Having spent a few years reading The Truth About Guns many articles about the anti-gun philosophy that’s firmly implanted in the minds of many of our fellow Americans, it strikes me that there is one key philosophical debate that’s more important than any other: is there evil and if there is, what do we do about it?
Is there such a thing as “evil”? Yes or no. If you answer “yes” it’s my contention this will shape your view of the necessity of firearms in the hands of American citizens.
Is there “evil” in the world? I’d say that it’s easier to acknowledge and believe there is evil than to believe there is a real and personal God. Of course, I’m utterly convinced there is a real, personal God who has acted to do something about the “evil” problem, but I’ll set that point aside for now.
If you concede that there is evil, then I contend that the means to protect and defend yourself, your family, your property and your neighbors against evil is absolutely necessary. Does combating evil belong only to the police, or military? No. If only police and military have the ability, right and ability to resist evil with speed and violence of action, that leaves us all vulnerable, with no ability to resist it other than to hope that if and when the day comes when evil confronts us, there will be “somebody out there” who is willing and able to help us.
I’m not willing to take that chance. Others apparently are comfortable taking that risk.
In the debates over gun control, the pro-control crowd are convinced that the way to counter evil is to remove tools from the hands of those who would do evil. That’s a terribly naive point of view. History has demonstrated since literally the beginning of the world that evil will always, always find a way. Humans will use whatever is at hand to do evil things to each other.
In my world view, Cain bashed Abel’s head in with a rock because he was jealous of him. King David put Uriah in the front lines of battle to get rid of him so he could take Uriah’s wife. And on, and on, and on we can go sharing stories from any and all holy books, sacred texts, mythology, lore, legend and of course, from the history of human culture and civilization.
Has taking weapons out of the hands of private citizens ever helped curb evil? Ever? Absolutely not. Do you think the Jewish population of Europe, herded into ghettos and then into death camps felt that “gun control” had worked in their favor? How about the slaves in the South, and former slaves after the end of the Civil War? How did gun control help them combat evil?
It is my contention that the most realistic and practical way to combat evil is to confront it head-on and deal with it, in whatever way possible. I’m entirely in favor of strong laws and law enforcement and a judicial system that meets out punishment to evil doers, up to and including “bearing the sword” to execute the most heinous evil-doers among us. But this does not and cannot preclude my God-given right to self-defense, with weapons if necessary.
People of the gun, I would contend, deal with evil in the most realistic way possible, by being very sober-minded and realistic about mankind’s capacity for good. Can we ever achieve a utopian state where there is no more crime, no more gross outbursts of evil? Again, show me the evidence for such a possibility. It doesn’t exist.
Quite to the contrary, mankind is inclined toward evil and when left unchecked there has never been a time when power had not corrupted, when evil has not done its worst when given an opportunity to do so.
When we analyze the key issues in the gun debates that continue to rage in this country we will find that one of the key differences — and perhaps the most important one of all — is how we view the reality of evil and what we are each, individually, willing to do about it. That is the truth about guns…perhaps the most important truth of all.