In light of the tragedy in Newtown Connecticut at Sandy Hook elementary school I think this question is apropos, but probably not in a way you might think.
The essence of this question misses the overarching premise of conservatism: that all life is sacred and should be protected. For those of us with a biblical foundation we believe that God is the author of life; and as human beings, regardless of race, ethnicity, or color, we are created in His image (Genesis 1:26-31). Remarkably, the stamp of God is on the entire human race (Luke 20:25).
Conservatives understand, with regards to guns, that no matter how many laws are passed we will never be able to stop the flow of guns. Criminals are bad because they donâ€™t follow the law. They are by definition lawbreakers. Hence, those who would obey these laws would be the innocent, law-abiding citizens. Consequently, in a confrontation with a criminal or a deranged assailant the law abider is left at a disadvantage. As I have heard others say, â€śWhen you disarm the innocent you empower the criminal to kill or abuse those you have disarmed.â€ť
We are not saying that there shouldnâ€™t be any gun laws. There should. But laws by themselves do not stop bad behavior. Illegal drugs are a prime example and believed to be one of the very reasons our borders and inner cities have turned into â€śwar zonesâ€ť. Disarming citizens only makes them easy targets. Women should understand this more than men. A woman who is trained to use a handgun and carries one is less likely to become a victim of a violent crime. It does not matter how big the assailant is, a gun changes the whole dynamic. She can protect herself from an assailant whether they are a 300 lbs body builder, brandishing a knife or gun. The only question in this scenario is how proficient she is with the gun.
Inevitably, gun ownership will bring down gun violence, just because of self-preservation. Criminals prey on the weak and want to live to enjoy their spoils. If they are unsure whether you are armed or know that you are there is less chance they will pick you out for an attack.
Hence, the right to own and carry a weapon is in accord with our belief that all life is scared and thus must be protected against those who have a total disregard for the life of others. The fact that itâ€™s a constitutional right allowing citizens to protect themselves from a dictatorial government is also a reason conservatives want to protect our rights to own weapons.
Just think how many children could have been saved had one or more of the teachers been armed at Sandy Hook elementary school. What if there was a sign out front warning would be assailants that teachers maybe armed? God only knows if the massacre ever happens or if it is stopped after the first few shots as teachers respond with returned fire.
I doubt the Israelis are having this kind of conversation.
Unfortunately, for the unborn we cannot arm them so they can protect themselves. Society is the first line of defense for the helpless babies, then the father and lastly the mother. Although the massacre in Newtown is heart wrenching and horrible to imagine, innocent lives are being taken daily at even greater numbers.
According to statistics over 3,000 babies are aborted everyday. In other words 3,000 babies were killed through legal homicide. If the massacre in Newtown, CT is horrific, and it is, than what is the killing of these innocent lives? How can we not cringe at the death of the unborn as we cringe at the death of the precious children in Newtown?
You see to social conservatives the only ways to reduce the number of abortions and the death of the innocent is to outlaw abortion and /or change the paradigm for the pregnant mother. The law itself will not stop all abortions but it will stop law-abiding citizens from trying to obtain one. It will also reflect our morals and values without contradiction.Â We foment moral conflict when we are inconsistent with what we deem â€ślegalâ€ť is in opposition to what we know to be moral. Our laws should protect the innocent, born or unborn. The right to bear arms protects those who are born. The right to life and pro-life laws protect the lives of the unborn. There is no contradiction here.
Laws are meant to restrict or stop bad behavior. We outlaw rape, murder and theft but do these laws stop this behavior? No, but laws and the punishment associated with the breaking of such laws will curtail the committing of these crimes by many.
Anti-abortion laws say to the parents that what you are contemplating, the taking the life of the innocent is wrong. It also says to the physician or clinician that destroying life in the womb has consequences. Arming innocent citizens says to the criminal, beware you may bite off more than you can chew. In either instance, life is more likely to be preserved if we make the consequences unappealing.
Now, I have a question for those who still advocate abortion and stronger guns laws restricting the right to protect ones home, family and property. Jesus once challenged the Pharisees and teachers of the law, when about to heal a man on the Sabbath. Jesus asked, â€śWhich is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or evil, to save life or to destroy it?â€ť I ask a similar question, â€śwhich makes for better policy: to outlaw good or evil, to protect life or to destroy it?â€ť God help us if we continue to get this question wrong.