17 Reasons Why Responsible Gun Ownership is a Practical Necessity

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These reasons are not assembled in any particular order, whether ascending, descending, color-coded or alphabetical. But I wanted to gather up some basic reasons and to put them in one place as a resource. This is because every time there is a mass shooting of some kind, the outburst of furious emotion that follows does need to be answered, and it needs to be answered with reasons that sensible people can remember, or find easily as the occasion demands. So here they are, assembled as they occurred to me, which is to say, in no particular order.

First, to say that gun control does not work is to say that it does not work with regard to its stated ostensible purpose. It does work with regard to its real purpose, which is to disarm a law-abiding citizenry. This is because a law-abiding citizenry will be most opposed to the plans down the road that the lawless men who want to govern us have, and so it is best—according to these lawless men—that we have no recourse to arms when we get to that point. Our response ought to be that when our basic civil rights are as imperiled as Venezuelan toilet paper, the one shortage that ought not to be a worry is that of guns and ammo.

The second thing is this. The fact that gun control does not work at all with regard to its stated, ostensible purpose (that of reducing crime) should be pointed out, and with some regularity. The emotional energy and support behind gun control legislation comes when gun violence erupts in unusual places, like the mall or the movie theater. We should never forget that the staggering gun violence in all the usual places, like inner city Chicago, are the places with the strictest gun control laws possible.

Third, Scriptures teach us that individuals have the right to defend their own lives and property with violence, up to and including lethal violence (Ex. 22:2-3). That right should not be removed from us. This is both a natural right, and a right according to biblical law.

Fourth, when guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns. This does not have the triteness of bumper sticker analysis. It has the pith of a proverb.

Number five on the list comes next. The Second Amendment was not included in the Constitution because the Founders wanted to preserve for their posterity the right to hunt squirrels with muskets. It was included because they wanted the population to have the resources available for a “well-regulated militia.” Now this militia was for coordinated military defense, whether from outside invaders, indigenous hostiles on the frontier, or tyranny from the johnnies in Washington. This means that “assault weapons” need to be part of the mix. If someone replies that modern weaponry was not in view, it should be noted that modern form of militias were not in view either. They were not talking about a National Guard that could be called up by George III.

Sixth. But surely, the response comes, this cannot be meant to include high-teeh weaponry, like shoulder-mounted surface-to-air missiles. Well, sure it does. How else could we shoot down the surveillance drones?

Seventh, one of the things that characterizes the most vocal advocates of gun control, at least in recent years, is their sheer hatred of those who oppose them on the subject, and their sheer lust for power, reserving to themselves the right to regulate the minutest details of our lives. I would suggest that it is a very bad idea to grant that much power to people who hate regular folks that much.

Eighth, advocates of gun control routinely display a vast ignorance of guns, and people who don’t know what they are talking about shouldn’t be allowed to regulate anything. When cartoonists show a revolver ejecting a cartridge, or if a weapon is characterized as a military-style assault weapon simply because it is black and scary-looking, this is ignorance on parade.

My ninth reason is that gun-free zones should actually have another name, which would be soft targets.

Tenth, if you were in a place that should normally be considered a safe public space, like the mall, and an active shooter comes in, as you take cover behind a large obstacle, which kind of thought are you most likely to be thinking? Would it be this? “Oh, would that the legislature had passed stricter measures regulating firearms during their last session! That may or may not have applied to the weapon currently in use!” Or would it be this? “Oh, would that I had brought my pistol with me!” Be honest now.

Eleventh, remember the old adage that if you are ever in a situation when every second counts, the SWAT team is only minutes away.

Twelfth, in places where the gun control mentality has taken full root, if a home owner defends himself against an intruder in the middle of the night, then penalties for that home owner are frequently far more severe than they are against the intruder. People who govern this way shouldn’t be in charge of anything, much less our guns.

We come now to the thirteenth reason. We regularly hear calls for “common sense regulations” for guns. But consider where we are. Our ruling elites have generated trillions of dollars of red ink. They have mandated the legal slaughter of millions of our people in the womb. They say that sodomy is now marriage. If someone in public life ventures the view that little boys ought not to be allowed to decide that they want to be little girls, the person advancing that common sense view is dealt with savagely. We should therefore address them thusly. The long and short of it is that we have been watching you govern for the last fifty years or so, and frankly we don’t believe anymore that you have the slightest grasp of what common sense is. You ruling elites have been commonsensical about virtually nothing. Why should we trust you with this one when you have been untrustworthy with regard to virtually everything else?

Fourteenth, there is a profound theological problem that is evident in this debate. The tendency of sinners is always to blame surroundings and stuff. If the stuff is inanimate and cannot defend itself, so much the better. The addict blames the cocaine. The drunkard blames the alcohol. The thief blames the property that tempted him. But we must not blame the stuff, and acknowledge that the real problem is elsewhere. Blaming the guns is facile and simple-minded. Gun violence is an area where blame-shifting and excuse-making is common, but it doesn’t wash.

Fifteenth, the real cause of murder is the sinful heart of man. Jesus says that gross sin like murder comes out of the heart (Mark 7:21-22). That cannot be addressed apart from gospel. When Cain wanted to murder Abel, his lack of access to guns did not hinder him.

Next is this. Having acknowledged that murder arises from the sinful heart of man, and not from the availability of guns, we should nevertheless acknowledge that in this sinful world, murder rates can vary, and that there can be genuine secondary causes that can affect this. Intelligent public policy should therefore be interested in pursuing any avenue that promises to help us address this. But we are not having an intelligent public policy debate on this subject because certain proposed answers are outlawed a priori—meaning that you will not be able to get them on the agenda. Positively, we find that widespread gun ownership discourages gun violence. Laws permitting concealed carry discourage gun violence. Negatively, why are we not allowed to ask why these mass shooters are overwhelmingly young men who grew up without a father? Perhaps it is the case that a strong male presence in the home is not an instance of toxic masculinity, but is rather the thing that prevents toxic masculinity? And why are we not permitted to ask what prescription drugs the shooters were on? Why is that a closed subject? Why is no one that interested in how many of these shooters were pot smokers?

And last, I am pretty ardent in my views on gun ownership. I am even willing to extend the right to gun ownership to some prisoners and felons. I particularly have in mind anyone who is about to testify against the Clintons.