A REPLY TO THE ARTICLE “THE TEXAS TRAGEDY “.
The article about guns in the Langstaff Letter on the “Texas Tragedy” brought expected responses. Amongst them were ones from my own family. They “shot down” (pun intended) my views on gun control. One of these came from my oldest grandson Mitchel Plaisted. I asked him to write a response for me that I could include in a Langstaff Letter. So here it is. Incidentally, Mitchel was recently invited and accepted the invitation to become a member of the Board of Directors of Kairos Ministries.
GARDEN TO GRAVES – PART 1
By Mitchel A. Plaisted
THE FOUNDING FATHERS
When one talks about gun control in America, I find it is best to start by establishing what our founders intended and then talk about if things should change. There are two passages of our founding documents that I find relevant. The first is the 2nd Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed” (constitution.congress.gov).
The second is a passage from our Declaration of Independence: “…when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security” (archives.gov).
To help us interpret the original intent of the founders when they wrote the 2nd Amendment, let us now turn to the words of George Madison: “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for few public officials” (madisonbrigade.com).
The American Colonies were “all democratic governments, where the power is in the hands of the people and where there is not the least difficulty or jealousy about putting arms into the hands of every man in the country. [European countries should not] be ignorant of the strength and the force of such a form of government, and how strenuously and almost wonderfully people living under one have sometimes exerted themselves in defense of their rights and liberties and how fatally it has ended with many a man and many a state who have entered into quarrels, wars, and contests with them” (madisonbrigade.com).
Clearly, the 2nd Amendment was intended to apply to “every man in the county.” One might also note that the words “gun,” “firearm,” and “hunting” are not present in any of these quotes. You see, the founders did not write the 2nd Amendment to preserve the right of the people to keep the kinds of guns that existed in their times or firearms for hunting or shooting sports. No, they intended to preserve the right of the people to keep and bear weapons of war regardless of future technological advancements. In other words, it will apply to laser guns if we ever get around to inventing them.
THE RIGHT TO DEFENSE
Now that we are clear about what the founders intended, we can ask, “Should things be changed?” My answer is yes. However, not to change what the founders intended, but rather to return to it. The truth is that the government has infringed on the right to “keep and bear arms.” Yes, I believe that those who have been proven to display unwarranted violence against their fellow citizen should be restricted from having weapons. However, I do believe that each man and woman has a God-given right to defend themselves and their families. I will not dive into that too much as it is a lengthy line of thinking. However, it is an American ideal, and if you disagree, I would accuse you of being un-American. Now, it is essential to distinguish between the right to defend and the requirement to defend. For example, it is ok to be a martyr for the Faith.
I would generally define a man as one who has reached the maturity to get married honorably and father children. As a husband and father, I also firmly believe that a big part of the responsibility I willingly took upon myself when I got married was to defend my wife and future children. Therefore, if someone is not responsible enough to use the tools of violence necessary to protect a family, they are not responsible enough to get married or father children. In short, they are not a man; they are still a child. We need to pick a point where a person should be a man, and at that point, they should be able to honorably get married as well as purchase rifles, shotguns, handguns, and other weapons used for the defense of themselves and their families. That point should also be the age a person is permitted to enter the military or police. That is unless we want to be guilty of the war crime of sending children into battle. To be completely honest, I am not entirely sure this age should be 18, due to the degradation of our culture; however, it should all be the same age. Otherwise, it would be to commit a great evil, for we would either be sending children into battle or denying an honest man the ability to defend his wife and children effectively.
Some have asked why people need weapons of war. Well, first, “assault weapons”/arms (for war) are what the 2nd Amendment protects, not hunting tools. Second, “assault weapons” are not the primary source of gun crime in the United States, rather handguns are (www.pewresearch.org).
Also, just for reference, you are actually more likely to be killed with a knife or other sharp implement than a rifle (https://ucr.fbi.gov).
First off, let me say that America is the only free country on earth. If you disagree (I am open to being wrong), find me another nation with free speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom to bear arms enshrined and applied in a meaningful way. Second, we are not the leading country for mass shootings (worldpopulationreview.com).
POLICE AT SCHOOLS
Putting people with guns (police) in schools will not solve the problem unless they have the fortitude to act (theblaze.com). This is clearly shown by the fact that there were police at the school in Uvalde for over an hour before they went in and stopped the shooter (https://www.cnn.com). We need to find those willing to defend our children and put them in place, with the proper training, to act professionally. I would recommend the man police stopped from engaging the shooter in Uvalde, if he is interested in the job (news.yahoo.com).
GUNS SAVE LIVES
One thing, people often do not know is that guns are used for protection at a much higher rate than they are in homicides (papers.ssrn.com) (townhall.com) (politifact.com). In other words, they save lives. This data shows how, when good people have the tools to defend themselves and others, the world gets safer, not more dangerous.
GUNS ARE NOT THE PROBLEM
In responding to the sort of horrific event that happened in Texas, it is common to jump into a discussion about guns, but at the end of the day, they are not why this happened or what will stop it.
To explain exactly what I mean by this, we must go back to the beginning of man. We must look at the garden God intended for us and, ultimately, the grave our culture is walking towards. We will discuss this issue further in the next Langstaff Letter.
FURTHER RESOURCES ON GUNS
If you are looking for more information on guns and the facts about them I briefly laid out, there is a site that has a lot of information compiled in an organized manner with sources, and I have included links to some of the relevant pages here: