For generations and centuries so many things in America had never become an issue but now are; this includes prayer at public gatherings, public display of the Ten Commandments, celebration of Christmas, discussion of God in schools, etc….and gun control. The right of individuals to own, carry, and use guns was traditionally unquestioned, being a practice firmly rooted in history, law, and the Constitution…specifically the Second Amendment, which guarantees to every individual the indisputable right to “keep and bear arms” in defense of themselves and others. This right was drawn from the Bible (Exodus 22:2) which forms the basis of what became known as the “Castle Doctrine”. In Exodus we are told: “If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account”. This verse authorizes homeowners to defend their dwelling; and if in the process of doing so they kill an intruder, they were not guilty in the eyes of God…there was no guilt for shedding the blood of the intruder. Founding Father James Wilson, a signer of the Declaration and the Constitution and an original justice on the US Supreme Court explains the “Castle Doctrine” thusly: Homicide is enjoined, when it is necessary for the defense of one’s person or house…Every man’s house is deemed, by the law, to be his castle; and the law, while it invests him with the power, places on him the duty of the commanding officer of his house. “Every man’s house is his castle…and if anyone be robbed in it, it shall be esteemed his own default and negligence.” [James Wilson, The Works of the Honorable James Wilson, vol.3, Lorenzo Press, 1804, pp.84-85]. In short, if you were robbed in your home, it was not the police’s fault but your own. Other Biblical verses affirm the right of self-defense…Nehemiah 4:11, 18; Esther 8:11; Like 11:21. Self-defense was therefore considered an inalienable or God-given right. The purpose of government was to protect God-given rights, but as with so many areas in today’s society the government has failed in this duty. For example:
- In New York a man watched a group of young thugs approach his home. Suspecting they were members of the violent gang MS-13, he told his wife to call the police and he retrieved his gun. He went outside and asked them to leave. Instead they threatened to kill his family. When nearly two dozen rushed him he fired four warning shots into the ground. For attempting to defend himself and his family this homeowner was arrested and charged with a felony. [David Codrea, “Did New York Gun Owner Who Fired Warning Shots Save Lives?”, New York Examiner, September 9, 2010]
- In South Dakota when a woman saw a club-wielding attacker come onto her family’s property, she fired a warning shot into the ground, causing the attacker to flee. The police found the attacker, club and all, but only arrested the wife for firing the warning shots into her own property. [Daryl Burden, “Self Defense Punished in South Dakota”, Women Against Gun Control, www.wagc.com/self-defense-punished-in-south-dakota/ , August 4, 2014]
- In Georgia the manager of a store where there had been a string of robberies was himself confronted by an armed robber who pepper sprayed him, put a gun to his head, and threatened to kill him. When the manager drew his own gun and fired at the would-be robber, the company fired the manager. [Dan Cannon, “Circle K Clerk Fired for Shooting at Armed Robber Who Was Holding Gun to His Head”, Guns Save Lives, November 17, 2013]
- When a man in Washington DC saw three pit bulls attack an eleven year old boy, he went inside his home and retrieved his gun and shot one of the dogs. For saving the boy’s life, he was subjected to a criminal investigation by the city. [Andrea Noble, “DC Man Who Shot Dogs Biting Boy Could Face Charges”, Washington Times, January 23, 2013]
- In New Hampshire a gas-station clerk was confronted by a knife-wielding robber. When the clerk pulled a gun the robber promptly fled. For defending himself the clerk was fired. [Dan Cannon, “Gas Station Clerk Pulls Gun On Knife Wielding Armed Robber…Is Then Promptly Fired”, Guns Save Lives, October 15, 2013]
- In Washington state two university students confronted an intruder…a six time felon…attempting to enter their apartment. They brandished a gun causing him to turn and flee. For their effort their guns were taken away from them and they were placed on probation. [Spokesman-Review, “Gonzaga Univ Students Punished for Self Defense”, GOPUSA.com, November 11, 2013]
Sadly to defend your own life or the lives of others around you can now subject you to direct punishment or even arrest. We hear so much today about ‘gun control’ as though that will solve this nation’s violence problems. If that’s the case maybe we should also have ‘knife control’, ‘machete control’, ‘hammer control’, ‘sword control’, etc….even ‘automobile control’ as we have heard recently in the news that vehicles are also being used in deadly attacks. What our society and government has missed is that just about anything can be a deadly weapon in the hands of someone who is ‘hell bent’ on taking life. Violence is not in the ‘weapon’ but in the heart of the one who wields the weapon. All the laws and restrictions in the world will not correct this. With all the laws the US has, we should be the safest place in the world to live…ask the residents of Chicago about that. Our government has and is doing all it can to remove moral guidance from our schools, public gatherings, and public speech. As a society we have no one but ourselves to blame. When are our Christian churches going to take a stand and say “enough is enough”? Other religions have in their behalf. We don’t need to convince our elected officials to change anything with the Constitution; we just need to remind them frequently of their oath to support it.
Next week we will look at a ‘cancer’ that is slowly destroying this nation and many don’t even realize it…National Debt.
– Bob Munsey