“Why don’t you pick up that gun and blow your brains out?”
“You could kill a whole lot of people with that gun.”
“Why not shoot her right now? That would shut her up!”
These are the sorts of vile mental suggestions many people experience from within their own minds when they see a gun.
That’s right. Dark thoughts and impulses, too horrible to dwell upon or even acknowledge, occur to many of us at the mere sight of a firearm or a naked blade. When we see the firearm, we sense the presence of evil – so naturally we assume the gun is its source, when actually the gun’s close proximity caused our own buried, angry, violent tendencies to surface for a moment.
Thus, many people who “dislike” or “are afraid of” guns are actually afraid of what they might do if they had a loaded firearm in their hand. And I’m not talking about criminal types here. I’m talking about “nice” people – nice on the outside, and lots of buried and perhaps unrecognized rage inside. Again, the presence of the gun simply causes his or her own dark, angry propensities to “stir a little” deep down inside.
But the reality of all this is too heavy and “negative” for many of us to face, so we instantly and unconsciously project our own buried violence onto the gun – as though an inanimate hunk of metal could somehow be evil.
Obviously, a loaded handgun has great potential for destruction and havoc. At the mere squeeze of a trigger there can be murder, suicide, terrorism. Even without pulling the trigger, the gun represents the magic ticket to armed robbery, forcible rape and every other form of coercion. For a person with lots of anger, albeit buried, a gun represents the shortest distance between two points – between the suppressed violent nature within him or her and the maximum expression of that nature. Therefore, the mere sight of a gun excites that dark part of us, causing it to beckon wordlessly, “Use me!”
Let’s examine this admittedly scary subject a little more closely.
Have you ever stood close to the edge of a cliff, or out on a balcony of a high building? Did you notice that some “force” almost seemed to want to pull you over the edge? Most of us have experienced something like this phenomenon – a momentary loss of balance, an unexplainable fear, some mysterious pull toward the edge. We have a moment of disorientation and fear, then we pull back to safety.
I’ve experienced it. Last year after driving five hours to Portland, Ore., to be a guest on Fox News I checked into my hotel room, unpacked, checked over the room, then stepped out onto the balcony. As I approached the railing and looked out at the cityscape and then gazed down several stories to the ground, I noticed a distinct pull, along with a slight disorientation, as though I was losing my balance. I recovered right away and realized I was so tired and frazzled from a long day that my mind was vulnerable to the “pull” of dark forces. So I took the hint and rested a bit, until I had recovered my strength and mental focus.
In this life, the malevolent intelligence we call “evil” is constantly scanning each of us for opportunities to tempt or even destroy us. As the Good Book puts it, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8 KJV). In critical moments of the sort I’m describing, evil seizes the opportunity to give us a mental “shove.” Unfortunately, for some people that “shove” is strong enough – especially after a lifetime of giving in to anger, judgment and despair – to pull them over the edge.
We’ll never know how many “suicides,” in which people fell off a cliff or a balcony, occurred this way – not because of a premeditated suicide plan, but because they were vulnerable to the opportunistic impulse of evil.
Similarly, how many head-on auto accidents occur every year because someone inexplicably crosses the center line to crash at high speed into another car, having succumbed to a wordless, instantaneous mental suggestion from hell? All in a timeless fraction of a second the message impresses itself on your mind: “Crash your car into that one coming your way. Life sucks. Go out with a major bang! Everyone will be shocked! You have the power! Just do it! Do it now!”
Does this scare you? If so – if this description resonates with you even a little bit – it’s only because you have the same problem to some degree. Don’t fret. We’re all in the same boat. We’re all subject to the “dark side” of the force. It’s called being “born in sin.” But some of us honestly face it, and quietly call out to God for help, and His help comes. Others live in denial – until tragedy and death end it all. (This is the central theme of “Spiderman 3,” by the way.)
In any event, this same phenomenon is at work with firearms, because of the potential guns provide for immediate and ultimate destruction. Guns literally bring to the surface of the mind the suppressed potential for violence that exists inside every angry person.
Again, there is more than one way this discomfort around guns can be experienced. A sincere person who is uncomfortable around guns will probably be able to deduce that the problem is within him and not with the inanimate firearm. He’s already on the path to getting better.
Unfortunately, many people who hate/fear guns never allow themselves to come face-to-face with the real problem – themselves. No sooner does their own suppressed anger react to the sight or even the thought of a gun, than they turn that angry emotional response into something more “acceptable” – like fear. After all, on the “niceness” scale, fear is a lot nicer than hatred.
The problem is, after our buried anger is effortlessly transformed into “fear of guns,” that fear easily turns into false righteousness: “I don’t like guns and have no need for them. I’m a peaceful, non-violent person and wouldn’t ever shoot anyone for any reason.”
Some take this “righteousness” even further: “God protects me; I don’t need guns. I have faith he’ll never put me in a position where I need to shoot someone.” Good thing none of the Bible’s Old Testament heroes like David or Joshua thought like that. They were required by God to kill many people. Who can say what will be required of us in this journey called life – whether or not we may be called on to defend ourselves or our families from a dangerous enemy?
Of course, there are many angry people who love guns. The world seems to be full of pumped-up jihadists who crave weapons, the bigger and more lethal the better; drug lords who use guns to murder judges and mayors and anyone else who gets in their way; gangbangers who pack heat so they can kill members of rival gangs; and every variety of criminal who, of course, take pains to procure the tools of their illegal trade – guns.
Unlike those who hate/fear guns as a result of unconsciously projecting their own inner violence onto them, angry people who love guns are in love with their own hatred, which they see as righteousness! The Islamic jihadist thinks he’s serving Allah by murdering innocents. And predators and psychopaths of every sort love their guns because that’s where they get the means to overcome their intended victims.
The God side of guns
Obviously, guns allow evil to be expressed in a multitude of ways, just as any weapon does. Everybody understands this, so there’s no need to say much more about it – except that these people need to be stopped.
But what does need to be said, and shouted from the rooftops, is that in the right hands firearms also enable real goodness and virtue to be manifested – right here, right now – by opposing evil and protecting the innocent.
I’m talking now about what I’ll call true Americans – not those who criminally prey on others, but also not those whose cowardice or shallowness causes them to appease bullies and to blame inanimate objects for the evil in the world and within themselves.
Whether individually or in a war, the moral imperative to defend ourselves and others is the same. And just as we all share this fundamental and undeniable right to self-defense, it follows that we also share the right to the means of self-defense, or else that supposed right is just a bad joke.
Fortunately for us, the Constitution and Bill of Rights were written and adopted by strong, right-thinking people. And the Second Amendment spells out for all to see the right of Americans to “keep and bear arms,” a fundamental right that “shall not be infringed.”
Today, according to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, there are well over 200 million privately owned firearms in the U.S, including more than 65-70 million handguns. Approximately 45 percent of American households have firearms. That means we have 65-80 million American gun-owners, including 30-35 million owners of handguns.
This is a very, very good thing – we don’t even realize how good it is. For just as it was true in our founders’ day, it’s true today that Americans need guns.
If you don’t believe me, just consider the Virginia Tech disaster. Imagine Cho Seung-Hui walking into a classroom, threatening people with his guns, making them line up, preparing to shoot them. Now freeze-frame that scene and think for a moment: There isn’t anyone or anything in this world that could have stopped Cho in his tracks at that point and averted the hellish slaughter that followed – except a single student or professor with a firearm, and trained to use it.
At the time of this nation’s birth, people understood the importance of the armed citizen.
James Madison, who wrote the Second Amendment, said Americans had “the advantage of being armed,” whereas in other nations “the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.” Thomas Jefferson said, “No free man shall be debarred the use of arms.” Patrick Henry said the “great object is that every man be armed. … Everyone who is able may have a gun.” And Thomas Paine said, “Arms … discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property.”
But today, many people would like to get rid of the Second Amendment – either by excising it from the Bill of Rights or, more likely, by judicially redefining its meaning as they have with the First Amendment (with the invention of the mythological “separation of church and state”).
You see, in today’s America the self-reliant, responsible, independent-minded man or woman who carries a gun – the kind of person who is aware, thinks for himself, is skeptical of government, the press and all of society’s “experts” – the person not content to be a victim, but willing to take charge of a situation, “get involved,” even fight back and stand up for what is right – in other words, a true American – is threatening to society’s elitists, experts and politicians who are addicted to power.
As a general rule, it is liberals who tend to oppose private citizens carrying guns around with them. As I said, this is mostly because they’re full of suppressed anger and therefore project their own – and others’ – evil onto inanimate objects so as to maintain the denial in which they live. After all, you can’t possibly believe the illogical and immoral things liberals and leftists espouse unless you’re full of trauma and repressed hatred. It takes lots of inner rage to distort reality sufficiently to believe it’s OK to kill beautiful little babies in their mothers’ wombs or to believe a malevolent chameleon like Hillary Clinton should be elected president of the United States and commander-in-chief of the most powerful military in world history.
This same emotional confusion leads liberals to think guns are the problem, rather than being – in the right hands – the protection from tyranny and predation they truly are.
Do you know what happens when good people carry lethal weapons? Their mentality changes from passive to active, vulnerable to protective, powerless to empowered, dependent to independent. Very simply, they become more responsible – and more capable of doing good.
In fact, they make up the very fabric of a free America. This is the whole concept of the unregulated militia.
When neighbor stands with neighbor
There have always been two parts to the “militia” mentioned in the Second Amendment – the regulated and the unregulated (or the organized and the unorganized) militia.
Various laws throughout U.S. history have defined the organized or regulated militia, for instance the Militia Act of 1792, which specified that males 18 through 44 years of age “shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia …”
However, much more important was the founders’ and framers’ concept of the unorganized or unregulated militia, which they regarded as the ultimate defense of the new nation. This larger and more organic militia consisted of all able-bodied citizens. As Richard Henry Lee, a key founder during the Revolutionary period, explained in 1788: “A militia when properly formed [is] in fact the people themselves … and include[s] all men capable of bearing arms. … To preserve liberty it is essential that the whole body of people always possess arms.” Or as George Mason famously and cryptically put it: “I ask, sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people, except for a few public officials.”
Although the practice of arming oneself is very wholesome – for responsible, mature people, that is – there is one nightmare scenario we need to guard against, because history shows it leads inexorably to tyranny.
That scenario would be for angry, “right-wing, fundamentalist Christians” (more accurately, pseudo-Christian hate groups) to commit acts of terrorism or murder – like the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City – in the name of freedom. That is exactly what today’s would-be totalitarians would secretly relish most, as it would justify their crackdown on “Christian” and “patriot” groups and gun rights across the board.
Timothy McVeigh, who thought he was advancing a patriotic rebellion against oppressive government, achieved precisely the opposite: He discredited everything he thought he was fighting for and caused many people to regard “right-wing patriots” and “militia types” as domestic terrorists.
In fact, the biggest reason President Bill Clinton was asleep at the switch with regard to Islamic terrorism, allowing Osama bin Laden to slip through his fingers even when the terror kingpin was offered on a silver platter, is because it served Clinton’s leftist agenda to obsess over “right-wing” extremist organizations rather than the threat of radical Islam. Thus, Clinton disastrously focused the FBI predominantly on “right-wing hate groups” rather than task it with chasing down the many credible leads we had on al-Qaida terror plots against the United States.
If angry, would-be “patriots” engage in violence against the U.S. government as occurred in Oklahoma City, this nation could quickly move toward the suppression of gun rights and much more, all in the guise of protecting the public safety.
It’s a very real temptation. Think of it: As government corruption becomes more and more brazen, as judges outlaw the Ten Commandments, as “hate crimes” laws effectively criminalize the Bible, as kindergartners are brainwashed with radical “gay rights” propaganda and so on, pretty soon some group decides it can’t take it any more. Its members become so enraged, they conclude it’s time to start the next armed revolution. Seeing their nation being raped and envisioning no solution other than violence, they convince themselves they’re the modern counterparts of America’s revolutionary founders. Training with firearms and explosives and conspiring in secret – all the while quoting Jefferson to each other about “watering the tree of liberty” from time to time with “the blood of patriots and tyrants” – they murder some federal judges or blow up a government office building in an attempt to fight back. But all they succeed in doing is murdering and maiming a bunch of their fellow Americans (or, as McVeigh did in Oklahoma City, massacring a room full of toddlers in daycare – which he later coldly termed “collateral damage”).
What would follow would be a massive official crackdown on “domestic terrorists” and a severe assault on freedom in America – not to mention a major distraction from the real war against Islamic jihad.
Amazing what hatred can accomplish, isn’t it? Exactly the opposite of what you intended. The dark side of the force is very clever. As the blood-drenched, hate-based French Revolution proved, when “revolutionaries” are full of hate, they’re no better than the hateful, corrupt government they try to replace – and maybe worse – ushering in their own “reign of terror.”
This is why true, mature Americans – the kind that must be armed – must also be self-controlled, even-tempered, virtuous and noble, not motivated by hatred and revenge. They must also stand together.
In reality, the responsible armed citizen is the strength of America. But there will always be a tension between him and his government – especially today, when the armed citizen is the antithesis of everything our culture, experts, politicians and other “leaders” teach us. In their minds, we’re supposed to be helpless victims or incompetent, irresponsible, out-of-control children. We’re supposed to need them to provide for us and protect us. If they could have their way, nobody would have guns except the police. But then, that’s what’s known as a “police state.”
What we need is a rebirth of the true American spirit. We need people to take up arms in the spirit of responsibly protecting their family and other innocents, just like in the old days when everyone carried a sword. Every man had to be willing to put his life on the line to protect his loved ones. But you can’t do that without your sword – which in today’s world is a firearm.
One quote from Jesus we almost never hear cited these days is what He said shortly before being taken into captivity by Roman soldiers to be crucified. It was a dangerous time, and as He spoke to His disciples, He told them to arm themselves.
And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, – Nothing.
Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.
For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.
And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough. (Luke 22:35-38 KJV)
The police cannot protect you. Very simply, they’re never there when the crime against you and your loved ones is being committed.
Do you want God to protect you? Of course. Then don’t tempt Him by saying, “The Lord will protect me, I don’t need a gun.” That’s like the man who says, “A storm is coming, but I don’t need an umbrella; God will protect me,” all the while ignoring the real protection God has provided for him – the common sense to get an umbrella or come in out of the rain. In dangerous times such as those in which we live today, God clearly speaks to us – both in Scripture and through good old fashioned common sense – about being prepared to protect and defend ourselves, our families and our neighbors.
As Jesus Himself said: “He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.”