Gun Control

I have made my determination that I will support gun control, and here are my reasons. Note that I do not wish to debate the right to bear arms, for that is already granted by the US constitution second amendment. But the wisdom goes,

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. (1 Corinthians 10:23)

To be specific, I'm not abolishing all gun ownership, but want to impose a very specific type of control. I understand that some people like to use guns for recreational purposes, and that's an important part of their lives. The kind of gun control I'm seeking should satisfy their lifestyle wants. Some people like to keep their guns at home, especially in a rural area where the police could not arrive quickly in response to an emergency. That should be allowed.

Guns used for hunting such as rifles and shotguns have a very different form factor and function than handguns or assault weapons that cause homicide, so we will restrict guns by form factor while allowing guns for hunting without affecting recreational activities. Restricted guns may still be allowed at licensed shooting ranges and in rural residences, provided that they never leave the premise. Zoning laws will forbid shooting establishments or armed residences in an urban setting where gun violence is a problem. Carrying permit will be single-use, restricted to a specific item, itinerary and schedule, and separate from ownership permit. The ownership permit is specific to an item at a given location. It will be illegal to carry restricted guns on the road or in the public without a valid carrying permit. It will also be illegal for a restricted gun to be found on a premise without a valid ownership permit.

The idea is that we should never find guns anywhere, except if they are used for hunting in a form factor which makes them ineffective in attacking people, or if they are only kept in people's home where they have a right to be secure (fourth amendment).

One argument for gun ownership is self-defense, but that reasoning has fatal flaws. The truth is, bullets are small, so it requires careful aiming in order to hit your subject, which takes time. It is more difficult if the subject is moving. Also, during close-quarter combat, the subject could easily overtake the weapon. This means that guns only work as an assault weapon where the attacker has the advantage of surprise, can wait until the subject remains stationary, can take the time to aim, and can attack from a distance. Guns are useless for self-defense. The victim is already dead before he could draw his gun.

By the same argument, we need to put legal burden on the shooter so that if the shooting causes death or injury, then the shooter is guilty unless proven innocent. That is because shooting is a deliberate act, so the shooter needs to be able to prove that the shooting is a necessary mean for self-defense, and the bar will be higher.

Some argue that gun ownership is necessary to maintain civil liberty so the government will not become oppressive. However, civilian grade weapons (semi-automatic) cannot defeat military grade weapons (fully automatic), so using the guns you own against the government is already a lost cause. Even the police have become militarized, and civilian gun ownership has done nothing to curb police brutality and might even have aggravated it.

There are more reasons for a Christian to abolish the use of guns for self-defense. When Jesus was arrested for later crucifixion, a follower took out a sword and cut off one ear of the arrestor, in self-defense. This is what Jesus said to him:

“Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.” (Matthew 26:52)

I hear that some Christians will argue: didn't Jesus tell his disciples to buy swords earlier?

35 Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”

“Nothing,” they answered.

36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. 37 It is written: ‘And he was numbered with the transgressors’; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment.”

38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.”

“That’s enough!” he replied. (Luke 22:35-38)

The answer is no.

The point Jesus is making is that, while previously the disciples did kingdom work that was miraculously supported by divine provision, the crucifixion of Jesus will mark the point where the disciples will have to take the initiative in kingdom work, and they will also need to prepare facing violent prosecution. Two swords are enough to symbolize awareness, but clearly they are not sufficient nor intended to be used for the self-defense of all 12 disciples.

Christians should also abolish the use of guns for civil liberty. Apostle Paul wrote:

For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. (Romans 13:4)

I think the biggest sin for the Christians who are pro-guns is that they are relying on themselves for protection but not relying on God.

Again, I am only arguing against using guns for self-defense and for civil liberty. The kind of gun control I'm advocating will allow people to keep guns at home and to use hunting grade weapons outdoors.