Feeling Safe? II

Last week it was a shopping mall. This week it was churches in Colorado. Has it occurred to no one that there are too many guns out there? The NRA tells us that it isn’t guns that kill people, it’s people who kill people. Wrong. It’s people with guns who kill people. I’ll take my chances against a knife or a club, but with a gun I have no chance. No one outside the military needs an AK-47 or any other semi-automatic weapon. Why on earth do we allow dealers to sell them and citizens to buy them?

Last week the question no one seemed to ask was why the shooter’s father-in-law had a gun lying around the house. This week the question no one seems to ask is why the church had an armed guard on duty. “What would Jesus do?” is a simplistic question, but when Peter tried to use his sword to protect himself and his Lord, Jesus told him to put it away, so we know the answer.

The pastor praised the guard for saving lives, but in a church it’s the pastor’s job to save lives and it can’t be delegated to a someone with a gun. If the government can’t protect us, we can vote for a different government but not take law enforcement into our own hands. I’m speaking from experience here. I have dealt with people disturbed enough and angry enough to resort to violence and I have been deeply concerned about the possibility. We installed a signal system in the church offices so we could get help in an emergency. But it never occurred to me to keep a gun in my desk or ask for armed protection. If someone is going to be shot down, let it be me.

What’s next? Clergy taking their guns into the pulpit, stashing automatic weapons under the altar? I will not be surprised to hear that this is being done already. But I am appalled at the level of violence we are prepared to tolerate without question and without any significant attempt to turn away from this evil.

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