The God-given Right to Keep and Bear Arms

I believe that a human being has a God-given right to be free, and that means among other things, freedom from the compulsion of evil men who would enslave or kill him. This isn’t an abstract idea; there are a lot of evil men in the world. That means that the right to protect oneself from compulsion or violence is not a right the government grants, but a right that God grants, and that government has an obligation to protect. In this I am saying what the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution state, and I believe them to be stating Biblical truth. That evil compulsion can come in the form of a home invader, or it can come in the form of a tyrannical government. The form and conditions of resistance against a tyrannical government has often been a matter of debate, but nonetheless, all have recognized that there are degrees of oppression which cannot be endured.

This is why I support the right to bear arms. I will never support any “common sense gun reform” that infringes on this most basic right, the right of a man to be free from the compulsion of others. I do not believe that the state has the right to decide the amount of firepower that I am permitted to have, since the state itself is one of the potential enemies to be guarded against.

If you think that the likelihood of a truly tyrannical government in America is unthinkable, that might just be because you are deeply influenced by two hundred years of relative stability and liberty, which has existed in part because America has always had an armed population. Tyrannical governments come and go in all parts of the world. Unless you think Americans are just a superior kind of people to the rest of the world- if it can happen there, it can happen here. If it happened to the Russians, the Germans, the Venezuelans, the Cubans, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Congo, etc, etc, etc- it can happen here.

And the problem of crime ought not be underestimated as well. It is not uncommon for a government to oppress particular classes of people by refusing to protect them from criminals. We see early signs of that here already, with police turning a blind eye to vandalism and violence by certain groups of protesters but not others. This has become a horrible tool of oppression against white landowners first in Zimbabwe and South Africa—the police will do nothing when gangs beat, vandalize, rape, and kill white landowners in those nations after they lost power. It is ethnic cleansing. Again, unless you think Americans are just superior, if it can happen there, it can happen here.

Or even just defending ourselves from an incompetent government and a declining culture. The policeman’s job is not to protect you from crime. He cannot do that. The best he can hope to do is to catch and punish the criminal after the fact, and hopefully deter others. But as the old saying goes, when seconds count, the cops are minutes away. If a man is breaking into your home, and you call 911 immediately when he starts, there is simply no possibility that the police will be able to arrive in time to do anything other than possibly catch them after the crime is committed.

A citizen that cannot defend himself against criminals is just that more dependent on the government. This provides yet another lever for the state to use against us. The more dependent we are on them, the harder it is to resist their squeezing for more taxes. Municipalities will frequently defend their bloated bureaucracies from tax cuts by threatening cuts in the most vital and citizen-facing services like teachers, street lights, garbage collectors, road maintenance, and police. They never cut the fat if they can avoid it. They cut in such a way as to cause maximum pain to the population, in order to keep receiving their tax dollars. So the less dependent we are on the state the less leverage they have over us to demand more tax revenue.

Saying that Second Amendment conservatives don’t care about school shootings is a wicked slander, and just further guarantees that we will not have an actual conversation about the issue. Conservatives have many proposals for protecting schools better, such as arming teachers and using armed guards. We have noted many times how most of these shootings happen in gun-free zones. Ultimately, though, the greater problem is the culture of family breakdown and amorality that has so characterized our country for a few decades now.

But evil men have always been in the world, and they always will be in the world. And because that is true, for a man to be truly free from the oppression of others, he must be armed.

Do we not trust God to take care of us? Of course we do. No government is stronger than He is. But He works through means. Jesus told His disciples to arm themselves for their missionary journeys (Luke 22:36). God often protected Israel from evil oppressors with military force, though stories such as Gideon’s defeat over the Midianites prove that God didn’t need weapons to protect Israel, either. The Bible simply never tells us not to use weapons to protect the innocent from evil; rather, it talks a great deal about the right and wrong use of force. A God-fearing Christian will trust Him rather than his guns, just as he won’t put his trust in gold and silver. But that trust calls us to use things, like guns and gold and silver, in the way that God teaches us. Trust in God never means passivity, and just waiting for God to do things. It means doing things the way God has taught us to, trusting Him with the results.

Only the salvation of God through Jesus Christ can ultimately solve the problem of evil in the world. But that’s not going to happen until Christ comes again. Until then, we’re to live in this world and to accept the reality that there is evil, there are oppressors, and we’re never going to get rid of them.

And God tells us to defend the poor and fatherless, to deliver them from the hand of the oppressor (Psalm 82:1-4). That usually requires the use of force.

If it is a sin to kill, then I have the right to protect myself and others from being killed. If it is a sin to steal, then I have a right to protect myself and others from theft.

These are the big issues. Issues such as magazine capacity, bump stocks, semi-auto vs. full-auto, and the like simply are not the important issues. Until you understand why we really support the right to keep and bear arms, that freedom from oppression requires the ability to defend oneself from evil men, you will not truly be able to understand why the Second-Amendment conservative is not moved by the irrelevant arguments and the slanderous accusations that come out like clockwork every time there is another shooting.

Yes, we know there’s evil in the world. That’s why we insist on the God-given right to be armed.