Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gun Control in Light of Connecticut School Shooting

First, my heart goes out to the loved ones of those murdered by the Connecticut school shooter. Words cannot describe the heartache they are enduring. 
But since the issue has been raised again, this article deals with the issue of gun rights and gun control.

Reasons I’m for Gun Rights
1. Our constitution gives the people the right to keep and bear arms.

2. We have a great tradition of bearing arms to hunt and provide for families, and to protect ourselves from criminals and tyranny.

A dictator always desires to limit the people from bearing arms. Some have said, don’t trust a government that doesn’t trust a law abiding citizen to own a firearm. An invading military would much prefer the citizens be unarmed.

Hunters contribute many millions each year that is used to preserve wildlife and wildlife habitat.

Those who grew up hunting often are the best prepared to serve their country in time of war.

Regular citizens who bear arms have often been the first responders and have protected many.

3. Few can afford armed security guards. Ironically, many who clamor for gun control, have the resources to hire their own armed security.

4. Police usually can only arrive at the scene after the crime has taken place. Until that time, you are on your own.

5. Usually the thing that stops a mass shooting is a gun in the hands of a person on the right side of the law. Thus the call for school teachers, airline pilots, and responsible citizens to be allowed to legally carry a weapon. This is not a demand all should have a gun, just those who feel comfortable doing so.

If a gunman were attacking your child’s school and it would be five long minutes before police arrive, would you feel more comfortable knowing a teacher or two had a gun and knew how to use it?

When a criminal shooter arrives on the scene, if everyone else is unarmed, the victims are for the most part helpless until police arrive. And until police arrive, can seem like an eternity. Even after they arrive they usually take more time to assess the situation before finding and engaging the gunman.

6. A gun gives a person the ability to protect themselves against the strongest intruder. As they say in Texas, “God made man, but Sam Colt made them equal.” (Samuel Colt developed the six-shooter handgun the Texas Rangers made famous. In one case 15 Texas Rangers successfully fought 70 Comanche Indians.)

7. A multitude of reports show that the mere possession of a firearm often stops crime against the firearm owner. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has often documented such evidence. In other words, just letting an intruder see you have a firearm, often causes him to end the attack.

8. Children can be safely raised around guns. I was. I grew up in a wonderful Christian pastor’s home where hunting and guns were a routine part of life. Before we reached ten, my brothers and I had received a “real” gun for Christmas. Parents should use good judgment; but when kids are taught and shown that guns are a dangerous weapon, they are inclined to treat them with respect and safety.

9. It really is true that when you hinder law abiding folks from having guns, only the criminals will have guns. And the criminals are then unhindered in their crime.

An area hospital seems to proudly display in large writing that guns are not allowed in their building. Rather than scare the criminal, such “gun free zones” give him great comfort. They assure him that if there are no police around, no other law abiding person will have a gun to challenge his criminal activity.

10. The national media seems to be overwhelmingly in favor of more gun control. They should be called on their bias and the other side should be heard more often.

11. If you were going to break into a home, would you rather break into a home you knew did not have a gun, or one that did own a firearm?

12. Most people who go on a shooting spree are cowards. They quickly back down to armed opposition.

13. A law abiding citizen has the right to defend himself and his property. And a Christian has as much right as anyone to defend himself.

If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. -Exodus 22:2

Jesus said to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:39); He also said if you don’t have a sword, sell your garment and buy one (Luke 22:36). It sometimes depends on the individual situation.

King David said of God, “He teaches my hands to make war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze” (2 Samuel 22:35; Psalm 18:34).

14. We are to be for peace, but sometimes the only way to make peace is to first make war. Some evil men will only be stopped at the point of a gun. Hence the need for law enforcement, and sometimes the need for a gun to defend yourself. Hence the Christian concept of a “Just War.”

If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. -Romans 12:18

For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. -Romans 13:4

15. An occasional horrific shooting is going to occur regardless of what we do. Let’s do all we can reasonably do to prevent it, but tragedies are going to happen. Sometimes that is the price we pay for freedom. Don’t blame the gun, blame the evil person who did the killing.

16. Guns are not evil. They are a tool that can be used for good or evil. Some years ago I had the great privilege of going to Israel, a nation under constant attack. On one occasion a person in our tour group was uneasy at the sight of Israeli troops carrying automatic rifles. My response was that it makes me feel more comfortable when the good guys have the guns.

Guns have protected multitudes.

17. Those with the ability to do so, perhaps should consider having a gun to protect themselves and others. If you do, get a good dependable gun (not the cheapest one), practice, and learn the basic rules of safety.

I know of a church who has a high percentage of members with concealed carry permits. Woe to the one who would try to harm them during a worship service.

In the early days of Texas it was common for circuit riding preachers to carry a sidearm. The story is told of a preacher asked why he carried a six-shooter. “Don’t you know if it’s God’s time for you to go, there’s nothing you can do about it?” The preacher replied, “Yes, but I might run into an Indian and it’s his time to go.”

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 19, 2012

Other article in lower right margin.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Henry W. Grady on Alcohol

“My friends, hesitate before you vote liquor back into Atlanta, now that it is shut out. Don't trust it. It is powerful, aggressive, and universal in its attacks. Tonight it enters an humble home to strike the roses from a woman's cheek, and tomorrow it challenges this Republic in the halls of Congress. Today it strikes a crust from the lips of a starving child, and tomorrow levies tribute from the government itself. There is no cottage in this city humble enough to escape it - no palace strong enough to shut it out. It defies the law when it cannot coerce suffrage. It is flexible to cajole, but merciless in victory. It is the mortal enemy of peace and order. The despoiler of men, the terror of women, the cloud that shadows the face of children, the demon that has dug more graves and sent more souls un-shrived* to judgment than all the pestilences that have wasted life since God sent the plagues to Egypt, and all the wars that have been fought since Joshua stood beyond Jericho.

Oh, my countrymen, loving God and humanity, do not bring this grand old city again under the dominion of that power!

It can profit no man by its return. It can uplift no industry, revive no interest, remedy no wrong. You know that it cannot.

It comes to destroy, and it shall profit mainly by the ruin of your sons or mine. It comes to mislead human souls and to crush human hearts under its rumbling wheels. It comes to destroy the wife's love into despair, and her pride into shame. It comes to still the laughter on the lips of little children. It comes to stifle all the music of the home and fill it with silence and desolation. It comes to ruin your body and mind, to wreck your home.” 
-Henry W. Grady (AD 1850-1889). This is a portion of his speech given the evening of November 17, 1887 to a crowd of 8,000 in Atlanta, Georgia.

In his speech Grady also noted that money not spent on alcohol is saved and spent on things that strengthen the family and economy.

Henry W. Grady was a well-known journalist and outstanding orator of the post-Civil War days. He was a member of First Methodist Church, Atlanta, Georgia.

*Shrive - to free from guilt; to confess one’s sins. Un-shrive - un-forgiven, un-confessed

-David R. Brumbelow, Gulf Coast Pastor, December 9, AD 2012. 

Other Articles:
10 Commandments for Christmas
Dr. R. L. Sumner on "Ancient Wine and the Bible"
2006 SBC Resolution on Alcohol Use in America
Random Advice to Pastors, Part 1
Church Buildings - Dos and Don'ts #1
Jesus Christ on Same-Sex Marriage

More articles in lower right margin.