To The Christian Gun Rights Activists: Jesus Never Carried A Weapon
If the power of God is so great, who among His believers needs a weapon?
I just couldn’t help myself after the recent gun rally in Virginia, back in January. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the apparent conflation of guns and God. I have noticed that there seems to be a clear correspondence between gun rights activists and what is often their chosen faith, Christianity. Gun rights activists tend to assume that the Bill Of Rights, the Constitution and the Declaration Of Independence were created by divine intervention. They like to say that their right to bear arms is a God-Given Right, not subject to the discretion of other men.
But I wonder…If these Christian people believe in God, then they believe in Jesus. And if they believe in Jesus, perhaps their reading is selective. I’ve been researching a simple question: did Jesus ever carry a weapon? So far, the only “weapon” that he ever carried was his cross. That fact seems to have been lost on them.
There is something else I find ironic here. Jesus said, “Follow me.” He didn’t say that you should carry weapons. I mean, c’mon! He’s the son of God! He doesn’t need to pack heat for protection. He *is* protection, at least in the minds of his pretended followers.
I am aware of the pretentions of the so-called patriots who claim to know the law. They believe in the Constitution as the law of the land. They believe in private property, “Me gun, me private property”. But when they walk around with a gun and try to enter a store, they seem to think they have a right to enter a shopping venue, like Walmart, with a gun. They know the law with the police, but perhaps they don’t know the law with the shop owner. They might not grasp the idea that if the shop owner tells you to produce a license or leave, the shop owner is entirely within their rights to do so. You know like, “No shoes, no shirt, no service!”
But I’m just a little curious now. How does a person so beholden by his chosen faith, come to the conclusion that he must carry a gun to show that he has a right to do so? Seriously, if I’m sitting in a restaurant and I see some honcho with a gun leaning against his booth, I find it hard to keep eating. Fear and dinner do not mix. Just ask any cow.
When I see a gun in a holster, existential questions beckon to me. Even if the gun is strapped to a peace officer. How they can keep that title and still shoot so many people every year without prosecution or prison is beyond me. So even the police can sometimes be confused about their rights with regard to the use of deadly force. And we assume that the police are informed of the law.
In the articles I’ve read, especially about open carry, I see shades of discrimination and boycotts. These gun-toting, god-fearing, god-loving people (how fear and love can coexist in the same mind, I don’t know), just assume that they can assimilate themselves comfortably in any environment. They think they’ve got a gun for their protection and ours when the statistics do not even come close to supporting their world views about guns and safety. In a 2015 study on gun violence, The Violence Policy Center found that:
In 2012 for every justifiable homicide in the United States involving a gun, guns were used in 32 criminal homicides. For the five-year period 2008 through 2012, for every justifiable homicide in the United States involving a gun, guns were used in 38 criminal homicides.
So for every bad guy killed by a good guy with a gun, there were at least 32 good guys killed by bad guys with guns. That means the study found that guns were at least 32 times more likely to be used to commit a crime than to stop one. Somehow I doubt this is what Jesus had in mind when he started giving sermons.
A business own may choose to ban open-carry for perfectly reasonable objections like, “it’s hard for me to eat when someone is sitting next to me with a loaded gun” and, “I can’t focus on shopping when the guy next to me is wearing camo and has a large automatic weapon on his back”. Banning guns in shopping and dining establishments is entirely within the rights of their respective owners. That would be private roperty rights.
Upon realization that the business owners have rights too, then the gun owners could get all huffy and things could only escalate from there. Businesses in open carry states must choose a side, and since most people manage to shop or dine pretty comfy without carrying a gun, businesses are very likely to side with their unarmed customers.
And when that happens, I can see the open carry people crying, “discrimination!”, when the reality surrounding them is “private property!” I guess most of the customers are always right. But then I can also see how gun owners who need to carry a gun to dine at Wendy’s for security, might want to boycott such a firm when they are told they are not welcome with their guns in tow. If they’re gun-toting Christians, they would also tell the rest of us that it’s not nice to boycott Israel.
I know that if I saw a potentially unhinged open carry person sitting in a restaurant, and I know that the manager of the restaurant allows such a person to eat there, I will eat somewhere else. I know what persecution complex looks like, and people who suffer from that, probably shouldn’t be carrying a loaded weapon around. You know, just to keep the peace.