Gun Rights and Self DefenseSubmitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Wednesday, November 14, 2018.
Outlines are at the bottom of the page
Gun Rights and Self Defense I. Self defense is a God-given right and duty. 1. Jesus Christ affirmed the God-given right and duty of self-defense. A. Jesus used the principle of defending one's home with arms (Luk 11:21) in His teaching. i. Armed adj. - 1. lit. Furnished with arms or armour; fully equipped for war. ii. Arm n. - I. pl. Defensive and offensive outfit for war, things used in fighting. iii. To be armed (fully equipped for war) today, one must have a semiautomatic rifle such as an AR-15. More on this later. iv. Therefore, a Christian is well within his God-given rights to have an AR-15 to defend his home and family. B. Jesus also taught that a goodman of a house will not suffer (allow) a thief to break into his house (Mat 24:43). i. Goodman - 1. = good man. Sometimes used as a vague title of dignity or a respectful form of address. Obs. 2. The master or male head of a household or other establishment; the host (of an inn), the keeper (of a prison) ii. The male head of a household is therefore responsible to prevent thieves and attackers from entering his house by whatever means necessary. iii. Today, this requires that the goodman have a gun in his house which is loaded (or could be very quickly) and is easily accessible in the event of a surprise break-in. C. These verses prove that armed self-defense is a given in the scripture. 2. Under the law of Moses, a man could kill an intruder of his home at night and be faultless (Exo 22:2). A. Since Jesus Christ affirmed this principle in the NT (Mat 24:43; Luk 11:21), a Christian is fully justified in killing a man who has broken into his home at night. B. This law is the basis for modern "castle doctrine" laws. 3. A man who does not provide for his own family is worse than an infidel (1Ti 5:8). A. The context of this verse is providing for their material needs. B. If material needs must be provided for by a man, how much more so is a man enjoined to provide for the protection of the lives of his family? C. Therefore, a man that doesn't have a gun (or another self-defense weapon) to use to provide for the protection of his family is worse than an infidel. 4. Abraham used armed men to rescue his nephew Lot (Gen 14:14-16). A. Abraham and his servants were trained. B. Every man should know how to use a gun in case of an emergency. 5. Abner killed Asahel in self-defense (2Sa 2:18-23). A. He gave him two warnings before he killed him (2Sa 2:21-22). B. Abner was justified in killing him in self-defense. C. The same principle holds true with us today. D. If an attacker who has the ability and intent to do a man serious bodily harm continues to move closer to a man when he has a gun drawn and is telling him to stop, the man has a right to kill him in self-defense. E. If you have to kill a man in self defense, be aware that his family or friends could exact revenge on you as did Joab to Abner for killing his brother (2Sa 3:27). 6. If we see another person being physically assaulted, we are obligated to help him if we can (Pro 24:11-12). A. If we don't when we could have, God will judge us. B. Don't pretend like you didn't see it (Pro 24:12). C. Put yourself in the victim's shoes, and help him if possible. 7. Since self-defense is a God-given right and duty, no man should ever give up his guns. II. Shouldn't we just trust God to protect us? 1. We should prepare to defend ourselves and then trust God to protect us (Pro 21:31). 2. If a man thinks that owning or carrying a gun for protection is not trusting God, then why does he... A. lock his doors? B. have a fire extinguisher in his house? C. have health, car, and home insurance? D. save for retirement? 3. Why do any of these things if you are "trusting God"? 4. God expects you to take measures to protect yourself and your family and then commit your safety to Him. III. Self-defense is a natural right. 1. From the standpoint of nature, human beings have the right to defend themselves. A. Human beings own themselves. B. No other person has a greater claim on one's own body than himself. C. Therefore, no human being has the right to kill, kidnap, or physically harm another human being. D. Therefore, every person has the right to defend himself against the aggressions of others. 2. From the standpoint of nature, human beings have the right to own weapons. A. If a man digs iron ore out of ground that he owns and forms it into a knife or a gun, no other man has the right to confiscate or destroy it. B. Nor does any man have the right to prohibit that man from carrying his weapon on his own land or on the land of others who have given him permission to do so. C. Nor does any man have the right to prohibit the owner of the weapon from selling it to another man. 3. Since human beings have the natural right to defend themselves, and since they have the natural right to produce, possess, and sell weapons, they also have the natural right to defend themselves with those weapons. IV. Guns are the modern-day equivalent of swords in the Bible. 1. Jesus instructed His disciples to get a sword (Luk 22:36). A. If they could not afford one, they were to sell other things in order to buy one (Luk 22:36). B. They produced two swords as He was speaking (Luk 22:38). i. This obviously means that they were carrying them on their person. ii. Jesus did not chastise them for doing so, which demands that carrying a deadly weapon is permissible for a Christian. iii. Jesus did not say, "I meant a spiritual sword, guys." iv. He said that two swords among them was enough. v. If at least a couple of the men in the church are carrying a concealed weapon, it should be enough to protect the church. 2. Every man should own a gun to be able to use to protect his family. 3. The Roman sword which Jesus instructed His disciples to acquire was a combat weapon. A. Today's equivalent of the Roman sword is a semi-automatic rifle such as an AR-15. B. I believe that every man in America should own one. C. If you can't afford one, sell some of your possessions to buy one. V. Tips to remember regarding self-defense. 1. Pray that you never have to use your gun to defend yourself (Mat 6:13). 2. Avoid dangerous places at dangerous times (Pro 4:14-15). 3. Avoid bad people (Pro 13:20). 4. Don't go anywhere with a gun that you would be afraid to go to without a gun. 5. Pay attention to your surroundings (Eph 5:15). 6. Always try to avoid physical confrontation (Mat 10:16). 7. If you get involved in a confrontation, remain calm and try to talk the person down (Pro 15:1). 8. Swallow your pride and ego (Pro 16:18; Pro 14:16). A. It's not worth getting killed to save your wallet. B. It's not worth killing someone to save your car. 9. Know when to fight and when to flee (Ecc 3:3,8). A. If you choose to fight, fight with all your might. B. If you choose to flee, run as fast as you can. C. There is nothing wrong with fleeing from aggressors depending on the circumstances (Luk 4:28-30; Joh 8:59; Mat 10:23; Act 14:5-6). 10. Never draw your gun unless you are genuinely fearing for your life or your safety. A. You could provoke an aggressor by doing so. B. You also could be arrested and put in jail for doing so. 11. Carry your gun with a chambered round. A. You may not have time to chamber a round in a self-defense encounter. B. If you are not comfortable carrying a loaded gun, you are not ready to carry a gun. 12. Use proportionate force to end the threat. A. Only shoot until the threat has stopped. B. Never continue to shoot once an aggressor is down and unable to harm you. 13. You can defend yourself from an attacker, but you cannot exact revenge for an attack (Rom 12:19). 14. In a robbery or an assault by an armed attacker, you must wait your turn. A. Never draw on a drawn gun. B. Wait until the attacker is not looking at you to draw your gun. 15. Be aware of your backstop. A. Never shoot at an attacker if you have a good chance of hitting a bystander. B. You are responsible for every bullet that leaves your gun. C. You will be held responsible for anyone you injure or kill. VI. Gun-free zones are murder zones. 1. According to a study by Crime Prevention Research Center, 98% of mass-shootings in 1950-2018 happened in gun-free zones. A. The study uses the following definitions of mass-shootings (quotes are from the above cited study). i. "The official FBI definition of mass public shootings excludes “shootings that resulted from gang or drug violence” or that occurred in the commission of another crime such as robbery. The reason for this is pretty obvious: the causes and solutions for gang shootings over drug turf are dramatically different than the types of mass public shootings that we see at schools and malls where the point of the attack is to kill as many people as possible." ii. "The FBI also includes only shootings in “public places” such as: commercial areas (malls, stores, and other businesses); schools and colleges; open spaces; government properties (including military bases and civilian offices); houses of worship; and healthcare facilities. The reason for this is clear: for example, if the attack is in a home, the attacker is much more likely to know if a gun is owned in the home and who might have access to it. By contrast, when an attack occurs in a public place, the attackers don’t know who they have to be concerned might have a gun to stop them." B. The study uses the following definitions of gun-free zones (quotes are from the above cited study). i. "Places where only police or military police are classified as gun-free zones." ii. "Places, where it is illegal to carry a permitted concealed handgun, are classified as gun-free zones." iii. "Places that are posted as not allowing permitted concealed handgun." iv. "Places where general citizens are not allowed to obtain permits. Permits are either not issued at all to citizens or to only a very tiny selective segment (so-called may issue laws), usually judges, prosecutors, deputy sheriffs or very wealthy individuals." 2. It should come as no surprise that 98% of mass-shootings happen in gun-free zones. A. Gun-free zones only prevent law-abiding citizens from carrying guns to protect themselves. B. Criminals are not stopped from carrying guns by a sign on a door or a piece of legislation. C. It is no wonder that mass murderers pick gun-free zones to carry out their slaughter -- it's as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. D. Gun-free zones accomplish the opposite of what they are intended to -- they endanger people's lives, not protect them. VII. Guns save lives. 1. Every year in the US, hundreds of thousands to millions of Americans defend themselves with a gun. A. "In particular, a 2013 study ordered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and conducted by The National Academies’ Institute of Medicine and National Research Council reported that, “Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence”: "Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008."" (That Time The CDC Asked About Defensive Gun Uses, Forbes.com, 4-30-2018) B. The statistics are interesting, but they are not the justification for caring a gun to protect oneself and others. C. Our God-given rights are our justification for it. 2. Numerous mass shootings have been stopped by a citizen with a concealed firearm. 3. 24 such incidences are found in this article. VIII. Gun control and confiscation are tools of wicked men. 1. The Philistines enacted "gun control" on the Israelites when they conquered them (1Sa 13:19). A. They outlawed weapons manufactures (1Sa 13:19). B. This was done to prevent them from rising up against their oppressors (1Sa 13:22). 2. Wicked men and governments have done this throughout history before they slaughtered their own people. A. The following quotes are from an article on Snopes.com called A Little Gun History. B. The article says that the claims that gun control was the cause of the genocides of millions of people by totalitarian governments in the 20th century is "mostly false." C. The article then goes on to confirm that all of those governments did in fact enact gun control laws and confiscate guns before they massacred their citizens, and that gun registration, which led to gun confiscation, played a crucial role in those genocides. D. "Mass killings of civilians by military dictatorships in the 1900s were more often than not preceded by the confiscation of firearms from targeted populations, a task made easier by laws requiring the registration and/or licensing of privately-owned weapons." (A Little Gun History, Snopes, 11-11-2017) E. "Tens of millions of people became victims of genocide in the twentieth century because they were members of groups targeted for eradication for reasons of ethnicity, religion, or ideology by ruthless military dictatorships. More often than not, these massacres were preceded by (or concurrent with) concerted efforts to disarm the targeted populations, a task obviously made easier by the existence of gun registration requirements." (A Little Gun History, Snopes, 11-11-2017) F. "Based on the actual evidence at hand, we find it reasonable to conclude that gun confiscations, facilitated by laws requiring the registration and/or licensing of firearms, played a crucial role in the carrying out of twentieth-century genocides." (A Little Gun History, Snopes, 11-11-2017) 3. Here are numerous examples of governments disarming their citizens before committing mass genocide. A. Hitler (Germany) i. "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country." (Adolph Hitler, 1942) ii. "Few German citizens owned, or were entitled to own firearms in Germany in the 1930s. The Weimar Republic had strict gun control laws. When the Third Reich gained power, some aspects of gun regulation were loosened, such as allowing ownership for Nazi party members and the military. The laws were tightened in other ways. Nazi laws disarmed "unreliable" persons, especially Jews, but relaxed restrictions for "ordinary" German citizens. The policies were later expanded to include the confiscation of arms in occupied countries." (Nazi gun control argument, Wikipedia, 8-24-2018) iii. "Gun ownership was banned outright for all German citizens in 1919. A 1928 revision of the law lifted the ban, while still requiring individuals to obtain permits to own, sell, carry, or manufacture firearms. According to Stephen Halbrook, author of Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and ‘Enemies of the State’ (Independence Institute, 2013), the Nazis used the extant law when they came to power in 1933 to revoke the permits of communists, Jews, and other “undesirables,” and disarm them. The first gun law actually enacted under Nazi rule, the German Weapons Act of 1938, eased some of the permit requirements (those on rifles and ammunition, though not on handguns), and lowered the legal age for the possession of firearms, but also forbade Jews, specifically, from manufacturing or selling arms. The Regulations Against Jews’ Possession of Weapons, enacted later that year, prohibited Jews from possessing or carrying any kind of weapon at all. So, while the Nazis ultimately favored loosening gun restrictions on the German population as a whole, the disarmament of Jews and other targeted minority populations was an essential feature of Hitler’s genocidal program, which included the murder of six million Jews (and millions of others deemed unworthy to live under the Third Reich) between 1938 and the end of World War II." (A Little Gun History, Snopes, 11-11-2017) B. Stalin (Soviet Union) i. "The time period cited, 1929 to 1953, roughly coincides with dictatorship of Joseph Stalin, whose regime was responsible for the deaths of many millions of people, though historians disagree on the total. For a long time, 20 million was the generally accepted number, but since the fall of the Soviet Union more documentation has become available. “Exact numbers may never be known with complete certainty, but the total of deaths caused by the whole range of the Soviet regime’s terrors can hardly be lower than some 15 million,” wrote historian Robert Conquest in his 2008 book The Great Terror: A Reassessment, to cite one example." (A Little Gun History, Snopes, 11-11-2017) ii. "Gun registration and targeted confiscations therefore played an essential role in Stalin’s genocidal activities." (A Little Gun History, Snopes, 11-11-2017) C. Mao (China) i. "All political power comes from the barrel of a gun. The communist party must command all the guns, that way, no guns can ever be used to command the party." - Mao Tse Tung, Nov 6, 1938 ii. "One source, Hong Kong historian Frank Dikötter, estimates that as many as 45 million people were “worked, starved or beaten to death” in China between 1948 and 1952." (A Little Gun History, Snopes, 11-11-2017) iii. "According to Lethal Laws, a 1912 law made it illegal to possess or import rifles, cannons, or explosives without a permit [in China]." (A Little Gun History, Snopes, 11-11-2017) D. Ottoman Empire i. "This entry refers to the Armenian genocide, in which as many as 1.5 million Armenians (then a persecuted Christian minority concentrated in the eastern provinces of Ottoman Turkey) were massacred by the Ottoman Empire." (A Little Gun History, Snopes, 11-11-2017) ii. "The Armenians had been officially prohibited from owning firearms for hundreds of years in the Ottoman Empire; what weapons they did have were confiscated in the interests of eradicating that part of the population." (A Little Gun History, Snopes, 11-11-2017) E. Uganda i. "Ugandan dictator Idi Amin is indeed considered responsible for the massacre of at least 300,000 civilians in his own country, most of them members of Christian tribes loyal to his predecessor, Milton Obote. Rather than being rounded up for extermination, Amin’s victims were typically murdered on the spot by roving bands of soldiers. Before Obote, Uganda’s gun control laws (dating from 1955) allowed the private ownership of weapons by permit only, and applicants were required to prove their “fitness” to carry firearms. Obote’s government rewrote the law in 1969, instituting a total, nationwide ban on the ownership and possession of weapons except for government officials and individuals who were granted special exemptions. Kopel reports that the law changed again in 1970, under Amin, essentially reverting to a version of the 1955 law requiring permits and proof of fitness for gun ownership, but by that time, presumably, a large percentage of the guns in private hands had already been confiscated." (A Little Gun History, Snopes, 11-11-2017) F. Cambodia i. "The actual estimates are that between 1.5 and 3 million Cambodians, including about a half-million members of ethnic minority groups, were slaughtered by the communist Khmer Rouge between 1975 and 1979. Although the dictatorship enacted no gun laws itself, there were gun control measures on the books dating from 1920 and 1938 that required the licensing of firearms and limited their ownership to hunters. According to the Small Arms Survey of the Graduate Institute of International Studies, the Khmer Rouge went about disarming the Cambodian public — and arming itself — via a program of gun confiscation: "The Khmer Rouge regime eliminated the previous elite, and in the process effectively ended private gun ownership. Memoirs of the time provide accounts of how Khmer Rouge cadres confiscated firearms along with watches, motorbikes, and foreign currencies during the first days of the takeover of power in Phnom Penh (Simkin and Rice, 1994, supra note 2, p. 306; referred to in Kopel,1995). During the rule of the Khmer Rouge, all private firearms were moved from private ownership into the stockpiles of the regime."" (A Little Gun History, Snopes, 11-11-2017) IX. The 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution was added to protect the people from an oppressive government, to merely to protect the rights of hunters and target shooters. 1. "A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." (Second Amendment of the US Constitution) 2. The following quotes of the founding fathers were taken from concealedcarry.com. A. “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, December 20, 1787 B. “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote!” - Benjamin Franklin C. “To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788 D. “I ask who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people, except a few public officers.” – George Mason, Address to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 4, 1788 E. “Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.” – Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787 F. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. A well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the best and most natural defense of a free country.” – James Madison, I Annals of Congress 434, June 8, 1789 G. “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include, according to the past and general usuage of the states, all men capable of bearing arms… “To preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them.” – Richard Henry Lee, Federal Farmer No. 18, January 25, 1788 H. “Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.” – Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778 3. Heed the wisdom of the Founding Fathers. A. Never give up your guns. B. Never register them. C. If we do, tyranny is around the corner.
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