I am not anti-gun. One of my fondest memories with my son was driving far north in Minnesota each November to hunt deer with him on family farms in Lake of the Woods County. Sitting in the woods as the sun came up and later in the day when it went down was a chance for quiet reflection and to observe the beauty of God’s creation. We spent the week with family, visiting, drinking coffee, telling stories, butchering deer, sharing meals. Having venison in the freezer not only was a help for the food budget, but a culinary delight. Young nephews were schooled in gun safety, and being on private land meant no trigger-happy strangers were wandering around. And needing to field dress and then after a few days butcher deer brought home the uncomfortable, bloody truth that is hunting. I wanted my son to be serious about eating meat, and do not for a moment regret these family times. So, as I say, I am not anti-gun.
However, America has a problem with guns. A very serious problem. And that problem is not something I can ignore as a Christian. Recently, as we drove down a country road, we saw a large sign at the side of the road.
Any Christian who does not see a problem here is simply not taking their faith seriously. Our Lord calls us to be peacemakers, loving and nurturing life. This sign does not reveal or commend faith, but rank idolatry.
There are far too many mass shootings, far too many guns in the hands of unstable or anarchistic individuals and children, far too many people including children being wounded or killed. America has a problem with guns. And the limited binary division of our politicized world seems to keep anything meaningful from being done.
The problem with guns is an issue the Church should be able to address thoughtfully, with civility, and with a sincere desire to serve the common good. And in a modest effort to promote that, I am listing here three articles by serious Christians on the topic that are worthy of careful, discerning discussion.
Article #1: “What should Christians do about guns? It will take not only policy change but also social change to turn the tide,” by Tish Harrison Warren in The New York Times (April 23, 2023).
Article #2: “How Can We Be a Country That Does This to Our Children?” by Esau McCaulley in The New York Times (March 28, 2013)
Article #3: “Gun Idolatry Is Destroying the Case for Guns” by David French in The New York Times (April 23, 2023).
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