Texas: Just say "no" to thugs

Today I wrote a short letter to my Texas State governor, senator and representative about the "Open Carry" legislation making its way through Austin. If enacted, such legislation will make swaths of Texas look like some suburban caricature of an Old West boomtown with every insecure, over-anxious, under-prepared redneck thug packing and scaring the hell out of my children "becuz the law seyz we can!". There's a whole Star Trek episode dedicated to this proposition in fact. Well worth watching.

And before you go off on how I am a gun hating liberal, shut it. I may be liberal. But guns are tons of fun, used rightly. A decade ago I could field strip an SKS and an M1 Carbine faster than anyone I knew, and I can still beat 95% of adults shooting skeet. I'm not bad with a Biretta 9mm either. I just don't think it is a good idea for me to open carry my family guns in public. Too many variables and too much could go wrong. And since I know a lot of people who are well-nigh idiot level (as I am sure you do too), I especially don't want them open carrying.

So, here is what I wrote to my elected officials. Feel free to cut and paste if you want to:

I am writing to ask you to please vote NO to any Open Carry laws that come up. Our Lord Jesus Christ has told us "Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword." (Mat. 26.52*). And further Saint Paul tells us that the government alone is tasked by God to "bear the sword" to protect citizens (cf. Rom. 13*).

Nation-States with a greater number of guns in circulation also have greater numbers of deaths because of guns, and usually higher rates of murder in general. Nation-states with gun control, and government certified methods of training citizen soldiers (cf. Israel**) have lower rates of murder and gun deaths. But more guns in the hands of untrained, unaccountable citizens will not make our State or our Country safer.

Furthermore, passing such a law will result-- probably sooner than later-- in an untrained, unaccountable gun owner killing innocent people by "friendly fire" while trying to "protect" people from criminals. Think about the public outcry against legislators who voted for such an ill-conceived Open Carry law once someone's child or grandparent is mowed down by a gun owner who is just trying to "protect" others.

If you think long enough, you will realize that Open Carry laws are public relations nightmares waiting to happen.

Thank you for your time.

May grace and peace and love fill your life.

*I start off by mentioning Jesus and the Bible because, first of all, I actually do base my moral position upon what I understand to be the best interpretation of what Jesus was all about. I understand Jesus' position-- and that of the rest of the New Testament-- to be one of radical, redistributive social justice combined with something very near pacifism (although, as I said, allowing governing officials to "bear the sword" to defend the oppressed). Secondly, I use Jesus and the Bible because that is what every Texas politician does. All these Evangelical cross-bearing, flag-waiving politicians claim to love Jesus and follow the Bible. So, I suppose, we should actually refer to them.

**I mention Israel for two reasons as well. First off, Evangelicals love Israel. Especially Texas Evangelicals. Support of Zionism might as well be written into the Texas constitution. Secondly, every time you point out that more guns circulating in a society equals more gun deaths (not less), and often a higher rate of murder in general, you get this comeback: Israel has a low rate of gun deaths and THEY arm every adult male.

True. But those males are well trained and directly accountable AS reserve soldiers in the Israeli Army. THAT is why they have the weapons in the first place. Or, to use the actual words of the fourth amendment: The Israelis have guns to maintain "a well regulated Militia". If we want to train people, put them under arms, allow them to carry, and make them accountable as soldiers or officers, then fine by me. But this is ENTIRELY different from allowing open carry by untrained or poorly trained citizens, without proper psychological checks, without regular qualification tests on firearms, and without any system of legal accountability as protectors of public order (unlike legally accountable public safety officers and soldiers).

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This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.