Guest post; Is there a God-given right to own guns?

| May 24, 2018 | 66 Comments

From Graybeard;

There has been an assumption that the right to bear arms is a God-given right. Lately several people have asserted that there is no such right. Is this a tenable position for one in the Judeo-Christian tradition? Obviously, for one who does not believe in God there can be no God-given rights. For those outside the Judeo-Christian tradition I cannot presume to speak. But for those within the Judeo-Christian tradition there are some considerations which, I believe, lead us to the position that God has, indeed, given us the right to own firearms.
Genesis 1:27 is foundational to the Judeo-Christian view of mankind:

“God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”

The doctrine of mankind, men and women, being created in the image of God is one of the core doctrines for Judeo-Christian theology. Because we are created in God’s image, there is a dignity and a sanctity inherent in every human being. Germain to our consideration is a principle built upon this doctrine found in Genesis 9:5-6:

“(5) Surely I will require your lifeblood; from every beast I will require it. And from every man, from every man’s brother I will require the life of man.

(6) “Whoever sheds man’s blood,
By man his blood shall be shed,
For in the image of God
He made man.”

The consequence of taking an innocent person’s life is that the murderer’s life is forfeit – the murderer must be put to death – and the reason for this principle is explicitly tied to the fact that mankind is made in the image of God. Numbers 35:31 says:

“Moreover, you shall not take ransom for the life of a murderer who is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death.”

There is no other Scripturally acceptable punishment for one who intentionally kills an innocent human being.

By virtue of being created in the image of God, that is, everyone has a right to live unless one violates one of a set of conditions found in Scripture. One of these conditions pertinent to our consideration is in Exodus 22:2

(2) “If the thief is caught while breaking in and is struck so that he dies, there will be no bloodguiltiness on his account.”

That is, if one, in an attempt to stop a theft, kills the thief then that person is not guilty of murder and no penalty for shedding blood is due them. The concept of what constitutes a “thief” may be seen in Jesus’ words in the first part of John 10:10:

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;…”

It is evident, therefore, that in addition to having the right to life by virtue of being made in the image of God, Judeo-Christian theology also supports the right to self-defense and defense of one’s property even to the point of killing the thief or assailant.

Being prepared to defend one’s self, family, and property is something practiced by the Israelites from Abram on. It is recorded in Genesis 14:14:

“When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.”

Abram (Abraham) had 318 men in his own household trained to fight. Later Jacob, speaking to Joseph, says in Genesis 48:22:

“I give you one portion more than your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow.”

In passing he mentions the fact that he had weapons, and used them when he had to fight with the Amorites. The possession of swords and bows was a given among the Israelites. To defend themselves and their families they owned weapons – both close-range, that is a sword, and long-range, a bow.

Again, in Luke 22:35ff we read:

(35) And He said to them, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” (36) And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one. (37) For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.” (38) They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”
This is a puzzling Scripture. One understanding is that in order to be “numbered with transgressors” as was prophesied Jesus needed the disciples to have swords. This does not take into account the fact that Jesus was crucified with two thieves, nor Paul’s declaration in 2 Corinthians 5:21

“He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

Other considerations could be brought to bear. But another understanding is that Jesus was preparing His disciples for a different mode of operation from how He had them working previously. Instead of going in total dependence upon the gifts from others, they were to take their money and a bag of supplies and a sword with which to defend themselves from brigands on the way. This second understanding is in keeping with how the Patriarchs and later Israelites lived.

It is arguable, then, that owning weapons was considered normal and natural. If Luke 22:36 is not considered to be a figurative statement, the ownership of a weapon even seems to have the sanction of Jesus Himself.

If mankind is created in the image of God, both male and female, and if by virtue of that have a right to life and a right to self-defense, then there also exists for all mankind the right to possess the means to defend oneself. Historically we find that this involved, from the time of the Patriarchs through the time of Christ, the possession of a weapon such as a sword or bow. A sword is a close-quarters weapon, a bow is a long-range weapon. In our modern world the practical analogs would be a pistol and a long-gun; rifle or shotgun.

That is, if it being made in the image of God bestows the God-given right to life, and if that entails the God-given right to self-defense, then it also entails that it is a God-given right to possess the means to defend oneself, that is that there is a God-given right to own a firearm.

Therefore, we find that it is a tenable position for those in the Judeo-Christian tradition to profess that we have a God-given right to own a gun.

Category: Guns

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  1. Yes…. | Freedom Is Just Another Word… | May 24, 2018
  1. Non Cedo Ferio says:

    Speaking as someone who does not own a weapon as a choice based on personal medical issues. I believe that those who choose to own a gun should be able to. Provided there is no mental or criminal reason for them not too. I don’t agree In gun control the way it’s debated now. I do believe that common sense measures. I.e. Background checks , no cop killer bullets etc. I truly believe that the extremes on both sides. Those who believe that any and all should get guns on demand regardless of personal history and those who want to ban all guns altogether are being foolish and naive. As for the Almighy. I don’t know what he really thinks about the gun debate. I’m assuming he’s prob for gun ownership within limits. All I know is what Lincoln said. People wonder if God is on our side , they should be asking if we are on His side.

    • OldSoldier54 says:

      ” …they should be asking if we are on His side.”

      No truer words.

    • David says:

      Non credo – you may be interested to know that a) there are no “cop-killer” bullets, just limits on the design of ballistic vests – some are rated only for pistol ammo, some are heavier duty, but ANY vest can be penetrated by a sufficiently powerful common round – say WWII full-jacketed M1 ammo. As for the background checks, one of the reasons the Dems push them is because they insist you HAVE to have universal registration databases to make them effective. Which, other than being a blatant lie, allows them to achieve what they REALLY want – to know where to go to confiscate every gun in the country. Quite a few of them have come out of the closet and are openly advocated, and working actively toward, bans and confiscation.

      • Non Cedo Ferio says:

        I see your points David and they are well taken. I guess I was repeating what I heard about Teflon coated bullets. But in full disclosure. I know very little about guns. I’ve qualified with M16 and M9 and fired shotguns hunting in my youth so I defer to your and others hear who know far more than I do about guns. And I see your point about background checks I’m all for them if it keeps violent offenders and ppl who’ve got serious mental problems from purchasing one. I don’t agree that they should be used as a tool to confiscate guns from lawful owners . And I’m not saying that background checks are a be all end all to solve the problem of gun violence in this country. In fact I’m not sure what the answer is. It’s a complex issue with no clear way forward. But you can’t solve the problem by infringing on others rights to keep and bear arms. I know gun owners are just as concerned about issues like school shootings and keeping kids safe they just don’t wanted to be treated as if they are to blame. And I completely get that.

        • AW1Ed says:

          The “Black Talon” teflon coating was designed to reduce firearm barrel wear, not to penetrate ballistic armor. But that’s what the aniti’s came up with, and it stuck.

          • Fyrfighter says:

            Don’t forget “spinning buzz-saw of death”.. that was their big line about the black talon

          • Messkit says:

            “Black Talon” ammo has no Teflon. The KTW was the Teflon jacketed bullet, and the one that began the “Cop killer bullet” lies (no Cop has ever been shot with one)

            Black Talon had the engineering to expand tremendously, with the jacket forming razor sharp spines that force it to stop, and expend all it’s energy, in the target.

            Black Talon never went away. It is still available in the Ranger line of Winchester ammo.

            • AW1Ed says:

              Thanks for the course correction, Messkit. I blame my CRS syndrome.

            • Fyrfighter says:

              Actually, a couple differences between Black Talon and Ranger.. first they got rid of the lubalox black coating, second, the rounded off the ends of the jacket petals, and third (and most important in regards to the left) they softened their marketing, and didn’t make it sound so “mean”..

            • 11B-Mailclerk says:

              KTW was sold only to Government/Law/Military.

              It was a rather conventional steel-core penetrator, with teflon coating in place of copper jacket to mitigate damage to the barrel. Quite frankly, it worked no better than old fashioned copper-jacketed steel, and in some was was lesss penetrative.

              I had the opportunity to test-fire some,and peak to several ballistic experts on the stuff. Essentially, a marketing ploy to sell ammo became a marketing ploy to ban ammo/guns (day ending in Y).

              I was told, way back when, that exactly one cop was shot with one, in the head. (Stolen service weapon.) That kinda is fatal with old-fashioned lead round-nose slug.

              The term “cop killer bullet” is loaded BS, like “Saturday Night Special” or “Assault Weapons”

    • Graybeard says:

      If you are not sure what God thinks about things like this, I encourage you to find an understandable translation of the Bible and study it. It is in there.

      • Non Cedo Ferio says:

        Graybeard I heard you were. Under the weather for a bit lately. Hope your feeling better and fully recovered.

        • Graybeardc says:

          Thanks, Non Cedo Ferio. I am (as far as I know) well, but have spent several weeks fighting with Medicaid for my nursing-home confined brother, since they decided his school-district annuity was really stocks. Contacted them ever day for two solid weeks to get that straightened out, now have to work on getting doctors back, etc.

          Plus my own health insurance has become confused about my employment status. >sigh<

          My mother used to complain "You just keep on keeping on!" Sometimes that's a good thing. I'll wear them all down.

  2. BlueCord Dad says:

    I heartily agree. However, those on the left will not. But in the immortal words of my first FTO, “Fuck ‘em”.

  3. 26Limabeans says:

    “innocent human being”

    I think that is the crux of the issue.
    Unfortunately, not all human beings remain innocent from birth. Evil exists and it can be summoned by free will and installed in others.

  4. Ex-PH2 says:

    Historically, everyone, including women, had a knife of some kind, mostly used for eating purposes, but also for other things. No one, including children, was forbidden to have a weapon like that.

    However, when you come into the current era of power grabs and inflated egos, the only reason anyone would forbid ordinary mortals to have a weapon of any kind is a fear that YOU the peasant sort might turn on the person who thinks you shouldn’t have such things. Loss of control of the masses is the mark of dictators, you know.

    I’m more and more suspicious that the people who are engaging in multi-victim shooting episodes are finding some place online that talks them into it. And I don’t mean game sites or anything like that. Something more subtle. But that’s just my view.

    • H1 says:

      “The peasants are revolting”.
      And, concur with your assertions.

    • OWB says:

      It doesn’t have to be particularly subtle. Some crazy kid looking for his 15 minutes of fame will select a target based upon how easily he can access it and accomplish his goal. Unprotected, unsecure schools are ideal. Nobody needs to suggest it – the media already does that and the schools train those inside how to be soft targets.

      If you are looking for maximum damage for the least amount of effort, where better than a school, theater, mall or somewhere else where you are familiar with the layout and assured a bunch of unarmed people?

      No Fagen is required to be pulling the strings behind the scene.

      • Ex-PH2 says:

        Maybe it’s the aggressive pouncing on those events by the media makes me think of some influence like that.

        I agree that it doesn’t have to be an outside influence, but it almost seems like there is something.

    • GDContractor says:

      “… had a knife of some kind, mostly used for eating…”

      You seem to presume that there exists a God given right to eat.

      That’s a joke made in reference to all the Constitutional arguments. I would submit that we enjoy a multitude of God given rights, many of which we take for granted and are not mentioned or guaranteed in our constitution.

    • Jeff LPH 3, 63-66 says:

      I’m suprised that the liberal left doesn’t dig up King James 11 or his son James 111 and put life back into him via the next big electrical storm and he could tell them how he disarmed his opponent’s back in merry Olde England.

  5. OldSoldier54 says:

    Well stated, Graybeard.

  6. AW1Ed says:

    Cop killing bullets?

  7. IDC SARC says:

    God is my spotter.

    ….and I don’t give a damn what the current enemy’s other occupation happens to be at the time.

  8. CCO says:

    See also “Why I Am not a Pacifist” by C. S. Lewis. I think it’s in “The Weight of Glory and other addresses.”

  9. The Other Whitey says:

    Anyone who thinks that Christianity requires pacifism knows nothing of the Christian faith.

    “Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle.”
    —Psalm 144:1

    “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.”
    —Revelation 19:11

    • David says:

      Not to mention when you ask WWJD, remember what he did with the moneylenders at the Temple. Or that while he said to turn the other cheek, he only said one cheek and did not suggest making a habit of it.

      • SFC D says:

        I’ll turn the other cheek. Once. If you strike that one, may God or whatever deity you prefer have mercy on your soul. Jesus never said to be a helpless victim.

      • The Other Whitey says:

        Jesus picked up a heavy wooden rod and started beating the ever-loving shit out of the temple moneychangers, inciting a riot as he did so. Even Christ had a line that was not to be crossed.

    • Non Cedo Ferio says:

      “Do not that have come to bring peace to the world I have not come to bring peace , but a sword” Matthew 10:34

  10. Joseph Williams says:

    I just want my firepower to be equal to the gangs and evil doers. Joe

  11. astegeorge says:

    I think along with the right to self-defense is that we are born free and have the abilty to stay that way. The right to fight to maintain that freedom is given from God as well.

  12. AW1Ed says:

    Raised Episcopalian and not particularly faithful. I don’t need the Old or New Testament to validate my rights of self defense, I just go back to 15 December, 1791.

    That being said, thank you Graybeard, for the biblical perspective, and another tool to bludgeon those who would take these rights away.

    • The Other Whitey says:

      Raised Protestant, observant Catholic by choice, and taught to keep the immortal words of Benjamin Franklin:

      Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.

    • Graybeard says:

      You are welcome, AW1Ed.

      The argument is only to show how it is logically defensible to say that there is a God-given right to own guns, in opposition to what some have said – including a strong intelligent Christian I know.

      There is much more to consider from a Biblical standpoint about owning or using weapons – but I was only trying to answer that one question.

      • AW1Ed says:

        Which you eloquently did, sir.

        • Graybeard says:

          Thank you.
          I had to settle that question in my own mind, to a high standard of logical proof, to continue carrying with a clear conscience. There are downsides to majoring in philosophy and being committed to unflinching obedience to my God and Savior.

          I just hope it helps someone else who is struggling with that same question.

  13. 2/17 Air Cav says:

    You knew it was coming…

    • The Other Whitey says:

      Except that’s not actually the text of Ezekiel 25:17, but rather the English translation of a monologue by Sonny Chiba in some old Japanese movie, with a tiny bit of Old Testament flavor tacked onto the end. Never trust Tarantino for scripture, history, or pretty much anything else.

      • 2/17 Air Cav says:

        There’s the proof that you are a former Protestant. Cradle Catholics don’t know the Bible.

        • The Other Whitey says:

          Actually, I read more scripture today as a Catholic than I ever did as a Protestant, though I think age and maturity have at least as much to do with it as denomination. My Mom is Catholic and was raised Catholic and doesn’t get through a single day without cracking the Good Book for at least thirty minutes.

          BTW, for a truly amazing Bible study program that’s very heavy on context, history, and how the different Old- and New Testament scriptures tie together, I highly recommend Jeff Cavins.

      • AW1Ed says:

        King James version:

        And I will execute great vengeance upon them with furious rebukes; and they shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall lay my vengeance upon them.

        Tarantino made a good movie, once.

        • The Other Whitey says:

          He made a few good scenes on multiple occasions. If he ever made a good movie, I’ve never heard of it. And since the sick bastard is on the record as being okay with Roman Polanski raping a 13-year-old, I really don’t care if he ever makes anything good, because I won’t spend money to see it.

  14. 5JC says:

    The SCOTUS asked and answered this for us.

    In the history of the court it is difficult to find a more well reasoned and written decision.

    A sample from Abolitionist Charles Sumner:

    “The rifle has ever been the companion of the pioneer
    and, under God, his tutelary protector against the red
    man and the beast of the forest. Never was this efficient
    weapon more needed in just self-defence, than
    now in Kansas, and at least one article in our National
    Constitution must be blotted out, before the
    complete right to it can in any way be impeached.
    And yet such is the madness of the hour, that, in defiance
    of the solemn guarantee, embodied in the
    Amendments to the Constitution, that ‘the right of the
    people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,’
    the people of Kansas have been arraigned for keeping
    and bearing them, and the Senator from South Carolina
    has had the face to say openly, on this floor, that
    they should be disarmed—of course, that the fanatics
    of Slavery, his allies and constituents, may meet no
    impediment.” The Crime Against Kansas, May 19–20,
    1856, in American Speeches: Political Oratory from
    the Revolution to the Civil War 553, 606–607 (2006).

    That is correct, some of the biggest advocates in the 1850s for the 2nd Amendment were abolitionists who needed arms to protect themselves from pro slavery mobs. Those for more gun control? Slave holders from the South. This should not come as a surprise. It is the same today.

    Gun control is a tool of oppression.

  15. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    The only way to keep government in check is to allow the populace to keep and bear arms. When the government takes away that right, they will not be afraid to take away any other right that we have (see Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, etc…) and enslave us for eternity.

  16. Mark Lauer says:

    A very interesting and thought provoking post.
    I have always been familiar with the concept of self defense being a God given right, but never considered that this could include having a “right to own a gun”. That never made sense to me, being that the Laws of God were laid out way before there were guns. But if taken in the context of WEAPONS, as in swords, spears, or what have you, then it comes to a perfect conclusion.

    It continues to amaze me just how smart us Veteran guys are.

  17. SgtM says:

    Libs do not believe in God, therefore no God given rights. There are only what is right at the time. To them it is time to kill whitey, destroy history and demand free stuff from the rich whiteys they do not kill. Thank goodness I’m a darker Italian desent guy. When caucasion libs proclaim to hate themselves…. How do you deal with that. The clan hated my Italian, Catholic butcher shop owner great grand parents, and those clan members were democrats.

    • Mark Lauer says:

      I had a guy, not long ago, who tried to win an argument with me regarding Rights.

      He was absolutely convinced that Rights are Privileges granted by governments.
      I had to ask him how the government granted him the right to live.

  18. A Proud Infidel®™️ says:

    Luke 22:36, “He said to them, But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag, and if you do not have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

    Firearms didn’t exist in Biblical Times thus I’m sure that Jesus approves of having a weapon for the defense of one’s Home and family. For those who bawl for more Gun Laws I say look at what they have in Chicago versus their gun crime rates and compare it with that of the Fine town of Kennessaw GA, ‘nuff said!

    • Ex-PH2 says:

      Gun-related crimes have been rising since Richie Daley left the Mayor’s office, API. That dorkwad in the Mayor’s office is completely out of his depth. He thinks more bicycle paths are needed. They simply represent more places to rob and attack people.
      Real estate agents in Chicago are now getting licensed to carry/CCW because they are ALL in a risky business. The neighborhoods are NOT getting better. Residents are all saying ‘put more cops on the beat’. The disease has spread from the south side to everywhere, including the Lincoln Park area.

      There is NO place untouched by this crap, and I blame it ALL on gun control laws by the mindless idiots who think that is the answer.

  19. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    JMB 1911:45

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