How should a Christian view gun control?
By S. Michael Houdmann, Got Questions Ministries
Every time there is any kind of mass-shooting, debate over gun control is revived. The argument goes: if criminals and unstable people did not have guns, they would not be able to kill or injure people. But, is that true? And, if it is true, is making gun ownership illegal the right solution?
Undeniably, guns are a very convenient weapon for someone who is seeking to kill and/or injure people. But, as suicide bombers demonstrate, there are other choices, just as concealable, and even more deadly. If a psychotic individual wants to kill and harm people, he/she can find a way, with or without a gun. Since the very beginning of humanity, people have been killing other people (see Genesis 4). Taking weapons out of the equation makes it more difficult, but by no means makes it impossible.
Romans 13:1-7 instructs us to submit to the governing authorities. Whatever nation you live in, you should submit to your government's laws in regards to gun ownership. In the United States of America, it is legal to own guns, as long as you go through the proper legal process. Citizens of the United States should obey these laws.
Most other nations in the world have more restrictive gun laws than the United States. Based on Romans 13, those nations are within the authority God has given them to restrict gun ownership. The Bible does not command that guns (or weapons) be owned. Therefore, it is within the authority of the government to determine what restrictions, if any, should be placed on gun ownership. Should the United States of America one day ban gun ownership, the new laws should be obeyed.
But, let me say it loud and clear, banning guns would be an extremely bad idea. Criminals, by definition, do not obey laws. Psychotic mass murderers do not obey laws. With the proliferation of guns in the United States, if citizens were banned from owning guns, it would only be the good, law-abiding citizens who would obey the laws — precisely the people we want to have guns. Criminals would keep their guns. Psychotic mass-murderers would still find ways to acquire guns. There would simply be less people with the ability to stop or deter them.
The vast majority of gun owners in the United States of America have never harmed another human being, and never will. People use guns for hunting, for sport, or for an absolute last resort in self-defense. The fact that criminals use guns to commit crimes does not mean guns are the problem. Criminals are the problem. If all the guns in the world were taken away, criminals would find new ways to rob convenience stores, to commit muggings, to terrify people, and to commit horrible atrocities and mass-murders. No, gun control is not the answer.
On a personal note, my wife and I own two hand-guns. They are exclusively for self-defense. We sincerely hope we never have to use them. We actually question if we could ever use them to shoot a person. Is anything a criminal could possibly do to us worth us sending him/her to eternity without God? I don't know.
Tags: Controversial-Issues | Political-Issues
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Published 11-14-13; Updated 1-5-16