According to a report published last week by Christianity
leaders from the National Council of Churches have decided to push for
more gun control legislation in an effort to end the “scourge” of gun
violence in the U.S.
The report said the “(NCC) has come out in support of legislation in
the US Congress aimed at limiting the ownership of guns,” vowing to
spend the next legislative session “(making) the issue one of its top
advocacy and legislative priorities. …”
Robert Edgar, the NCC’s new general secretary, said, “We are aware
that new laws alone will not end the wave of gun violence sweeping the
nation, but we are convinced that the number of shootings will be
reduced by making it harder for individuals to purchase the kinds of
guns which have no function except to injure and kill humans.”
There are a number of things wrong with the NCC’s position and Mr.
Edgar’s comments specifically, but taken at face value a couple of them
are more glaring than others.
First of all, it is unimaginable that a national organization of
churches would risk entering the fray of politics over any issue,
considering that “a separation of Church and State” is a cornerstone of
American society. Individual denominations have often come out in
support of or against certain social issues (gays, abortion, family
values) but rarely do you see one that takes a position on a purely
political or politicized issue (like guns). Denominations
make appeals to Congress to change laws, but it sounds like the NCC is
set to enter the lobbying business — and that’s a no-no for a church
Secondly, the new leader of the NCC has no new information to justify
his false claims that “more guns equal more crimes.” His statistics,
which he stole from President Clinton, are absurdly incorrect, even by
Uncle Sam’s own numbers:
Edgar said, “Every day in the US an average of 87 people, 12 of them
children, die as a result of gun wounds, a figure which is rapidly
approaching the rate of deaths through car accidents.” That’s just plain
wrong; I know — I wrote the story disproving these
Gun deaths for adults and children are nowhere near what cars
claim every day, and the child death rates he cites are ludicrous (and
His use of “the children” to justify more gun control is also
reprehensible in and of itself, but statistically speaking it has been
proven time and again that removing guns from American society only
leads to more violent
And, shootings in schools — Edgar’s primary “reason” for more gun
control — are similarly rare.
Too rare to justify punishing law abiding people again.
Third, and most important, is the issue of constitutional precedence:
How is it that a national church organization can call for further
subjugation of a constitutional right without realizing the hypocrisy of
using one constitutional right to call for the limitation of the other?
The nation’s churches, protected under the First Amendment,
have no business calling on Congress to limit a citizen’s right to
practice, uphold, believe in, and defend the Second Amendment.
My guess is, however, that Mr. Edgar doesn’t see his pretense of
piety. Using the well-worn and tired excuse that his group’s actions are
“for the children” just doesn’t wash with me anymore; it is simply an
excuse to disarm more people. There is no doubt in my mind that
my kids and my wife, along with the family dog, are better
protected because my house is equipped with firearms and I know well how
to use them.
The NCC’s “Interfaith Call” for all churches to support this new
assault on the law-abiding, church-going Americans who happen to
believe in their right to be armed, is a mistake that is sure to
But it won’t be Uncle Sam, via the Clinton administration, that makes
the NCC pay for their hypocrisy. And it won’t be the establishment media
either because, after all, this is an anti-gun message and that’s
“politically correct.” If, however, NCC was calling for an end to
abortion or speaking out in support of the Second Amendment, rest
assured that there would already be calls from “on high” demanding to
know why a religious organization dares to venture in the domain of the
“state” — politics. The IRS comes to mind.
As a practicing Catholic, I go worship God Almighty in the local
church of my choice because, unlike in totalitarian societies:
- I’m allowed to worship as I please
- It’s my right
- It’s a right protected by the Constitution
The right to keep and bear arms is a right that is
equally protected, equally a “right,” and equally
available to be practiced (or not) by Americans who are allowed to make
their own choice.
NCC and Mr. Edgar are, however, abusing one constitutional right in
order to effectively stymie or eliminate another constitutional right.
This is so hypocritical it’s obscene.
Edgar, a former U.S. congressman from the state of Pennsylvania,
ought to know better than this. But then again, when have most
congressmen been accused of knowing too much about the
Constitution that they swear to uphold and protect?