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July 7, 2021

Christianity Today Promotes ‘Gun Violence’ Fallacy

The publication ran an article suggesting Christians defending gun rights are opposed to Jesus.

Everyone’s heard it, yet there are those who simply continue to reject the basic truth of it: “Guns don’t kill people; people do.” Defenders of the Second Amendment have long understood that it codifies the right of individuals to protect themselves against those would seek to do them harm. And the firearm is one of the best tools ever invented for the purpose of self-defense, as it serves to level the playing field, no matter the size or strength of the individual wielding a weapon. Yet this truth doesn’t overcome the objection of the anti-gun activist.

“Imagine a world with no gun violence,” the anti-gun activist suggests, presuming that this would be a safer, less violent world. But the truth is we don’t have to imagine such a world, as we have a long historical record of a world before the invention of firearms — a dangerous world from which most gun control advocates today would quickly recoil.

People were killing, maiming, threatening, abusing, enslaving, stealing, etc. long before the firearm was invented because the source of violence lies in the hearts and minds of people.

And yet the anti-gun lobby denies reality with the disingenuous term “gun violence.” As if firearms were self-willed entities roaming the streets shooting people at random for spite or sport. “If we could just get guns off the street,” the political talking point goes, with the assumed outcome being some utopian dream world free of violence.

It’s one thing when secularists, whose concept of evil is limited to forces within society, espouse such pie-in-the-sky imaginings, but for a Christian to espouse such views is a sure demonstration that they are not thinking biblically.

Recently, Christianity Today ran an op-ed entitled, “Are We Attempting to Serve Two Masters, Jesus and Gun Rights?” It’s an excerpt from a forthcoming book from anti-gun activist and Christiansburg attack survivor Taylor Schumann titled, Beyond Thoughts and Prayers. It’s clear from the title that Schumann believes the right to bear arms runs counter to Christianity.

“When I log into my online survivors support group I see posts of despair by people who miss their children, their parents, and their friends who were stolen by guns,” Schumann writes. “While some people sit in homes admiring the guns on their nightstand or in their display cases, there’s another group of people who are trying their best to figure out how to live in a world where those guns are more important than their lives and the lives of people they love.”

This is a classic display of blaming the tool rather than the perpetrator, as well as assigning guilt by association. As a Christian, Schumann should know that the source of evil is sin in the hearts of people.

Before the gun, people used swords, knives, clubs, rocks, or any of a plethora of tools to commit acts of violence and evil. But it is also true that before guns, people used swords, knives, etc. to defend themselves against evil, prevent crimes, and protect the innocent. It’s the intent behind the use of these tools that matters, not the mere existence of these tools.

By failing to make this obvious yet profound distinction, Schumann’s desire to “end gun violence” ironically works against the very concern she later espouses, which is to “bring the Kingdom of God to this earth with our hands and our feet.” By avoiding humanity’s fundamental problem, sin, which is the reason Jesus came to the earth in the first place, Schumann is actually doing the opposite of “being a follower of Jesus” and inviting “other people into His kingdom.”

Schumann creates a false and non-biblical dichotomy between following Jesus and the right to bear arms, as if the two were mutually exclusive. She attempts to make this argument stick by insinuating that those concerned about defending the Second Amendment are essentially engaged in the sin of idolatry — worshiping their firearms (“admiring the guns in their nightstand or in their display cases”). She apparently cannot conceive of the possibility that the vast majority of gun owners, Christian or otherwise, own guns out of a desire to protect life rather than take it.

In the end of the excerpt, Schumann presses hard on her false dichotomy by referencing Jesus’s parable of the good Samaritan. “We can’t keep passing the dying man on the side of the road,” she writes. “We’ve desperately tried for decades to hold a Bible in one hand and a gun in the other and we have no hands left to serve each other, or Jesus. We have to choose. We have to lay one down. So I ask, who will you serve this day?”

To take some liberty with Schumann’s rather ill-conceived illustration, suppose the good Samaritan were to have come upon the scene of the victim actively being attacked by bandits. Should that Samaritan have stood by and waited until they were done beating the man near to death before helping? According to Schumann, he wouldn’t have a hand free to serve if he was carrying a weapon.

Offering straw man arguments that don’t actually engage the fundamental issues at play doesn’t serve people, nor does it honor Jesus. Smearing Christians who defend the Second Amendment as tacitly promoting “gun violence” is deceitful and demeaning. One could just as easily ask Schumann whether her apparent obsession over ending “gun violence” is becoming a two-masters issue — serving her own vision of the kingdom of God versus that of the Bible.

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