"I'm an evangelical preacher; you can't be pro-life and pro-gun"

"And our belief in the basic sinfulness of humankind should make us skeptical of the NRA’s slogan, 'the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun.'” Rob Schenck

4412 reads

There are 7 Comments

Aaron Blumer's picture


Interestingly, he doesn't say how we should stop a bad guy with a gun.

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Mark_Smith's picture

it means anti-abortion. Perhaps you can add on anti-euthanasia.


Stop trying to use it to mean more than that

Bert Perry's picture

It strikes me that if you want to argue that being armed is not Biblical or pro-life, you've got to edit David, Joshua, Moses, Saul,and a bunch of others from the Scriptures, or else argue that the Old Testament is not relevant to life in Christ today.  Either is problematic, to put it mildly.  You then have to edit a fair amount out of the New Testament, starting with that sword thing, and keep in mind that the vast majority of Roman subjects were not citizens entitled to much protection from the law--and hence their only recourse was their own ability to defend themselves.

Beyond that, there are a lot of problems, starting with the fact that few pro-gun activists think "anyone should be able to buy a gun".  I for one would deny that right to prisoners and released violent felons for obvious reasons, and I'm tempted to say that those who want guns banned or registered also ought not be able to own a gun, or hire a bodyguard who carries one.

Nor is it true, as he infers, that we favor unlimited use of guns--any carry permit trainee or holder knows there are four basic rules to being armed; must pose imminent threat of death or grievous bodily harm, no lesser force will do the trick, must retreat if practical, and force stops when the thread stops.  

So he's got a tremendous beat-down of a straw man, but that proves only that he should have paid a little more attention in logic class, not that his brothers in Christ are wrong.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Aaron Blumer's picture


(Sorry for the very long post.... in a verbose mood I guess)

I'm actually pretty pro-gun (though I haven't gotten around to getting my conceal-carry), but not because I think guns are no different from any other weapon. One of the anti-gun arguments has a kernel of truth: there is a difference of scale and also a difference of skill.

Scale: it's just possible to harm and/or kill so many so quickly with a semi-auto pistol or "assault" rifle. And so, the intent of the wielder of the weapon is disproportionately magnified. That goes both ways... but it means both attackers and defenders have this immense power.

So there is a legit. "pro-life" angle here (though it's flawed). More on that in a minute.

Skill: I owe this observation to somebody in particular but I can't remember who. Maybe actually a fiction writer in the mouth of a character in a novel... Still, a good point: in the days of swords and bows and arrows, a high degree lethality tended to require a high degree of training and skill. A brute with no training could still kill of course, but not so efficiently. So there was something of a correlation of lethality to discipline, and with that a certain amount of character--not necessarily virtue, but at least the character of discipline, which would make a would-be killer do a bit more thinking before attacking, other things being equal.

What we have today is extremely lethal weapons that do not require years of training to use in a highly lethal way, plus an increasingly morally confused society. Really bad combination.

On "pro-life"... the argument most pro-life groups make is that life is sacred and ought to be protected and preserved. So they have opposed not only abortion, but killing embryos, euthanizing the seriously ill/deformed/eldlerly/etc. And some have opposed the death penalty.

If it can be shown that there is something inherently anti-life about guns, being anti-gun would be a good fit with w/pro-life principles.

But there are a couple of problems: back to my earlier post... how is a good person supposed to stop a bad man with a gun? One popular answer is that we should keep the bad man from having a gun in the first place. The irony of that thinking is that it's gained ground even as it has become less and less feasible. Since there is more and more moral confusion, it's harder and harder to keep lethal weapons out of the hands of "bad men." 

... which is why there needs to be more guns in the hands of good men. Because we really don't want to have the quantity of law enforcement presence that would be required to stop every crazy who decides open fire in a theater or whatever. It's impossible to have that many police around, however well principled they may be, without the situation being oppressive.

The other argument against the "prolife must be anti-gun" position is that there is nothing pro-life about letting people die if you have the power to protect them. It's way more pro-life to shoot an attacker than to stand by and wish there were no guns while he empties a clip and reloads.

(By the way, I'd have to double check this, but I think I've read in more than one reliable source that the number of people killed in mass shootings has actually declined. I think this may be true of the number of people killed in "gun violence" as a whole as well, but ... less confident of that. But the long term trend is still, I think, toward more violence and more lawlessness.)

Views expressed are always my own and not my employer's, my church's, my family's, my neighbors', or my pets'. The house plants have authorized me to speak for them, however, and they always agree with me.

Bert Perry's picture

Speaking as a guy who has gotten his carry permit, the word among instructors is that creating mayhem with a firearm is more difficult than it looks.  For starters, the NRA was founded by two officers who were appalled at the lack of marksmanship among their recruits in the Civil War--they'd not had Dad leaning over them with "Ok, here's how you do a prone stance, a standing position, and ou breathe...relax....aim...squeeze...shoot".  So even putting holes in paper is not "easy" for someone without a touch of training.  

Now combine that with aiming at a living person, and most people can't do it.  When men inspected the muskets left on the field at Gettysburg, a lot had multiple loads in them....they'd load, aim...but not pull the trigger.  It was only relatively recently that the Army figured out how to get almost all soldiers to actually shoot at an enemy.  

So it's probably easier than killing with bare hands, a sword, or a spear--thankfully I have no experience in this matter--but for most people, it's not easy at all.  You've got to be trained, and a psychological line has to be crossed.  A good resource in this matter is a guy named Grossman.....he made a career of teaching soldiers to kill.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

jreeseSr's picture

Remember God is more pro justice than pro life...He clearly differentiates between innocent blood and guilty blood!  Only the "humanist" puts all life on an equal scale without regard to innocence or guilt of a capital crime..God clearly defines the forfeit of "this life" on a myriad of capital crimes...he also visits the sins of the fathers to the generations to follow...(guilt by association)  No , I am not advocating that level of retribution.   

I really cannot find enough common ground to debate a person who puts the act of taking an innocent life on the same level as one taking the life of one in the act of protecting his family.