Once again I find myself frustrated that after all the ink spilled by so many thoughtful people about the God given right to self defense, that someone writes drivel like today's featured letter to the editor of the Lakeland Florida Ledger, "Claim of Modern Need For Guns in Home Simply Not Supported." I can not, for the life of me, figure out why such half baked ideas are printed by an editorial page, when there are so many erudite opinions that support gun ownership out there. While the Bible makes abundantly clear that the act of murder is against God's purposes, self defense is an exception. Exodus 22:2 makes that pretty clear.
To the first point, that we no longer have Redcoats breaking down our doors: So? Could our own government not decide that We the People don't matter, and that all that does matter is that they stay in power? What? It can't happen here? Interestingly, Governor Bev Purdue of North Carolina has proposed the suspension of elections as a trial balloon. She was roundly criticized, but I believe it was at the request of someone in the Administration.
Here's one scenario. Let's say we elect a House, a Senate, and a President. The new Congress sets about writing a bill that a majority of Americans oppose, and that is not within the Constitutional powers delegated to the Congress. Let's say that in the middle of this bill being debated, a Senator of the majority party in the Senate dies, and a special election is held. Let's say that the candidate for the minority party campaigns on stopping this bill, and he wins the election. But the majority party will have its way, and through kick backs and special deals to various Senators for their States, manages to pass the bill. The majority party in the House threatens to not pass the bill, reading the mood of the country, but ultimately it is deemed passed, and the President signs it. During the debate, questions of Constitutionality are waived off with "are you serious?" The Speaker of the House even tells us they'll have to pass the bill so we can know what it contains.
The now law is taken before the Supreme Court, where at the last moment, a novel theory prevails, such that the law is declared Constitutional, despite the fact that the theory depends of the law imposing a tax instead of a mandate. But tax laws, according to the Constitution, must originate in the House, so that the theory is essentially flawed. Would you consider such a law an intolerable act?
What if the people then elected one who vowed to repeal this unpopular law, but the President refused to recognize the validity of the election. Can't happen? Well, just to be sure, a lot of people will hang on to their guns. Such a scenario was one, but only one, of the reasons the Second Amendment was placed in the Bill of Rights, and human nature has not changed in 223 years. Defending against a government that wishes to dictate to you what you will believe, as the government is attempting to do to Catholic institutions as we speak, is self defense.
Our author then claims that she can find no text in the Bible authorizing self defense. Hmmm. I suspect she hasn't looked hard enough, or she would have found Exodus 22:2. The story of Cain killing Abel, his brother, certainly tells us that God does not approve of murder. And the Sixth Commandment plainly says "You shall not murder" (not you shall not kill.) But then we have in Genesis 14 Abram, later to become Abraham, taking 318 men in pursuit of Lot's captors, and slaying them. What to make of that? I think it means that if a loved one is in danger from an attacker, and we are in a position to stop it, that we may do so with God's blessing. In the very next chapter, Abram becomes Abraham, and God makes his covenant with him. And while Jesus did say to love your enemies and pray for them, what to make of Luke 22:36 where he says to sell your tunic to buy a sword. Reading between the lines here, I take it to mean that we are to defend ourselves if brought under lethal attack through no fault of our own.
God's greatest gift to us is our lives. To fail to defend our lives is to spit on God's greatest gift. To fail to defend others when we have the power to do so is also to spit on God's gift. The most effective tool we have to accomplish that is a gun.