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Over at the Christian Science Monitor, embedded in a post entitled ‘New York gun owners shrug off tough new rules: What happens now?‘ the editors link to a Second Amendment quiz. It starts off innocuously enough, but soon moves into disputed territory, assuming that the Supreme Court is the ultimate arbiter of what the Second Amendment means. Specifically, in terms of whether or not the 2a protects “military style weapons.” By question 13 we’re deep into anti-gun bias, using the old AR-15 guilt-by-association implication. Here’s question 14 . . .

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Setting aside the obvious implication that a large capacity magazine ban saves lives, what the heck does this have to do with the Second Amendment – other than the fact that it protects Americans from laws like the one in question? A fact that doesn;t get a look in here. And just in case you think I’m reading too much into this, here’s the Monitor’s explanation for the “correct” answer.

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Factual, but again, what is their point exactly? The quiz finishes with this little gem.

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    • You saying you aren’t bad?

      What kind of gun owner are you? The non-horned version that doesn’t breathe fire and eat babies while cutting people off in traffic?

      Tsk, Tsk, your 2A organization membership card will be revoked.

        • Well maybe like “Non-believing atheist” when in fact an atheist believes in either….

          1) That something started from nothing
          2) that the world has always existed for eternity

          Both ideas which happen to be very non-scientific and in fact rely on faith.

        • Reminds me of a joke….

          Millions of years have passed and science has progressed to the point that scientists summons up God for a showdown…..

          Scientists: So God, we don’t need you any more. We have unlocked all your secrets and we can do anything you can do.

          God: Oh really…can you make man from dust?

          Scientists: Sure…watch this. A scientist picks up a handful of dust and puts it into a machine and a baby pops out.

          God: Uhhh…not so fast. Make your own dust. From nothing.

        • As a Christian going for a bachelor’s in physics I must disagree with Mr. Grise; why not leave the stereotyping to the anti-gunners?

          • Seeing as how they don’t believe in medical science, and leave it in God’s hands, “Christian Scientist” is literally a contradiction in terms.

        • Rich,
          The Christian Science Monitor used to be the most highly regarded newspaper in the world by all sides of the political spectrum. Those days are long gone and its just another liberal rag.

          BTW Hope you and yours have an Happy Easter Sunday.

        • “Seeing as how they don’t believe in medical science, and leave it in God’s hands…”

          This is a false assumption. I’m certain that Christian Scientists believe in medical science as it’s successes, and failures, are too well documented to be refuted.

          What they believe, on the other hand, is that it is sacrilege to interfere with God’s plan for any individual and that seeking medical intervention is to go against God. That being the case they firmly believe that the illness or injury is intentional, whether or not they understand the reasons, and that their proper recourse is to pray for God to forgive them and allow the sick or injured person to continue living.

          Based on this it is obvious that they truly believe that medical science can and does work, but that it is thwarting God’s plan.

          We can consider this any and all kinds of wrong, but we should be very careful NOT to mischaracterize the belief or intent. How is it any different than radical Muslims who believe and condone that their child will win everlasting glory in the land of milk and honey in return for being a martyr for Islam?

        • @CliffH

          Honest question because I want to understand………

          What is the official response to the question….Why couldn’t the discovery and use of modern medicine, vaccines, and technology be part of God’s plan?

          There are many instances of doctors and scientists who enter their fields of practice because they motivated by their belief in God to help their fellow man. That’s not a valid part of God’s plan?

  1. The guy who taught me to play guitar had the misfortune to be born a type one diabetic in a Christian Science family. He was a good man, and dead (1971) at the age of twenty-six. I haven’t had much use for those people since.

    • Yeah, a lot of people, including many children (172 kids between 1975 and 1995), have died from completely treatable/curable illnesses because of this “church”‘s insistence that they refuse proper treatment when ill. Maybe whoever wrote this quiz should think about that for a while, and then remember that old phrase about stones and glass houses.

    • Atheists live forever! Wait, no they don’t. Everybody gets the same as everyone else. A lifetime.

      • Difference between dying and your “loved” ones actively denying you help. Imagine if you are drowning, would you expect your family who watches to reach out and pull you out? Or would you prefer if they stood by and watched because doing otherwise would be interfering with “God’s plan”?

      • The difference is Atheists (and rational religious people) go see a doctor, not a priest, when they fall ill.

        When I felt a sharp pain where my appendix was (emphasis on the past tense), I walked past a church and headed to the ER.

    • The bottom line here is that what WE believe, or what WE prefer, has no application when it comes to the religion practiced by anyone else, so long as that practice is not directly dangerous to you.

      I can say, as a moral person, that I wish certain parents of religious denominations did not have the authority/ability to endanger their children by demanding adherence to familial religious beliefs the children have not chosen and cannot decline participation in, but where, exactly, does ANY of us get the authority to determine whose religious beliefs are valid, whose are not, and at what point we or the government may intervene?

      As I recall, the First Amendment states very clearly, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

      The casualties in some religions are unfortunate, but if we support the Second Amendment as strongly as we claim and decry government infringements, how can we not do the same for the First? Or the Third or Fourth, etc.

      You cannot save everybody. Government cannot save everybody. The protections/prohibitions of the Bill of Rights were included for a very good and well- reasoned purpose; to deny your neighbors, through the government, the right to tell you how to live your life.

      History has shown that any religious, social or political practice that is in and of itself non-survival will eventually die out due to its own internal conflicts. More than allowing that evolutionary process to run its course, we have NO RIGHT to interfere.

      • There is a recently released book entitled “In the Name of God”. I can’t recall the author at the moment. It describes the sort of abuse faith healing invites. This includes child abuse, threats and intimidation, even murder when an investigator got too close.

        The book also details the history of the efforts made to repeal various “religious shield laws” that have led to the unneeded premature deaths, primarily of women, children, and the elderly carried out “In the Name of God”.

      • Agree. In short, the world is overpopulated, let them die. Applies to drug laws, health insurance, motorcyclists with/without helmets, base jumpers, suicides, on and on. But backing up our nanny state to that point would take a hundred years even if anybody wanted to.

      • It’s perfectly fine to let people live their lives the way they want, so long as they don’t interfere with rights and freedoms of other people. But in cases where they deny their children access to medical treatment, they do in fact interfere in just such a fashion – children are persons with their own rights and freedoms, not their parents’ property to do as they see fit.

        By the way, CS is particularly abominable because they have successfully lobbied several states (e.g. WA) to write into law an exemption specifically for CS that renders them immune to criminal negligence laws that everyone else would fall under if they were to deny treatment in a similar fashion.

        • Children have no rights except those supported by their parents, unless we are on the cusp of turning all kids over to the gubt at birth to be raised as the gubt sees fit. What was that, Animal Farm or something? Seems like the same people who insist that an unborn child has some sort of “rights” counter its parents’ wishes are the same ones who scream the loudest when the gubt tells them how their OWN children must be raised and/or educated.

          Any such “rights” have to be enforced by someone, the gubt is the only possible choice. Careful what we wish for.

        • “children are persons with their own rights and freedoms, not their parents’ property to do as they see fit.”

          And yet they’ll dictate that the LDS aren’t allowed to practice their religious rite of polygamy, but they DO allow the Jews to practice ritual infantile genital mutilation.

  2. I guess this quiz reveals another reason why so many Hollywood-types are christian scientists. (NOTE: I did not capitalize the “c” because these people do not worship the same risen Christ that I do)

    • They’re not. You have them mixed up with Scientologists. Not even close to being the same.

      • Yep, you’re right, I did conflate christian scientists with scientologists. Still lower-case c, though. I should be more careful next time to get my cult references in order. Mary Baker Eddy and L. Ron Hubbard are not the same cult leader.

        • Yeah, and the Pope leads a different cult altogether. As do the leaders of every other cult, Christian, Moslem, Hindu, etc.

    • Once again, and I wonder why this appears so difficult for people to grasp, YOUR religious faith/mythology has absolutely nothing to do with what other people choose to believe and/or practice, so long as they are not harming you or interfering with your rights.

      This is especially true with regard to other religions with which you have limited exposure or factual knowledge, such as the inability to differentiate Christian Scientists from Scientologists.

      Perhaps at this Holiest time of the (capital C) Christian calendar it would be well to keep in mind that three out of four people in the world do not agree with YOU. That fact can be easily lost in a parochial nation with a dominant Christian heritage.

      • Correct. It is all fiction, choose what makes you happy. So long as you and yours are the only ones you put at risk, and it doesn’t cost taxpayers anything.

        • It may or may not be fiction. The point is that we have no way of knowing, one way or the other.

          An atheist is just as wrong as a religionist in that both claim to know for a fact something which cannot be proven. An agnostic is at least honest enough to admit to himself and the world that he does not know.

          Live an honest and moral life and take care of yourself, your family and your community, so long as they are also honest and moral. More than that you cannot do and nothing more should be expected of you. When the time comes for judgment there will either be no God to pass that judgment, or he will in fact be the just God people are hoping for who will not punish a moral soul for failing to know and perform specific rituals. Or exactly how petty do people really expect God, the creator of the entire universe, to be?

        • I believe in your last paragraph absolutely. Otherwise, not so much. I am an atheist, but I don’t claim to “know” anything, I claim to not really care. I used to be an agnostic, but over many years it became obvious to me how silly religious claims are, especially as they start contradicting each other. I feel you are confusing “knowing” with “being able to prove”.

          How’s it go? “Invisible space alien watching everyone every moment to see if they break a rule, at which time they are condemned to an eternity of torture beyond comprehension. But he loves us. He loves us. He loves us and wants our money.”

  3. I’m a Christian. I like the science of ballistics.
    And I would really like a Colt Monitor. (If I could find one at a decent price)

    Does this mean I get a cookie or a gold star or something?
    Never mind, I’m off to buy some more brass to load.

    • I’m an (imperfect) EV Free Christian, and I love science, ballistics, and firearms. I’ve got little or no use for the “Christian” idea of gun control. One or two of Jesus’ disciples was armed with a sword – the AR-15 of the day – when Jesus was to be collected. I don’t recall any text where Jesus said to get rid of your swords because Caesar said so.

    • It is clear you have way too much fun, Tom, and your toys are nicer than mine. I’m gonna petition congress to pass a law…

      Hell, if you got a cookie, you’d just shoot a hole in it from 1500 yards or something. Disgusting. AAAAhhhh.

  4. So considering that I own a Bushmaster XM-15 E2S…does that also mean I’m gonna become some sort of psycho killer?

  5. Avid swimmer enthusiast Ann Hermes attempted to install a pool which she plans to use for recreational swimming. Which of the following individuals also installed a pool in their backyard?

    A) John and Suzie from Illinois whose 2 year old drowned
    B) Jack and Laurie from California whose 3 year old drowned
    C) Bob and Karen from NY whose 8 month old drowned
    D) All of the above

    Every day TEN people die from unintentional drowning! (Source CDC)

    Oooooor you can spin it like this:

    Which of the following individuals also used a Bushaster XM-15E2S or similar rifle?

    A) Morgan from TN
    B) Tom from OR
    C) Jack from FL
    D) A-C plus millions of other responsible AR-15 owners in America

  6. The message is clear. Guns are bad, and anyone who owns one is not Christian because Christians are not supposed to hurt anybody.


    • This reminds me of Christian magazine I saw sitting in a doctors office about a decade back. The cover story was a claim that you can’t be a christian if you don’t completely rejecting the 2nd amercement. I only vaguely remember part of the article as the entire thing really was junk. Had a few quotes about beating swords into plow shares, or some other non-sense.

      • I’m no theologist, but I don’t think Christ wanted anyone to lay down and die in the face of an attacker.

        • Religious texts are contradicting sometimes.

          I know one quote says to beat your swords into plowshares while another quote says to sell your coat so you can buy a sword if you don’t have one.

          Confusing for some, not for me.

        • Well, except for himself, but then he was intentionally making a point.

          As for parents willing to let their children die in the name of the parents’ religious beliefs: God – Jesus – Easter?

        • It’s simple, lolinski: sell your coat to buy a sword, then beat the sword into a plowshare. No contradiction, just a really inefficient and roundabout way to obtain a farm implement…

        • I am firmly in favor of beating swords into plowshares. Always remember, “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight”. Keep your AR well lubed and loaded, poo on swords.

        • That is sorta what I thought too but then I find another quote where you are supposed to beat your plowshares into swords.

          Hold on lemme think:

          Sell coat>buy sword>make plowshare out of sword>make sword out of plowshare

          That is pretty complicated.

  7. I can remember back in the 1960s when the CSM was a little-read, small fringe newspaper. Times sure do change.

  8. Yeah, and I like how on top of all that, the picture next to the questions is of 3 Mossberg pump actions. I’m sure some rocket genius put them there thinking “well there’s some scary black assault rifles.”

  9. In my experience the CS Monitor, much like the Wall Street Journal, provides straight, direct and unbiased news reporting. Their respective editorial pages do display the bias, but not in the extreme sense. What we are seeing in the linked article is an example of typical editorial bias, much like most of the gun blogs I visit.

    • One would think that a “gun blog” might favor guns and that a newspaper would favor news. But one could be wrong.

  10. I’ve been reading the CSM on and off for about 40 years, not because of any religious interest, but because they tend to be an independent and relatively unbiased news organization – something that is vanishingly rare these days. They aren’t perfect. They make mistakes and sometimes they let their bias show, but at least they try.

    They actually published an op-ed article of mine after Sandy Hook. Here’s the link:

    I’ve never had an opinion editor negotiate with me as much as in this case. They wanted to make lots of changes to my article, mostly removing my pro-gun buzzwords. But I did respect the fact that they asked permission. I’ve had other editors make inappropriate changes without asking.

    My impression of the CSM editorial staff is that they are nice people who want to do the right thing and they want to do it in a calm and friendly manner. Unfortunately, they seem to have evolved in an East Coast elite environment. They do struggle to be unbiased, but they can’t get too far from their cultural roots.

    • That’s a well worded piece. Sane and calm. Did you get a lot of flack for it, like ol’ Wayne?

      • Maineuh: Actually I got very little feedback at all. Maybe by the time the article came out, people were burned out on post Newtown gun stories?

    • As a gun owner, I would agree with a ban on OBAMA to be enforced with high capacity magazines exclusively, just for the insult. Otherwise, that concept of lockers full of ARs, tuned to a fingerprint (the technology works for a damn iphone now) is AWESOME! Invite the students to watch the teachers train once a year, using 30-round magazines. It will make the good ones feel secure and the bad ones take their plans elsewhere. One screen, 40 fingerprints accepted, 20 guns inside, there would never again be an attempt. Not even an ATTEMPT! Cancel NFA and NICS to pay for it in a decade.

    • Supposedly, some guy with that name died 2000 years ago. Twice. I don’t think he’s supervising anything but his dust.

      • Despite all the miracles, all the massive crowds, all the fighting with Temple Elders, none of the contemporary writers mention this ‘Jesus’ fellow. At all. Guess they woulda missed Hitler too….

        He does show up about 150 years after his supposed death -just like all the other “sons of god” who were “born of a virgin” on the 25th of December. Complete with 3 wise men and everything,

        Mythology is mythology….

        • So you are equating modern historians documenting one of the biggest mass murders in 20th century, to the rare non-gospel historians in Jesus’ time who failed to document a holy man who’s legacy and influence was not fully embraced until after his “death” since he was both rejected by both the Jewish and Roman authorities? Oh, ok, excuse my ignorance please.

  11. Under a very strict interpretation of the Second Amendment the only long gun protected by the Second Amendment is a fully automatic AR patterned rifle. The Second Amendment doesn’t protect your right to carry a pocket pistol, a bolt action hunting rifle, or own a Joe Biden special double barreled shotgun.

    • I assume you believe that this would be because they are not “militia” weapons?

      But all of them make decent militia weapons in some contexts. The U.S. Army has issued pocket pistols, uses bolt action rifles, and has used shotguns.

      Militias are not expected to always be armed with the latest and greatest.

      • Militia weapons are the same as those used as standard issue by the US Army which the Militia would fall under in the event of being called to service. The standard issue rifle is an M-4. The standard issue pistol is the M-9.

        I said a very strict interpretation to make the point that the Second Amendment was included in the Bill of Rights to make sure the average citizen had access to military grade weapons.

    • Point of order.

      The Second Amendment, while it mentions the “well regulated militia” in passing, does not confer any rights nor INFER any particular protections of specific arms. The term as written is “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms…” This does not even specify firearms, since even in the militia there were swords, bayonets, even tomahawks.

      What the Second Amendment DOES say, is that the government CANNOT tell us what arms we may keep or bear, as in: “…the right of the people to keep and bear arms, SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.” [emphasis mine].

      Even to presume for a moment an amendment listing a specific prohibition of government power somehow also gives that government a presumptive power to regulate the terms of the protected right is contrary to logic.

      • Do you either of you two guys understand that I was addressing the claim that the Second Amendment doesn’t protect the citizens right to have so-called assault rifles when in fact if the Second Amendment is not unlimited that the one weapon that it does guarantee citizens access to the same weapons used by the military.

        • Do you fail to understand my point that there is no such limitation stated or implied in the Second Amendment?

          The 2A is a blanket prohibition from ANY government infringement of the RKBA. If the Founders had wanted to include a caveat or limit the types of arms allowed they would most assuredly have included that in the amendment, which they very pointedly voted on many occasions NOT TO DO.

    • I think “strict interpretation” doesn’t mean what you think it means. The facts are, under a “strict interpretation” of the 2nd Amendment, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. The fact that the militia needs to be well-regulated is merely a subordinate clause, elucidating the Founding Fathers’ understanding that a well-armed populace is what keeps the “militia” “well-regulated.”

  12. Christianity is a very vibrant tree of faith with many branches.

    An argument could be made that certain sections need some judicious pruning or exposure to light.

    • That argument could be made, and has often been made, regarding almost every religious faith/practice invented by man. That is why the First Amendment prohibits Congress from interfering with religion(s).

      But whenever the argument is made, the counter argument must be made – who decides? Who decides which religion is the RIGHT religion and to what degree either society or governments have the power to enforce that decision?

      Ceasar decided for Rome, a dark time for both Christians and Jews.
      Hitler decided for Germany and much of Europe. How did that turn out?
      Radical Muslims are attempting to decide for the whole world right now, including non-radical Muslims, with predictable results.

      So long as he is not trying to kill me or convert me under duress, whatever someone else believes, or even if he believes in nothing, no matter how outlandish or even ludicrous it may seem to me, is none of my business, nor anyone else’s.

  13. Holy crap! Gee whiz CSM, bias much?
    Personally, I think a name change for the Monitor is in order. Perhaps something along the lines of “The Christian Science Progressive Liberal Advocate” would be more suitable. Well, at least more honest…

  14. That church is weird. Stick to preaching.

    The pastor of my church has as a .45 and 12ga. A wonderful couple at my church gave my entire family the disease of “collecting.” They took us to a range and showed us a good time and so the addiction started.

  15. The Second Amendment protects our right to possess arms, the basic tools of war. War can consist of individual combat between people. If some person or group of persons are threating to kill or maim you and/or your family, that is a declaration of war, and as such, you have a right to declare war back on that person, which unto itself means utilizing the tools of war (arms).

    Arms are also used by law enforcement, who are not military, do not operate in a war zone, and are trained to fight defensively, not offensively (minus SWAT teams I suppose). Law enforcement carry the basic tools of war because criminals can declare war on law enforcement as well, and thus they must be able to defend themselves.

    Finally, arms are one type of war used by the military, along with a multitude of other weapons as well. The military is the apparatus of the State that makes war on behalf of the State, but war unto itself is not something that only occurs between nation states.

    The whole idea of the government being able to ban “military weapons” is utterly ludicrous for four reasons:

    1) The arbitrariness of the term “assault weapon” (it is whatever the gun banners what it to be)

    2) ALL guns are military or functionally identical. For example, a Kel-Tec SU-16 is not military in terms of being built to handle the rigors of combat and soldiering, but in terms of ability to kill, it is just as capable as any AR-15. The military makes use of the same hand guns that civilians use (9mm, .45 caliber, etc…), the military uses versions of the Remington 700 hunting rifle as a sniper rifle, and has used shotguns in every conflict going back to at least World War I. We’d have to ban ALL guns on the market if we were going to ban military guns

    3) As said, war is not something that only happens between countries.

    4) To claim that the government can ban “military” guns goes against the entire concept of the Second Amendment and the right it protects. The whole POINT of it being there is to protect ARMS, i.e. tools of WAR, what the military would use in war fighting. To claim that the government can ban such would be like saying that the government can ban political speech or offensive speech or whatnot. That would go against the whole entire concept of the First Amendment. It isn’t there to protect one’s right to speech that the government approves of. And the Second Amendment isn’t there to protect one’s right to arms that the government approves of.

    That’s what the whole debate has been going back thousands of years—are arms something that only the State should have a monopoly over, or something that the people have a fundamental right to possess as well. Being that governments derive their power from the people, and exist primarily to protect people’s pre-existing natural rights, and the right to keep and bear arms is about the most fundamental and core natural right there is, the government’s duty is to protect that right, not infringe upon it.

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