What’s up with the gun you ask? That my friends is no ordinary pistol, not by a long shot. That my fellow blogmates is a state of the art, standard issue, top of the line, combat ready United Federation of Planets Attack Phaser. In other words when needed this bad boy can do some serious damage. This is the little trick up your sleeve you want when confronted by two very big and very drunk Klingons in a dark alley on Rigel VII.
Why a need for a weapon of this type? And why would the Federation which is dedicated to discovering and studying new life create and distribute a weapon that can easily vaporize a target at 100 feet? A couple of reasons. We at the Fed are peaceful, but not stupid. We know that not everyone shares our desire to explore the galaxy, check out new things and then cap off a hard day sipping Romulan ale in the holodeck. There are some dangerous species and dangerous beings out there. While we wish others no harm, we will if necessary defend ourselves and others who may not be able to. But the other nice thing about sassy sue (that’s our nickname for this little package) is its easy to use VPS feature. For you twenty-first century blokes VPS stands for Variable Power Setting. Simply put it means that with the press of a button I can set sassy sue from light stun to kingdom come. This gives me the advantage of instantly and completely incapacitating a potential threat without causing any lasting damage.
While the Phaser is still a figment of science-fiction the reality of non-lethal personal defense weapons is not. I’m bringing this up to deal with a subject that frankly has troubled me for a long time. As a believer in Jesus Christ I’m convinced that each and every person is created in and bears the image of his or her creator. I’m convinced that a person is a person at the moment of conception and furthermore that the government should extend individual rights to these persons and protect them from harm. Furthermore, I’m convinced by scripture that all of humanity has a duty to protect and preserve life and that those who believe in Jesus Christ should especially take care to do all within our power to see that no harm comes to anyone.
Those reasons contribute to my passionate anti-gun stance. I do not believe Christians should support, own, or encourage the use of these weapons of individual destruction. I realize that the Supreme Court recently ruled that citizens have a constitutional right to bear hand guns. I simply disagree with that decision as I don’t believe it promotes the culture of life that we as believers should seek to cultivate in this country. A handgun is not like an automobile. A reckless individual can misuse a car ending someone’s life. Yet the manufacturer did not make the vehicle with the intent that it would be utilized in this way.
The handguns manufactured and sold in this country today are designed and built for one purpose and one purpose only; namely the destruction of human life. Thus in my view they have no place and can serve no constructive purpose in a society that strives to value life.
This leads me to question how long evangelicals can continue to claim to be both pro-life and pro-Glock? I don’t believe we can convince those we accuse of promoting the culture of death if we are among the main champions of the latest version of the Saturday night special. But shouldn’t citizens be able to arm themselves in case the government seeks to overthrow our rights by force? Let me answer that in two ways. First, imagine you had a handgun, even a very good one. Do you really think you could take down the average military attack helicopter with it? The second amendment regarding bearing arms was written at a time when the government didn’t have vastly superior weapons than the average citizen. That has changed. The U.S. military now has the weapons and skills to level whole neighborhoods in a matter of hours.
The other answer to that question goes to a deeper level. What rights do we enjoy as American citizens that are worth taking someone’s life over? Let’s imagine that the government decides that we can no longer own property for the express reason of congregating as a church. For that matter they decide that it’s illegal for Christians to gather anywhere for the purpose of worship in any sense of the term and will confiscate immediately any building whether public or private (including homes) used for that purpose and sell it to someone else. Would we take up arms with the intent of shooting and killing the police who came to seize our property?
The issue is this: What scenario could we come up with that would justify the taking of a human life?
Ok Lance riddle me this. It’s 3 o’clock in the morning, you hear a commotion in your house and are convinced that someone has broken in and intends to rape and murder your family. Do you just sit back and let them do so just to preserve their life? Good question. Again allow me to present a couple of possible solutions. If the issue is that owning a gun is necessary to protect my family then why stop at just having one gun in my home. Why shouldn’t I arm myself and family in case we’re attacked while out? Is it more likely that I’ll be attacked at three in morning while in my home or at 9 p.m. while walking home? But let’s say I do feel the need for a gun to protect my family and possessions. How many do I need? Why must I demand that the government protect my right to own multiple firearms one or more of which might fall into the wrong hands? And why would the NRA stand against a proposed law in the Commonwealth of PA that would require me to report if my gun is lost or stolen?
The other answer to that question goes back to the beginning of this post. Technology is developing and delivering non-lethal weapons that can effectively take down an intruder without taking his or her life. Many of these weapons are now available to the general populace. For example, the Dept. of Homeland security is working with a company that produces a flashlight that projects a beam of light directly into the eyes causing temporary blindness, disorientation, nausea and even vomiting. (okay maybe that’s a bit messy for home use) The company that’s developed tasers for police departments are now manufacturing and marketing a slightly scaled down model for private use. I’ve even seen a combination flashlight/taser that can be carried around and used to incapacitate a would be attacker. This could be carried around easily and used in little or no time for personal defense. In other words we now have the technology to obtain devices that can effectively protect our families in a time of crisis without the danger of ending someone else’s life.
That being the case one has to wonder why is it that those who are most ardently pro-life zealously align themselves with those who are the most pro-gun? I realize that there will always be those who for the sake of investing in, manufacturing and profiting off the sale of guns will seek to protect and extend their rights by any means necessary. But must we lend a moral voice to their cause? Can we really stand and say with a straight face that we are committed to promoting and cultivating a culture of life while bolstering an industry that creates weapons specifically designed and used to end human life? And this at a time when we and the society knows of the availability of non-lethal weapons to replace the guns we felt so vital to our private security.
It’s time for the Christian community to promote the cause of life by laying down our weapons and refusing to support those who insist on filling our society with instruments designed for the sole reason of ending the life of one who bears the image of God. It’s time for us to realize that we cannot be both pro-life and pro-gun.
To Him Who Loves Us…