Should weapons be banned? Part 2
There are always those who believe, with all sincerity, that weapons of any kind should be outlawed. The reasoning is that, if no one had weapons, society would be a much safer place. Any conflicts would be handled with words and, at most, with fists. There would be injuries, of course, but not destruction on the scale currently experienced.
The same sort of thinking is often applied to the world scene. If there were no nuclear weapons, and no weapons of any kind, the world would be a safer place.
Some even go as far to call of a unilateral disarmament. That is, our nation should disarm itself regardless of what other nations do. And, besides, since defense takes up such a huge chunk of our national budget, think of all the good we could do to help people.
So what if we did that? How would that work out?
We could eliminate our nuclear stockpiles. We could scuttle our navy, disband the army and the marines, permanently ground the air force, disarm and destroy all weapons and weapons systems, declare ourselves neutral and announce our intention to be at peace and harmony with all mankind. We could “visualize peace.”
Yet even the most fervent pacifist, while maintaining their own non-violent position, would likely balk at such a suggestion. But if disarming our nation would be the first step to peace, love, and harmony, why shouldn’t we do it?
The answer to that is a long list. It begins with North Korea. And Iran. And it continues with a host of other well-armed, ill-intentioned regimes that would like nothing better than for the United States and other democracies to lay aside their arms.
We are armed because those who wish to do us violence are armed. If the United Nations were to declare a global ban on all arms and, if the democratic nations of the world complied, it would matter not one bit to the North Koreas and the Irans of the world.
They would retain their weapons and, at some point, when they realized that we were, indeed, without a means of defense, our borders would be violated and we would be occupied and cease to exist as a free people. Anyone who doubts that fact has no grasp of human history.
The same scenario applies to domestic life. In the state of Georgia, the number of licenses permitting lawful citizens to carry weapons stands at 600,000 or three times the number of U. S. Marines world-wide. That is exceeded only by Pennsylvania (786,000) and Florida (1,026,000). A person intent on doing harm to a law-abiding citizen of those states has a very good chance of encountering a person capable of defending him- or herself.
New York City, with a population of 8,245,000, has only 2,145 citizens authorized to carry a firearm. Of course the city has a police force that exceeds the size of the standing army of most countries. In the fall of 2011, Mayor Bloomberg famously declared, “I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world.” Is one safer in Georgia or Pennsylvania, or Florida? Or is New York City the safest ground in the nation?
The simple truth is, if peaceful nations or peaceful people have no means of defense, the violent and ill-tempered nations and people of the world will inflict terrible harm on the defenseless. There will always be weapons and the bad guys will always have them.
If all weapons are banned, only the good people will not have them.
[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, 4881 Hwy. 34 E., Sharpsburg, GA 30277. Services are held Sundays at 8:30 and 10 a.m. (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese (www.midsouthdiocese.org)He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]