Walkabout In The Weminuche Wilderness

Herschel Smith · 05 Aug 2018 · 39 Comments

"There are no socialists in the bush" - HPS All of my physical training only barely prepared me for the difficulty of the Weminuche Wilderness (pronounced with the "e" silent).  It's National Forest land, not National Park.  The Department of Agriculture no longer prints maps of the area, so we relied on NatGeo for the map, and it's good, but not perfect. We have a lot of ground to cover, including traveling with firearms, the modification I made to one of my guns for the trip, the actors…… [read more]

Guns In Church In Tennessee

BY Herschel Smith
3 years, 7 months ago

The Tennessean:

People can’t bring guns to a church, religious entity or private school — even if it is private property — if that property is being used for a school event, according to a new opinion from Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery.

“Under the (law), the statute pertains to property being operated or while in use by any school. The statute does not exclude property of religious institutions or any particular type of school, including parochial schools, from its scope,” Slatery writes.

Parochial schools or churches that allow the usage of certain buildings for school activities must ban guns on the property while it is being used by a school, Slatery says. The guns are specifically not allowed within the actual facility or area being used for the school activity.

“For example, if a private school were using church grounds to hold a festival encompassing the entire church property, gun possession would be prohibited on the entire grounds. However, if the school were using only a discrete and separate building on church grounds, other portions of the church’s property might not fall within the scope of (the law),” Slatery writes.

This is similar to a pissy little interpretation of the rules for many states, where guns cannot be carried in churches if they are attached to or part of schools, including parochial schools.  So any church that has a K5 ir first grade program for which it charges money and administers tests, must prohibit weapons on church property (since it is the same thing as school property to a bad lawyer).

The simple thing to do in this instance is get the legislature to make a law clarifying that guns can be carried in church regardless of the fact that the church may have a parochial school.  Folks, if you attend worship services, think for a moment about the risk.

Ingress and egress is usually limited to two or three points, and is usually behind you.  You are sitting alongside other people who block your access for egress, oh, and did I mention that you’re sitting?  If it’s a large church you are a long way from the point of egress, and your attention is usually focused on the wrong end of the building for security.

You and your family are sitting ducks.  Carry guns to worship.  I just can’t say it enough.

Guns: Think Of The Children

BY Herschel Smith
4 years, 11 months ago

From a pastor in the UMC (where else?).

Consider for a moment a nightmare scenario: A person walks into your worship service and brandishes or, worse still, actually fires, a weapon.

Now, because your church has opted into our state legislature’s new law allowing licensed gun owners to bring weapons to church, several folks in the congregation are able to draw their guns and return fire.

Now, look into that scene and tell me truthfully: Does the second half of that scenario make you feel safer? In the chaos of such a moment, are worshipers in LESS peril because MORE people are shooting?

I’ll admit, however, that my perspective, like any personal view, isn’t simply practical. My opinion is shaped by my Christian faith and beliefs.

[ … ]

I’m not saying there is no place for power or weapons in the protection of the innocent (my own son is a police officer, and people I love and respect are in the military). I AM saying that guns in the church are:

• a danger to the very people we would protect,

• one more barrier between us and Christ, and

• no more than the illusion of security.

And then there is this from Patheos.

My views on our gun culture are fairly simple.  It can be boiled down to this: the human tradition of the second amendment does not trump the divine revelation of the fifth commandment. That’s because, to repeat, the single most important fact of our gun culture is 30,000 corpses each year.

Notice that our UMC pastor tips his hat to the necessary evil of having to use violence by pointing to police (while not mentioning a man’s own protection of his family), but says that it is a “barrier between us and Christ.”

Also take note how he paints the picture.  It is one of a perpetrator firing wildly, and a would-be self defender, rather than shooting in a controlled manner to end the violence and thus save innocent lives, firing wildly in return.  It’s a painting of two whirl tops shooting indiscriminately rather than with purpose.

He does this to bias his ignorant readers into thinking that folk who carry guns are going to go wild and whirl top on their families.  But the pastor knows that something is wrong with his argument.  He knows that there is no stopping a gunman unless someone else has a gun.

His solution?  “The way of the cross is true and good. Be not afraid.”  But here his powers of Biblical exegesis (if he ever had any) fail him.  Christ never promised that his propitiatory sacrifice on the cross would stop gunmen.  The ignorant pastor conflates different subjects in the Bible.

We’ve discussed this before.  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.  Thus have I said:

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.

So our writer at Patheos and the UMC pastor are both equally theologically shallow and childlike.  We can only hope that their influence is commensurate with their poor knowledge of the Scriptures.

As for guns in churches (and anywhere else for that matter), think of the children and the mandate by God to protect them.  If you cannot do that you are guilty of violating God’s law.  Think of the children.

Another Case Study For Carrying Guns To Church

BY Herschel Smith
5 years, 5 months ago

Star Tribune:

Howard Kidder has traveled to Egypt, Pakistan and places all over the globe on medical aid missions, but the 90-year-old got the scare of his life right outside the St. Paul church where he earned his Boy Scout badges and has worshiped for 78 years.

Kidder was making one of his regular trips to Mounds Park United Methodist Church on the East Side about 12:30 p.m. Thursday when a suspect donning a Halloween mask from the hit horror movie “Scream” accosted him and asked for money. The confrontation escalated within seconds, and the suspect flashed a gun at Kidder.

“I doled out a five dollar tip and told him he had a spectacular costume, or words to that effect,” Kidder said Friday with a laugh. “Things deteriorated at that point.”

The suspect, whom Kidder believes is a teenager, took the $5 and pulled up his shirt to reveal the butt of a handgun protruding from his pants pocket. Kidder, a retired Honeywell electrical engineer who knows a thing or two about guns, didn’t toy with the suspect.

“Well, it got my attention right away,” Kidder said with a mix of humor and seriousness. “I backed off right away because I was afraid I was going to be shot.”

Kidder threw his billfold to the ground and the suspect fled with it, joined by two plainclothes teenagers who had been standing off to the side.

“It was pretty obvious to me that they knew the character in the mask,” Kidder said of the two teens. “We didn’t introduce each other.”

The wallet contained more cash and two credit cards.

The crime is especially egregious, said those who know Kidder, because Kidder has served as a cornerstone of the community and church, and has spent his life giving back to causes that benefit the less fortunate. Kidder lives in his childhood home just blocks from the church, and has been a member longer than anyone else.

“He brings me flowers all the time,” said church secretary Kaite Knack. “He brings me lunch. He’s too sweet a guy for something like this to happen to.”

But criminals and bad people don’t care.  This is yet another case study for carrying guns to church.  Church as a gun free zone – whether by law or voluntarily – enables this sort of thing.  We’ve discussed this before, how in Colonial days men were required to carry guns to worship.  We should resurrect this practice, and crime around churches would drop to virtually nonexistent frequency.

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