Buy a Gun, Save a Life ~ BitterSweetLife

Monday, April 23, 2007

Buy a Gun, Save a Life

I rarely write political commentary here because, frankly, I'm more interested in writing about theology. However, there's no denying that the two entities frequently overlap. Case in point: the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings. Virginia Tech was a multifaceted disaster--one which pulls back the curtains on human depravity in a way that Americans still aren't accustomed to. This morning I came across some VT commentary that blends politics and theological insight. Teaser:

What I said to my "concerned" friends that asked was, "I like to collect permissions to do things." I lied. Being freaked out that anyone they knew would take gun training and get a concealed weapons permit, they tacitly agreed to believe that lie. It kept everything smooth and "non-political," which I how a lot of my friends and I like it these days. All part of the little lies we tell because we cannot face reality in the world and in our relationships.

I took pistol training because one day it dawned on me that if I ever actually needed a gun it would be too late to shop.

Read the whole thing to hear Vanderleun (yes, the name is the real reason I'm linking up) develop the point. Living with evil is all the more uncomfortable when human nature becomes politicized. We end up feeling guilty for acting as if people are not to be trusted. Which they aren't.

If I had the cash, I'd buy a gun and take a class as well. We don't live in a perfect world; far from it. As long as I'm living with people who have sin at their centers, some of whom have indulged and promoted that darkness to the point of obsessive instability, buying a gun may be a great way to save a life. Widespread gun control, on the other hand, would only work in a Utopia--which, in case you haven't noticed, is not where we live.

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tim said...

Wow, interesting to see you venture into this territory; but I like it! I don' think there are any ways of thinking or any other religions that give anything close to the accurate description of human nature that Christianity presents. Good tie in. I've been looking at rifles myself lately--I want to learn how to shoot and I want to teach Britt too. It would probably be fun to take target lessons, and unfortunately such a skill may prove to be needed in self-defense someday.

Virgil Vaduva said...

This is of course no judgment on your other theologically-oriented posts, but this is one of the best you've posted in a long time. Love the title too :)

Having been involved in at least one "incident" in which I found my concealed weapon to be of crucial importance, I would definitely encourage you to put a Glock on layaway at your local gun store, and get your permit. It may not only save your life, but many others too.

J. K. Jones said...

Good post.

I agree with Mr. Vaduva: put a gun on layaway, but make it a Springfield Armory XD40.

Also, have you considered joining the National Rifle Association?

rob said...

you should read Ben Witherington's ( post about the incident. He pushes back on some of the things you said. He's in favor of tighter gun laws and sees using weapons to kill as anti-biblical. It's kinda long, but interesting.

I find myself caught in between much of the debate about guns. I see the need for protection, but I also think tighter laws or even outlawing guns altogether would solve a lot of our problems.

Virgil Vaduva said...

I also think tighter laws or even outlawing guns altogether would solve a lot of our problems.

Problems such as?

The folks from A Human Right put it best here; no additional comment required:

Ariel said...

I realize this is a perennial debate and I'm not very well-read on the nuances of it. However, I have a hard time seeing how outlawing guns will help anyone but the bad guys. Drugs are illegal; people still do drugs. Making something illegal only proves binding for law-abiding citizens...shooters can count on having a field day, knowing that at the worst, they'll have to face fists and baseball bats.

Putting my family on the line and hoping that homicidal criminals will play by the rules doesn't seem like an odds-on gamble.

However, I'm curious to see Witherington's piece. He's written good articles in the past.

Ariel said...

Just read Witherington's article. Here's where we fundamentally differ, and will continue to differ:

Ben argues that "loving your enemies" implies that we should never seek "revenge"--even when a crime is in media res. So, if I were to walk in a shooter training his weapon on my family, "loving my enemy" would bar me from using violence to take him out (prayer, ostensibly, would be OK).

To this I reply: Are you high?

No doubt having a child adds an emotional charge to this scenario for me, but the way Mr. Witherington's interprets scripture to make his case seems very faulty to me.

Scripturally, I should be ready to suffer personal injury for the sake of the gospel--but Jesus did not come preaching a message of radical non-violence. Witherington's exegesis here pits the biblical necessity of loving family & friends against the biblical command to love one's enemies, implying that the enemy takes precedence when he's wielding a gun.

I don't think so.

Oneway the Herald said...

Word, Ariel. It's like what Chris Rock alluded to when he pointed out that metal detectors in the clubs let the thugs outside know that you aren't strapped.

I'm happy to be moving to Missouri where the gun laws are much saner than the People's Republic of Barack Obama.

rob said...

I have no problem with emotion. I think it's a good thing unless of course it gets out of control. For a couple of years I've been having a debate with myself over my views on subjects like gun control (and more broadly pacifism). Does Jesus have something to say on these things is always my main question. I think that's the important one because both sides of the debate have their stats that they throw around.

I found Dr. Witherington's commentary on this subject compelling because he brings Jesus and his actions into this debate. Yet, I also see your point. I too would have a hard time not defending my family if they were in some kind of danger. I guess my question is does vengence always rest with God or are there times when we are to be apart of that?

"Scripturally, I should be ready to suffer personal injury for the sake of the gospel--but Jesus did not come preaching a message of radical non-violence." (sorry can't figure out the tags! lol!)

I don't think that Dr. Witherington is arguing that Jesus was preaching radical non-violence in the sense that it takes the place of "the gospel". I think the point is that Jesus preached "the gospel" largely through non-violence.

Oneway the Herald said...

Defense does not equal vengeance.

GandalfTG said...

My grandfather, a baptist minister for nearly his entire adult life, also preached non-violence. His message, someone punches you, turn the other cheek, he hits you again, put the jerk on his ass.
He pointed out to me that Jesus himself braided a whip to drive merchants from Temple. Jesus did his civic duty, why are Americans afraid to do theirs by standing up for their friends, family, and neighbors?


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife