Comparing Political Platforms (11) Guns & The Second Amendment

Second amendment, guns, and ChristiansIf there is a controversial issue the Bible says nothing specifically about, it is the issue of guns and The Second Amendment, which reads, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

It is an issue that people long accustomed to being free cannot appreciate in the same way as those who have been oppressed by others and had to fight to achieve the very freedom we take for granted today.

The political platforms have much to say about guns.

DNC We will encourage better police-community relations, require the use of body cameras, and stop the use of weapons of war that have no place in our communities. (p.15) And we will tackle the epidemics of substance abuse and gun violence, which each claim tens of thousands of lives every year. (p.34) With 33,000 Americans dying every year, Democrats believe that we must finally take sensible action to address gun violence. While responsible gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe. To build on the success of the lifesaving Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, we will expand and strengthen background checks and close dangerous loopholes in our current laws; repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) to revoke the dangerous legal immunity protections gun makers and sellers now enjoy; and keep weapons of war—such as assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines (LCAM’s)—off our streets. We will fight back against attempts to make it harder for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to revoke federal licenses from law breaking gun dealers, and ensure guns do not fall into the hands of terrorists, intimate partner abusers, other violent criminals, and those with severe mental health issues. There is insufficient research on effective gun prevention policies, which is why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must have the resources it needs to study gun violence as a public health issue. (p.39)
LP The only legitimate use of force is in defense of individual rights—life, liberty, and justly acquired property—against aggression. This right inheres in the individual, who may agree to be aided by any other individual or group. We affirm the individual right recognized by the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms, and oppose the prosecution of individuals for exercising their rights of self-defense. Private property owners should be free to establish their own conditions regarding the presence of personal defense weapons on their own property. We oppose all laws at any level of government restricting, registering, or monitoring the ownership, manufacture, or transfer of firearms or ammunition.
RNC We uphold the right of individuals to keep and bear arms, a natural inalienable right that predates the Constitution and is secured by the Second Amendment. Lawful gun ownership enables Americans to exercise their God-given right of self-defense for the safety of their homes, their loved ones, and their communities. We salute the Republican Congress for defending the right to keep and bear arms by preventing the President from installing a new liberal majority on the Supreme Court. The confirmation to the Court of additional anti-gun justices would eviscerate the Second Amendment’s fundamental protections. Already, local officials in the nation’s capital and elsewhere are defying the Court’s decisions upholding an individual right to bear arms as affirmed by the Supreme Court in Heller and McDonald. We support firearm reciprocity legislation to recognize the right of law-abiding Americans to carry firearms to protect themselves and their families in all 50 states. We support constitutional carry statutes and salute the states that have passed them. We oppose ill-conceived laws that would restrict magazine capacity or ban the sale of the most popular and common modern rifle. We also oppose any effort to deprive individuals of their right to keep and bear arms without due process of law. We condemn frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers and the current Administration’s illegal harassment of firearm dealers. We oppose federal licensing or registration of law-abiding gun owners, registration of ammunition, and restoration of the ill-fated Clinton gun ban. We call for a thorough investigation — by a new Republican administration — of the deadly “Fast and Furious” operation perpetrated by Department of Justice officials who approved and allowed illegal sales of guns to known violent criminals. (pp12-13)
Since guns did not exist when Jesus walked the earth, this issue resides solely in the political realm. Our Biblical look will simply state a few universal truths.
  1. God values human life and deplores the taking of it because of His Image present in every man. Genesis 9: 5 And for your lifeblood I will surely demand an accounting. I will demand an accounting from every animal. And from each man, too, I will demand an accounting for the life of his fellow man. 6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for in the image of God has God made man.
  2. Life is more important than property. Luke 12:22 Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23 Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes
  3. One of the Ten Commandments reads, Exodus 20:13 “You shall not murder.”
  4. Defending life and property are different. Killing for protecting property is not the same as when one perceives his life is threatened. Exodus 22: 2 “If a thief is caught breaking in and is struck so that he dies, the defender is not guilty of bloodshed; 3 but if it happens after sunrise, he is guilty of bloodshed.
  5. Fighting evil happens both in the spiritual and physical realms Luke 22: 31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.” 33 But he replied, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death.” 34 Jesus answered, “I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me.” 35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?” “Nothing,” they answered. 36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.” 38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That is enough,” he replied.” Jesus wasn’t doing a weapon count to see how well they’d be able to be freedom fighters. Rather, the principle is that defending against evil takes place in both the spiritual and physical realms and preparation in both areas is the key to not being overtaken by evil.
  6. God does not confuse life in Him through obedience to Him … with the world’s definition of “life.” Deuteronomy 30:15 See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. 16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess … 19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live 20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
  7. When Jesus went to the Cross, He entered the spiritual battlefield. He was not a doormat nor was He surrendering to the evil around Him. He was conquering it with spiritual weapons in the spiritual realm. Jesus could not shed any blood but His own or He could not have been our Savior. We are not in the same category because we are not God. So here’s the deal: On one hand we are called to first pursue the spiritual battle against evil. 2 Corinthians 10:3 “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” On the other hand, there is a physical realm in which some battles will occur. If every God-fearer never engaged in self-defense, we’d all be slaughtered and there would be none left alive for a rapture that many Christians are counting on for getting them out of an evil world.  And, if every God-fearer refused to serve in the military or in the government as God’s agent of justice (Romans 13:4 For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer), then justice wouldn’t be by God’s standard, but rather by the world’s, yes?  Christians take a stand against evil, both in the spiritual realm as well as in the physical realm.
  8. And finally, weapons don’t equal death. Just because we possess a weapon that could end a life (such as a gun, a knife, a box cutter, a crowbar, or a fist) doesn’t mean that using it will automatically involve a death. Sometimes, it’s just a threat of injury to put space between our families and the criminal, enough space and time to flee. And life has been preserved all around.

Guns are a touchy subject, easily turned on emotion, and lethal force is always, rightfully questioned. In the end, any weapon (including our own bodies) can be used to kill. Evil people will do evil things. Christians seek peace but prepare for defense.

Peace is never achieved, nor is defense against evil ever gained, by treating the law-abiding as if they are the evildoers. Law breakers, by definition, will break whatever laws are designed to restrain them.

Christians, The Second Amendment, and guns aren’t inconsistent when we consider that deterrence of evil is always preferable to lethal force against evil. And God’s Word offers principles to guide the good hearted and the law-abiding toward that end.

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Categories Articles, Articles and Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on August 16, 2016

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