America’s Founding Fathers believed that the right to bear arms was important enough to be an Amendment in the Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights 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. Our long-standing 2nd Amendment right to bear arms in the 21st century has become a battleground which is fierce, emotional and controversial.
First, I would like to say, our heart-felt prayers are with the many families of those who have lost loved ones, due to the horrendous crimes committed by unstable individuals who have used their guns to murder the innocent. All of us have seen and heard about the terrible atrocities committed in our schools’ campuses, restaurants, malls, camping sites, movie theaters, churches, hospitals and even care facilities. Just recently, Jarrod W. Ramos, disgruntled over a published story that he believed defamed him, shot and killed five people at Maryland’s Capital Gazette Newsroom. Over the years, we have grieved the lives lost. Each time the news channels show the faces of innocent victims, we are left horrified, thinking to ourselves, How can someone be so cruel and calculating in their actions to kill?
Second, although I am now an American citizen, I came from England, where citizens are not allowed to carry guns, and neither is the local Bobby––policeman. Looking at the controversy over gun control, as a former outsider from British and as a Christian, I would like to share my thoughts, in which I understand that some people may or may not entirely agree.
As Christians, we know that the Bible tells us the heart of man is desperately wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). God, who knows the heart of man is sinful, commanded: Do not murder (Exodus 20:13). Without the Lord and His Spirit dwelling in us, we are left in our own fallen state, and, as such, are capable of the most heinous of crimes––including murder. Instead of stricter gun control, man needs to be controlled by God and His Spirit.
Considering this, if we think taking away guns is the answer, we are gravely mistaken. Why? In England it is against the law for its citizens to carry guns. Instead of murdering people with guns, they use knives. The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has declared intense, new knife control polices in England to stop the epidemic of stabbings. Since the beginning of 2018, London’s murder rate every month has surpassed the rates in New York City! The UK has one of the highest rates of acid attacks, which are used to maim or kill mainly women. It has been recorded that from 2011-2016 there were 1,464 crimes involving acid or other corrosive substances in London alone. The city has become known as the “Acid City of Britain.”
I am making the point that if someone is bent on murder, they will commit murder. If not a gun, they will use a knife; if not a knife, then a rock; if not a rock, then their bare hands, because murder is in the heart of the individual.
Even before God gave the command do not kill, Cain had already killed Abel (Genesis 4:8).
Franklin Graham reasoned:
“You can take all the guns in America and put them in a pile on the Mall in Washington DC, and those guns will stay there and will eventually rust and decay. Not one gun will crawl out of that pile and shoot or harm anyone. It takes a human being, and a human heart bent on evil, to pick up a gun, load it, and pull the trigger. The problem we have in this country is sin. We have a government that has taken God out of society.”
Franklin’s father, the late, great evangelist Billy Graham, gave a compelling biblical solution:
This is why moral, heartfelt transformation is really the only solution to the deadly and dangerous ills that are plaguing our nation. The Scripture says we need a new heart, not new legislation or regulations. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you” (Ezekiel 36:26).
New hearts are made as men and women respond to the preaching of the Gospel of Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. The Holy Spirit opens hearts and minds to believe in the Savior, and with repentance from sins people become new creations in Christ (see 2 Corinthians 5:17). Moral reformation can then happen because there has been spiritual transformation.
However, in society, we especially need laws to keep guns out of the hands of those who are mentally ill, or those who have a background of violent crime. It is only common sense. Anyone deemed unstable or found to be posing a threat to society should have their weapons confiscated. Background checks? Yes, of course! But law abiding citizens should not have their 2nd Amendment rights infringed upon because of those acting irrationally or willfully to cause others harm.
What about restrictions placed at a certain age? Our young men and women can go to war and fight and die for our county at the age of 18. They should be able to own a weapon on their own land, and, if necessary, fight to defend their country.
We, too, need to be able to protect our homes and families. How many times has a mass shooter at large or a home invasion suspect been stopped by law abiding citizens carrying a gun? The bad guys will always manage to get guns illegally. LA Country investigators recently raided the home of Manuel Fernandez, a convicted felon living in Los Angeles, and seized more than 500 firearms. So, I ask you, “Do we become sitting ducks?”
In the Bible, during the time of Queen Esther, the Jews were able to arm and defend themselves against their enemies:
…the king allowed the Jews who were in every city to gather and defend their lives, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any armed force of any people or province that might attack them, children and women included, and to plunder their goods, on one day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar (Esther 8:11-12).
What about America and the threat of invasion from another country? We live in very uncertain times. Perhaps those who wrote the 2nd Amendment, after seeing the colonies fiercely fighting off the British for their independence, knew how necessary it was to keep the people armed and ready. As Americans, we need to learn from our history. I believe another nation would think twice about invading a country whose citizens were armed. America would not go down without a fight.