand to hand fighting skills. I have carried a firearm for over 23 years and as a firearms instructor have trained thousands on the proper use of arms. There is great evil in this world and we all have a right and a duty to protect ourselves and loved ones.

    1. Rev. J.Crosby says:

      To throw one’s life away needlessly is an a front to God, seeing how life it”s self is in fact God giving. Rev. Jon

  22. videoscenes says:

    An emotional argument. Bottom line is that guns are not evil. They are a tool. Like any other tool. If you are in law enforcement your tool is your gun. You cannot legislate evil, and that’s basically what we are discussing. Evil will find a way. In England…guns are illegal. So how does Evil adjust??? People (evil) simply turns to knives, hammers, steel rods etc to commit similar atrocities. Instituting more gun laws will NOT keep the bad guys from getting guns. That is just an absurd argument. Do I have a solution? well….all I can say is that in my younger years I lived in the south western united states. New Mexico had few gun laws. Most could open carry anywhere except a bank, bar etc. Grandmas had massive guns and weren’t afraid to carry them openly. What did this do??? Bad guys went somewhere else. They did not know who had a gun, and if they approached someone with a gun..they almost surely were going to die. This seemed to have an amazing effect on break ins, car jackings, muggings. It was practically unheard of. I guess all the bad guys went to Chicago and New York. We have plenty of gun laws in place that don’t work. Look at California (bakersfield). It was an Obama stereotype model for gun control. Yet….many lost their lives to an evil that didn’t recognize gun control or adhere to it. More laws won’t do any good. Look at Floridas Ft. Lauderdale airport. Florida is a concealed carry state….yet NOT at the airports. Guns are NOT allowed there except for LE. Evil used that to an advantage. People lost their lives because there was no one to defend them. Had that happened outside the airport….an armed citizen may have been able to stop the threat. However, evil knows where to attack and when. NOT THE GUN.
    Moral: if more citizens were appropriately armed….evil would have less of a chance to carry out a massacre. You can argue to the contrary all you like, but I have personally seen the difference where a society was armed and where it was not. Where it was armed was MUCH SAFER.

  23. Robert A Walker Sr says:

    I believe thst huns don’t kill people
    People kills people i wss once told that if you have a gun you looking for trouble
    Living in times such as these you almost have to have one as a believer
    We are taught to walk away but some dosent want to let it go so defense is all you have

  24. Robert A Walker Sr says:

    Spell check in last comment that and guns

  25. JOHN MAHER says:

    AFTER READING ALL the COMMENTs of TODAY I FIRMLY BELIEVE as I ALWAYs HAVE 100 %, IT’s NOT the WEAPONS BUT the MENTALITY of the SO CALLED HUMAN BEING WHO IS TRULY MORE SAVAGE than any SAVAGE ANIMAL,WE LIVE in a SAVAGE CULTURE, AMEN.

  26. John osborne says:

    Its often mentioned in the bible of use if the sword,figuratively this is a protection as well as aggression. The gun is only a tool, same as a sword . in proper hands it is only protection in aggressive hands a tool of evil . to ensure the word of Christ is carried on and spread one must posses the ability to defend that which is dear,and practice it to be as sharp as the sword wielding from the days of john.

    1. Brian Balke says:

      The sword in the mouth of the one called “faithful and true” is THE TRUTH.

  27. JOHN MAHER says:

    the ONLY WAY to STOP GUN VIOLENCE is to OUTLAW the MANUFACTURING of SAME and THAT MY DEAR FRIENDs will NEVER EVER HAPPEN in this GREEDY SAVAGE WORLD………………….

    1. espinja says:

      You’re a fanatic. Has it occurred to you that the only way to TAKE guns from the population is by USING GUNS to overpower them? And at that point, who will force the ones with guns left to destroy their own? Are we to depend on their integrity?

      Guns are freedom.
      Guns are civilization.

      Follow your own argument to its logical conclusion, and you will realize that all you have done is subject yourself to the last tyrant standing.

    2. Edwin Howard Brubeck says:

      Would banning computers and cameras stop the porn industry?

      1. Brother John says:

        Good point, Edwin. Has the “War on Drugs” worked or simply made their production, sale and distribution more profitable? How about Prohibition? It worked well for those who saw it as another marketing opportunity (see Kennedy, Capone, et al). Hmmmmm…. might there be a connection between those who impose restrictions and those who profit from them?
        As usual, one would only have to follow the money for the answer.

  28. Brian Balke says:

    Jesus would not speak on gun control, because that is a matter of secular government (“render unto Caesar those things that are Caesar’s”).

    But he would be deeply saddened that those that call themselves Christian could not see that “if a man strikes you on one cheek, turn to him also the other cheek” and “Pick up your cross and carry it” involves a complete renunciation of violence as a means of trying to bring people to the Father.

    You may argue for gun rights or gun control as a issue of political order, but leave Jesus out of it.

    1. John Owens says:

      Brian, elsewhere I used this same scripture to illustrate that it has no meaning in this context. “If a man slaps you on one cheek, let him slap the other one.” That’s great. Sweet. Jesus said it. BUT, if you extrapolate that, it becomes ridiculous– if a man shoots you in one leg, let him shoot the other, too? If a pedophile violates one of your children, offer him the other child? If a carjacker wants your car, offer him your secondary ride also? So, you see, as ridiculous as all that is, that is no more ridiculous than using this scripture speaking of gun control, WHICH BY THE WAY, IS A MOOT POINT, UNLESS YOU WISH TO KILL ALL GUN OWNERS.

      1. Brian Balke says:

        I accept that Jesus’s teachings are hard to understand, and perhaps seem ridiculous, but they are the basis of Christianity. I’m perfectly fine with your secular arguments. Just leave Jesus out of it.

        1. John Owens says:

          You were the one who tried to use Jesus’ name. I’m just showing that you cannot use turn the other cheek to justify taking away a person’s Civil Rights. You keep saying that others should leave Jesus out of it, but you don’t leave Jesus out of it. In fact, the original question here mentions Jesus by name, doesn’t it?

  29. JKG says:

    Your graph above (and the installed base it reflects) indicates precisely why the implementation of massive limitations on the constitutionally-protected right to possess firearms for self-defense (and indeed carry them outside of the home, as a result of Surpeme Court interpretations/rulings over the past few years) will fortunately never be achieved. The irony in the fact that liberally-minded folks are screaming out for protection of the 1st and 4th Amendments, yet seem perfectly happy to do away with the 2nd, which was in fact devised to ensure that the 1st and 4th remain intact, is absurd.

    1. John Owens says:

      Good job, JKG. We can’t defend our rights with sit-ins and posters and bong-pipes and Sunday-school books.

    2. Brian Balke says:

      The 2nd amendment was specified in a context that still supported individual autonomy. In an era of dependency upon transportation, electric power, telecommunications and water grids, there is no way that citizen militias would be able to resist a concerted attempt by the military and police to assume control of the nation.

      The virtue of our democratic institutions is that they create shared interests and foster comity between the segments of society. Our volunteer armed forces and police services ARE us. At least in the urban centers, we understand that it is the fabric of empathy that secures our liberties, not fear of uprising.

      1. John Owens says:

        We can’t stop the military and police, should they be co-opted against us, but we CAN make it soooo messy, that no politician in their right mind would want to do that. I think that fabric of empathy of which you speak should flow in both directions. No one is demanding you take up a weapon to defend yourself or others. Please do not demand that others disarm to make you feel as if you are somehow safer.

        If no one threatens me or someone near me, I am a threat to no one. If they DO, my disposition is subject to change. If anyone feels threatened by THAT, then they must have intentions that are not in MY best interests.

        I small, I am getting old, and since middle-school have never cared for fighting or hurting anyone. Still, I have the unshakeable conviction that anyone can be dangerous given the motivation. That being said, I am getting tired of having this kind of conversation with people who want to interfere with my rights. Legal gun owners are not a danger to the public. If they were, people who think like you would be afraid to voice your opinion, because it would put you in danger. If you want legal gun owners to become dangerous, keep trying to take away their rights, and they will feel threatened, and become dangerous. Do the smart thing, and concentrate on something really dangerous, like texting while driving or something.

      2. JKG says:

        Brian, you make a valid point. Let me clarify: I’m not in any way implying that the threat of violence should play a key role in asserting my/your rights under the Second Amendment. As you point out, that would be somewhat naive. In referring to the installed base of firearms, I’m simply pointing out that we’re not just talking about a ‘fringe’ group of deplorables, but a sizeable voting portion of the US population with one or several firearms at home.

  30. Amber Fry says:

    I personally think Jesus would have been against owning one. He clearly shared his ideas and beliefs but didn’t enforce them so I honestly feel its a stretch to think he’d remove weapons from everyone. What I took away from things I read of him specifically is he taught, he healed, he loved, and had faith that those who were meant for it would follow him, and those who were not would carry on. I don’t remember reading anything about him speaking ill of or to protectors, just angry, hate filled mobs bent on violent treatment of those they disagreed with.

  31. Don Turnbeaugh says:

    Blessings to you all! As we all know, there are many faith traditions besides Christianity that we, as ULC ministers, should all be aware of. I follow the teachings of Baha’i in my spiritual life. The Baha’i tradition opposes gun ownership, citing the teachings Baha’u’llah: “This people need no weapons of destruction, inasmuch as they have girded themselves to reconstruct the world. Their hosts are the hosts of goodly deeds, and their arms the arms of upright conduct…” As spiritual beings, we should model our beliefs by doing no harm to others and promoting peace and love. Bah’u’llah taught during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, after the introduction of manufactured guns in the US, and He addressed manufactured guns directly: “We must exercise the functions of such a holy power in the path of love and not expend it upon the inventions of Krupp guns, Mauser rifles and Maxim’s rapid-firing cannons. ” I have seen others comment that there were no manufactured firearms in the time of Jesus, and as such He did not address gun-control. Since Jesus did not address this issue directly, it is prudent of us, as ULC ministers, to look at the teachings of other prophets on this subject. One of the fundamental pillars of the Baha’i faith is that spirituality and faith evolve as mankind becomes increasingly aware of the glory of Allah’s love and we reach higher levels of understanding. This debate over gun-control is important, and there are no clear-cut answers. As ministers, we must consider all sides of a debate and not try to force our beliefs on others.

    1. espinja says:

      Your belief that you, as an individual, have a right to NOT own a gun is fine.

      Your belief that you should have the right to suggest the same to others is also fine. Suggest away.

      I agree with your last sentence.

      You can speak, suggest, persuade all you want. What you CANNOT DO is force others to behave in the same manner. The term itself, “gun control,” is an INITIATION OF FORCE.

      There is a clear cut answer:

      “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

      It was written in this manner to explain that the right exists outside of the government’s purview, and therefore the government should not INFRINGE upon it.

      In other words, there is no law that GRANTS you this right. The law should RESPECT this right.

      Everything up to this point, with the government restricting these rights, is an infringement, and unconstitutional.

      This is why States are now getting onboard with what is called “Constitutional Carry.” A recognition of what the 2nd Amendment spelled out, and has been perverted with stupid laws ever since.

  32. mb2000inc says:

    Hi. Mark Here. I’m about to be very unpopular among this crowd.

    I’m a gun owner, have been for a while. While I am an ordained minister – and a gun owner, I carry “**ONLY**” as a visual deterrent. Though, it will be used if necessary – but “NOT” in a fashion that would ever take a life. I would only use to incapacitate until the authorities arrive to handle the situation – then, of course, I will pray for forgiveness.

    Though, I do feel that better background checks “are”, indeed, in order. I don’t feel that one should be judged if he/she owns a gun. You can’t group us into one category or another because of it. I do suggest education for both sides. If you’re a gun owner, you should be educated on proper use, maintenance, and above all else: safety. If you are “NOT” a gun owner, you should be educated on what correct terminology exists and for what reasons – you should also educate yourself on what the media says vs what is real. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against the media – I’m saying research facts. Facts are what matter. Especially in today’s society.

    “You tell God the Father it was a kindness you done. I know you hurtin’ and worryin’, I can feel it on you, but you oughta quit on it now. Because I want it over and done. I do. I’m tired, boss. Tired of bein’ on the road, lonely as a sparrow in the rain. Tired of not ever having me a buddy to be with, or tell me where we’s coming from or going to, or why. Mostly I’m tired of people being ugly to each other. I’m tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world everyday. There’s too much of it. It’s like pieces of glass in my head all the time. Can you understand?”
    –Michael Clarke Duncan
    –The Green Mile

  33. Edward D. Wilson says:

    I read the comments above quickly and did not see any mention of the fact that the worst mass killers of all time have been one’s own government. In the last century and in our own lifetimes governments have killed millions of their own unarmed, helpless citizens. Until all evil is vanquished I will do everything in my power to be able to protect my family and myself. God has provided us with life and God should be the one to end it, not a drug dealer, a crazed killer or a government bent on total control of its citizens or anyone else.

  34. espinja says:

    These comments are ridiculous. The only way you will guarantee that no one hurts anyone else is to paralyze all but a select few individuals from the neck down.

    If you are going to allow people to be, do, and have what they want (liberty), then you run the risk that bad people will do bad things. You need to take responsibility for your own safety, not try and rid the world of guns, or bombs, or cars, or hammers, or whatever else can be used by one person as a weapon against another.

    All this wishful thinking is pointless. You will not create paradise here on Earth, where everyone loves everyone, and no one ever gets hurt.

    People MUST HAVE THE ABILITY TO DEFEND THEMSELVES. And for all but the biggest and strongest, a gun is the only effective means of self defense.

    Until someone comes up with a replacement for the MOST EFFECTIVE means of self defense (the handgun), this conversation is pointless. You have NO RIGHT to take away another person’s ability to defend themselves. You can CHOOSE TO do nothing in your own defense, but to take away another’s ability to defend themselves is, in itself, an INITIATION OF FORCE.

    Gun control is destructive, not constructive. Gun control is an attempt to address your own fears by DISABLING your fellow human beings. And that is WRONG.

    1. espinja says:

      I’m sorry, my first sentence should have been, “These comments supporting any type of gun control or confiscation are ridiculous.”

      The comments supporting gun ownership, without restrictions, are fine.

  35. Lili says:

    Good discussion and views coming from both sides here. For me, personally, my home chooses against gun ownership because we choose the armor of God. Our lives are covered by the blood of the Lamb, with His hedge of protection. My sights are set on His kingdom, things of this world cannot hurt me. I am not willing to take a life in protection of my own. Given the opportunity I would rather give my life than take a life. one Bible verse about a sword does not over ride the 300+ about love. Jesus chose not to defend Himself when given opportunity to save His life, I strive to live as a reflection of Him, so my faith does not allow me to carry a gun. From what we know of Jesus, and His cheek turning teachings, the evidence would surely conclude that He would not wish for His followers to have guns. however, we are a land of unbelievers and faithless Christians, so if guns are what people need to hold the illusion of safety, then who am I to stand in their way!?

    1. espinja says:

      so in other words, you’re an absolute pacifist who would not fight to survive. and you think this is virtuous. i wonder; would you fight to save your child’s life? your parents’ lives? your neighbors?

      1. Edward Wilson says:

        When I speak to people who are so pacifistic that they would not defend themselves, I don’t disagree with them because it is their life and they should control it. However, I do ask them what they would do if their spouse, child or parent, etc., was being attacked? How long could they watch the torture of a loved one by a criminal before they would be compelled to act in defense of that person? Depending on the person I am talking to and the setting in which the conversation is taking place, I will suggest harsher and harsher types of torture (beating, rape, etc.) to see if they really mean what they are saying. Personally, I don’t believe it is Christian-like to see another person being hurt without intervening and I cannot understand on any level how one could watch a loved one be brutalized without attempting to stop it.

        1. Joe says:

          I would say there are more ways of intervening than using a gun. I don’t like the word pacifist, because it seems to me self defense does include blocking, and stopping violence without doing harm, or minimizing the harm, and pacifist conjurers images of some just standing there letting themselves get beat on. I prefer non-violent. I will defend myself, but as someone else said, not with lethal means. I will never carry a gun, but I will block a punch, or stand between an attacker and their intended victim. I will subdue an attacker, but I would never shoot them.

          1. John Owens says:

            Then you would be doomed to lose against a determined adversary. A totally defensive strategy will always lose in the long run.

          2. Joe says:

            To die rather than kill in the defense of others is no loss. But determination does not have to aim to kill. That I would not kill, does not mean I’m less determined.

          3. John Owens says:

            Martyrdom is a noble thing, if it is done for a noble cause. I think martyrdom to allow a killer to continue killing is not a noble cause. If all good people become martyrs, who does that leave to raise the children?

          4. Joe says:

            True martyrs don’t set out to be martyrs, but to protect, and to prevent harm. No true martyr has ever considered his cause to be letting someone go on killing, but attempts to stop them. That does not necessarily mean killing them. I am not saying I have any wish to be a martyr, I don’t, but I would rather be killed trying to stop a killer without a gun, than become the killer myself.

        2. Joe says:

          Besides, the idea of all people becoming martyrs is absurd. Most of us go through our lives never having to face deadly violence. The most the majority of us encounter is a fist fight. I’ve only had a gun pointed at me once in my life and it was not loaded……. And that’s in over a half century. The reality is that the world is not as violent or dangerous place as you make it out to be.

          1. John Owens says:

            Joe, you are allowing dogma to cloud reason in your statement, “I would rather be killed trying to stop a killer without a gun, than become the killer myself.” If you are trying to save others, your life is unimportant in your eyes, but the life of those you seek to save IS important. HERE IS WHAT YOU ARE MISSING; IF YOU ARE KILLED WITHOUT INFLICTING A SEVERE WOUND ON THE KILLER, YOU CANNOT SAVE ANYONE ELSE. So, here, you are making your own philosophy more important than the lives you should care about saving. Am I being rational, or are you being argumentative?

            Just kidding. If you answer, you admit I’m correct on that point, and I know that would mess up your digestion, but seriously, examine my point and see if it has merit.

            As to your last paragraph, if the world is not violent, what difference does it make to you if I have a pistol in my pocket or not? If no one starts any trouble, I certainly won’t start any. It isn’t as though permit-holders use their weapons to intimidate others. I’ll be 60 this year. I’ve had a pistol since I was 16. Haven’t shot anyone yet. Haven’t stopped a robbery, haven’t WITNESSED a robbery. Now, If you WITNESS something like that, and do nothing, you are an accomplice. If the perpetrator is armed and you aren’t, you can’t walk up and start preaching and expect him or her to put down their weapon. The reasons I have not witnessed a crime are: A) because most crime is limited to certain hotspots where I do not go, and B) criminals limit their activity because they know at least 1/4 of the adults here practice concealed carry at least sometimes.

          2. Edward Wilson says:

            Joe, you are correct, the world AS WE KNOW IT is not that terribly dangerous or violent. However, it was a very dangerous and violent world for millions of (unarmed) Jews and Gypsies in the 1940’s and for millions of (unarmed) Chinese during the time when the Japanese invaded China and committed the “Rape of Nanking”. From the killing fields of Thailand to the “cleanses” by Mao, the world was indeed a violent place and much more dangerous than I made it out to be. Today, 70-80 years later, the world is of course a much more civilized place-unless you count the purges of a few hundred thousand (unarmed) inhabitants of the Middle East-by their own governments no less, and don’t forget the various thousands of tribesmen in Africa.

            Perhaps your geographic location or job or financial class exempts you from having to concern yourself with violence. Mine doesn’t and the explosion of opiate use in the peaceful, rural area where I live doesn’t give me much hope for a less dangerous immediate future.

            I suggest that you and everyone else who hasn’t seen them Google two essays, “A Nation of Cowards” and “Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs”. Both explain in a calm, logical and reasoned manner why many of us believe that the 2nd Amendment is so important. You might not agree with us but you will understand more about our belief system.

            I will always be on the side of the government or organization that makes the people more powerful. Remember always that the pro-gun people are the ones who trust their fellow citizens to do the right thing.

          3. Joe says:

            Wow, your posts just get more presumptuous all the time don’t they. Dogma implies the sentiment is learned from some other source and that it is not my own personally felt sentiment. I DON’T DO DOGMA. You are an insulting, self-important, know-it-all and a complete ass. SHUT UP ALREADY!!

          4. John Owens says:

            Oh yes, Joe, your beliefs are ALL dogma, because they do not come from knowledge of the scripture or logical thought concerning it, and part of you knows it, and that is why you keep coming back at me. It is because MY knowledge and MY logic threaten your fantasies. It’s not because of how you perceive my personality at all. You see plainly that I know more and understand more, but since I am not from your world, you have trouble just accepting that you should study more, so you lash out in anger and fear. It’s okay. I don’t hate you for that. It’s just a tantrum. The pagans always do that. That is why the true Christians were always at a disadvantage. They were too civilized to be prepared for the pagan attacks.

      2. Lili says:

        Espinja, correct. I am an absolute pacifist. I don’t preach my way or think it’s better than another way for somebody else, but it is what is right for me, at least right now. I would fight to save lives in non-lethal ways but no, I would not take a life to protect my family or friends. I know that is not a popular opinion and it may even be reprehensible to some, but it’s what I believe and I have peace in that. I’ve actually had this conversation with my 21 year old child before and he agrees. He would rather take a bullet than give one or have one used to protect him. I have no fear at all of physical death or of situations that may lead to that death. I do have fear of judgement day, however, and I just can’t reconcile explaining to the Lord that I took a life because I felt mine was more important, particularly of a lost soul (as I would assume anyone set to kill me is lost) I am saved, I am safe. The shooter is the one who needs time for redemption, not me. I don’t put my views on other people, I’m happy to share them, but I don’t expect anyone to understand. It’s a personal conviction and what I believe God wants from me. In fact, my husband does (or did) not share my mind on this, and very much wanted a gun. Lots of them in fact (he’s anxiously awaiting Armageddon) I asked him if he would pray about it for 40 days, and if at the end of 40, he felt it was Gods will for our family, then I would accept he guns. But at the end of 40, he did not feel that peace and could not say it was Gods will. He has chosen less lethal weaponry for protection, and feels good about that choice. I don’t think I would go as far as thinking my choices are virtuous, but they are what work for me, maybe the Lord will change my conviction in the future but for now I am happily unarmed with a gun. To add, I have been in life threatening situations more than once, I’ve been victim to violent crimes more than once, my brother has been shot, my home has been robbed, I have lived in “bad” neighborhoods, and I still have not met the need to change my conviction. I only say this to show that I don’t live in a utopian bubble, I am full aware of the dangers in the world. But, my sights are not in this world and my fears are not of this world. I do believe our differences of opinion are part of what make us beautiful and I respect your right to bear arms… it’s just not for me. i pray you are guarded from any situation where you are forced to protect yourself, Peace be upon you.

        1. espinja says:

          Well, there you have it.

          In one sentence you claim you don’t want guns for yourself, but in another sentence, you judge others to be unbelievers or faithless Christians if they choose to own them.

          Luckily, as passive as you sound, I don’t think I have to worry about you being in a position to create laws that infringe on my rights to self defense. I hope you recuse yourself from any jury trial where you are expected to judge another person’s use of deadly force, since you believe it is never justified, even to defend one’s own life. Hopefully the criminal defense lawyer will recognize this during your interview, and ask you to be removed from the jury.

          People like you are what allow evil to flourish, and yet, you think you’re doing God’s work by falling on your own sword in the name of love.

        2. espinja says:

          I wonder, does this pacifism extend to all threats, or do you limit it to human beings?

          If your child was being mauled by a Pit Bull, would you intervene? Or let things take their natural course?

          What about medical procedures? Would you turn down chemotherapy? Surgery for a heart attack or stroke?

          What about bacterial infections?

          Aren’t these types of threats to your health and safety the same as threats from the human animals you share this world with?

          You sound extreme about your Christianity, so I’m trying to understand what “flavor” of the 30,000 Christian variations you’ve interpreted in your desire to die at the hands of your attacker.

          I can imagine, since this is a forum and not a face-to-face conversation, that my interrogation of your beliefs might feel like an attack, but it isn’t. I am in no way trying to sound sarcastic, or inflammatory. I am not trying to change your mind, but I think your answers serve a philosophical purpose, and are therefore valuable to you as a statement of your beliefs, to me so I can understand how others arrive at their beliefs, and to others reading as an example of how far apart two people can be in their beliefs, and yet still coexist with one another.

          I might not agree with you, but I nonetheless find your opinions and premises intriguing and fascinating, so I appreciate you continuing with this conversation, if you ‘re willing.

          If I sound abrasive, please forgive me. I’m merely trying to be as concise as possible, so I’m not misunderstood.

          Thanks..! 🙂

  36. Arthur the decorated veteran says:

    Just a question for the gun control people: How many generations of victims are you willing to slaughter before the restrictions would actually have an effect? There is no possibility of any legislation making firearms magically dissappear. The best “gun control” is a legally armed citizenry, the militia, if you will. All else is wishful thinking.

    1. Brian Balke says:

      A statistic for you: When Kamela Harris decided to enforce California’s microstamping laws, the largest gun manufacturer threatened to pull out of the state. I did some research and learned that the average time between sale of a semi-automatic handgun and recovery at a crime scene is less than four years. Assuming that a lawful gun owner would hold on to a weapon for twenty years, that means that more than 80% of semi-automatic handguns are sold into the criminal market.

      The reason they are abandoned at crime scenes is because once the bullet is recovered, the gun can be traced. Microstamping eliminates this “single use” gap in forensics. The original purchaser of the weapon is known, and will be immediately sought out and questioned.

      My only interpretation of the threat to pull out of the state is that the manufacturer understood that its profits were dependent upon sale into the criminal market.

      So my question is: how long are you going to allow criminals to kill with impunity before you will accept sensible gun regulation? I’m not talking about taking guns away – I’m talking about enforcement of sensible product and civil safety measures.

      1. Guairdean says:

        The manufacturer threatened to pull out of California because no technology existed that would meet the laws requirements. Better to move to another state than to shut down completely because of an insane state law. If the technology did exist, the technology required to remove the microstamp has been around for centuries. It’s called a file. Criminals kill with impunity because no one holds them accountable. When prisons cease to be training grounds for criminals and become the penal institutions they were meant to be, criminals will think twice about going. For most it’s just a vacation with workout rooms, good food, and free medical care.

      2. espinja says:

        Brian,

        California has effectively stopped gun manufacturers from introducing new handguns into the market by requiring all new firearms to incorporate microstamping technology, which is nonexistent. There are NO MANUFACTURERS who can comply with California’s requirements, because microstamping doesn’t work.

        You can learn about it here:

        http://nssf.org/share/legal/docs/microstamping/Microstamping-Crime.pdf

        It is pointless, and will make no difference in criminality.

        It is also IMPOSSIBLE for any manufacturer to comply with California’s requirements. This is currently being fought out in the courts system.

        What California has done is effectively make it impossible for manufacturers to make new models available for sale in California. Since California can’t legally confiscate guns, they’re trying to eliminate them through attrition. In other words, totalitarianism.

        You asked how long we will “allow” criminals to kill with impunity. What are you talking about? Do you know anyone who “allows” criminals to kill without impunity? Do we “allow” drivers to drive drunk by not taking away everyone’s cars? Do we “allow” rape by not taking away everyone’s genitals?

        You can’t control human behavior. You can only choose how you respond to it.

        Your understanding of the manufacturer’s decision to stop introducing new models into California is incorrect. Smith and Wesson, and Sturm, Ruger & Co., both decided to stop trying to introduce new models, because California’s draconian microstamping requirement is IMPOSSIBLE to incorporate and deploy.

        Do you even know what Microstamping is? Read the .PDF I linked above. See for yourself how it will be impossible to make this work. Microstamping technology, which “stamps” a unique serial number on a cartridge’s primer, can be defeated with another technology called SANDPAPER.

        The law is ridiculous, but since California is full of uninformed voters, the laws were put in place. Go figure.

        1. Brian Balke says:

          This is the second time this has come across. California had a demonstration project. The sandpaper argument has been addressed – it’s not as simple as scraping a serial number off the barrel. The technology is feasible. It is endorsed by law enforcement (not just in California). The manufacturers just resist it.

        2. Brian Balke says:

          And, of course, if the gun manufacturers want to avoid microstamping, there’s a really simple alternative that they should be eager to support: test firing every gun and registering the ballistics in a federal database. This is so obvious that I’m surprised that they haven’t offered it as an alternative.

          1. Guairdean says:

            Ballistics are a poor way to track gun use. Ballistics can be easily changed with a couple of cheap hand tools. As for microstamping, the barrel isn’t the issue, it’s the firing pin. The serial number is easily modified (also with a couple of cheap hand tools), or a new one can be created and the old one replaced.

          2. John Owens says:

            I would not object to that, as it should not inordinately increase the price but then you still have to worry some about human error recording the information. Someone with rudimentary knowledge CAN affect the way that firing marks the projectile, but most criminals never go to that trouble, unless they are hardcore killers, in which case they will, but those are very rare.

  37. Mark Pauley says:

    The easiest way to take over a country and control the people is to take away their Guns…. That was a quote from a ruler of a big country…..that comment was made in 1942… By whom…. Adolph Hitler….he did control a country and his people look at how many citizens lost their lives …wait a minute they were killed because they were Jews…… wasn’t Jesus a Jew also…..

  38. Joe says:

    Answer: A Bible in one hand, a gun in the other.

    Question: How can you tell a fake Christian on sight?

    1. Guairdean says:

      I can introduce you to many Christians who would fail that fundamentally flawed test.

    2. John Owens says:

      So, what you are saying, if a person has a Bible and no gun, they are NOT a fake Christian. I find that fundamentally flawed.
      You are also saying, anyone who has a gun in their hand cannot be a Christian. That’s pretty bigoted, and therefore unchristian.
      But, let’s not allow logic or common sense to prevail. We’re dealing with sacred cows here.

  39. Jose says:

    The article was simplistic and missed the whole point! The commandment says, Thou Shall Not Murder, not “Thou Shall Not Kill”. Killing someone has legal justification. Murdering someone does not.

    And for those who think gun control works, Please, walk the streets of Chicago or Detroit where it is unlawful to own a gun. Tell me how that works out.

    1. John Owens says:

      TELL ‘EM, José! God never said, you shall not kill under any circumstances. If that were so, none of us could meat, poultry or fish. We couldn’t eat greens, because that would mean killing plants. He said not to commit murder. It is translated not to kill. All thinking people know that is not exactly correct.

    2. Brother John says:

      Justifying the killing of innocent people through semantics is as low as it gets. If the Bible can’t make is clear that
      murder/killing is immoral and a sin, and particularly if it’s used as the justification, it represents mankind as brutal, ignorant, gullible and primitive.

      Compare the definitions

      Kill – To put to death. To deprive of life

      Murder – The killing of another person without justification or excuse, especially the crime of killing a person with malice aforethought or with recklessness manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.

      Malice – desire to cause pain, injury, or distress to another

      Let’s broaden our scope and move from the blur of self defence and guns in the streets to war, the big leagues of killing…. . Using “murder” as the translation of Exodus 20:13, what is the justification for the slaughter of innocent civilians in Afghanistan? How about Iraq? (“weapons of mass destruction” was a lie, remember?). Or Libya, Syria, Sudan, Yemen? Were/are any of these countries a direct threat to us? Were we on the verge of being invaded or bombed by their air force? Were our families in imminent danger?
      How about the millions of VietNamese that were slaughtered? Was it justified simply because it was called a “war” (albeit illegal and immoral)?

      Is there malice in the hearts and minds of those dropping bombs, flying drones and pulling triggers or do they not realize they are causing pain, injury and death? Is it reckless to carpet bomb targets thousands of feet below or controlling drones from hundreds of miles away knowing there are civilians in the area?

      Perhaps you’ve read a sanitized, conscience soothing version of the Bible, Jose. In the following versions Exodus 20:13 says do not KILL. Are they wrong? If so, how can any of them be trusted as true and accurate, particularly when it involves the justification for killing fellow humans?

      American Standard
      Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible
      King James Version – even the “go to” book for many Christians says “kill”.
      The Webster Bible
      Revised Standard Version
      Common English Bible

      Here’s a warning to those who make and accept changes to the Bible. It should be particularly true when the changes justify the slaughter of fellow humans.

      Rev 22:19 KJV “And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

      1. Clayton Beardmore says:

        It’s not just innocent civilians that die.

        1. Brother John says:

          That’s true, Clayton, but the fact they are not involved in fighting or a threat to anyone makes their deaths more appalling. Those who are actively fighting are defending their homelands from foreign invaders.

          “Among all the wars the United States had fought, Vietnam War is ranked 4th in casualties just below the Civil War and the two World Wars. Out of 2,594,000 personnel who served in Vietnam, there were 58,220 Americans dead, 153,303 wounded and 1,643 missing. More than 23,214 soldiers suffered one hundred percent disabled. Even when it already ended, the war continued to cost many American lives. It’s estimated that 70,000 to 300,000 Vietnam Veterans committed suicide and around 700,000 veterans suffered psychological trauma.
          The Department of Defense (DOD) reports that the United States spent about $168 billion (worth around $950 billion in 2011 dollars) in the entire war including $111 billion on military operations (1965 – 1972) and $28.5 billion on economic and military aid to Saigon regime (1953 – 1975). At that rate, the United States spent approximately $168,000 for an “enemy” killed. However, $168 billion was only the direct cost. According to Indochina Newsletter of Asia Resource Center, the United States spent from $350 billion to $900 billion in total including veterans’ benefits and interest.” Source: thevietnamwar.info

          U.S. dropped more than 3 times the amount of bombs on this small, poor country that posed no threat to the U.S. than in all of WWII

          In spite of this, the U.S. lost this undeclared war and left in disgrace in 1973. Hanoi remains the capital of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam. No victory, no honour, no glory in this, or any subsequent wars, but huge profits for defence contractors.

          It won’t be a surprise to see minimal response to my Feb. 14 post. Until a substantial number of people loudly condemn wars for profit, along with the bigotry, ignorance and hatred that fuels them, it will continue to drain the resources and morality of a once great country.

  40. John Owens says:

    If, by gun control, you mean self control and accurate placement of shots in targets or deserving people, then I would say, yes, I think that would please Jesus immensely.

    That is only my opinion, since there is no scripture speaking plainly about it. We all have a tendency to remake God in our own image, after our own personality. You don’t try to take what is mine and I won’t create a hole in you. That is fair.

  41. Johnny L Pry Sr says:

    “Violent tendencies of a gun owner….” Really? What a leftarded statement. The Monastery has become nothing but a liberal online site. Done with it.

    1. Randolph says:

      I don’t really see it as a political statement, more a factual one. How is owning a gun not a tendency toward violence? People carry with intent to use when necessary. It could be used in self-defense, sure, but that’s still violence.

      1. John Owens says:

        Randolph, that is a PURELY political statement. FACT- if gun-owners REALLY had “violent tendencies”, there wouldn’t be any people like you around, because they would all have been shot. That is obvious, fantastic, irrefutable evidence that gun-ownership is not directly related to violence.

        1. John Owens says:

          Would owning a hammer qualify as a violent tendency? What about a baseball bat? A golf club? A punching bag? What if you have big brush-guard on your pick-up truck? That could be used to run people down without damage to your grill. Oh! An electric drill? Aren’t those used to torture people for information sometimes?

          So you see, it WAS a PURELY political statement. What you are seeing as FACTUAL is anything that fits with your world view. That doesn’t make it a fact. This whole article is POLITICAL, and not spiritual. I would have disdained it entirely, but I cannot allow deception to go unchallenged.

          1. Joe says:

            None of those other things you mentioned are made for the purpose of killing. Guns are. Sure, you can have a gun for self protection, and not intend to be violent, but doesn’t owning and carrying a gun at least indicate a willingness to kill. Carrying a hammer usually indicates a willingness to hit nails, which is it’s purpose. A gun’s purpose is to kill. I can defend myself without a gun, and so far without violence. Thinking that you cannot is a part of the problem.

          2. John Owens says:

            Joe, it isn’t a problem. You MAKE it a problem. I grew up with guns. It isn’t a problem. We might pitch horseshoes for entertainment, we might target shoot for entertainment. It’s a family activity. Good clean fun. We know what we’re doing. YOU say a gun’s purpose is to kill. I say, it CAN be used to prevent killing, when nothing else will work. Let me ask you this– are you pro-abortion? Because, let me tell you, in practice, abortion is 99.9 percent just killing, and not saving. Just a question. Trying to determine how conflicted you are about that. If you aren’t, it means you are operating with a partitioned mind. I guess we all have to do that to a degree. I’m just saying, your sense of priorities might need adjusting.

  42. Rev. Brien DeMartino says:

    Well, once again I am amazed by the comments I have read since my last one. And once again, most of you,
    (from both sides), have proven my point. You all have gone out of your way to ignore the real root of the problem, a healthy combination of lack of responsibility + mental health, and instead cling to the same arguments that so far have proven to be of no help at all. This has NOTHING to do with scripture, but if it makes you feel empowered continue quoting it. This has NOTHING to do with a constitutional amendment, but again if it makes you feel empowered continue arguing that point. I am disappointed but not surprised. It is much easier to hide behind false remedies than it is to face the real problems. The real problems are so much harder to deal with. But, they must be dealt with in order for this very sad issue to see ANY kind of solution. As always, peace be with you. May whatever you believe in guide you to the truth.

    1. John Owens says:

      You’re right. It isn’t a spiritual argument because it is not about a spiritual issue, and it is not a scriptural argument because there is no scripture regarding it. It IS a political argument, mostly left versus right, but not entirely so black and white as that. No major issues will be resolved or transcended among humans until the Kingdom of God is set up on Earth.

      1. Rev. Brien DeMartino says:

        John, I do respect your opinion, however I really must repeat my earlier comment: “This has NOTHING to do with scripture, but if it makes you feel empowered continue quoting it.”
        I am not one who believes that all of a sudden some magical entity is going to come down, snap their fingers and wipe away all of our problems. Because if that is so, what is the point of fighting so hard for truth and peace? I mean really, I would love to break lose and just slap the heck out of every stupid person I ever see because the kingdom is gonna come down and fix it all. No sir, we own this mess and WE need to fix it. So you can keep the scriptures, keep the politics and all of the false arguments. What needs to be done is spelled out above. No hiding from it, no changing the picture until it matches what others want to see. WE have FAILED as a society and as a result we have open wounds everywhere. Time to wake up now. Peace

        1. John Owens says:

          In this regard, Brien, even though you keep wanting to keep the scriptures out, (which I have repeated, do not mention this subject), but since the original pretext of the blog brings up Jesus, and others use them, I do too, but to show them their error. In effect, you and I do not feel so differently about the present, Brien. Mankind chose to do things their own way, and God sat back and said, “Okay, let’s see how well you do without my guidance.” He will intervene at some point, to prevent us from destroying all flesh, but up until that time, it is all up to us.

          Guns are not the problem. Never were. The hands holding the guns CAN be a problem. The people who are screeching advocates for gun control should also be screeching advocates for secure borders and voter registration. If they want gun control because people are killed now and then by using bullets, they should be anti-abortion and demonstrate against texting while driving. More people are killed by medical malpractice than guns in this country. I don’t see any big movements to prevent medical malpractice. They are TOLD to be against one thing and so they vehemently oppose that one thing, without any context connecting it to other things. Half the country appears to have no ability to reason anymore. They claim to be “pro-female” and “pro-LGBTQ” and “pro-Muslim” at the same time, not seeing the obvious conflicts there, because the people programming them don’t TELL them to see them.

          Yes, the mess in which this world is, is humanity’s fault–not God’s. God is not going to save all those poor people being beheaded, stoned, thrown from buildings, crucified, burned alive, and whatever else in the Middle-East. It is up to us, but we would rather argue about gun ownership and same-sex public bathrooms. I wish God would intervene, sometimes.

          1. Rev. Brien DeMartino says:

            There is nothing wrong with wishing. I too wish that the higher would come on down and make everything well. But, on the other hand, I am not convinced that the all mighty wouldn’t just grab this place like a giant etch-a-sketch and just give it a good shake. If it were me, that is what would happen. As always, peace.

  43. Canadian Yankee says:

    I have owned a series of guns for the past 72 years and go to the range about every 6 weeks to practice. I have a concealed carry permit and only once in those 72 years have I had anyone put in danger with my weapon. That time was when four very large guys came out of the darkness intent on robbing and harming me. When I brought out the Luger they all backed off quickly and ran away. To this day I know they would have hurt me severely as non of them were wearing masks and could not leave behind a witness. To my friends here that say if everyone was disarmed it would be safer, to them I would point out I am no match for four thugs intent on hurting me. So safer with out the weapons is not being real. BTW I do not carry the gun all the time, in fact only rarely but on those occasions I don’t know about the rest of the world but I feel safer.

    1. espinja says:

      You explained in 7 sentences the best justification so far for gun ownership and carry.

  44. Ama Nazra says:

    To the management .. it is very easy to subscribe to these blogs, but how do we leave when the site goes toxic? I want to continue to follow the Blog as a whole, but not this subject. Thank you.

  45. Brother John says:

    As usual, due to the diversity of posters here, there are a wide range of opinions presented in the comments. Some of them are “pie in the sky” wishful thinking, some very well presented. But on the whole, they avoid some ugly and disturbing truths, which are foundational to the issues of weapons and violence.

    The U.S. is has the world’s largest Christian population of any country in the world. Many proudly claim it to be a ‘Christian nation’.
    It’s therefore safe to assume much of what follows was perpetrated and supported by Christians.

    It’s the world’s largest manufacturer and exporter of weapons worldwide.

    It’s the only country to have used nuclear weapons on a civilian population.

    It’s population owns more guns per capita than any other country.

    It’s regularly uses chemical weapons (Agent Orange, white phosphorus, napalm, D/U munitions to name a few) on civilian populations
    while demonizing select countries for doing the same (and providing others with more chemical weapons)

    It’s military/government openly condones and uses torture

    It’s committed numerous war crimes (see My Lai and Kandahar massacres and rape during the liberation of France for examples)

    It maintains more military bases and presence around the world than all other countries combined.

    It has one of the world’s highest number of citizens using psychiatric drugs. An alarming number of mass shootings were committed by people who were medicated and under treatment.

    The acceptance and preponderance of violence is cultural and societal. Most thinking people can identify hypocrisy when they see it, but tend to ignore it if it makes them uncomfortable. Christians should be loudly decrying the needless slaughter that’s taking place today based on basic morality. There’s no need to refer to a holy book to realize slaughtering, demonizing and abusing other human beings is immoral and inhuman.

  46. Jim says:

    Well, I have certainly enjoyed reading all the comments regarding this issue. So I hope no one minds if I add my two cents to the pot.

    I’m going to put aside the whole gun control issue and the religious issue for just a bit, and instead focus on the human condition. The truth is we cannot legislate guns away or pray guns away for the simple reason that people want guns. That’s it. Very simple.

    There are a lot of people out there that believe they need guns to take what they feel they should have.

    There are people out there that believe they need guns to protect what they have from people that want to take it away.

    Someday, probably hundreds if not thousands of years in the future, guns won’t exist. Not because the law says so or we all prayed really hard, but because we simply will have no use for them anymore. In the future no one will go hungry, or be homeless, or be threatened for any reason. Neither legislation nor divine intervention will get rid of guns. Society will do it organically.

    Until then, we have people who find it easier to take what they want by force rather than work an honest job and earn it. We have people that will not tolerate violated in anyway and will use deadly force to protect themselves, family and property. No different than countries with armed forces either taking what they want or defending what they have. Same issue on a different scale.

    As for gun control, pass all the laws you want. They don’t work. Good people will abide by them. Criminals will ignore them. So that’s a failure. Pass a law that guns can no longer be manufactured. That won’t do. What will our police and military use to protect and defend us? Oh, just make guns for them? Nope. If guns are being made, they will find their way into the hands of criminals. Besides, criminals will manufacture their own guns. If you think they can’t, think again. These guys can manufacture drugs by the boatload. What makes you think they can’t set up a machine shop and make guns.

    Why doesn’t God intervene? After all, so many people are praying for guns to go away. I doubt there are many people praying for more guns. Well, I can’t answer that one. You seen, I’m an atheist. Have been for over 35 years. I stopped believing in the invisible man / woman up in the sky a long time ago. In spite of what you think, I do have a very strong moral core. I know the difference between right and wrong. (The Bible is a good book, don’t get me wrong. It’s a book of stories… parables meant to teach us lessons. Not so different than Aesop’s fables. If you dwell less on the supernatural overtones, you will actually get a lot out of reading the Bible.) So no, no help from a supreme being. We’re on our own with this one.

    We should focus less on the tool and more on the cause. Why do people resort to violence to get what the want? Where and when did the failures begin with violent people… their parents, their schools, their church, their governments? The answer is all of the above. Every aspect of life has failed these people. But more importantly they have failed themselves. Maybe I’m naive, but I believe we all have the capacity to rise above the deepest ocean of crap that life can throw at us. We just have to want to enough.

    1. John Owens says:

      I’m not an atheist, but this commentary is not bad at all.

      1. Ama Nazra says:

        Jim, you asked why God doesn’t interfere – IT can’t. God gave humanity free will. It was the new Covenant, the new agreement. Humanity was free, freed from slavery .. only to become the slavers themselves. We are released from Sin, only to sin again. You are right that the guns are not the problem, any weapon will do when one person wants to kill another, but surely humanity can see that we are killing ourselves, one step at a time. It’s not the gun, its the hand that holds it and the emotion, or lack of it, in the heart of the person holding it. It’s what we teach our children .. including not supervising what they are watching on tv, including the nightly news.

        We all have a choice. We can choose not to let violence be the answer to every challenge, but as another, or others, have written, humanity is still a seemingly conscious animal, a predator. And we are always seeking someone to hate, or something to justify our actions. Until that stops, humanity will continue on the cycle of self-destruction that it has always followed, since Cain killed his brother.

        God doesn’t save, and God doesn’t kill. Guns are just fancy bits of metal, that you can use to kill at a distance. But you can kill a person, with a pencil, or less, if you know how to do it. And television and the internet can teach you how to do that so easily. Back to us being our own worst enemy.

        Have a thought for the child in the street, watching someone they love get gunned down, watching on television, being abused by others .. the others that should be looking after him or her, loving and protecting them. We have a choice to change the world .. but really, says some, its just TOO HARD. Too late. We are all going to hell. Or we are all going back to God, or the aliens will arrive to either wipe us out, or rescue us and magically ascend us to superior 5th level beings .. its all just a cop-out. We don’t have to try hard because its either too late, or someone (or thing) is going to save us .. so we can just carry on with our bad behaviours exactly as we’ve always done. God help us all if the second coming ever arrives. I know where I’ll be going …

        So please, to the gun lovers, and gun runners, those out-of-control fearful .. and you are fearful .. people who must have their guns for their own protection (and may you never have to use it) .. have one – not hundreds. Have single shot, rather than machine guns, grow flowers instead of missiles in your garden. Look for the love. I know you know its there, or I hope you do. And let us all pray for peace, because its going to take a miracle .. and for the athiests, look to the sky and make a request for peace. Doesn’t matter if you don’t believe anyone is there, because they are always listening anyway – and ‘they’ really do love us, in all our insanity. We should feel continually blessed ..

        1. James DeNora says:

          Hi, Ama. With all due respect, I must disagree with you about God not intervening. In fact, God has intervened on numerous occasions. God brought the great flood and saved mankind through the efforts of Noah. God freed the Jews from their Egyptian masters through Moses. God gave Sampson the strength the destroy a temple. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah and turned Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt. God screwed with Job for how many years to test his faith, only to restore all that was his when He found his faith to be unshakable. Through Jesus God healed the sick and fed the hungry. And when Christ was crucified, God leveled a kingdom. Finally, Revelations tells us that God and His army of warrior angels will wipe out the world on Judgement Day, which indicates God is not done intervening.

          Remember, I’m an atheist, so if I got any of that wrong, I’m sure there are a few knowledgeable Bible readers out there to correct me. I’m sure there are a lot more examples of God’s interventions… I just tried to hit the highlights. But I think I have more than proven my point.

          As for the rest of your post, there are some nice sentiments. Sort of “flower child” thinking. But it is not practical or realistic. Yes, it would be nice if everything was sunshine and rainbows. But the world is a mean, ugly place, punctuated beautiful moments of kindness, the laughter of children playing, falling in love.

          Ama, I’m not trying to change the way you think. The world needs people that think like you. The world also needs people that protect people like you from people that have a problem with what you think. I’m not saying I’m one of those protectors, but if circumstances put in that position, so be it.

          1. Brother John says:

            “Saving mankind” by killing everyone but Noah and his family is an extraordinarily curious interpretation, James.

            As far as Moses goes, have a read through Numbers 31 to learn what depravity believers can sink to with some simple commands. In this case, kill all Midianites, including the children, but keep the virgin females as captives. Kind of tarnishes his hero image, don’t you think? It also speaks volumes about his superior.

            “I was just following orders” has been used as a defence for eons by other maniacs, but sane people and most courts reject it.

        2. John Owens says:

          Ama, you were doing so well for the first three paragraphs, and then you started off on talking points. Then in your last paragraph, you say anyone who likes guns is out-of control fearful, and then tell them what KIND of guns they should own. If you think you know what you are talking about or have enough moral high ground to pontificate on the subject, you must be insane.

          Some people inherit guns from their parents or grandparents, and possession of them has nothing to do with fear. Some people actually still provide their families with protein by hunting. That has nothing to do with fear. I will admit to fear, but the fear is not for myself. I fear for a society half full of people like you who will hand it over to criminals and foreigners. No criminal or Islamic terrorist will attack my friends and me at a gathering, because they know they will be cut down rapidly. They will attack women and children at a mall or baseball game or church. Yes, I fear for those women and children, and I consider myself a Minuteman, AS SHOULD ANY RED-BLOODED MALE with a conscience and a spine.

          Also, some people carry guns because they are REQUIRED to carry them, so your very broad generalization call EVERYONE who likes them FEARFUL, assumes that you know each of them. That is a kind of prejudice that is hideous. You have a few good points, but your presumed knowledge of gun-owners is not one of them. You cannot possibly know them, if you are not one of them, and even then, you cannot know all of them, or understand them. If you have any facts, you should stick to those, and ignore the facts that do not agree with your philosophy, as you apparently have been doing to get the point where you are.

        3. John Owens says:

          Ama, you started out well, but digressed into talking points.

          It is ridiculous for you to call all gun-owners out of control fearful. They are neither out of control nor fearful, unless you count fear that there are too many people like you and not enough of them. Your bleeding heart is not offensive, but your bigotry IS. You speak as if you know ALL gun-owners, which is bigoted, and then you try to tell them what kinds of guns they should own. If you THINK you know them (how could you, you don’t associate with them and you aren’t one of them, but if you DID or you WERE, you still couldn’t know them ALL), you would have to suffer from some kind of delusion.

          I don’t know to whom you listen to formulate your world view or philosophy, but I just recommend you do a little more deductive analysis of OBSERVABLE phenomena, rather than listen to or read someone else’s. You seem like a sweet, good, well-intentioned person who is just slightly misguided.

  47. John Owens says:

    I wonder if all the people who want to register and track every firearm feel that people who enter the country should all be registered and tracked, or if anyone who wants to cast a vote should be registered and tracked. I have a feeling I know the answer, and it is stupid.

  48. John Owens says:

    Since guns did not exist in the time of Jesus Christ, the only way we can accurately estimate His feelings about them is by comparing what He said about knives, swords, spears, bows and arrows, catapults, etc. There is no scripture say He carried a weapon, but on the other hand, none that ACTUALLY says He did NOT. Let’s ruminate on that one… Just because the Bible DOESN’T say He did NOT, does that mean HE MIGHT HAVE? OHHHHH!!! No way! BUT, just because the Bible does not say He DID, we can safely assume HE DIDN’T? That’s just a biased interpretation, isn’t it? Nothing more. Nothing less.

  49. JOHN MAHER says:

    YEAH RIGHT, TRUMP will KEEP the SECOND AMENDMENT and at the SAME TIME PISS on the CONSTITUTION and EVERY RIGHT YOU NOW HAVE, EVER HEAR of the INQUISITION MATEs, RELIGION and STATE, HOORAY for STUPIDITY !!!

    1. John Owens says:

      It is not Trump, but the opposition who wants to disregard the Constitution. You should read it sometime, but either way, Trump is not relevant here, nor Democrats, nor Tree Huggers, nor Greenies. There is one question here, which is RHETORICAL, because no one here has the answer. All they have is dogma.

  50. Kapitalismus und Patriotismus says:

    Whether or not Jesus carried (I don’t know), I do think that he would encourage other people to as it is a practical way to prevent people from attacking you. This is even more important as the early Christians were very heavily persecuted. It would prevent them from being executed or arrested as much if they had a practical personal defense weapon.

  51. Brother John says:

    The number of mass shootings that involve psychiatric prescription drugs is seldom mentioned, likely due to the immense influence of the drug industry. Spend some time on the site linked below and pay particular attention to a few sections listed on the sidebar to the left.
    “Psychiatric drugs and violence – the facts” and the four “side effects” sections are particularly alarming as is Pharma’s “internet marketing pipeline”.

    Both parents (although well meaning), the medical profession (for profit) and the manufacturers (also for profit) are responsible. As bad as it is currently, imagine what will happen if there’s a serious disruption in the system that distributes the plethora of drugs that are currently being used (read through the “withdrawal effects” for details).

    Ignoring the fact that tens of millions of people, in the U.S. alone, are currently ingesting mind altering drugs daily, many with horrific and violent side effects, while demonizing gun ownership (and marijuana use for that matter) is a clear indication of the dumbing down of our society. This is a societal/cultural issue, not something that can be cured by more legislation.

    If you, or someone you know, is currently medicated by any of the drugs mentioned in the “side effects” sections, please be aware of the risks involved and do your best to find a suitable alternative to address, rather than mask, the root cause.

    https://www.cchrint.org/psychiatric-drugs/people-taking-psychiatric-drugs/

    1. Minister Carey says:

      Most thankful, Brother John, that you bring the use of psychotropic drugs to light. This, from my perspective, is a serious problem in schools, especially inner-city schools. Low income families receiving some form of “welfare” seem to be most often compelled to put their active (some say hyper-active) children on some type of psychotropic drug. Children! Also, I know very few who have read or studied anything regarding certain drugs as well as the herb marijuana and their negative effect on people with high levels of melanin (so-called black) people. One doctor who has done research in this area is Dr. Jewel Pookrum. (In the event someone is interested).

    2. Ned Marbletoe says:

      Valuable contribution to the discussion. Intelligence + compassion = 🙂

  52. Clayton Beardmore says:

    Dear Brother John – I can hardly believe I actually found someone on this that can 1. spell, and 2. obviously has reasonable and realistic thoughts on this matter. You did not, however, include the fact that the culture of the U.S. is based on violence. Look at video games, television, lots of popular music, military on a pedestal, etc.

    Guns are not the problem – violent people are.

    This problem is much larger than any of us can imagine. Getting rid of guns will only cause something else to become the “weapon” of choice. Increasing the punishment for crimes committed with guns will not work (who would commit a crime if they think they’re going to get caught?)

    I don’t know the answer, but am glad the ULC provided a place for ideas.

    Thank you Brother John, for your thoughts on this matter.

  53. JOHN MAHER says:

    YOU do NOT SHOOT FISH,YOU do NOT use a GUN BUTT to CRUSH GRAPES,YOU do NOT use GUN POWDER to BAKE BREAD,
    WOULD JESUS NEED a GUN ???

    1. William R Clapie says:

      “would Jesus need a gun?” Uh, no. His is the power and the divine right. I am pretty sure he could about snap his fingers for what he wanted.
      “Guns: Can be recreational. Can be used for hunting large and small game. Some folks still do that ya’ know?

  54. William R Clapie says:

    More gun control! More government! Less welfare! Kill the immigrants@! Wait, we at one time were all immigrants! Feed the poor! Oh sorry, no money for that, but look at this shiny new killer jet we got for the military! It’s only ten million! Sheesh. Should I go on? The human animal is a confused beast and does not know what it wants. It asks for “help and intervention” on many issues from outside forces such as the government (embodied power!!!) and then says “GET OUT” too much power. I agree with the last part. There is an adage printed somewhere, “you can trust one human, two at a time is questionable, three or more? Time to leave the scene”

    Peace out Brothers and Sisters

  55. Reverend Rozalynda says:

    I love to shoot a gun & know if I had it in my hand I will use it. For that reason I will not own and will not buy a gun. I am a bit of old school, like Wyatt Earp. He went through all the trouble to have a town with no guns. We now have the right to carry the gun. I understand that there are some places a gun is necessary to have. Back then it was not that much simpler as it is today. People kill People not Guns. The 6th Commandment “Thou Shall Not Kill” I don’t believe Jesus would have carried a gun. He was here to bring heaven to earth.

    1. JOHN MAHER says:

      RIGHT ON REV. but ALL GUNs SHOULD be MELTED into PLOWSHAREs, ALL GUNs, LEAVING NONE in the HANDs of ANYONE, SOUNDs GREAT, NO !!!

  56. I.S. Johnson says:

    Guns are tools the same as an Axe, a Butchers Cleaver, a Hammer or a Baseball Bat. All of these items can be used to kill another person. Objects do not kill people. People use objects to kill people. Trucks have been used in terror attacks in France and Germany. My goodness all those SUVs are a terrible threat to us let’s outlaw them. Semi Tractor Trailers they will have to go. Pick-up trucks , far to dangerous they will have to go as well.

    Rocks are used to kill people! Outlaw rocks! There are three of the most common things that lead to one person killing another, Alcohol, Sex and Money. What do you think the odds are they will ban those things. Our society has many problems and people do kill one another. Banning guns will not stop it. Limiting total personal wealth to no more than 50 million dollars would do far more to end violence. Making shooter video games socially unacceptable would do more to curb violence. Not celebrating the “Thug Life” in music, movies and television shows may help as well. When we reward and celebratize the Base Mentality in our society, we do not raise them up, we encourage more to fall down.

    Guns are one of the most regulated commodities sold in our nation and tragedies still occur. We need to look at who we are as a society, not more regulation of guns. As to the argument more guns will stop gun crime. Look at the video of the shooting in Ft. Lauderdale, not one person tried to stop that man even though they were behind him and could have jumped him. We seem to think of ourselves first not others in my experience. Perhaps we should talk about that? 320,000,000 people in direct competition with each other is the current model for our society. As long as we choose this over cooperation and shared effort for all. People will continue to be left out, marginalized, abused, discriminated against and so on. That is part of the model of competition. Until we learn to share, care and unify with and for each other the violence will continue in the face of a million laws against it. Our creator has nearly 7 Billion agents of his grace in this world . Why are you waiting for the creator to fix us? Why do we blame the creator for the evil his agents choose to commit?

    Peace to all

    1. John Owens says:

      Wonderful comments, I.S. Thank you.

  57. JOHN MAHER says:

    PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE [ N O T ] GUNs, BUTT certain TYPES of MILITARY GUNS and AMMO SHOULD BE TAKEN OFF the SHELVEs of the GUN STOREs and EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE the RIGHT to OWN a REGISTERED GUN, that MEANs EVERYONE INCLUDING CONVICTED FELONs after they HAVE COMPLETED THEIR SENTENCE, ENOUGH of the PERSICUTION, NOW MENTALY INCOMPITENT THATs ANOTHER STORY BUTT YES WE ALL HAVE the RIGHT to DEFEND OUR HOMEs, the POLICE CANNOT they COME AFTER the FACT !!!

    1. William R Clapie says:

      True. 911 after the violence is done.

  58. John Owens says:

    Medical malpractice kills more people than guns in this country. Are we going to outlaw medicine?

  59. William R Clapie says:

    Lets outlaw heart disease! The most common killer in the USA! Sounds ridiculous right? It was meant to be. Many people in this country do not “think”, they just react to what they see and hear. Yep, just like herd animals. Sickening, isn’t it?

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