Another Question for Non-Pacifists image

Another Question for Non-Pacifists

In the aftermath of the horrible recent events in Newtown, Conneticut, some right-wing American Christians said that we needed more guns, and some left-wing Europeans said this was ridiculous, and that we needed fewer guns. One of the most incomprehensible pronouncements, at least to me, was this one from Doug Wilson:

There will be some who try to slip off the point by pointing out that I was not even-handed in this - I condemned abortion and homosexual marriage, for example, but not gun ownership. Doesn’t all America - both left and right - need to repent of her sins? Yes, but gun ownership is not a sin. It is a virtue. Neither is the ownership of 30-round ammo clips a sin. That’s a virtue too. Sin is defined by the law of God, and not by the night terrors of the recipients of Kennedy Center awards.

I imagine that, to a person, the readers of this blog will find that statement in turns remarkable, bizarre and appalling. Good. But here’s my question: for those of you who are not pacifists - for those who would argue that Christians should fight in wars, and would support this with the analogy of the good man who defends his family from a violent intruder - on what basis do you find it appalling? Surely, if defending one’s family with violence is virtuous, and if one lives in a country where violent intruders carry guns, then defending your family with a gun is virtuous, and that means owning a gun is virtuous. Isn’t it? So if you’re not a pacifist, then on what grounds do you disagree with Doug Wilson, or any other American who defends gun ownership?
It seems to me that there are two positions which logically hold water here. The first is to say that gun ownership is virtuous, and that a Christian should not find much wrong with the American gun laws, on the basis that a man has a right to defend his home, and since many of the criminals out there have guns, we cannot defend our families with rolling pins. The second is to say that gun ownership is not virtuous, and that a Christian should find an awful lot wrong with the American gun laws, on the basis that Jesus and the apostles did not want us to shoot people, even if people were threatening our families. Obviously, I hold the second view. But my point today is that I do not understand the mix-and-match view: people who lament the widespread defence of gun ownership by American Christians, with reactions ranging from eye rolls to angry tirades on Facebook, yet in principle think that Christians can defend their families with any means necessary, even if that means killing people. Is it consistent in a way that I have simply not seen? Or does it reflect an unthinking prejudice, a superior attitude towards Americans, or perhaps something else?

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