"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

Gun Control and the Tragedy at Sandy Hook

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family members of those killed in yesterday's horrible school mass murder in Newtown, Connecticut. On two occasions in my lifetime I have been in the middle of a crime scene that involved the death of more than one child. The gruesome images have never left me, so I add to my prayer list the emergency medical and police personnel who entered the building to do their jobs. It will be a long, long time before healing comes to the community of Newton.

President Obama spoke emotionally  yesterday afternoon and said our nation must "come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this." Many assume the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school will be the tipping point for gun control in the United States. I would argue that the reason we have mass shootings like yesterday is because government has already encroached and intervened in personal freedoms.

Let me explain. When our country was founded, our nation's Founding Fathers believed in what is called Natural Law. Natural Law is a view that certain rights or values are inherent in or universally known by human reason. The best summary of natural law is contained in the following seventeen word statement:
"Do all you have agreed to do and do not encroach on other persons or their property."
 
In the early days, when a criminal encroached on another person or their property, the courts of the United States established the precedent that restitution would be made to the victim(s). In the case of murder, the murderer would be swiftly brought to justice via execution. In cases of encroaching on property (i.e. theft, vandalism, etc...),  restitution would be made by the robbers to the victims as ordered by the judge. Over time, a series of decisions in the courts of the United States established what what we call common law. This means, as various acts of crime occurred, judges would look at legal decisions in previous similar cases to make a ruling on restitution that would be fair and equitable to the victim. The people encroached upon were the victims, not the state. The criminals who encroached made restitution to the people, not the state.

It was necessary, because our forefathers understood Natural Law, that American citizens always have the right to keep and bear arms. So, Amendment II of the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution gives to citizens of the United States "the right to keep and bear arms." What most Americans don't understand are the two reasons our forefathers felt this right to keep and bear arms was absolutely necessary for a free society to exist.

(1). Our nation's forefathers knew there would be occasions when criminals would not make restitution to their victims as ordered by the courts. When this happens in a country built on Natural Law, outlawry is invoked. Outlawry is the ability for citizens in a civilized society to pass judgment and punish those criminals who refuse to make court ordered restitution to their victims. Most of us understand the term "outlaw," but few of us understand that it is derived from the word outlawry. Outlawry means criminals who run from court ordered restitution are handed over to society and placed "outside the protection of law." This is what it meant for an outlaw to be Wanted: Dead or Alive. It did not matter how he was captured. When you brought the outlaw in before the judge, dead or alive, you received a bounty for the capture. The outlaw was outside of "the protection of the law."

In the old days, prisons were fairly empty. Incarceration was limited to those awaiting trial. Once a court ordered the terms of restitution, the criminal was released in order to work and pay for his crimes. If the criminal ran from his responsibilities, he was turned over to society (by the courts) as "an outlaw."  Our Founding Fathers understood the need for civilized society to "keep and bear arms" because a society of free and civilized people were ultimately the highest power in the land. The citizens of the United States would need to keep and bear arms because of outlaws. Natural Law demands the principle of outlawry.

A modern version of outlawry would be a free and law-abiding citizen in a school, armed with a weapon, shooting and killing a murderer in the act of encroaching. The citizen doesn't wait on "law enforcement" to take action--our Constitution, built on Natural Law, demands the citizen take action. Many believe a country is more civilized when free citizens don't have guns. Our Founding Fathers believed just the opposite. A free society, according to Natural Law, makes the free people of that free society the highest authority--not the state or the government. Government is of the people, by the people, for the people.

Could law-abiding citizens in a free society make a mistake in dealing with an outlaw? Of course, but the checks and balances on a free people is the knowledge that you yourself might be deemed an outlaw if you violate Natural Law and encroach on an innocent person. Natural Law is as much a science as biology, physics and math. It is understandable regardless of one's religion, because it comes from Nature and Nature's God. Natural Law understands that victims are those who experience a crime of encroachment and the criminal is the encroacher.

Unfortunately, our government has assumed the role of victim. The criminal pays his or her debt "to the state." The government of the United States has replaced the people of the United States. When a state usurps the governance of a free people, the state will eventually devolve into a fascism. A fascist state does not arise overnight. Just like Germany in the early 20th century, fascism progresses slowly as more and more power is handed to the state and more and more freedoms are taken from the people. One of the fundamental needs of a fascist state is for its citizens not to be armed.

(2). Our nation's forefathers understood that there could be an occasion when government violates Natural Law (by encroaching), and it would be the duty of the free citizens of that state to rebel. Very few Americans know that the reasoning of those we call Patriots, the men and women who fought their government during the American Revolution, was built upon Natural Law. People like Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams, and others believed that England was encroaching on the people and property of the colonists. In other words, America's Patriots believed people should always be able to keep and bear arms because there always needs to be the ability for a free people in a free society to revolt against a government that violates Natural Law. England violated the principles of Natural Law, and in obedience to Nature and Nature's God, the American colonists revolted against England.

Thomas Jefferson, when writing the draft of the Constitution of Virginia, wrote "No free man shall be debarred the use of arms."  Alexander Hamilton wrote, "The best we can hope for concerning the people at large is that they be properly armed." (The Federalist Papers, pages 184-188). Abraham Lincoln, declared at the commencement of the Civil War, "This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it or their revolutionary right to dismember it or overthrow it."  These men understood that any government which removes the right to keep and bear arms from her free citizens takes a gigantic step toward statist facism.

So, though we grieve over the mass murder at Sandy Hook, and though we deplore acts of violence by criminals throughout our land, we should resist with all our might any intrusion by the government to take weapons from us.

Natural Law demands free citizens have the right to be armed.

As a Christian, I may choose not to bear arms, to turn the other cheek, and to live like Jesus Christ lived. But as an American, I will resist any effort by the state to take weapons from her citizens.

Natural Law demands this of me.

89 comments:

Christiane said...

too soon to think of the politics for me, but I vote for sane measures of gun ownership supervision and accountability, and increased availability for diagnosis and treatment for the mentally ill and the emotionally ill.

arming teachers is what is being put out there now by some conservatives,
but I think it is proposed as some kind of terrible joke . . .

certainly increased armed protection for each public school is a solution, but let it be trained police . . . costs prohibitive?
ask the parents of those 20 dead children if the cost to taxpayers is too high . . . they have the gravitas to give the only answer that has any credibility anymore in our divided society

God have mercy on us . . . and may He help the families who suffer today

we need to pray,
and we need to get off of the politics and get to work for the sake of our children

Wade Burleson said...

Christiane,

I understand.

However, I challenge you on the notion that gun control is politics.

If the foundational principle of my post is correct, then the ability to keep and bear arms is a much higher right, granted by a much higher law, than any government, political body, or state.

So it is not politics as much as it is the principle of freedom.

Anonymous said...

Christiane,

You are missing the point.

It's not about arming teachers. It is about the right of any law-abiding, free citizen to bear arms.

Blake said...

The empirical evidence clearly shows that deaths due to assault drop as gun ownership drops. I believe that with these large scale shootings that more or less guns would make no difference whatsoever. The larger shootings happen because of the culture of violence that exists in the US and the way the media turns every mass murderer into a celebrity. I suspect there is also a correlation between the rise of these mass killings and the rise of internet and maybe YouTube usage as people become capable of feeding off of this depraved culture to unhealthy extents. I don't think the government can do anything to stop mass murders, but it may be able to decrease the small scale stuff which is the cause of the vast majority of deaths anyways. The only way to stop the large scale shootings is a culture change and I don't see that happening before Christ's return.

Tom Parker said...

Wade:

I am very disappointed that you did not even wait 24 hours to write this piece. IMO your timing is way off.

Wade Burleson said...

Tom,

I always appreciate your comments and receive your expression of disappointment in me.

However, when writing about a principle of freedom-- disappointment from others toward me is inconsequential. I do not write to receive the personal approval of my readers. I write to articulate what I believe to be important principles of freedom, spiritually, morally and ethically.

I trust that as time goes by, and the emotions you feel subside, you will see that it is precisely at the time of great national tragedy that one should make a point based on principle, not emotion.

Christiane said...

Thanks WADE . . . for saying 'I understand.'

I needed for someone to understand.
I'm upset. This really, really hurts.

Thanks for letting me express my pain.
Sorry is so strident.

Peace of Christ to you, Wade.
Christiane

R. L. Vaughn said...

Tom, I agree that this is a delicate subject, but...will you likewise criticize those who almost immediately began to call for more gun control?

Thanks.

Wade Burleson said...

Christiane,

Of course, and you are always welcome to comment. I agree, this is a very painful time.

Wade Burleson said...

R.L.

Interestingly, the only reason I felt the need to write this article was the chorus of statements being made urging gun control.

I was not offended that these people made their statements regarding gun control. Frankly, I understood why they would at a time like this. I was a little surprised at Tom's offense at me personally because I do not feel any offense toward those who advocate gun control.

The arguments for and against should be based on moral reasoning and human logic, not emotion (in my opinion).

Thanks for the comment.

R. L. Vaughn said...

I agree. Such an incident brings the topic back to the forefront. Either everybody has a right to formulate their opinions, or everybody should keep quite. And, yes, the discussion should be based on moral reasoning and human logic rather than emotion. I appreciate the post.

Anonymous said...

Well stated and completely agree. Americans of ALL ages need to inform themselves. I would like to add that if there were history of mental illness with the shooter that the true issue might be how families of these individuals NEED more support after the age of 18 instead of it being an issue of gun control. Please know that I am NOT excusing him from his actions. I just know lots of families that loose needed support just because their child has turned the magic age of 18.

Anonymous said...

I agree Wade. There is always a secondary motive behind gun control advocacy. As a constitutioal conservative I think the original intent of our founders is of paramount importance. They struggled to make sure natural laws trumped man made law as it should. Our judiicary has failed us in that regard. Good post. Jeff Adams.

Anonymous said...

In summing up the natural law theory, this was offered on a Villanova University webpage: "Natural law, then, is promulgated to human beings through the power of reason and the content of the natural law is knowable. Sufficiently normal and mature human beings know the general principles implied by the natural law, but deductions about what the law and its principles mean in concrete circumstances are not as clear. Different conclusions and applications can be derived by equally wise people. Thus, a diversity of opinion exists about what the natural law requires in actual practice and is a matter not of theoretical or abstract wisdom but of practical wisdom by which human beings discern what ought to be their conduct in particular circumstance as the seek to do good and avoid evil."

I think your argument about bearing arms is simply YOUR OPINION. You are trying to turn your opinion about bearing arms into a universal truth for all society.

I find it very disturbing that you would resist the goverment with all your might because the government tries to regulate guns to provide for the safety of all.

And by the way, Lincoln certainly resisted those who tried to overthrow the government because they thought that their rights were being violated. Lincoln was even accused of being fascist in cracking down on those who threatened the union.

This natural law foolishness also allows you to step above the fray of debate with others about gun violence in this country. I reject the notion that the right to bear arms is a higher right.

Not only do I reject the foundational principle of your post, I remind you that the teachings of Jesus warn that those who live by the sword will die by the sword. It is the mission of the Christian Church to bring peace on earth, not encourage the spread of weapons. Such talk means that you concede that the ideals of the kingdom are not practical in this world.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous 2:00 p.m.

Thanks for your comment and your thoughtful words. You are not alone in your opinion.

"The people of the various provinces are strictly forbidden to have in their possession any swords, short swords, bows, spears, firearms, or other types of arms. The possession of unnecessary implements makes difficult the collection of taxes and dues and tends to foment uprisings."

-- Toyotomi Hideyoshi, Shogun, August 1588

King George III of England (1760-1820) felt the same way. Of course, the colonists disagreed.


Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous 2:00

You also write:

'I remind you that the teachings of Jesus warn that those who live by the sword will die by the sword. It is the mission of the Christian Church to bring peace on earth, not encourage the spread of weapons. Such talk means that you concede that the ideals of the kingdom are not practical in this world.'

Answer: I agree with Jesus when He said, 'My kingdom is not of this world." As long as I live in this world with people from other religions, I know we must get along on the basis of Natural Law, for they will not accept my faith, nor I theirs, but all faiths reason as human beings and comprehend Nature and Nature's God.

Pege' said...

My daughter Rebekah works on the Putnam City schools in OKC. Oklahoma is a open carry state and yet she cannot bring a weapon into the school. So now a days gun control is keeping law abiding citizens from having the gun to kill the criminals.

Aussie John said...

Wade,

It's rather obvious that gun control has not worked in this country.

Aside from the fact that shootings are still occurring, by far the majority of homicides are by means other than shooting, knives, physical force, etc.

Governments will always be cynically pragmatic in their use of tragedy,even when individuals are moved emotionally, to direct public attention away from other pressing issues.

Wade Burleson said...

Pege adn Aussie John,

You both bring up good points.

Johnny D. said...

Freedom is dangerous. It always has been, and always will be. Personally, I would rather have the danger that comes with freedom than the "safety" that comes with the alternative. And I say that with a heart that is hurt by the loss of these precious children and educators. We live in a sick, twisted world. In the end, the only way it will get better is when Jesus returns.

Anonymous said...

From Joseph Patrick...

Wade, you said: "So, though we grieve over the mass murder at Sandy Hook, and though we deplore acts of violence by criminals throughout our land, we should resist with all our might any intrusion by the government to take weapons from us.

Natural Law demands free citizens have the right to be armed.

As a Christian, I may choose not to bear arms, to turn the other cheek, and to live like Jesus Christ lived. But as an American, I will resist any effort by the state to take weapons from her citizens."

One of my question s would be, "How many firearms does one need to keep himself and his family safe?" And how many firearms did the Colorado theater shooter have? How many were in the control of the man in Connecticut?

Another question would be: "What weapon is best to keep me and my family safe? An assault rifle? A modified semi-automatic which holds upwards of 30 rounds?
th
As a father and grandfather I would ask that we UNEMOTIONALLY discuss gun safety in the United States.

Wade Burleson said...

Joseph Patrick,

A criminal does not care whether or not a gun is registered in his name. He'd rather steal it.

Anonymous said...

From Joseph Patrick...

Wade, thank you for taking the time to answer..."A criminal does not care whether or not a gun is registered in his name. He'd rather steal it." But the question was not about where the criminal acquires a firearm, but how many firearms, and of what type will I need to keep my family safe?

Wade Burleson said...

Joseph Patrick,

For some, the answer is none. For others, the answer is many.

For all, the answer should be determined by personal liberty not political law.

John Wylie said...

Thanks Wade for your well reasoned article. Our hearts break for the families in CT, but disarming law abiding citizens would have done nothing to stop this tragedy. Mass murders happen because of man's fallen nature and evil men will use whatever means they can to carry out their intentions. Timothy McVeigh killed more than 150 people, many of them children, without using a gun at all.

Wade Burleson said...

John Wylie,

Excellent point about McVeigh. People forget he intentionally parked in front of the Murrow Building daycare center.

I was there that day.

Evil is part of a fallen world. Freedom must be maintained.

stevenstarkmusic said...


There are many of us who think stricter gun restrictions would enhance our freedom in this country. And I am talking about a much stricter licensing structure for hand gun ownership, not the ban of guns. I don't believe that allowing individuals to own nuclear weapons would enhance freedom, so obviously the nature of freedom is complex when discussing access to a means of efficiently destroying other humans.

Disturbed individuals + easy access to weapons = disaster.

We have to look at both parts of this problem.

I believe in natural law - but discovering it is quite tricky. It reveals itself over time as human civilization evolves. For this reason, our system of public justice is the way to go. It's not perfect, but replacing it with mob violence and tribalistic vendettas would not result in greater justice. We must have a system based on rehabilitation, public safety and deterrence - not one of vigilante revenge.

It's not a long term solution in a world of six billion people.

Anonymous said...

I dont talk on politics (I dont understand politics enough to dicuss it). But I do agree, we need to pray for the first responders. We also need to pray for more organizations like Joyful Hearts Foundation's "Heal The Healers" program ( http://www.joyfulheartfoundation.org/healthehealers.htm ) to expand so the first responders can get the help they will eventually need after Friday as well.
Yes, the families and friends and community impacted come first in our prayers; but we cant forget our first responders.

T.

Anonymous said...

airgingI hope all preachers to-day will concentrate on bringing solace to the bereaved, rather than haste to condemn or defend the use of guns, car bombs, drones and all other instruments of violent deaths. It's time now to weep with those who weep.

Gordon

Anonymous said...

As a Canadian and a Christian, I lament. Job's friends didn't speak for seven days because his suffering was so great.

It is not my place to weigh in on what your beliefs are on your foundational principles.

Tom Walters is the CTV Los Angeles Bureau Chief (a national Canadian broadcast company) This is part of his kicker on the Friday newscast.
http://tinyurl.com/cso7a8a

"Today -- once again -- a country where guns are a right, and health care is not, faced someone sick and well-armed.

While this disease is not unique to the U.S., and while gun control is no cure for madness, even modest calls for background checks and smaller bullet clips are wildly controversial. And political leaders have looked away.

That may change. A visibly shaken President Barack Obama today said, “We’re going to have to come together and take meaningful action.”

Whatever that action is, there will be debate and no perfect result. Still, there is a need to try. Because the only choices are try -- or accept.

Today, as children were led from the slaughter, teachers tried to ward off at least a few of their nightmares by getting them to cover their eyes.

But when it is time to ask children to look away, it is time to ask adults not to."



Christiane said...

Dear Anonymous, I think this time people will not 'look away', at least that is my hope, and thank you for these words:

" . . . as children were led from the slaughter, teachers tried to ward off at least a few of their nightmares by getting them to cover their eyes.

But when it is time to ask children to look away, it is time to ask adults not to."

A lullaby for the children who survived, and for all who now grieve:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltxiHNcGfZM&feature=player_detailpage

Kacey Madden said...

Wade, your comment on emotions hit the nail on the head. We run full throttle in situations like this. Yes, we are very disturbed & upset that this happened, but I can see your point on Natural Law. I like the statement government is for the people, by the people.

We were told I in the Bible it's going to get worse & it's not wrong. Focus our eyes on Jesus, bottom line.

Kacey Madden said...

Wade didn't condemn the use of guns, he just chooses not to & he's a pastor. It's extremely hard not to hear the words of the typist, but I'm meaning this lovingly. Please don't be offended. I believe we all are weeping for this situation.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr Burleson (for want of a better form of address),

as much as I appreciate your sermons (EChurch@Wartburg) - and I really DO appreciate them -, here, I think, you allowed your political bias to cloud your judgment.

I think that the second amendment (passed in 1791) must be seen in the context of its time: a young nation, just independent, with the Revolutionary War against the British a recent memory, with an endless frontier where institutions did not exist and where people had to protect themselves against the native population that di not want to give up the land without resistance, where you had to defend yourself against outlaws, where hunting for food was an everyday necessity.

Yes, in such a context, the necessity (and the derived right) to bear firearms was evident.

In our modern-day society with its densely populated areas and (for the most part) functioning institutions, it makes much less sense.

And the price that America pays for the illusion of the freedom of the frontier is terrible. Even there, it was often the freedom of those who were stronger and had better guns, at the expense of the weak.

If everone who was unhappy with the government took up arms, it would be even worse.

It's true - the sermon on the mount can never be the basis of political institutions, otherwise a country would be helpless against the ruthless at home and abroad. But for a Christian, to not see the consequences of an ideology of gun-ownership, strikes me as strange.

It's true, people kill people - but they have far too many guns at their disposal, and even military weapons designed to kill as many enemies as efficiently as possible. And countries with stricter gun laws -at least the civilised ones - have far fewer of these tragedies than the US.

Stan said...

Thank you Wade for the post. Always reading and praying.

Wade Burleson said...

Anonymous 1:14 p.m.

Thanks for your comment.

You make some excellent points. I always appreciate historical context.

However, the historical context I believe is closer to our current situation is 1930's and 1940's Germany.

We had 20 children killed in Newtown. When I toured Auschwitz, I realized the number of children murdered by Nazi's was in the tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands.

When the criminals who were in charge of the death camps were tried at Nuremburg, they all pleaded their innocence because the extermination of Jews was LEGAL. In addition, the Nazi officers were following ORDERS from their Chancellor, so how could they be found guilty of breaking the law?

Answer: Nazi Germany, though politically conservative and a republic of law, violated a HIGHER LAW. This higher law (i.e. Natural Law, and at Nuremburg called International Law) was broken, and the Nazi's were being held accountable to this broken law.

For anyone who believes it is impossible for the government of the United States to become a fascist state like 1940's Germany requires a LACK of historical context and a LACK of understanding the philosophies of our Founding Fathers.

Your comment has caused me to think about posting on the Nuremburg Trials in my next post.

I appreciate your sentiments, and also am thankful you enjoy my messages, but I hope you understand that my views on gun control are not political, as you suggest, but based on the moral philosophy that the highest authority in a free land are the free people of that land, not government.

For government is of the people, by the people and for the people (Abraham Lincoln).


stevenstarkmusic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stevenstarkmusic said...

The highest authority is indeed individual conscience - simply because it is what chooses its authority. We are born with a brain in our head and a heart in our chest - not a Constitution or a Bible in our hands.

But we are having it both ways. I hear that government is of the people, by the people and for the people. Then I hear that the government selected by the people should not enforce greater gun control - even if it is a government selected by the people and for the people. Basically, the libertarian argument is invoked when the chosen rules don't go our way.

I think we should be arguing what level of gun control is appropriate (for we all believe in some), not confusing it with a greater political philosophy here.

But to address libertarianism - I am reminded of the hockey helmet analogy. A hockey player wants to wear a helmet for safety, but gives up a bit of advantage because it affects his vision. Therefore hockey players are happy to have a rule in place requiring helmets, because then they are free to wear the protection they want, without sacrificing their relative playing ability. Collective rules can enhance safety and freedom for individuals.

We must come together and pass collective action on the gun issue. Great Britain had 42 gun related deaths in 2008. Japan had 11. The US had 9,484.

Many residents of Newtown had their ultimate freedom taken away because of a disturbed individual's easy access to weapons of mass destruction.

Hannah Thomas said...

For all we know the disturbed individual's mother could have passed all the new laws that may come down the pike, and he still would have stolen them.

We have a mental hospital in the next town, and when funding was cut? They just walked the patients out to the highway, and cut them loose. The state placed a sign up stating we shouldn't pick up hitch hikers. Nice huh? The paper had a field day, and years later they still don't know what to do with all of them.

Those poor people didn't stay in one place, and many are homeless or in jail. They were not capable of living in the outside world.

This disturbed individual lived with his mother. I can't believe his mental health was taken care of any better than the patient let out on the highway here. Yes, they will treat you with insurance or cash. When that runs out? So does the treatment.

We fail those people. In our polarized atmosphere? I can see how it ramps things up in their heads.

People were speaking about the man in China that stabbed school children. The cry was at least they were not killed. Okay. The person's mental illness didn't stop him from trying. They can't say people were not traumatized, and have lasting scars - emotionally and otherwise. People bypass some many root issues here.

I don't mind some common sense approaches to guns, but for goodness sakes these tragic happenings have many other factors. We never address them! Its a host of things - stolen guns, mental health, and goodness knows what else will come out.

It can't just be solved by GUN control. Guns will always be with us in this country.

I have to wonder if one of our issues is tunnel vision. The tunnel vision is just a band-aid.

I agree with much of what you have written here Wade.

Thy Peace said...

I do have to compare the reactions when american children are killed by a deranged gunman vs. targeted killing of families and children by US drones. What is the difference? Lot of the people getting killed by the drones are innocent people. Yes, they are Muslims and they live in Muslim countries. Does that mean the tragedies of their deaths are less meaningful than the death of american children?

Glenn Greenwald > The PSY scandal: singing about killing people v. constantly doing it
In the last four years alone, it has used drones to end people's lives in six predominantly Muslim country (probably more). Under its Nobel Peace Prize-winning leader, it has repeatedly wiped out entire families (including just this week), slaughtered dozens of children at a time, targeted and killed people rescuing and grieving its victims, and either deliberately or recklessly dropped bombs on teenagers (including its own citizens), then justified it with the most foul and morally deranged rationale.

Robert Kellner said...

Wade,

I too have a right to live and a right not to be slaughtered by a sick person who carries around 100 rounds suitable for the war fields.

Your rights are trampling on my rights not to own a gun and remain safe.

Please, Wade, you have too much of a wild west mentality that speaks ill of our Nation.

And, if you are truly concerned, how about getting on board for increased funding for mental health endeavors. But, your two Senators are certainly not in favor of that.

Wade Burleson said...

Thy Peace,

Good points about drones. As the old saying goes, "War is hell."

I am reminded of the 12 year old girl who was shot in an assassination attempt by the Taliban because of her efforts to elevate education for girls in Afghanistan.

At some point, such as World War II, there comes a time when nations who hate war must go to war in order to save humanity.

Wade Burleson said...

Robert Kellner,

Guns are not your problems. People gone amock are your problem.

In Israel, every school teacher, principal, and administrator carries a semi-automatic rifle. When is the last time you heard of a school shooting in Israel?

EMSoliDeoGloria said...

Thanks for this thoughtful post, Wade. I like that summary of natural law - where did you get it?

As a nation, we continue to grieve with the families affected by this horrendous crime. We rightly weep when we think of the children, teachers, whose lives were so abruptly cut off because of one man's bad choices.

The truth is that the focus of policy discussions related to the Sandy Hook mass murder needs to be on mental health services and intervention.

Removing firearms from law abiding citizens does not make anyone safer but criminals.

Joella said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_shooting


In 2008, Harrold Independent School District in Texas became the first public school district in the U.S. to allow teachers with state-issued firearm-carry permits to carry their arms in the classroom; special additional training and ricochet-resistant ammunition were required for participating teachers.

A commentary in the conservative National Review Online argues that the armed school approach for preventing school attacks, while new in the US, has been used successfully for many years in Israel and Thailand.[50]

Wade Burleson said...

EM,

Received the summary from Richard J. Maybury's series of books (Uncle Eric's Letters), in the specific book entitled "Whatever Happened to Justice."

I believe the entire Maybury's series should be required reading for every student in America.

Wade Burleson said...

Joella,

Thanks for the link.

That is exactly what I'm saying.

Anonymous said...

My personal take:

Ban assault weapons. Arm and train those we deem need them, such as school personnel, cops, military.

And let's get real about mental illness. Let's provide secure, compassionate care BEFORE a tragedy happens rather than wait for the bomb to go off, people to die, and THEN consider restricting the freedom of the dangerous people.

stevenstarkmusic said...

Wade, I am not sure about your statements on Israel's schools. Here is a link to a short blog by an NBC correspondent living in Tel Aviv.

In short, guns are very difficult to obtain in Israel, with a strenuous licensing process, and schools are guarded by armed guards. I have seen no mention that teachers carry weapons, which sounds terribly dangerous for students (because some students could get them away from teachers).

Looks like we could learn a lot from Israel.


http://usnews.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/17/15971960-conn-massacre-lessons-from-israel-where-guns-are-a-way-of-life?lite

Kristen said...

Another quote from the article Stevenstarkmusic linked:

"However, it is very difficult for any Israeli civilian to purchase and own a gun, and all must have a license to do so. The ownership of assault rifles by a private person is forbidden, and pistols are limited to one per person."

So I don't think Israel is at all the example it has been set up to be.

All I can say is, should the principle of unlimited weaponry ownership be the hill Christians defend at all costs? Is the death of 20 six- and seven-year-olds outweighed by this principle? It may be true that people kill people-- but people who don't have assault rifles don't kill 20 little kids.

I just can't say the right to own assault rifles is more important than those 20 kids. If this is the price of that right -- I question the price, and the right.

Wade Burleson said...

"The ownership of assault rifles by a private person is forbidden, and pistols are limited to one per person."


Every 18 and 19 year old in Israel, both boys and girls, must serve a mandatory two years in the Israeli Army. There, they learn to clean, carry and shoot semi-automatic rifles. Every Israeli citizen until the age of 55 is considered a part of the military home front (National Guard), and must, when called upon by the government, report to the national armories and obtain their semi-automatic rifle in order to defend their country. EVERY EIGHEEN AND NINETEEN YEAR OLD carries a semi-automatic rifle with them.

So...

Contrary to what some might think, EVERY Israeli citizen must be familiar with handling a weapon. I am all for criminals have NO access to weapons. My point is, in a free society, the people must be armed.

Anonymous said...

We are not living in a perfect world and we can expect these atrocities to happen again.....perhaps soon because of the copy-cat syndrome at work in the minds of grossly evil people. We need to take immediate, meaningful action to prevent this happening, and the answer is,paradoxically, more weapons, not fewer. Every institution, such schools, hospitals, churches, entertainment and sports venues, etc. needs to beef up their security to meet the imminent challenge that exists. At the London Olympic games this year, there were hundreds of armed policemen on duty , using CCTV cameras and sniffer dogs which kept the vast crowds in perfect safety. The financial cost was high, but they had their big guns ready to respond immediately should any danger arise. But consider now the bravery and selflessness of those poor,helpless, women teachers at Newtown who tore into the gunman with their bare hands when they saw what was happening. Alas, it was hopelessly in vain, because they were without the weapons they needed to stop the carnage being perpetrated.Under Health and Safety laws every public institution should be required to have armed guards on duty, which can include senior staff members, to protect the participants. I think for the moment, more guns, not fewer , are needed. Armed guards will also be able to spot and stop the even more deadly car bombs.

Gordon.

Headless Unicorn Guy said...

Unfortunately, since Friday, Gun Control has become the new State Religion, toppling Anti-Smoking and Global Warming. And all the Kyle's Moms are coming out of the woodwork.

Schoolyard massacres with similar body counts are a regular occurence in China, except there they are done with butcher knives. And the high body counts there are a side effect of Chinese culture and child-rearing; the children sit there quiet and docile while the attacker cuts them up.

Columbine-style school spree-killing attempts also happen in Germany, though there the Polizei invoke gag orders on all media to head off copycats.

Because to a messed-up nobody, doing this sort of thing in America guarantees a media circus; as the viral posting with the fake Morgan Freeman signature put it, "Everybody knows the names of the Columbine shooters; nobody knows the names of the victims."

"I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be FAMOUS!!!!!!"
-- opening theme for "Total Drama Island"

stevenstarkmusic said...

That is apples and oranges, Wade. Allowing the military to carry assault rifles while on duty is not in question.

And I am all for people knowing their way around guns and owning certain guns after obtaining background checks (which foiled Adam Lanza's attempt to get a gun on his own), going through waiting periods and earning a license, but allowing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is another matter.

I don't think we need chemical weapons, nuclear devices or RPG's throughout society, I don't consider their ban a threat to true freedom. In fact, their proliferation would be a threat to freedom. And I consider most of the weapons Lanza carried to be weapons of mass destruction. Just the bullets were manufactured to create devastating wounds in human bodies. His handguns could fire five rounds per second. He did a lot of damage very quickly.

Regina Jennings said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck Andrews said...

Wade,

I agree with your analysis of Natural Law and why, in an emotional frenzy, the Second Amendment needs to be protected.

I wrote something similar on my blog by quoting what Thomas Jefferson said, "On every question of construction (of the Constitution) let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed." 12 Jun 1823 (The Complete Jefferson p.32)

Much like Biblical exegesis we must go back to its original meaning to understand its purpose.

Joella said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEJFAvA-ZUE

Suzanna Hupp defending 2nd amendment of our right to bear arms.

Joella said...

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/deadliest-school-shootings-us-17989502#.UNEDc28mqSo

Pearl MS school shooting in 1997. Luke Woodham killed his mother before shooting classmates at school. He wrote, "I am not insane, I am angry. I killed because people like me are mistreated every day. I did this to show society, push us and we will push back. ... All throughout my life, I was ridiculed, always beaten, always hated. Can you, society, truly blame me for what I do? Yes, you will. ... It was not a cry for attention, it was not a cry for help. It was a scream in sheer agony saying that if you can't pry your eyes open, if I can't do it through pacifism, if I can't show you through the displaying of intelligence, then I will do it with a bullet." Taken from Wikipedia

Jake Evans, Aledo, Texas, accused of capital murder in the deaths of his mother and younger sister, told investigators he repeatedly watched a slasher film portraying a man who killed several family members during the week leading up to the Oct. 4, 2012 shooting.

Yes, these young people have mental problems, they are severely emotionally disturbed. I have a Master's degree in Behavioral Disorders. Neither, Asperger's or Austism, caused the shooting in Connecticut.

You cannot legislate morality or emotional well-being. These young people felt rejected by society, whether they were physically bullied or not, emotionally they felt rejected. Young people have such negative influences these days. Even the Broadway play, "Wicked" is about popularity.

Aaron Jeoffrey states that "One goal is to show a positive parent/child relationship, and hopefully be a role model for fathers and their sons or parents and their children. We have taken to heart the last prophetic word of the Old Testament where it says in Malachi 4:6 that 'The fathers' hearts would be turned to their children and the children's hearts to their fathers, lest I smite them with a curse.' Every social problem that we face today can be traced back to a dysfunctional family life."


Malachi 3:1-4:3


Headless Unicorn Guy said...

Assault Rifles are the Muscle Cars of firearms.

Johnny D. said...

Freedom is dangerous. It always has been, and it always will be.

Anything less than freedom is what exactly? Whatever it is, it might be safer, but that depends upon who is in charge.

Personally, I would urge extreme caution in supporting the removal or restriction of rights. Once taken, they are hard to get back. We can, and should, have a conversation about closing loopholes, etc., but I would be very careful. If you're all for further restrictions, or an outright ban, remember this - it might be an amendment you really favor that is next on the target list. What then?

As a committed Christian, and one that will only consider violence if my family or friends, or other innocent people, are in danger of violence - if the state comes for my weapons, I will turn them in. I pray that we will not allow such a usurpation of our rights, but if it happens, I can't stop it. I believe that is the best understanding of Scripture, but am willing to consider other sides - should any wish to present them.

Kevin Boblet said...

Here are a few facts about guns:

1. Connecticut already has an "assault weapons" ban. Neither this law, nor the federal law that was enacted under Clinton and then since repealed, would have stopped this crime. The rifle used was perfectly legal under both laws. So reacting to this event by proposing bringing back the federal assault weapons law makes very little logical sense. It's an emotional reaction, not one based in sound reasoning.

2. This is not the worse mass killing of this kind in US history. The worst one happened in the 1920's, and guns were not used. Dynamite was. We must resist looking at current events only through the lens of our own perspective, which most often is confined to the time span of our own lifetimes. Proper historical perspective is critical in order to make sound judgments.

3. History shows us that killings like this most often happen at locations where the perpetrator can be relatively certain that no one else is armed. Elementary schools, universities, shopping malls, etc. This calls into question the theory that fewer people armed would make events like this less likely or less severe.

4. In general, guns make people safer. Gun control zealots compare the US to England to show that murder rates are lower where restrictions on ownership of firearms are more severe. But there are countless other examples of countries where higher gun ownership and lower murder rates exist, such as Israel, New Zealand, and Finland. Even in the United States, rural areas have higher rates of gun ownership and lower rates of murder than urban areas. Whites have higher rates of gun ownership than blacks and much lower murder rates. In the US, hand gun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down. Be careful with statistics that are spouted to support a political agenda.

5. Another dogma among gun control supporters is that having a gun in the house for self-defense is futile and is only likely to increase the chances of your getting hurt or killed, and that your best bet is to offer no resistance to an intruder. Actual data shows just the opposite. People who have not resisted have gotten hurt twice as often as people who resisted with a firearm. Most uses of guns in self-defense do not involve actually pulling the trigger. When the intended victim turns out to have a gun in his hand, the attacker usually has enough brains to back off. But the lives saved this way do not get counted. Be careful with statistics thrown around to advance a political agenda.

6. Most "children" who are killed by guns are not toddlers. More are members of teenage gangs who kill each other deliberately. Some small children do in fact get accidentally killed by guns in the home--but fewer than drown in bathtubs. Is anyone for banning bathtubs?

If you are convicted to demonstrate your reliance on the Lord's protection of you and your family by having no guns in your house, I say good for you. Follow the Lord's leading. But compelling me to do the same by the force of law is an entirely different thing.

We all must be careful not to allow our emotional reaction to this event to let us to be taken advantage of by opportunistic politicians who would use people's sadness and grieving to advance their own destructive political agenda.

Ray said...

I think that the current talk about "assault rifles" is an emotional overreaction and really just the first step toward a slow process of eradication. The assault rifle looks scary so it must be more dangerous, but when I was in the Army, the preferred weapon for close quarters was a plain old shotgun. The Left always tells us hat thy don't want to take away our shutguns, just the really dangerous guns. But just wait until the next event happens and a shotgun is involved.

Headless Unicorn Guy said...

While your posting (and others I've heard) is reasoned out, it has to compete with the five-word sound bite of "Semi Automatic Assault Type Weapons(TM)... Semi Automatic Assault Type Weapons(TM)... Semi Automatic Assault Type Weapons(TM)..." and the Kyle's Moms and CELEBRITIES chanting it.

And the de facto Guarantee that Obama (or any Authority) Will Keep Us Safe, Keep Us Safe, Keep Us Safe. Perfectly Safe, Perfectly Safe, Perfectly Safe Safe Safe.

Like the well-domesticated kids in Chinese schoolyard massacres, who sit there quiet and docile while the rampager with the big knife cuts them up.

Headless Unicorn Guy said...

And I've been seeing "WHAT AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADVANCE OUR AGENDA!" from all sources and all directions since the bullets stopped flying in Sandy Hook.

Huckabee says it's because of No Prayer in Schools.

Dobson says it's God punishing us for tolerating Homosexuality.

Rush Limbaugh says it's Democrats, Media, and Liberals.

All the Beautiful People says it's because of No Gun Control (Semi Automatic Assault Type Weapons... Semi Automatic Assault Type Weapons... Semi Automatic Assault Type Weapons...) And the NRA and Those Republicans.

All of them looking in a mirror and seeing only an Opportunity To Push Our Agenda.

I'm waiting for someone to blame it on Global Warming.

stevenstarkmusic said...

Hi Kevin,

You are right that facts can be twisted in various ways to advance any agenda.

How about this statement - wearing your seatbelt increases your risk of getting cancer.

It's technically true! But obviously it misses the point.

The goal in introducing meaningful weapons restrictions is to make our country more safe and more free. (I realize we may disagree on which aspects of freedom are more important).

Some quick responses to your points:

1. I would like to see the semi-automatic assault weapons Lanza used banned. And the bullets as well, which were designed to do horrific things to the human body. What previous laws had in place is irrelevant.

2. I am all for banning dynamite in homes!

3. More armed civilian folks in a mass shooting would increase the number of bullets flying everywhere. I am not sure that a full-on fire fight in a mall would help. It might, but lots of these shooters are head to toe in body armor too. Well-meaning civilians would almost certainly wound or kill others in crowded areas. I am still thinking about whether armed security guards might help (in schools and elsewhere)

4. Israel has fairly strict gun laws. Finland has stricter gun laws too, and much fewer guns in circulation than the US. In both countries, one must declare a reason to own a gun and obtain licenses. In Finland, one must store a gun with the vital parts separated , so that they are not easily stolen or used in haste. Traveling with a loaded gun is illegal. In New Zealand, the gun deaths per 100,000 are just behind the US's. Great Britain, Japan, and many other countries are way, way down the list. Children in their school are safer.

5. I think that everyone believes in fighting back if one's home is intruded. But owning a gun is downright dangerous. You are many times more likely to have a homicide in your house or a suicide in your house if you own a gun. Another statistic says that a gun death is more than 20 times more likely to be someone you know or a family member than an anonymous intruder. Many of these gun deaths are related to romantic triangles.

6. Bathtub safety is much different than gun safety. Bathtubs exist for washing people. Handguns and assault rifles exist for killing people. That is their primary purpose. It creates their secondary purpose of "defense". This is a false equivalence.


Promoting a society full of the proliferation of military-style weaponry is a destructive agenda.

Of course it's not the only issue at hand - but it is certainly a big part of the equation.

I think our nation needs to repent of its fetish with violence. We need to turn away from it.

I wish us all the best, those who agree with me and those who don't, in deciding the most moral course for our country!

Kristen said...

Thank you, Steven Stark. Another statistic I read recently is that when an armed civilian does pull a weapon in a mass shooting, the civilian is vastly more likely to be the one killed than the shooter.

I also have been asking myself, "Is a society where most people go around armed, really what we want?" Knowing how many shootings are accidental, and how many happen in moments of high stress, I for one wouldn't want the teachers at my school armed!

Kristen said...

HUG - as for authorities keeping us perfectly safe, I agree that they cannot. But neither can we keep ourselves perfectly safe by carrying weapons.

The thing is that the current level of safety for my kids is considerably less than I'm willing to tolerate.

annamma said...

Mr Burleson,
First time I'm posting here, though I have lurked unseen here several times. I have often reacted with Amen and Wow to many of your posts, but must confess this one justifying bearing guns disappointed me. Perhaps because I'm not American, and the insistence of american evangelicals on their right to bear arms leaves me - and many other non-Americans - puzzled. Surely your society would benefit from some tighter sort of control, while leaving your natural law argument intact?

Anonymous said...

I don't think Mr Burleson is saying he is opposed to proper gun controls, training or gun safety. He was responding to the simplistic solution of those who used the tragedy at Newtown to call for the near total confiscation and prohibition of all guns in private ownership. Yet these same people, who are inclined to have stars in their eyes and build social castles in the air, are usually also the ones who favor the dangerous open border immigration policy, free distribution and use of drugs and alcohol, and the right of the mother to take the life of her unborn child. I do not consider they have the moral authority to call on others not to use their legal rights or exercise their moral duty to defend themselves and their dependants, should these frequently occurring crises arise. The unintended consequences of gun confiscation from law abiding citizens could produce far more social problems than it is likely to solve. The responsible ownership and use of firearms is what Obama should rather concentrate his thoughts upon. Make a good law better !

Gordon

Anonymous said...

252The right to bear arms actually means what it says. It's not restictive.

"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."

The Supreme Court is supposed to rule in support OF the Bill of Rights, Constitution and First Amendment and not AGAINST it, which is what has happened over time.

Govt. is now able to spy on your home computer if they choose to do so without a warrant.

You can't have a bible study in a house, but you can have a Super Bowl party. I know this one first hand.

Drones are flying overhead your house taking pictures.

Shortly, you'll be unable to say homosexuality is a sin as is now outlawed in a number of countries including Canada.

In Germany, you can't homeschool your child.

Please don't poo poo these statements above because a quick search will find these stories.

Anyone asking the question;

'what do you have something to hide, or, are you scared of your gummit or something'

might want to really read what is going on.

Or, you can ask the guy who was the writer of the original amendment what he said. Mr. Madison actually stated in Federalist 29 why it was there.

"This will not only lessen the call for military establishments, but if circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens, little if at all inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms, who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens"

"If standing armies are dangerous to liberty, an efficacious power over the militia, in the same body ought, as far as possible, to take away the inducement and the pretext to such unfriendly institutions. If the federal government can command the aid of the militia in those emergencies which call for the military arm in support of the civil magistrate, it can the better dispense with the employment of a different kind of force."

http://constitution.org/fed/federa29.htm

Arguing against what the Founders Stated is really quite wrong. All one needs to do is look around to see the fallacy of such ideas. Take a pick of really ANY country today and see that happening.

Visit the above website for further information.

Anonymous said...

Kristen,

I'm not trying to make lite of what happened to the kids and in fact, all people who die from any maliciousness in any form. However,

Did you know that on the same day of the shootings, a Chinese man recently killed 22 school children in China with a knife?
http://americanlivewire.com/22-students-in-china-stabbed-in-elementary-school-attack-by-36-year-old-villager-min-yingjun/

Do you know that beheadings happen in Mexico on a daily basis?

Did you know that US gun laws are the most restricted they've ever been? Yet, when I went to school, you could bring a gun to school?

Did you know that the following number of people died from:

17,000 from AIDS in 2009

What should we outlaw in this case? All perverted sex? Sexual organs?

Here are the leading Real Time Estimate Top 7 Causes of Death Since 1 Jan, 2012

Tobacco: 529,000
Medical Errors: 195,000
Alcohol Abuse: 107,400
Vehicle Accidents: 42,000
Suicide: 29,350
Drug Abuse: 25,500
Firearm Homicide: 10,828

Mortality data from the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) are a fundamental source of demographic, geographic, and cause-of-death information.

Please look at that list closely and see where firearms comes in. Add in AIDS and it's a bit lower.

The problem with thinking that banning guns will work is the fact that there are numerous countries that have banned guns, yet... they still have gun murders.

Our problems here in America are due to problems in the heart and heads.

I would chalk up the problems with child born killers up to, parental unsupervision, violence glorified, tv, Halo watching, and health 'care' professionals giving out psychotrophic drugs to young boys and girls, (mostly boys) like it's candy at a 5 & dime.

Wade Burleson said...

Annamma,

How do you feel about Dietrich Bonhoeffer's assassination attempt on Adolph Hitler? Are you disappointed in him, or do you understand the reason why this Christian minister attempted to remove an evil dictator through force (a bomb hidden underneath Hitler's map table)?

John Wylie said...

What I don't get is the way people carry on you would think that guns are the number one killer in America. Over half of all traffic fatalities are alcohol related and these alcohol related fatalities are about two and half times more common than gun deaths. Based on those stats a bottle of booze is more dangerous than a gun in your home.

stevenstarkmusic said...

All the other issues brought forth here - sex, bathtub safety, silverware, alcohol, etc. are issues to be considered separately.

When we start lumping things together, we are in danger of fallacious thinking - both in terms of false equivalencies and "slippery slope" arguments. Both are classic fallacies in critical thinking.

The cost/benefit of the proliferation of weapons created for the purpose of harming/killing humans should be considered on its own.

Nuclear weapons haven't killed anyone in years. Perhaps the restrictions on private ownership are too strict?

This type of thinking doesn't work.

Headless Unicorn Guy said...

And something that just clicked today:

A SCHOOL MASSACRE IS A DO-IT-YOURSELF REALITY TV SHOW.
NOT ONLY THAT, A GUARANTEED HIT REALITY SHOW. ALL CHANNELS, 24/7.

Even to the point where you can jerk a chain all the way to the White House ("Dance, President, Dance!") just by pulling a trigger enough times. Imagine the feeling of POWER that gives a disturbed loser. Or someone in their basement who's mad at the world and wants revenge.

"I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be
I'm gonna be FAMOUS!!!!"
-- opening theme to "Total Drama Island", Cartoon Network

Kristen said...

Anonymous, I don't quite understand your assumption that because I think assault weapons ought to be restricted, I am therefore against all gun ownership.

As for the Second Amendment, the stated purpose for the right to keep and bear arms was for the sake of a "well-regulated militia," which no longer exists in our country. Does this translate to an unmitigated right to have and carry any kind of gun you want, in any quantity you want? Was it anticipated by the Founding Fathers that people would be stockpiling assault weapons and storing them in such a way that their mentally disturbed family members could get access to them?

I think not.

Kristen said...

A conservative speaks out in the LA Times:

http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-burns-assault-weapons-ban-20121220,0,6774314.story

I don't know how to imbed a link, but this can be copied and pasted into a browser. I personally consider myself a moderate, not a conservative, but this opinion article reflects my views fairly well.

lew said...

Steve...

I figured you'd start off by saying something along those lines. Unfortunately, you're in a quandry since you know that in each case, is a personal choice made by a personal person to either kill someone or not.

In each case, all the same people just as are dead as a person who kills someone with a gun. In fact, with some of those actions, they hurt MORE people.

A fine case could be made that you personally hurt waaaay more than 28 people daily based on your choice to drive a car. Since you do, you should be fined or jailed based on your wanton disregard for human life. At the very least, your car priveledges should be revoked.

We should ban all cars and start galloping down the street like we used to.

Or, we can recognize that people are the ones who pull the trigger, drive the car, drink the alcohol, dig that needle into their own arms (or others), and have sex with anyone or thing that walks. Thereby passing AIDS/HIV, Clap, HPV's or a myriad of diseases to unsuspecting people.

Those who divorce and a connection can be found to be a reason for a person murdering someone else, should be held liable shouldn't they? Should we ban divorce?

My opinion is that the fallacy is when people think that a dead person isn't dead whether via knife, gun, car, drug, purposeful pool drowning, shod foot, or a fist. They're still dead.

Some go to heaven, some go to hell.

I find the cost 'benefit' analysis to be a bit like a corporate transaction. Are you going to base which one brings in more or less revenue?

IF you want to justify this based on a cost benefit basis like a business transaction, you'll find each of the others I listed have a much more costly price tag than guns.

In fact, cars, smokes, and alcohol are the tops more than likely.

That's whether it's HUMAN life too!

Just follow the original list up there to see which ones are more 'cost effective'.

Ironic you bring up nuclear weapons Steve. We haven't had one since have we? Would I like to rid the world of them? Sure, but we haven't had one since.

I wonder why Mr. Lanza pulled the weapon on himself instead of allowing others to kill him???

If 'we' America was to nuc someone.. I don't think we America, would nuc ourselves.

The type of thinking that doesn't work is the one whereby people think they control people based on laws. The amount of deaths connected with LAW ABIDING citizen's using those types of weapons is approx. .015%

So, YOU and others effectively want to squash the rights of 99+% based on what is realistically less than .15%

Please don't knee jerk the issue. You never know when YOUR issue is next!

Like a car ban!

lew said...

Kristen,

Could you please explain what this means?

The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is AGAINST sound policy for a FREE people to KEEP up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and UNPRINCIPLED rulers, to subvert the government, or TRAMPLE upon the RIGHTS of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.

Mr. Madison who was the drafter of the 2nd amendment stated that it was to make sure that the govt. wasn't too powerful like China, Russia, Cuba, Britian, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Checknya and a whole host of other nations.

I assume you weren't taught properly in school. Most in the past 50 years haven't. Started with Horace Mann and really got going with Dewey.

Please read The Federalist Papers. Specifically 29, but all of them should be required reading in order to pass high school.

http://www.guncite.com/gc2ndpur.html

http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/tag/second-amendment

I'm pleading with everyone here to READ what the Founders said.

If you don't like this amendment, which one can I PICK!

How about the right to keep your house, personal papers, speech????

Christians wake up!

I do not mean to be harsh, but this is EXACTLY what Hitler did. Yes, I did mention his name.

Muff Potter said...

Pastor Burleson,
I am a gun owner myself and firmly believe in the intent of the 2nd Amendment as crafted by the Founders, much to the chagrin of my liberal peers who see me lean to the left on most other key issues. You, Tom Coburn, and I may be far apart on many other issues, but on this one, I think we're singin' from the same hymn sheet.

I'm also fascinated and in agreement that we should have a citizen's militia/police force composed of men & women of high moral character. Men & women whose hearts are not easily corrupted by personal gain and political ambition. Men and women who are like the Jedi.

Kristen said...

Lew,

Once again-- did I say I thought people should have no right to keep and bear arms?

No, I did not. This is not an "either every conceivable weapon, or no weapons at all" dichotomy. I think the right of people to bear arms should be balanced by the need for public safety.

What's wrong with a little moderation? I don't want to live in an armed camp, where I'd better carry a weapon because everyone else is carrying one.

stevenstarkmusic said...

Hi Lew,

I think your comment exhibits a lot of the fallacious thinking I was referring to. Kristen points out a lot of this quite well, noting the false dichotomies. Another example is your "car ban" analogy, which is both a slippery slope argument and a bad analogy.

We accept the danger of cars because of the benefits. They make our modern economy possible - basically the list of what they offer us is long. And there are accidents, which are terrible.

A car's primary purpose, it's reason for existing, is to facilitate transportation. Deaths are the result of accidents and are a divergence from the car's primary purpose for existing.

A handgun's primary purpose is to kill people. An assault weapon's primary purpose is kill many people more efficiently. When the vast majority of gun deaths occur, it is not an accident, and it is not an abuse or divergence from its purpose. The death is the fulfillment of the gun's purpose.

I think we've been through a lot of the arguments here, but here's one more way of thinking about it.

Does anyone think that nuclear devices should be available for purchase by the public? If yes, then we disagree and let's move one. If no, then why?

The reason you offer will be basically the same reason I offer for why certain semi-automatic assault weapons should be banned and why other guns should require a rigorous licensing process.

I will bow out of this discussion now. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!

Phillip said...

Though I don't always agree, I appreciate Wade's well-thought out and thoroughly examined position. I learned a lot.

I need more time to fully digest but several responses came to my mind. And yes, this is a highly complex and emotional issue (with no silver bullet - no pun intended). Random thoughts.

While I agree with following the philosophical under-pinnings, too much changes in 250 years to not re-think some of the trajected consequences of them.

I get the sense that Wade sees America and the Kingdom of Jesus Christ as seperate and equal entities (though I suspect he'd disagree with that observation). I believe our vantage point must be first and foremost as a Christ-follower.

I love Wade's point that the government no longer facilitates the restitution to the victim but has stepped in and taken their place. I personally am not a huge fan of local law enforcement. Tonight I had to hide all my valuables (per posting) at both the gym and restaurant and drive into my gated and guarded community. Only to get home and see another red-light ticket in the mail. I reviewed the tape and I missed the light by about 1/10 of a second. So the police no longer protect my property or my family (even though that's what I pay them to do), they sit behind computer screens playing "gotcha with the general citizenry. I digress.

In 1776, it was not unusual to settle a disagreement with a draw to the death. Today, almost anyone would find that barbaric and often unjust (is the most practiced and coordinated the most right? And is death the best answer?)

In 1776, the concept of our government having predator drones and nuclear weapons was infathomable. That wipes out many of most vocal arguments of rigid second ammendment defenders against our government.

Arming our schools to the hilt and living in fear is the opposite of our most valued principle, and that is freedom.

Using Wade's own arguments, the citizens could by majority agree that assault weapons, high volume magazines, advance bullet designs, etc. are not what we want around us as a part of our society. We could agree to ban them and the people have spoken.

This plague is predominantly a product of:
-A culture that has lost it's moral underpinnings, including the sanctity of the family.
Combined with...
-A disconnectness to society, and the natural relational structures (also way different than 1776)
-Made easy and convenient by...the ready supply of high-tech weaponry
-Fueled by media, both through violent content and rapid disbursement and fascination with violence.
And all factors need to be examined to move us toward a more civilized and less violent society.

Robert Kellner said...

Wade, I wrote earlier and you dismissed my comments rather huffily, when I wrote that I do have a right of life not ended by someone shooting a military grade weapon obtained easily. Of course, you throttled me,

In the same note I also challenged you to get on board with your two senators about mental health issues. No well thought out response from you on that one either.

How about this news item:


Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., sought to amend the bill to stop the Veterans Affairs Department from putting the names of veterans deemed too mentally incompetent to handle their finances into the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which prohibits them from buying or owning firearms.

Please think before you write me off this time, because I expect you more from you than Fox or NRA or Republican party talking points.

Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

Kristen,

I'm not trying to make lite of what happened to the kids and in fact, all people who die from any maliciousness in any form. However,

Did you know that on the same day of the shootings, a Chinese man recently killed 22 school children in China with a knife?
http://americanlivewire.com/22-students-in-china-stabbed-in-elementary-school-attack-by-36-year-old-villager-min-yingjun/"


Just to clarify: The children attacked in China were NOT killed.

lew said...

Seems our Founding Fathers didn't think it was fallacious did they? So, you're not really arguing against me. You're arguing against the Found Fathers who probably had a better idea than either you or I.

However, unless I'm mistaken, based on the amount of people who use guns vs. the amount of deaths due to guns, the biggest reason to have them is to target practice since that's what they are mostly used for by private individuals.

Since, MOST of the people who have guns use them properly and do nothing wrong with them except target shoot and hunt, they are thereby BETTER citizen's than those who use their cars recklessly aren't they? Texting, reading the morning paper, combing hair, putting on lipstick, speeding, etc...etc...etc...

I suppose you would have been ALL for banning bows and arrows as they were PRIMARILY used to KILL people throughout the ages.

Yet, they were used to hunt and target shoot as well weren't they?

Again, I say... just because YOU don't like a gun doesn't mean they should be banned. Unless you're willing to ban things that cause much greater harm on a much larger scale.

By the way, I will find no agreement on a 'deal' with the devil. I don't agree with people who want ultimate power over people who have become sheep, but should find out WHY people do these crazy things.

I find that to be hypocritical honestly.

lew said...

anon... that is correct, but I think the picture is set. It doesn't take a gun to murder someone if you really want to.

lew said...

Kristen,

We have a moderation. There are thousands of gun laws on the books of which Mr. Lanza and many others disobey each day. The issue isn't the gun anymore than it's the bow and arrow of yesteryear.

lew said...

and Kristen... I posted what the Founders said.