I did. I grew up with a father who hunted, with uncles who hunted, with friends who hunted, and in a community where hunting was common. Then when I was in seminary I came to more pacifist conclusions and to some “green” conclusions. So, I sold my gun to someone who loved to hunt. But, in part because I no longer had a place to hunt, I sold my gun and in part because I simply didn’t want a gun around, I got rid of it.
It runs deeper. My grandma on my father’s side kept a pistol under her mattress. She was a tough Southern Illinois woman. Once she told Kris and me that the way she dealt with snakes, not a few of whom showed up regularly, was to stare ’em down because, if you looked ’em in the eyes, they’d turn and run. When we visited Southern Illinois in the summer, my cousins and I often packed a pistol and shot at things — like trees and birds and old dump cars and signs and wild animals if we saw something. One of my cousins accidentally shot his brother. So, I grew up in a be-gunned culture.
Guns are made to kill things. Sure, some use for target practice. Fine. I’ve used a shotgun to shoot clay pigeons; it was fun. But, guns are made to shoot live things and deal the death blow. And gun laws and crime are still being studied.
I think the 2d Amendment primarily concerned military issues like needing a weapon in the case the Brits want our money, or in case the Canadians decide to invade. The new decision knows that but thinks it gives individuals the right to own a gun and to possess such for safety. I suppose that is fair enough for legal interpretation. Some legal historians are now weighing in against Scalia. But, as I said the other day, that doesn’t make it right and it doesn’t make it right for Christians.
As I write this today, there was a rash of killings by guns last night in Chicago. One death was a veteran policeman who was killed by a woman with his own gun.
I came to this conclusion long ago: that God doesn’t want Christians killing others. So, I sold my gun. Do I think owning and using a gun for hunting is fine? Sure. But, I think such guns ought to be stored in some safe, governmentally-based location. No one is following my idea, that I know.
But, that doesn’t mean I won’t speak up for what I think is right.
What about you? Do you own a gun? Why do you have it? Can you imagine that you would ever pick it up and shoot someone, an Eikon of God?