Friday, January 18, 2013

Theological Rant - Guns

I'm not one to say much about political stuff, but with all the gun related news, brings me back to an issue that I don't find political as much as it is theological.  What are guns used for has become a forefront discussion piece among many I hear talking about this issue and it seems to fall into 3 main categories.
1. Hunting
2. Sport
3. Self-Defense 

Guns used for hunting, especially hunting for food, are mostly weapons that are large, limited shot, and mostly owed by those who do actually hunt for food in my experience.  These don't tend to be the weapons used in the majority "gun violence" as far as I can tell.  Yes, they can injure and kill, but I am not discussing these within the remainder of this post.  

Guns used for sport I don't fully get, some of these are hunting weapons not used for food acquisition, and that is a minor issue for me, but most of these weapons are handguns or high powered, multi-round weapons which make NO logical sense to me, and will be covered in the Self-Defense category. But I feel like this gun use in general doesn't need to exist, the guns risk is higher to the community than the value of an individual's enjoyment.  

So now the big piece, I hear lots of arguments right now that we need guns for self defense.   The issue I have here is solely theological.  I can't understand how a faith where we're commanded not to kill can so easily defend the existence of something created to harm another and put their life in danger.  Now I know many will say that "we wouldn't shoot to kill, just to protect" but what are we protecting?  Something more valuable than the life and health of one created equal to us in God's image?

Taking this to the next level, many now point towards the argument that we need guns in case we ever "lose our freedom" and end up with a government/world that does atrocities that would harm even more people.  The problem with this argument is that it says that we must keep whatever power and control we can over the unknown.  We fear others and fear and hate are as close to one another as hate and killing are in Jesus's teachings.  So if we're not supposed to hate or kill, why are we okay with having things that are mostly created to inflict harm, and honestly to kill.  Maybe not as many die today because of medical advancements, but it doesn't take a perfect shot to kill someone, and any shot could.  And why would we want to kill anyone?  Why would we want to harm anyone? How is harming another showing any form of love to them?  We go out of our way to put up fences around things like Lust, but when it comes to this thing that we supposedly hold so highly, human life, we're okay with potentially taking it from one another just because ours is worth more than theirs.  THERE IS A PROBLEM WITH THAT.  Either we're all equal, all created in God's image, all making mistakes, and all in this together, or there is no God.  Christians, pay attention, Guns do nothing to help us live in the way God commands.  They do nothing to make this life any better, nothing to improve the world and bring the kingdom of God closer.  I wish they were all gone, but since that won't happen, please at least let's dialogue about this from a place that does not make any individual more important than another, and let's see not the possibility of a future as something to fear, but as something that can be more like the Kingdom of God if we first love more like God ourselves.

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