Following closely on the heels of the last post, would those who believe Christians may serve in the military, defend themselves and their family, and serve as a police officer be guilty of becoming tiny Thomas Jeffersons as well? Would they have to cut out all the "Prince of Peace" and "blessed are the peacemakers" passages of their Bibles?
Those who believe that Jesus was — and requires us to be — a pacifist have to remove a huge amount of text from both the Old and New Testament or they will have to spend their whole lives explaining those passages away. For those of us who keep and bear arms, who come from a warrior tradition, or who have personally stood in harm’s way on behalf of another, we understand the longing for peace in Christ’s life and message. We agree with it!
Samuel Colt called his revolver the Peacemaker for a reason. He understood the maxim "An armed society is a polite society." For those offended already, let me pose a simple question: should American police officers, federal agents, and military personnel be armed? What would happen if they laid down their weapons — never to pick them up again — today? Who among us would be safe? Can you even imagine the terror what would be unleashed upon the entire world because every American citizen laid down their arms? Those of you who imagine a world that would see our example, say "Ahhhhh" and join us in a green field picking dandelions are trapped in a bad 60′s era Coca-Cola commercial and need to get a brain, a spine, and a clue.
When a deranged man (well known to the police, with a long history of mental problems) entered an elementary school in Scotland and slaughtered the children with handguns, Britain overreacted as nations are wont to do. They banned almost all remaining guns from private ownership. Rich people with political connections could buy shotguns but every gun must be licensed along with each box of ammunition and the guns had to be locked away from the ammunition (which also had to be locked in a safe). By buying a shotgun, the buyer gave up all privacy rights as the police and other government officials could enter their home at any time, without a warrant or warning, to make sure the guns were locked and kept inoperable until an organized, approved sporting event took place.
The result? Murders in the United Kingdom skyrocketed. While the number of murders is still far below that of the US, the murder RATE is higher. Hot burglaries (meaning a burglary that takes place when the homeowners are home) are now FOUR TIMES what they are in the US. Rapes, assaults, vandalism and auto theft are higher than they are the US for the first time in history. When Australia followed the UK’s lead and banned all semi-automatic weapons, all handguns, etc. their crime rates soared, too. As researchers have shown time and again, the presence of weapons in the hands of the good guys (no criminal record, trained in their use) greatly reduces crimes against persons and property.
In other words, the armed individual is a peacemaker. The moral, upright individual who is willing to put himself in harm’s way to defend others creates peace. Without him in place, society breaks down.
So… should everyone have a tank in their front yard? Not exactly. Those who are armed by consent of the citizenry (police, federal, military) enforce the laws to make sure that only those meet society’s rules continue to keep the right to be armed. Those who violate our laws and endanger others lose that right just as they lose their right to freedom, voting, etc. That is why we aren’t a Sierra Leone or Liberia back in the back ol’ days of their civil wars. We allow our citizens to be armed (both of those countries denied that right to their citizens so any thug who brought guns in became a de facto warlord) and our legal system backs up that right. (one of our ministers said that he had wavered on the subject of self defense until movies like "Tears of the Sun" and "Blood Diamonds" convinced him of the need for good men to be armed to protect the weak)
We who believe in defending our families and neighbors ARE peacemakers. No warrior lives for war. Ask those who have seen war if they want more of it! They love peace and seek peace because they know its cost; they know what had to occur to create that peace. Nobody prays like an old soldier.