Rev. Lance Lewis of Philadelphia (ordained in the PCA) has written an interesting post here about the subject. His conclusion is that “it is time for us to realize that we cannot be both pro-life and pro-gun.” However, there is an inherent ambiguity in his target (if you’ll pardon the pun). Is he talking only about handguns, or about guns in general? In most of the article, he seems to have handguns as his target, but then at the end of the article, he seems to include all guns. This is problematic, as rifles and shotguns are usually used for hunting animals these days. In fact, contrary to Rev. Lewis’s assertion (“The handguns manufactured and sold in this country today are designed and built for one purpose and one purpose only; namely the destruction of human life”), handguns are used for hunting animals, and are also used for recreational target-practice (i.e., simply for fun).
The next problematic assertion that Rev. Lewis makes is, in effect, that the second amendment has to do only with resisting government. Having artificially limited the scope of the second amendment to that, he uses a reductio ad absurdam to prove that citizens could not possibly defend themselves against the government. Therefore we should not have handguns. This does not follow. The second amendment cannot be limited to defense against the government. It also includes the right of a person to defend himself against attacks against his family. How many people today are even thinking consciously about defense against their government? The argument does not fit today’s situation.
The argument (not made by Rev. Lewis, but seemingly implied, and certainly used today all over the place by people wanting to restrict the use of handguns) that keeping people from guns will reduce crime is absolutely ludicrous. For one thing, criminals will always be able to get guns. Disarming the citizens will not prevent violence in the slightest. If anything, it will increase violence. If this argument were valid, then Switzerland, which requires its people to own guns, would have the highest crime rate in the world. Instead, it has one of the lowest. The same thing is true of Kennesaw, Georgia. Why does gun ownership decrease violent crime? One simple word: deterrence. I remember vividly one cartoon in World magazine where two criminals were high-tailing it away from a house, with the owner of the house firing a gun after them. The one criminal says to the other criminal, “Doesn’t he know how dangerous it is to own a gun?” The same thing was true of the Cold War. Having a nuclear arsenal, implementing MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) was an effective way to prevent a nuclear strike from the Russians. Honestly, how many burglars would be willing to seek to burgle a house where he knew the owner not only kept a gun, but had training in how to use it? If I were a criminal, I would keep away from such houses, and instead prey on houses where I knew there would likely be no guns and no experience. You know, places like Philadelphia, Washington D.C, New York City.
So, completely contrary to Rev. Lewis’s assertion, pro-gun can actually be more pro-life than anti-life. And I personally resent the suggestion (I own three guns) that I am one iota less pro-life than Rev. Lewis is. Guns are not, and have never been, the problem. The problem is people and their sinful hearts. Gun control laws are a government-sponsored tyranny that simply cannot be messianic in its effect, since criminals get their guns from the black market anyway, so as to avoid the tracing. In short, there is very little logic in Rev. Lewis’s post.