Thursday, January 31, 2013

Gun control and Gun rights

I've been sort of paying attention to the "Gun control versus Gun rights" arguments in the media. The key word here is sort of :). I read a bit of the news and one article. Josh Levs' Loaded language poisons gun debate. I totally agree with Josh. Most of the terms in the "fierce debate" raging across our country are poorly defined and everybody is coming to the argument with their own set of preconceived notions and perceptions. Just the words control and rights trigger so many knee-jerk reactions. Then, there's also the ambiguities in the definitions about assault weapons in practice and theory/law. This is a setup for failure.

The reality for me is my Lord Jesus. Like my Master and Savior I am into love. I don't support the use of violence, not even in self-defense. Neither the need for guns (for self-defense) nor the arguments about rights (I don't trust the government, besides its my right) make much sense to me. As a practicing Christian who wants to live out what Jesus commanded and modeled, I want to be motivated by love rather than fear. Love your enemies, those who live by the sword will die by the sword, treat others like you want to be treated, pray for those who don't treat you well, Jesus said. The Gospels are full of verses about living in love and peace, avoiding war and violence. Jesus didn't show us how to stand up for our rights either (please don't misunderstand that this means Christians should be doormats). He gave up his own rights as the Son of God and modeled humility, compassion, tolerance, love. The pertinent question each Christian should ask of themselves is this: Do I want to live in love and trust or in fear? If we choose to live in love and trust, I believe that we will also see the futility of guns.

I didn't always think this way. In fact, once upon a time, I explored guns as a potential hobby. I learned to shoot and went for target practice. I introspected about guns. When discernment came it was like icy cold water sending shivers down my spine; then the sheer bliss of the water's cleansing power and refreshment filled me. I realized where the path could take me and became filled with gratitude to God for saving me from going down a dead-end trail. Gun ownership meant a lot more responsibility and there would always be unacceptable risks. I just didn't need to add this to an already troubled and crazy world. That was the day I also became 100% convinced about the transforming power of love; non-violence is a, no-brainer, correlate. I pray that the Holy Spirit will convict you, like He did me.

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