The latest statistics from the World Health Organization lists the U.S. with 4.2 murders per 100,000 citizens. How do we stack up against 25 well-known countries with total gun bans?
(Honduras 91.6) (El Salvador 69.2) (Jamaica 52.2) (Venezuela 45.1) (US Virgin Islands 39.2) (Colombia 33.4) (South Africa 31.8) (Central African Republic 29.3) (Bahamas 27.4) (Puerto Rico 26.2) (Dominican Republic 25.0) (Ethiopia 22.5) (Brazil 21.0) (Kenya 20.1) (Mexico 16.9) (North Korea 15.2) (Bermuda 12.3) (Paraguay 11.5) (Barbados 11.3) (Russia 10.2) (British Virgin Islands 8.6) (Cayman Islands 8.4) (Lithuania 6.6) (Philippines 5.4) (Cuba 5.0)
Weapons (in and of themselves) are not the problem. Sociopaths are. Gun bans do not address the real cause of our social ills. Any implement in the hand of the mentally and emotionally unstable is cause for concern. When guns are outlawed, outlaws will still carry guns. Evil lies in the heart of a murderer, not in the weapon.
A sincere change of heart, away from evil and toward God, is the only permanent solution. We’re obligated to offer the love of Christ to the broken people of this world so that a true change of heart is possible. But change is a choice some people refuse to make. So, although there is a time to reach out in love to people who are broken in mind and spirit, there is also a time when the only moral response is to protect innocent victims from evil-doers. To be sure we take the right stand in all critical matters, Christians must be serious students of God’s Word. Some say we should turn the other cheek and never use lethal force against perpetrators-even in self-defense.
But, the reference‘to turn the other cheek’is a warning against taking vengeance, not self-defense. God does not want us to be powerless against oppression. And the Sixth Commandment does not say ”You shall not kill”. It says ”You shall not murder”. Murder – taking an innocent life with criminal intent and malice–is prohibited at all times and in all circumstances. Killing is not prohibited under certain circumstances. God says it is our responsibility to protect ourselves and others. Many innocent people are alive today because someone took that responsibility to heart. I am one of them.
I was alone the night two men came knocking at my door. I peeked through the crack without unlocking the top latch. It had never occurred to me that disclosing information to my room-mate about her new boyfriend would cause me to almost lose my life. Earlier that day I’d warned her that the man she was dating had a criminal record for beating up women. She stormed out in rage, accusing me of jealousy. Apparently she’d told him because he’d come to set things straight. And he’d brought a friend. They stood silently glaring at me, drinks in hands. Clueless, I told him‘she’wasn’t home. When he shook his head and pointed at me, I knew I was in trouble.
The weight of two determined men against the door broke its hinges; pushing me back into the room. The first blow gashed my eye, knocking my glasses across the floor. Blood spewing and vision impaired, I backed up slowly. They stalked, knowing I was trapped. My mind raced to find something I could use to defend myself that wouldn’t be turned against me. I dismissed the kitchen knife and crossed off one thing after another- until I saw the iron. I grabbed it and swung. My hesitation lightened the blow. Huge mistake! In fury he threw me across the room. Landing between tub and toilet, one man pinned me down as the other punched and kicked me without mercy. I began screaming and couldn’t stop, in spite of the death threats. Then I heard a voice telling them to move away. They looked up and started to attack him. The warning shot stopped them cold and they backed up against the wall. Bloody, bruised, bones broken and half blind I staggered outside…alive…because someone with a gun defended my life. How can we justify disarming ourselves so that we are unable to stop injustice such as this?
This is a summary of an informative teaching on‘The Bible and Self Defense’by Dr. Richard Seim. (c) 2012 Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network, Inc.
• In a corporate setting, we may defend each other as necessary. (Trusting God, while prepared for self-defense.) Nehemiah 4:7-15, Ecc 4:9-12, Psalm 144:1
• We may defend someone being attacked by a violent person. Ex 20:2-3, Deut 22:23-27
• Vengeance should be left in the hands of God and the court system. Matt 5:38-42, Matt 26:51-54, Romans 12:19
• Jesus taught about the importance of being prepared to defend oneself. Luke 10:25-37, Luke 22:36
As a way of preserving life, God sanctions the possession and lethal use of weapons in war, self-defense and capital punishment. Even so, owning a weapon is a choice that comes with much responsibility. We must use weapons with caution, in wisdom and self-control. All our decisions must be guided by scripture; not by our experiences, the opinions of others or by our emotions.
So please, if you have unresolved anger issues…stick to a water pistol.