It’s different now. If you have some savings, take them with you. If you have a pack, fill it and bring it. If you don’t have a sword, sell your coat and buy one. Luke 22:36
Jesus: Put your sword back. People who live by the sword die by the sword. Matthew 26:52
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40
How do we reconcile the first two passages above? Defending yourself is one thing, both individually and as a nation. Having the means to protect yourself is one thing. Owning and using weapons as a way of living is quite another.
I’ve had friends who earned black and brown belts in a variety of martial arts. To a man and woman, they all had the same basic message for me: every good fighter avoids a fight at all costs. You never know when you might be standing in front of that one person who’s going to hand you your ass.
Jesus was saying more or less the same thing, but more delicately, of course. Be prepared for trouble, but don’t go looking for it.
Matthew 26:52 also needs to be taken in context. Jesus wanted to be taken. It was His job. He had to be arrested, suffer, and die for our salvation. That wasn’t the time for a sword fight, especially against trained troops.
So that leaves me in favor of gun ownership for home and self-defense. If you look at my article from last Monday, Gun Violence, you’ll see two very important messages. First, the solution is in changing our hearts as a nation. Second, you can follow the link provided to a Washington Post article from 12/3/2015, which clearly demonstrates that overall gun deaths have declined over the last two decades, coinciding with an increase in gun ownership! The only parts of the country with increases in gun deaths are those states – Illinois, most notably – with the strictest gun laws.
As for Matthew 22:37-40, well, that would pretty much solve everything, now wouldn’t it?
Below I’ve pasted in a complete article from msc.com, which does a great job of talking about FACTS, not hyperbole and politics. When I taught corporate management classes, one mantra for solving problems and making the best decisions was “Think about WHAT’s right, not WHO’s right!”
It’s about fact-based discussions. Following is a great one. I’ve highlighted parts to help you skim the article. I also kept the links to other articles, which I don’t all agree with. I provide them for you to look at and analyze yourself in light of the December 2015 article cited at the top and the article below.
Opinion | I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise.
Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.
Leah Libresco is a statistician and former newswriter at FiveThirtyEight, a data journalism site. She is the author of “Arriving at Amen.”
Before I started researching gun deaths, gun-control policy used to frustrate me. I wished the National Rifle Association would stop blocking common-sense gun-control reforms such as banning assault weapons, restricting silencers, shrinking magazine sizes and all the other measures that could make guns less deadly.
Then, my colleagues and I at FiveThirtyEight spent three months analyzing all 33,000 lives ended by guns each year in the United States, and I wound up frustrated in a whole new way. We looked at what interventions might have saved those people, and the case for the policies I’d lobbied for crumbled when I examined the evidence. The best ideas left standing were narrowly tailored interventions to protect subtypes of potential victims, not broad attempts to limit the lethality of guns.
I researched the strictly tightened gun laws in Britain and Australia and concluded that they didn’t prove much about what America’s policy should be. Neither nation experienced drops in mass shootings or other gun related-crime that could be attributed to their buybacks and bans. Mass shootings were too rare in Australia for their absence after the buyback program to be clear evidence of progress. And in both Australia and Britain, the gun restrictions had an ambiguous effect on other gun-related crimes or deaths.
When I looked at the other oft-praised policies, I found out that no gun owner walks into the store to buy an “assault weapon.” It’s an invented classification that includes any semi-automatic that has two or more features, such as a bayonet mount, a rocket-propelled grenade-launcher mount, a folding stock or a pistol grip. But guns are modular, and any hobbyist can easily add these features at home, just as if they were snapping together Legos.
As for silencers — they deserve that name only in movies, where they reduce gunfire to a soft puick puick. In real life, silencers limit hearing damage for shooters but don’t make gunfire dangerously quiet. An AR-15 with a silencer is about as loud as a jackhammer. Magazine limits were a little more promising, but a practiced shooter could still change magazines so fast as to make the limit meaningless.
As my co-workers and I kept looking at the data, it seemed less and less clear that one broad gun-control restriction could make a big difference. Two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States every year are suicides. Almost no proposed restriction would make it meaningfully harder for people with guns on hand to use them. I couldn’t even answer my most desperate question: If I had a friend who had guns in his home and a history of suicide attempts, was there anything I could do that would help?
However, the next-largest set of gun deaths — 1 in 5 — were young men aged 15 to 34, killed in homicides. These men were most likely to die at the hands of other young men, often related to gang loyalties or other street violence. And the last notable group of similar deaths was the 1,700 women murdered per year, usually as the result of domestic violence. Far more people were killed in these ways than in mass-shooting incidents, but few of the popularly floated policies were tailored to serve them.
By the time we published our project, I didn’t believe in many of the interventions I’d heard politicians tout. I was still anti-gun, at least from the point of view of most gun owners, and I don’t want a gun in my home, as I think the risk outweighs the benefits. But I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them. Policies that often seem as if they were drafted by people who have encountered guns only as a figure in a briefing book or an image on the news.
Instead, I found the most hope in more narrowly tailored interventions. Potential suicide victims, women menaced by their abusive partners and kids swept up in street vendettas are all in danger from guns, but they each require different protections.
Older men, who make up the largest share of gun suicides, need better access to people who could care for them and get them help. Women endangered by specific men need to be prioritized by police, who can enforce restraining orders prohibiting these men from buying and owning guns. Younger men at risk of violence need to be identified before they take a life or lose theirs and to be connected to mentors who can help them de-escalate conflicts.
Even the most data-driven practices, such as New Orleans’ plan to identify gang members for intervention based on previous arrests and weapons seizures, wind up more personal than most policies floated. The young men at risk can be identified by an algorithm, but they have to be disarmed one by one, personally — not en masse as though they were all interchangeable. A reduction in gun deaths is most likely to come from finding smaller chances for victories and expanding those solutions as much as possible. We save lives by focusing on a range of tactics to protect the different kinds of potential victims and reforming potential killers, not from sweeping bans focused on the guns themselves.
The Post’s View: The worst kind of American exceptionalism
Chris Murphy: Mass shootings are an American problem. There’s an American solution.
Richard Glover: How Australia beat the gun lobby and passed gun control
The Post’s View: Gun control’s silver bullets
Charles C.W. Cooke: The right to bear arms isn’t up for debate