Tag Archives: Gun Ban

What does the Bible say on the issue of self-defense vs gun control?

Theology that hits the spot
Theology that hits the spot

Reformed Baptist theologian Wayne Grudem speaks on the Bible and the right of self-defense.

About Wayne Grudem:

Grudem holds a BA from Harvard University, a Master of Divinity from Westminster Theological Seminary, and a PhD from the University of Cambridge. In 2001, Grudem became Research Professor of Bible and Theology at Phoenix Seminary. Prior to that, he had taught for 20 years at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, where he was chairman of the department of Biblical and Systematic Theology.

Grudem served on the committee overseeing the English Standard Version translation of the Bible, and in 1999 he was the president of the Evangelical Theological Society. He is a co-founder and past president of the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. He is the author of, among other books, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine, which advocates a Calvinistic soteriology, the verbal plenary inspiration and inerrancy of the Bible, the body-soul dichotomy in the nature of man, and the complementarian (rather than egalitarian) view of gender equality.

The MP3 file is here.

The PDF outline is here.

Topics:

  • what about turning the other cheek? doesn’t that undermine self-defense?
  • what does Jesus say about the right to self-defense in the New Testament
  • did Jesus’ disciples carry swords for protection during his ministry?
  • why did Jesus tell his disciples to sell their cloaks and buy swords?
  • what about Jesus stopping Peter from using force during Jesus’ arrest?
  • shouldn’t we rely on police instead of our own personal weapons?
  • what about brandishing a handgun vs actually trying to shoot someone?
  • what are violent crime rates in pro-gun USA and in the anti-gun UK?
  • does outlawing guns cause violent crime to increase or decrease?
  • do academic studies show that gun control decreases crime?
  • do academic studies show that concealed carry laws decreases crime?
  • what do academic studies show about defensive handgun usage?
  • do many children die from guns in the home compared to other causes?
  • doesn’t the US Constitution limit the usage of guns to the army and police?
  • what did the Founding Fathers believe about lawful ownership of firearms?
  • What should be the goal of someone who uses a weapon in self-defense?

This is a good example of applying the Bible to real life. We need more of that!

65-year-old woman uses legally-owned gun to deter 23-year-old man who tried to rob her

Guns are for self-defense against criminals
Guns are for self-defense against criminals

First, let’s see this news story from the CBS local news.

Excerpt:

Police say a 65-year-old woman shot a man who tried to rob her Monday night, leading to that man’s arrest.

Michael Bontaites, 23 of Manchester, was charged with attempted robbery and held on $5,000 bail. He was charged and arraigned Tuesday at Elliot Hospital, where he had gone for treatment after he was shot.

The incident began after the woman noticed an unknown dark-colored sedan following her as she was driving home from her job around 11:30 p.m. Monday night, which she said gave her “heightened concern.”

“Your instincts will tell you. Your gut will tell you when something isn’t right,” the woman, who did not wish to be identified, told WBZ-TV.

The Manchester grandmother said the sedan followed her into the parking lot of her apartment complex on South Porter Street and parked near her. When she left the car to walk into her building, she said a man in a dark hooded sweatshirt got out of the sedan, ran to block her path, and reached out to grab her.

The woman, who holds a valid concealed carry gun permit, pulled a handgun from her pocket and shot the man once in the chest at close range.

[…]The woman tells WBZ she has had her permit to carry for 10 years.

“No one has the right to do that to anybody,” she said of the would-be robber. “And if you can defend yourself, all the power to you.”

Now, over at the Manchester Union Leader, we find out that this guy was actually able to avoid serious jail time for a previous crime:

The alleged mugger shot on Monday by a Manchester grandmother once threatened a woman with a knife after an automobile accident, according to records.

Michael Bontaites, 23, who is now in Valley Street Jail with a bullet wound in his chest, pleaded guilty to felony criminal threatening after a June 2012 traffic accident on Route 28 bypass in Derry, according to a Rockingham County prosecutor. Derry police say he got out of the car with a knife in hand, had words with the driver and passenger and then drove off.

Bontaites was facing felony charges that could have landed him in prison for 3 1/2 to seven years. But as part of a plea bargain, he agreed to six months of incarceration at Rockingham County jail. The sentence also called for an anger management evaluation and a year of probation.

Liberals are always trying to release criminals early – in fact, Obama recently released a whole bunch of criminals. That’s what Democrats do. The Obama administration has released convicted drug offenders. The Obama administration has released radical Islamic terrorists. The Obama administration ran guns to Mexican drug cartels. Criminals released early have murdered cops. Illegal immigrants with prior convictions murdered an innocent woman. Radical Islamic terrorists slipped through security screening to murder more innocent Americans. And so on.

Democrats are not serious about protecting the public – they even opposed sanctions against sanctuary cities. But now all that pro-criminal behavior is being taken a step further, and it has something to do with the self-defense story above.

Obama’s gun ban

What if the old woman in the story was not allowed to own a firearm? Well, it turns out that this is exactly what Obama would like to do.

The leftist Washington Post explains:

The most legally problematic part of the White House statement involves persons who are, in the terms of Gun Control Act, “adjudicated as a mental defective.” 18 U.S. Code sect. 922(g)(4). Under the Social Security Act, a beneficiary can designate a personal representative  to manage payments and interactions with the Social Security bureaucracy; for example, a widow who has no experience in financial affairs might designate a family member as her representative.

Should any Social Security beneficiary who has designated a personal representative be considered “adjudicated as a mental defective”? This question was raised by an Obama administration proposal in 2015. It was resisted by a bill introduced in the U.S. Congress. Imposing a gun ban on Social Security beneficiaries who have designated a financial representative would contradict almost half a century of established interpretation of the Gun Control Act of 1968. Nobody who advocated for the 1968 gun law suggested that it would have any impact on Social Security beneficiaries.

The Tuesday White House “executive action” regarding Social Security was simply an announcement of a plan to promulgate a regulation according to the ordinary process. Because a new regulation has not yet been published in the Federal Register, it is impossible to say whether the White House plan is constitutional. The devil will be in the details.

So, if you are collecting Social Security, and you have designated someone to be your personal representative, then the Obama administration thinks that maybe you shouldn’t own a gun, and be able to defend yourself from criminals. So I guess if the older lady in the news story happened to be in that situation, then maybe she should just let herself be robbed, raped and murdered, instead of fighting back.

White House threatens to veto legislation that cracks down on sanctuary cities

Map of sanctuary cities
Map of sanctuary cities

This article is from the Daily Signal.

Excerpt:

The number of sanctuary cities in the United States has risen to 340, resulting in the release of roughly 1,000 detained illegal immigrants each month despite objections from the federal government, according to a new study.

The Center for Immigration Studies, a nonprofit organization that advocates for decreased immigration, reported that local authorities acting in these sanctuary cities released more than 9,000 illegal immigrants whom the government was seeking to deport last year.

The majority of those shielded from ICE had prior felony charges or convictions, including rape, battery, and drug violations, the analysis of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement data from January to September 2014 found.

[…]David Inserra, a policy analyst in homeland security at The Heritage Foundation, said such policies encourage further illegal immigration, degrade state and local budgets, and, in some cases, harm U.S. citizens.

“Cities that actively work to shield illegal immigrants, especially those with a criminal record or those charged with a crime, do themselves no favors and only hurt their communities,” he said.

Because those jurisdictions are not going to “fix themselves” and the Obama administration remains inactive, Vaughan said, action falls on Congress.

The Senate is moving to vote on legislation next week that would withhold federal funds from cities that refuse to cooperate with federal immigration officials. The White House already threatened to veto legislation that cracks down on sanctuary cities after the House passed a similar bill in July.

Elsewhere, the Democrats also released 6000 criminals with drug convictions, including those who have prior convictions for illegal weapons, like guns. Why would the Democrats want more criminals on the streets?

Well, remember Fast and Furious? Fast and Furious was a Democrat-run operation that had the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms overseeing the trafficking of assault weapons to drug cartels across the Southern border. The Democrats later tried to cover all this up by withholding documents during the investigation. (See links below for details)

Why were the Democrats doing this? Well, the lead organizer was a well-known advocate of gun banning and gun confiscation. The point of Fast and Furious was to give criminals powerful assault weapons, have them commit crimes, and then use the dead bodies of the victims (including one Border Patrol agent) to advocate for confiscating the guns of law-abiding citizens. The operation was run by Eric Holder and the Department of Justice.

Democrats do not like the idea that citizens who own property can defend themselves from criminals who do not. It’s “unequal” and an easy way to fix this “inequality” is by disarming the property owners so that the criminals can take some and then everyone is equal. They really are crazy enough about “inequality” that they will literally put guns in the hands of criminals to shoot civilians and border patrol agents in order to “solve” the inequality problem.

Related posts

Did Australia’s ban on guns lower violent crime rates and lower suicide rates?

Guns are for self-defense against criminals
Guns are for self-defense against criminals

Someone asked me about what I thought of Australia’s experience banning the use of handguns for self-defense against criminals, and so I thought I would link to an article from The Federalist, then explain what peer-reviewed studies say about the issue.

Let’s start with The Federalist.

It says:

The argument, as Vox’s headline puts it, is “Australia confiscated 650,000 guns. Murders and suicides plummeted.”

The piece, along with many gun control advocates, cites a Harvard University study whose conclusion begins with this line: “It does not appear that the Australian experience with gun buybacks is fully replicable in the United States.” Not a great start for Vox’s angle, but I digress.

The study doesn’t conclude that “murders and suicides plummeted” in Australia after the 1996 gun ban, as Vox claims in its headline. Instead, it focuses solely on firearm-related murders and suicides.

After the gun ban, violent crime rates were up:

Yes, as with the gun-happy United States, the murder rate is down in Australia. It’s dropped 31 percent from a rate of 1.6 per 100,000 people in 1994 to 1.1 per 100,000 in 2012.But it’s the only serious crime that saw a consistent decline post-ban.

In fact, according to the Australian government’s own statistics, a number of serious crimes peaked in the years after the ban. Manslaughter, sexual assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, and unarmed robbery all saw peaks in the years following the ban, and most remain near or above pre-ban rates. The effects of the 1996 ban on violent crime are, frankly, unimpressive at best.

It’s even less impressive when again compared to America’s decrease in violent crime over the same period. According to data from the U.S. Justice Department, violent crime fell nearly 72 percent between 1993 and 2011. Again, this happened as guns were being manufactured and purchased at an ever-increasing rate.

So although you have fewer firearm-related deaths when you disarm law-abiding civilians, violent crime increases, because there is now NO deterrence to criminals. Even a criminal with a knife can rob, rape and murder someone who is unarmed.

What about suicide rates?

Look:

The Australian gun ban’s effect on suicide in the country isn’t any better. While Vox repeats the Harvard study’s claim that firearm-related suicides are down 57 percent in the aftermath of the ban, Lifeline Australia reports that overall suicides are at a ten-year high. The Australian suicide prevention organization claims suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians 15 to 44 years old. So, while Australians kill themselves with firearms less often, it seems they don’t actually take their own lives any less often than before the ban.

So, overall suicides are not down, people simply found other ways to kill themselves. So the gun ban had no effect on the overall suicide rate. But it did raise the violent crime rate. Should we be surprised by this? Actually, this is consistent with peer-reviewed research.

The peer-reviewed research

Whenever I get into discussions about gun control, I always mention two academic books by John R. Lott and Joyce Lee Malcolm.

Here is a paper by Dr. Malcolm that summarizes one of the key points of her book.

Excerpt:

Tracing the history of gun control in the United Kingdom since the late 19th century, this article details how the government has arrogated to itself a monopoly on the right to use force. The consequence has been a tremendous increase in violent crime, and harsh punishment for crime victims who dare to fight back. The article is based on the author’s most recent book, Guns and Violence: The English Experience (Harvard University Press, 2002). Joyce Malcom is professor of history at Bentley College, in Waltham, Massachusetts. She is also author of To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an AngloAmerican Right (Harvard University Press, 1994).

Upon the passage of The Firearms Act (No. 2) in 1997, British Deputy Home Secretary Alun Michael boasted: “Britain now has some of the toughest gun laws in the world.” The Act was second handgun control measure passed that year, imposed a near-complete ban on private ownership of handguns, capping nearly eighty years of increasing firearms restrictions. Driven by an intense public campaign in the wake of the shooting of schoolchildren in Dunblane, Scotland, Parliament had been so zealous to outlaw all privately owned handguns that it rejected proposals to exempt Britain’s Olympic target-shooting team and handicapped target-shooters from the ban.

And the result of the 1997 gun ban:

The result of the ban has been costly. Thousands of weapons were confiscated at great financial cost to the public. Hundreds of thousands of police hours were devoted to the task. But in the six years since the 1997 handgun ban, crimes with the very weapons banned have more than doubled, and firearm crime has increased markedly. In 2002, for the fourth consecutive year, gun crime in England and Wales rose—by 35 percent for all firearms, and by a whopping 46 percent for the banned handguns. Nearly 10,000 firearms offences were committed.

[…]According to Scotland Yard, in the four years from 1991 to 1995 crimes against the person in England‟s inner cities increased by 91 percent. In the four years from 1997 to 2001 the rate of violent crime more than doubled. The UK murder rate for 2002 was the highest for a century.

I think that peer-reviewed studies – from Harvard University, no less – should be useful to those of us who believe in the right of self-defense for law-abiding people. The book by economist John Lott, linked above,compares the crime rates of all U.S. states that have enacted concealed carry laws, and concludes that violent crime rates dropped after law-abiding citizens were allowed to carry legally-owned firearms. That’s the mirror image of Dr. Malcolm’s Harvard study, but both studies affirm the same conclusion – more legal firearm ownership means less crime.

Donald Trump should be running as a Democrat, he has no conservative views

Donald Trump should stick to Miss Universe pageants
Donald Trump should stick to Miss Universe pageants

I’ve been trying not to pay attention to the fact that a leftist is leading the Republican primary. You see, I’m actually familiar with Trump’s previous positions on things like taxes (he’s for raising them), partial-birth abortion, i.e. – infanticide (he supports it), amnesty (he’s for that), government-run health care (he’s for it)… and so on. In fact, Donald Trump’s record is not conservative on a single issue. He has never advocated for conservative policies. Not one. He’s a leftist, through and through.

What this 90-second video, showing Trump in his own words:

Leftist clowns like him do not change their positions short of some serious study, and there is no evidence that he has studied a thing.

Here’s Jonah Goldberg writing in National Review to express how frustrating it is to people like me who prefer conservative candidates who have actual records of achievement on conservative issues.

Jonah says:

Yes, I know Trump has declared himself pro-life. Good for him — and congratulations to the pro-life movement for making that the price of admission. But I’m at a total loss to understand why serious pro-lifers take him at his word. He’s been all over the place on Planned Parenthood, and when asked who he’d like to put on the Supreme Court, he named his pro-choice-extremist sister.

Is that real? Yes, you can read about it here. Trump has no pro-life record. You cannot believe anything that a person running for office says during his campaign speeches. We already had that happen when Obama promised so many things in speeches that he never delivered on. And yet here we are in a GOP primary and a bunch of lazy Republican voters are just believing everything that a candidate says, and not looking at his actual record.

More from Jonah:

In his embarrassing interview with Hugh Hewitt last night, Trump revealed he knows less than most halfway-decent D.C. interns about foreign policy. Twitter lit up with responses about how it doesn’t matter and how it was a gotcha interview. They think that Trump’s claim that he’ll just go find a Douglas MacArthur to fix the problem is brilliant. Well, I’m all in favor of finding a Douglas MacArthur, but if you don’t know anything about foreign policy, the interview process will be a complete disaster. Yes, Reagan delegated. But he knew enough to know to whom to delegate.

Yeah, guess what? A clown like Donald Trump knows nothing about foreign policy. He could not tell the difference between Iran’s Quds force and the Kurds in northern Iraq. I am only a software engineer, and even I have blogged about the Quds force, and their leader many, many times. I understand that lay people don’t need to know about the Quds force, or the threat they pose to us, but presidential candidates do need to know. Trump’s ignorance on national security and foreign policy ought to terrify us. We can’t afford to elect someone completely unqualified.

More from Jonah:

If you want a really good sense of the damage Donald Trump is doing to conservatism, consider the fact that for the last five years no issue has united the Right more than opposition to Obamacare. Opposition to socialized medicine in general has been a core tenet of American conservatism from Day One. Yet, when Republicans were told that Donald Trump favors single-payer health care, support for single-payer health care jumped from 16 percent to 44 percent.

I blogged before about the horrors of government-run health care in Canada and the UK. And yet the TV-watching clowns who support Trump cannot be bothered to look at the research. If Trump praises single-payer health care (and he has), does that one sentence from a clown override the good, solid data from studies? Are Republican voters too busy watching TV to do any research? Or do we just accept whatever a “confident” clown tells us without looking at the evidence for ourselves? Can facts be established by a clown’s confident words?

You know, I really thought that we were electing the leader of the free world here. Someone who has a record of moving laws and policies that solve the actual problems we are facing: Iran nuclear weapons, loss of religious liberty, abortion, gay marriage, demographic crisis, $18.5 trillion dollar debt, record low labor force participation, aging ballistic missile submarine fleet, only 10 carrier strike groups, aggression from Iran, Russia and China, rising health care costs, rising tuition costs, poorly-educated young Americans who can’t find work, aging Minuteman ICBMs, declining entrepreneurship because of over-regulation, Obamacare, Social Security funding, Medicare funding, welfare reform, Keystone pipeline, and on and on and on. I didn’t realize that we were so pleased with the last incompetent comedian we elected that we want to elect another one. Is this a serious country? Or do we think that presidential elections are for our amusement?

I really recommend that you take a look at this article from the leftist Washington Post, which looks over some of Trump’s past words, past actions, and past affiliations. In it, you will find that Trump does not have any record of achievements as a Republican. He just hasn’t moved the conservative ball forward in any way, shape or form.

Look:

Abortion

Then: On “Meet The Press” in 1999, Trump said he was “very pro-choice.” “I hate the concept of abortion,” he said. “I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. … but I just believe in choice.”
Now: In an interview with Bloomberg Politics in January, Trump said, “I’m pro-life and I have been pro-life.” He said he believed there should be exceptions in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother.

Healthcare

Then: In an interview with Larry King in 1999, Trump said he was “very liberal when it comes to health care” and that he believes in “universal healthcare.”
Now: During his announcement, he called Obamacare “a disaster called the big lie” and said the deductibles were so high they were “virtually useless.”

Hillary Clinton

Then: Either Trump or his son donated to Clinton in 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2007, he invited her to his 2005 wedding in Florida, where she sat front row, and he’s donated at least $100,000 to the Clinton Foundation. He also said in an appearance on the Howard Stern show in the mid-2000s that she was a fantastic senator.
Now: On NBC on Wednesday, he called Clinton “the worst secretary of state in the history of our nation” and said she would be “a terrible president.”

The Stream has an article talking about where candidates stand on de-funding of Planned Parenthood. All the Republican candidates who have addressed the issue are either clearly for de-funding Planned Parenthood (Cruz, Carson, Fiorina, etc.), or even better – they’ve actually done it as governor (e.g. – Jindal, Walker, Perry, Bush, etc.). Trump is the only one who has waffled on the issue, which is not surprising given his past statements on abortion. Republican voters – there is a huge difference between “I de-funded Planned Parenthood as governor” and clowning in front of cameras. When assessing candidates, we have to look at the past record of the candidates, not their words during a campaign.