Archive for the 'Guns' Category



Kids Or Not, Secure Your Guns!

BY Herschel Smith
2 days, 22 hours ago

The Salt Lake Tribune:

Your article (“To curb child suicides, Utah offers gun locks,” March 21) highlighted an important new safety initiative in Utah. We are proud that our Project ChildSafe program’s firearm safety kits are part of this effort, and we commend Rep. Steve Eliason, the Utah Department of Public Safety and the Utah Highway Patrol for taking the lead on this important issue. Their actions are a great model for other states to consider.

We also want to reinforce that firearm owners, regardless of whether there are children or at-risk individuals in the home, should store their firearms securely when not in use. Secure storage is the number one way to help prevent accidents, thefts and unauthorized access. It’s a simple, powerful step that is part of the responsibility of owning a firearm. If you own a firearm, respect it and secure it.

Steve Sanetti

President and CEO, National Shooting Sports Foundation, Newtown, Conn.

So let’s assume you have no kids in the home.  If you want to leave four handguns lying in strategic places around the house, coupled with a rifle and perhaps a shotgun, that’s your business.  To be individually responsible, every gun owner should be able to do the following: allow themselves to be blindfolded, start at the door, walk to every firearm he owns, touch it, and tell someone from memory whether it is loaded and whether a round is chambered.

That’s my personal view.  But I consider it none of my business what you do within the confines of your own home.  How may guns you have, where they are located, whether they are loaded, whether a round is chambered, etc., is your business and yours alone.  How you secure your weapons is up to you. After all, they are your property.

As for Steve Sanetti, you are out of line implying that if someone chooses to handle firearms his way within the confines of his own home, and his way happens to disagree with yours, he is irresponsible.  Making suggestions is okay.  Implying that people must do things your way isn’t.  And by the way, I don’t need law enforcement telling me anything about how to safely handle weapons.

The Second Amendment Creates A God-Given Right To Bear Arms?

BY Herschel Smith
3 days, 21 hours ago

MSNBC:

Asked about the Second Amendment at a town-hall meeting yesterday, the governor told voters, “Send me a Republican legislature. And with a Republican legislature you’ll have a governor who will respect, appropriately, the rights of law-abiding citizens to be able to protect ourselves…. No rights are given to you by government. All our rights are given to you by God.”
The theological reference was a bit odd under the circumstances. Even if Christie genuinely believes the Second Amendment creates a God-given entitlement to firearm ownership, it’s up to policymakers – humans, in positions of governmental authority – to shape and place limits on this right.

First of all, Chris Christie’s campaign is over.  It’s far too late to convince any legitimate gun owner that Christie would be good for gun rights.  Now that this point is out of the way, consider the way the reporter, Steve Benen, worded this objection.  “Even if Christie genuinely believes the Second Amendment creates a God-given entitlement to firearm ownership …”  How on earth could a man-made document create a God-given right?  What kind of ignorance and sophomoric thinking leads someone to make such intellectual missteps?

As I have stated, “The basis [for bearing arms] comes not from the constitution or any other founding document, but from God Himself, and he answers to no one.  His laws have a deontological flavor (see Divine Command Theory).  He refers to no one outside Himself for notions of right and wrong, and when He speaks, it is right because He has spoken it and it follows the nature of His character, which is itself good.  Simply said, God doesn’t need the constitution, and neither do we need it to tell us it is okay to seek and employ means of self defense.”

For the grand finale of embarrassing brain freezes, Steve believes that it’s up to humans to “shape and place limits on this right.”  God, to whom man answers and who is in need of no one and nothing (see the “Aseity of God”), and who demands obedience rather than demurral, apparently hasn’t spoken clearly enough for Steve, who believes that creatures have the right to amend the word of the creator!

And there you have it.  The much heralded main stream media, who wouldn’t be able to perform good analysis work if their lives depended on it.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
4 days, 23 hours ago

David Codrea:

“A Navy veteran and his wife are challenging a ban on handguns in Saipan, arguing in federal court that the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands is bound by the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment” … The right to keep and bear arms is only legally recognized as “conditionally guaranteed,” meaning it’s not. Private possession of handguns is prohibited. All the government allows people to have are “.22 caliber rifles and .410 gauge shotguns.” Naturally, “background checks,” training, licensing and registration are required.

Ridiculous.  A .410 gauge shotgun is good for certain small fowl that would be destroyed with a 20 or 12 gauge, but it cannot be adequately used as a self defense weapon.  Nor can .22LR (including so-called “stinger” rounds).  Of course, my bet is that law enforcement is allowed to have more than .22LR and .410 gauge shotguns.  Some animals are more equal than other animals.

Via Mike Vanderboegh, Army Rangers on civilian land in Georgia.

Back in June, Georgia ForestWatch District Leader David Govus came across two soldiers on foot and one in a pickup truck near Bryant Creek, a tributary of Cooper Creek. Talking with them, he learned that they were scouting out potential helicopter landing zones in the area because, as the sergeant said “the colonel wants to step out.”

[ … ]

In an apparently unrelated incident, I recently happened to be at Wilscot Gap, where the gated road to Brawley Mountain (FS45) begins, when a big pickup truck turned in toward the gate. I thought it must be Forest Service employees and went over to talk with them. But the truck was not a Forest Service one. The driver was not in military uniform, but the passenger who got out to unlock the gate, was. We had a brief, friendly conversation during which he informed me that, “This is a military road.” “No,” I contradicted him, “it’s a Forest Service road.”

This is very troubling.  The Marine Corps has trained before in various civilian venues such as Linville Gorge, and I’ve seen them doing cold weather training at Snowshoe, W.V., during the winter during ski season.  But they weren’t intrusive, and in my opinion this kind of thing ought to be the exception rather than the rule.  Military time on civilian land should be limited.  Recalling the line from the movie Patriot, “This ISN’T the King’s highway.”

Ban all guns:

But in hindsight I now wonder how did that young man get a gun?  Either he stole it, as I assumed, or he purchased it on the black market which exists all throughout America.

This got me to wondering and I realize now that guns are selfish and bring nothing productive to the conversation.

Therefore, civilian gun ownership should be banned.

I know.  You’re blown away by the power of his syllogistic reasoning.  Leave it to me to supply your intellectual challenge for the day.

Gun crime:

Investigators said the burglars took heirlooms, jewelry and cash. Most concerning for Lohmeier, though, are the 45 guns, which included 15 assault rifles. The burglars also stole 1,000 rounds of ammunition. In total, Lohmeier said the burglary cost him at least $200,000 in stolen property and money.

“The sheriff’s department said they’ve never seen anything like this and it had to take hours, so there had to be people watching,” Lohmeier said. “A crew that came in and did this.”

Insure your guns, fellows.  Just do it.  Make that call today to your insurance agent or broker, and get them covered.  Go ahead.  Do it … don’t wait.

Guns Tags:

Army And Marine Corps On M855 Ammunition

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 23 hours ago

Military.com:

But the Marine Corps and the Army’s decision to use two separate types of 5.56mm ammo is not a simple oversight.

The Army adopted the M855A1 in 2010 after years of struggling to find a lead-free replacement for the Cold-War era M855.

In recent years, troops also criticized the M855, saying it often delivered ineffective results on enemy behind battlefield barriers such as car windshields.

The M855A1 features a steel penetrator on top of a solid copper slug, making it is more dependable than the current M855, Army officials have maintained. It delivers consistent performance at all distances and performed better than the current-issue 7.62mm round against hardened steel targets in testing. It penetrated 3/8s-inch-thick steel at ranges approaching 400 meters, tripling the performance of the M855, Army officials said.

The Corps had planned to field the Army’s M855A1 until the program suffered a major setback in August 2009, when testing revealed that some of the bullets did not follow their trajectory or intended flight path.

The earlier design of the M855A1 featured a bismuth-tin slug which proved to be sensitive to heat, prompting Marine officials to stick with the M855 and also the Special Operations Science and Technology round developed by U.S. Special Operations Command instead.

Commonly known as SOST ammo, the bullet isn’t environmentally friendly, but it offered the Corps a more effective bullet, Marine officials have said.

I confess that until this article I didn’t know that the Army and Marine Corps were using two different types of ammunition.  If I’m not mistaken, the SOST is an open tip bullet with a lead core and copper shank.  It expands much like a hollow point should.

Saying that the better penetrating capability of the M855A1 through car windshields was the reason for transition from M855 to the M855A1 (with copper slug instead of lead) is like a recapitulation of the reasons for transitioning from the FMJ lead ball to the M855 in the first place.  It’s more likely that environmental concerns caused the Army to transition to the M855A1.  I cannot think of a worse excuse.

I will also remark that when I learned of the copper slug in place of the lead ball for M855A1 my thoughts immediately went to barrel wear and loss of rifling.  It appears that this is in fact a legitimate concern.

So in summary, the SOST is much like the .223 pointed soft point for game hunting, except that it has a copper shank.  If a reader would like to weigh in on the effects of the copper shank, please do so (in an educated fashion – and do not allow this to become yet another worthless argument over 7.62 v. 5.56).

Finally, don’t forget the main reason for the lethality of the 5.56 mm round, which is the fact that it is frangible and immediately fractures into pieces leaving multiple tracks through ballistics gelatin.  See the excellent paper Small Caliber Lethality: 5.56 mm Performance In Close Quarters Battle.  It appears that the Army has forgotten the simple things.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
5 days, 23 hours ago

David Codrea:

A significant number of American households own guns, and a significant number of those have disposable income allowing for regular entertainment expenditures. With word spreading that the actors have been going out of their way to disparage the right to keep and bear arms, it’s likely that accounts for some of the reluctance toward giving aid and comfort to Penn and Neeson.

It’s difficult to know details like this, but it isn’t difficult to see the trend.  If Neeson had courted the gun rights patron rather than pissing off peaceable gun owners, do you think we’d be having this conversation at all?

David Codrea: “Cities using work permit aliens to enforce gun edicts and laws against citizens.”  I’m left speechless.

Kurt Hofmann:

Nevertheless, B. Todd Jones threw the yellow flag about a month ago, charging the M855 round with “unsportsmanlike conduct.” He, though, intended to impose a penalty of far greater than 15 yards. Perhaps that’s just what the NFL needed to see from their prospective new sheriff in town.

This may be down in the weeds of things we would like to know but never will.  Was he booted from the ATF for ham handed handling of the proposed M855 ban?  Was this just a great opportunity he couldn’t pass up?  Was this a golden parachute?  In any case, with an NFL increasingly defined by criminals, self serving and obscene end zone dances, and overall thuggery, Jones deserves the NFL and they deserve him.  Both are loathsome.

Useful thoughts on guns and wills.

Here’s what happens when idiots write letters to the editor.  The write doesn’t get the fact that it was only those defined as enemies of the state who weren’t allowed to have firearms.

Nineveh Christians.  This is so very sad, and as I’ve observed before, partially comes from Christians who simply cannot reconcile the person of Jesus with the notion of self defense.  Get your intellectual act together, Christians, before you get run over by criminals, thugs, jihadists, ne’er-do-wells of all stripes.  Yes, this means Christians everywhere, not just in Nineveh.

Guns Tags:

God, Guns And Texas

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago

Houston Chronicle:

But by Wednesday afternoon, when members of the upper chamber had spent more than a full working day debating the two bills, the dean of the Senate felt it necessary to question his Republican colleagues’ characterization of gun rights as God-given.

“You believe it’s a God-given right to arm yourself and to defend yourself. I don’t want to put words in your mouth. Is that the premise of your legislation?” John Whitmire, D-Houston, the longest-serving member of the Senate asked campus carry sponsor Brian Birdwell, R-Granbury.

What followed was the most detailed explanation offered thus far this session by a Texas lawmaker.

“The Declaration (of Independence) says we are endowed by our creator with certain inalienable rights and that to protect these rights, governments are instituted among men to preserve them. Article VII of the U.S. Constitution brings forward the Declaration as original law, therefore, creator and God are the same to me,” said Birdwell.

He added, “the right to self preservation and the right to defend one’s life is God-given because of the language in our Declaration and Article VII of the U.S. Constitution.”

Whitmire responded, “And you’ve explained that to me and I do not understyand (sic) fully the “God right” (sic?) … I don’t remember in the Sunday school lessons or in my Scriptures that God spoke, obviously to weapons, or concealed weapons holders.”

Whitmire’s question (and appended clarification) was stupid, but Birdwell’s answer doesn’t entirely stay on point.  If Birdwell is trying to harken back to the Christian roots of the nation, we’ve done that before and there is plenty of basis for showing reformational thinking in the the war of independence and constitution.

But the question goes to the basis for self defense, or what Whitmire calls the “God right” (whatever that means).  The basis comes not from the constitution or any other founding document, but from God Himself, and he answers to no one.  His laws have a deontological flavor (see Divine Command Theory).  He refers to no one outside Himself for notions of right and wrong, and when He speaks, it is right because He has spoken it and it follows the nature of His character, which is itself good.  Simply said, God doesn’t need the constitution, and neither do we need it to tell us it is okay to seek and employ means of self defense.  To the extent that either the U.S. or Texas constitutions don’t follow the rights delineated in the Holy Scriptures, they are evil and must be amended or ignored.

As for what the Holy Scriptures have said, we’ve also discussed that.  It is all based on the fact that God created mankind in His image.  As I’ve summarized before:

I am afraid there have been too many centuries of bad teaching endured by the church, but it makes sense to keep trying.  As I’ve explained before, the simplest and most compelling case for self defense lies in the decalogue.  Thou shall not murder means thou shall protect life.

God’s law requires [us] to be able to defend the children and helpless.  “Relying on Matthew Henry, John Calvin and the Westminster standards, we’ve observed that all Biblical law forbids the contrary of what it enjoins, and enjoins the contrary of what it forbids.”  I’ve tried to put this in the most visceral terms I can find.

God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries.  Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them.  God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse.  He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.  God hasn’t called us to save the society by sacrificing our children or ourselves to robbers, home invaders, rapists or murderers. Self defense – and defense of the little ones – goes well beyond a right.  It is a duty based on the idea that man is made in God’s image.  It is His expectation that we do the utmost to preserve and defend ourselves when in danger, for it is He who is sovereign and who gives life, and He doesn’t expect us to be dismissive or cavalier about its loss.

Self preservation goes beyond a right.  It is a duty, as much of a duty as protection of the little ones.  It is so because man is made in God’s image.  Life is thus sacred, holy, and set apart.  That Whitmire doesn’t understand this means only that he is stolid and hasn’t understood anything he has read from the Scriptures, or that he is a liar and hasn’t really read the Scriptures like he claims.

The next steps to things like open carry require a bit of thought, as I have pointed out to Professor Eugene Volokh.

… carrying concealed means that the weapon can get hung on shirts, pants, and other clothing, and certainly means a delay in presenting the weapon due to the need to remove the offending clothing in order to get to the weapon) …

And if this isn’t an infringement of rights, then at what point does it become so?  Can the law require us to have one hand tied behind our back?  If seems a silly question, and how about one to which the courts would no doubt be more amenable?  Would it infringe on our rights if the law required us to have our weapons unloaded, regardless of method of carry?  Or would it infringe on our rights if the law required us to have two or more garments covering a weapon in order to ensure that we had no inadvertent flashing of the weapon if we bend over or in a stiff wind?

Some of us open carry for reasons other than making a statement.  As for the protests, making a statement to politicians is only necessary when the politicians are dense and relentlessly recalcitrant concerning rights.  It’s time for the politicians in Texas to do the right thing and honor God-given rights.  As for the slower ones like Whitmire, Sunday School is usually held every Sunday.

Guns Tags:

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 2 days ago

David Codrea:

The report, while as yet not corroborated, is consistent with information Gun Rights Examiner has been investigating, including by attempting earlier today to obtain confirmation from ATF.

“FFLGuard has learned from unconfirmed sources that current ATF Director B. Todd Jones will be stepping down by the end of the month, and perhaps even sooner,” the alert reports. “Rumor is that Jones will be making a move from guns to sports, as a lawyer for the National Football League. The good news is that the ‘acting’ personnel who will be elevating to higher positions, albeit temporarily, have historically been receptive to the concerns of FFLs.”

David cites other sources as well.  I cannot confess to having any personal concern for the man whatsoever.  He could get run over by a truck tomorrow and I wouldn’t so much as blink.  As for his departure, this is a good thing.  The more the ATF stays in disarray and without a leader at the helm to direct it in the implementation of its onerous, bureaucratic overburden to American patriots, the better.

Kurt Hofmann:

But a larger point is that in claiming that the current law–banning ammunition by virtue of its construction–is inadequate, because an infinitude of ammo not so constructed is equally capable of penetrating body armor, they are tacitly admitting what gun rights advocates have been saying since the attempt to ban the M855 came to light. That round has no special “armor piercing” capability. Reps. Israel and Speier must know this, but that did not stop them from railing against the decision to shelve the M855 ban proposal.

They lamented the demise of the green tip ban and blamed it on the ATF, and then turned around and admitted that they need to include all other sorts of ammunition within the scope of the ban.  You just can’t make this stuff up.

Gunsmithing the Kurds:

In their fight against ISIS, the Kurdish army known as Peshmerga has a secret weapon – a second-generation gunsmith so skilled he can practically turn a bucket of rusty bolts into a killing machine for the rugged, but cash-strapped, fighting force.

Bakhtiar Aziz works in a dimly lit basement shop in Erbil, refurbishing guns taken from the enemy, bringing broken and even decades-old firearms back to life and helping to outfit an army as short on weapons as it is long on heart. On a recent day, he inspected an M-16A4 assault rifle badly damaged in a coalition airstrike. Pocked with holes, missing a large section of the barrel and with human hair wedged in its moving parts, the gun was found by Peshmerga soldiers near the town of Gwer.

[ … ]

As he used a drill to grind away at burrs on a recovered gun, Aziz said his trade will be in demand, even when, he hopes, ISIS is defeated.

“Weapons always get broken,” he said. “That’s why I have to repair them.”

Well, just to be clear, an armorer changes parts.  A gunsmith can take a block of metal and fabricate a 1911 out of it.  I wish I had all of these skills, but engineers can only tell the machinists what to do.  We usually can’t do it ourselves.  I spent precious little time on a lathe in a course called “Manufacturing Processes,” and it wasn’t a programmable lathe (think 35 years ago).

But also to be clear to the totalitarians among us, you can never remove weapons from the people.  There will always be a way to defend ourselves and hold tyrants accountable.

Guns Tags:

Tips For Flying With Guns

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 3 days ago

LEX18.com:

Officials at Blue Grass Airport say they are dealing with higher numbers of weapons found in luggage. TSA officials came to talk to talk about the right ways to travel the US skies.

As a nation last year a record 200,030 guns were discovered at checkpoints. Nine of those were found at Blue Grass Airport in Lexington.

A TSA spokesman says that people travelling with a firearm need to put it in a hard case unloaded. Any ammo needs to be in its own container inside that hard case.

The case must be locked and left at the ticket counter. Never bring it through TSA checkpoint.

If you are planning on flying with a weapon and you have questions you can ask a ticket counter agent or TSA agent in the airport.

This sounds like good advice, and after reading the TSA rules for flying with guns and ammunition, I too thought that they wanted ammunition in the same locked box with the firearm.

My wife and I took a recent trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and boarded the aircraft in Charlotte and Jackson with a firearm and ammunition.  The firearm needs to be in a locked case such as a Nanovault (which worked well for my purposes).  I have read other web sites that recommended against use of a TSA approved lock on the basis that anyone could get into it and that’s what they want to protect against.

That’s bad advice, don’t follow it.  Nanovaults have TSA locks.  Your local gun shop can also sell you TSA approved locks (as well as other hard cases).  You announce at luggage check-in that you want to check a firearm, and the airline employee will ask you to certify by signature that the firearm is unloaded.  More than likely, they won’t even ask to look at or examine the gun.  You sign, you re-lock your box, and you’re on your way.

Except I had ammunition in the Nanovault and American Airlines requested that I remove it and place it in the luggage away from the firearm.  You see, even now, flying with firearms isn’t as straight forward as you might think, and airline employees apparently have a different understanding of the rules than do I.

Notes From HPS

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 5 days ago

David Codrea:

Environmental devastation caused by illegal alien crossings has been well-documented, and there is nothing to suggest that won’t increase. After all, if the government was serious about stopping it, or even slowing it down, it could have done so by now.

But following that, what is the additional burden on the environment when tens of millions of “surprise” arrivals add their wants and needs to the infrastructure in cities and communities throughout the land, from energy production and consumption, to water purification, use, and drainage, to waste disposal and more? How much more traffic and transportation activity, with resultant pollutants will be generated? How much more greenhouse gas will be generated? How much larger will the national carbon footprint get?

Will the impact be greater than, say, the occasional citizen firing a gun in self-defense in a national park that encompasses thousands of square miles, millions of acres…?

Those who would impose this on the rest of us permanently have no answers and aren’t interested in finding them, providing one more proof that all the climate noise they’re making is yet another deception to mask and advance a different agenda.

And don’t you doubt for a moment that there is an overarching agenda behind the influx of immigrants into the American system and culture.  But back to the issue of the environmental impacts of immigration for a moment.  There is also the impact of dead bodies laying in the wilderness and the public health crisis on the horizon.  The progressives failed to mention the environment because they are hypocrites.  Or perhaps another way of saying it is that one cardinal tenet of the progressive faith, i.e., impoverishing the middle class and removal of rights to own and bear arms, clashed with another cardinal tenet of the faith, i.e., the environment.  As the saying goes, you have to break a few eggs to make an omelet.  Saul Alinsky would be smiling from his grave if his soul wasn’t in hell.

Kurt Hofmann:

Might training in which the officer is taught to first fall prostrate to the ground be a more-efficient training exercise? Would falling prone result in fewer accidental killings? Falling to the ground would provide less of a target area, might confuse the offender and would give the officer additional time to evaluate the situation while at the same time studying his shot if needed.

So the advice is to fall down and evaluate rather than conduct defensive maneuvers?  That may be the worst tactical advice I’ve ever heard.  But I agree with #4.

Obama threw a tantrum over the lack of gun control in Congress.  Because you know, they are such meanie pants poo-heads there.

A good modification of South Carolina gun laws for a change?  Notice the “only ones” mentality in SLED, though.

Guns Tags:

No Guns In Church In Alabama?

BY Herschel Smith
1 week, 6 days ago

News from Anniston:

State Rep. Thomas Jackson worries that Christians who carry guns into church aren’t acting like Christians.

Jackson, D-Thomasville, has filed a bill for the current legislative session that would make doing so illegal. He’s not sure it’ll become law — Democrats are outnumbered in Montgomery — but he hopes the bill will get people talking.

“If we as Christians put more faith in Smith & Wesson than we do in God, then we’ve got a problem,” Jackson said, speaking by phone Thursday.

Jackson, an associate pastor at New Hope Baptist Church in Thomasville, said he was shocked to learn how many people carry guns into church.

That sentiment is echoed by the Rev. Lee Shafer at Grace Episcopal Church in Anniston.

People carry them in their purses, Shafer said.

The matter went largely unknown to Shafer until a church-related meeting not long ago, when the topic came up and folks started talking.

“The saddest thing is that there’s a need for guns anywhere,” Shafer said. “Wouldn’t it be horrible if a child got hold of a gun in church?”

Churches, like private business, can ban guns from their buildings, but Shafer said there is no such ban at her church.

While the idea of having a congregation packing pistols along with their Bibles doesn’t sit well with her, Shafer said, “There’s just too many other things for people to get upset about”  for this topic to concern her greatly.

Shafer was hesitant to try to decipher the Bible’s message on carrying weapons into church.

Call any 10 pastors and you’ll get 10 different biblical interpretations, Shafer explained, but she quoted the biblical commandment to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

“Does this contradict that? Not necessarily, but at the same time Jesus was such a nonviolent presence,” Shafer said.

I once knew some of the good people from Anniston, Alabama.  While there are bad people in Alabama too, there are enough good men and women left that it’s a wonder that any of this has come up in Alabama.

I like the line about putting more faith in Smith & Wesson than in God.  That’s amusing.  I’ll have to remember that one.  I’ll find an opportunity to use it again in some fashion.  Watch for it in the future.  In the mean time, it sounds like Shafer needs to go back to seminary (or at least, attend a good one).  Yes, it’s sad that there is a need for guns in church.  It’s been with us for a very long time, and it’s called original sin.  You should have covered that in your survey of the OT as well as in Systematic Theology (I covered it in Historical Theology And Church History as well).

As for any of those ten pastors who give false interpretations of what God has to say about self defense, I’ve covered that.  If ten of them say that God expects us to become doormats and allow the execution of our loved ones so that we can “be like Jesus,” then ten of them are wrong and they are false prophets, not worthy of your attention.  As I’ve said in the clearest terms I can muster:

God has laid the expectations at the feet of heads of families that they protect, provide for and defend their families and protect and defend their countries.  Little ones cannot do so, and rely solely on those who bore them.  God no more loves the willing neglect of their safety than He loves child abuse.  He no more appreciates the willingness to ignore the sanctity of our own lives than He approves of the abuse of our own bodies and souls.  God hasn’t called us to save the society by sacrificing our children or ourselves to robbers, home invaders, rapists or murderers.

Self defense – and defense of the little ones – goes well beyond a right.  It is a duty based on the idea that man is made in God’s image.  It is His expectation that we do the utmost to preserve and defend ourselves when in danger, for it is He who is sovereign and who gives life, and He doesn’t expect us to be dismissive or cavalier about its loss.  Finally, self-defense may actually result in one of the greatest examples of human love.

I carry in worship every Sunday.  I carry at the grocery store, at work, during haircuts, while walking the dog.  Always.  While I’m not a betting man, I’ll make this wager with Rev. Lee Shafer and Rev. Stan Albright in Alabama.  Here it goes.

You show me a promise in the Scriptures – not moralistic platitudes, not normative statements or observations, not miracles that occurred at specified times in redemptive history for specific reasons, but a promise – always and in every circumstance to deliver God’s people out of the hands of evil-doers if we simply lay down our weapons and subjugate ourselves to their desires and refuse to engage in acts of self defense, and I’ll never carry at church again.

But if you can’t do that, I win, and you must read my entire commentary on Christians and the duty of self defense next Sunday as your sermon, without additional commentary.

So, Stan and Lee and Mr. Jackson, where do we stand with this wager?


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