"He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." (Luke 22:36 KJV)
Most of us are aware that the heroic actions of a brave woman at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs, Colorado a few days ago saved the lives of perhaps scores, or even hundreds, of people. However, her bravery would not have counted for much had she not been armed.
On that fateful December Sunday, a man by the name of Matthew Murray entered the church armed to the teeth. According to press reports, he was armed with a semi-automatic rifle, two handguns, some smoke grenades, and more than 1,000 rounds of ammunition.
By the time Murray arrived in the Colorado Springs church, he had already killed four people: two at a missionary training center miles away, and two in the church parking lot. He had wounded several others. No one realized it at the time, but the man was a serial killer in the midst of a rampage. He doubtless planned to kill as many people as he could, as there were thousands of people inside the church. Had there not been an armed citizen in the church house, the death toll would have been massive.
According to church spokesmen, the congregation has over a dozen members who volunteered to serve as security personnel for the church. Jeanne Assam was one of those volunteers.
A former police officer, Assam said, "I saw him [Murray] coming through the doors, and I took cover, and I waited for him to get closer. I came out of cover, I identified myself and engaged him and took him down."[Gunman Planned to Kill More, Officials Say, By Karl Vick and William Branigin, Washington Post, December 11, 2007]
Murray died in the exchange. Although Assam shot him several times with her 9mm pistol, the coroner's office said that Murray actually succumbed to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. After being incapacitated by Assam's gunfire, Murray apparently turned one of his weapons on himself.
Chalk one up for the good guys, or in this case, good gals.
Have you noticed how the media dropped the Colorado story as soon as it was discovered that a lawfully armed citizen ended the potential massacre by using her own handgun? Had the killer been successful in murdering scores of people, however, it would have been at the top of the news for weeks. As it is, the story is already buried in the dungeon section of the news, if it is in the news at all.
One thing the national news media will always ignore is the practice of lawful self-defense. For example, most people are probably not aware of the fact that American citizens use a firearm to defend themselves more than 2.4 million times EVERY YEAR. That is more than 6,500 times EVERY DAY. This means that, each year, firearms are used 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives. Furthermore, of the 2.4 million self-defense cases, more than 192,000 are by women defending themselves against sexual assault. And in less than eight percent of those occasions is a shot actually fired. The vast majority of the time (92%), the mere presence of a firearm helps to avert a major crime from occurring. That is what Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) concluded after extensive research. According to Rep. Bartlett, the number of defensive uses is four times the number of crimes reported committed with guns.
John Lott, senior research scientist at the University of Maryland, agrees with Bartlett. His book More Guns, Less Crime documents the fact that—instead of being a cause of crime—firearms in the hands of private citizens are actually a major deterrent to crime.
Another fact conveniently ignored by the major media is the connection between wanton killings and so-called "gun-free" zones. For an example of this, look no further than the Virginia Tech massacre. In spite of Virginia state laws that allow citizens to carry concealed weapons for self-defense, Virginia Tech forbade its students and faculty from carrying weapons for self-defense on campus.
Had a student or faculty member been armed—as was Ms. Assam in the Colorado Springs attack—no doubt many, if not most, of the Virginia Tech victims would not have died.
Obviously, bad guys do not pay any attention to "gun-free" zones, except to note that such zones create a free-killing environment.
Is it any wonder that those states and cities with the most restrictive gun control laws tend to also be home to the highest crime rates? The old saying is still true. "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns." There is another saying I like even better. "When guns are outlawed, I will be an outlaw."
Even our Lord understood and validated the right of every person to arm themselves for personal self-defense. He said, "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." (Luke 22:36 KJV) The old Roman sword was the First Century equivalent of a modern handgun. It was the most practical and convenient form of self-defense available at that time. Also, please note that at least two of Jesus' disciples (one of whom was Simon Peter) were in the habit of carrying their own personal swords, and Jesus never rebuked them. (See Luke 22:38.)
Jesus also acknowledged, "When a strong man ARMED [emphasis added] keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace." (Luke 11:21)
Furthermore, the Apostle Paul said, emphatically, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (I Tim. 5:8) Does "not providing for his own" include not providing protection? Of course it does.
The right and, yes, obligation of personal self-defense is entrenched in both Christian and American tradition. People who would deny citizens the right to arm themselves are either naïvely ignorant or deliberately duplicitous. As Robert Heinlein said, "An armed society is a polite society."
America's Founding Fathers agreed with Heinlein. Thomas Jefferson said, "No free man shall ever be debarred the use of arms." He also said, "Laws that forbid the carrying of arms . . . disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes . . . Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man."
Samuel Adams said, "[T]he said Constitution [shall] be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms."
James Madison said, "To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms."
Thomas Paine said, "[A]rms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property . . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them."
George Washington called the private collections of arms "the people's liberty's teeth."
America must always preserve the right to keep and bear arms. To do any less is to invite oppression and tyranny, not to mention acts of violence.
Some years back, Alan Rice of the Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership (JPFO) wrote, "Since 1900 at least seven major genocides have occurred resulting in the murder of 50-60 million people:
*Ottoman Turkey, 1915-17; 1-1.5 million Armenians murdered; *Soviet Union, 1929-53; 20 million anti-Communists and anti-Stalinists murdered; *Nazi Germany & Occupied Europe, 1933-45; 13 million Jews, Gypsies, and Anti-Nazis murdered; *China, 1949-52, 1957-60 & 1966-1976; 20 million anti-Communists murdered; *Guatemala, 1960-1981; 100,000 Mayan Indians murdered; *Uganda, 1971-1979; 300,000 Christians and Political Rivals of Idi Amin murdered; *Cambodia, 1975-1979; 1 million murdered."
Rice continued to say,
"In all seven of the genocides summarized above, gun control laws were in force before the genocide occurred, in some cases decades before. In five of the seven genocides, the lethal law, the gun control law was in force before the genocide regime took power."
Rice also said, "Gun control laws are usually enacted during a crisis or a perceived crisis." He then said,
"Government officials, not hate groups or common criminals, were responsible for these seven genocides. In most of these cases the murder victims outnumbered their murderers; yet they were powerless to defend themselves because they were disarmed."
Do the math yourself. Absent an armed citizen, 32 innocent people lost their lives at Virginia Tech, while the presence of one armed citizen resulted in two innocent deaths in Colorado Springs. Furthermore, the presence of over 200 million firearms in the possession of the American people has done more to keep America free than any other human element—bar none!
Therefore, to help keep your family safe and your country free, go buy a gun.