Joe Biden Says President Obama May Use Executive Order to Clamp Down on Guns

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Here is what the vice president said,

“The president is going to act…There are executives orders, there’s executive action that can be taken….As the president said, if you’re actions result in only saving one life, they’re worth taking. But I’m convinced we can affect the well-being of millions of Americans and take thousands of people out of harm’s way if we act responsibly.” (source)

There are two numbers you need to know that show very clearly how all this talk is just political agendas trying to be enforced and not about real life, real solutions, or protecting innocent people from harm:

In 2008 there were 10,866 murders committed with a firearm. That is certainly a lot of people and is tragic. But also consider the number of times law abiding citizens use a firearm for protection annually runs between 1-1.5 million.

You may wonder why I have posted several things related to firearms lately. I do this because I am a peacekeeper. I do this because I reserve the right to protect my family. I do this because the innocent & law abiders need to be protected and the law breakers punished, not the other way around. My concern is that we have that last statement backwards. We are protecting the law breakers and punishing the innocent when we legislate away people’s ability to defend themselves from violent criminals. I hope the president is prayerful on this one and considerate of all the lives that could be lost annually but are not due to the firearms that are legally owned and legally used in self defense.

23 Responses

  1. I realise this is an emotive issue & as one who is a citizen of another country I have to be respectful of your laws but I think it is bizarre that a Christian minister would advocate the use of firearms as a form of protection &/or in self defense. To that end I am glad I live in Australia.

    1. John,

      Thanks for chiming in. Do you think it was bizarre that Jesus told his disciples to take swords with them on their journey or that it was bizarre that when a Roman soldier asked John the Baptist what he should do John’s answer wasn’t for him to get out of his profession? I ask that as kindly as possible…it is not meant to sound harsh or attacking at all. Thanks for reading.

  2. Matt, one thing I have learned to be very wary of in this debate is the number of people harmed by a gun. You quote a statistic of over 10,000 – but varying sources provide varying numbers. It might be that you listed “murders” only, without including suicides, so called “justifiable” homicides and other forms of life-ending uses of firearms. This number also clearly does not include the number of injuries sustained by the use of firearms. I also am highly, highly skeptical of the 1-1.5 million number of times that is quoted (usually by the NRA) as a number of legitimate uses of a firearm for self-protection. That is such a highly speculative number, since the persons involved could have been defended just as adequately with a bright light, a loud noise, a large dog, a can of mace or pepper spray for that matter – you would have to document 1 million situations in which it was the GUN itself that solved the problem, and as the NRA talking heads are so quick to point out, guns don’t do anything, people do things with guns.

    A few year ago I would have been aghast at the idea of an executive order restricting guns. I would not have any problem with it today. As I have come to understand, the Constitution defends a “well regulated” right to bear arms for the purpose of establishing a state militia. Assault weapons, magazines that hold 30+ rounds of ammunition, households with arsenals of weapons (why did Mrs. Lanza have so many guns???) – these are all issues that need to be dealt with. Very few medicines are pleasant to taste, and surgery is definitely painful. But it is past time to deal with a national obsession with guns and the tragic consequences of irresponsible gun ownership and use.

    And, of all people, ministers of the Prince of Peace should be the ones leading the way for this conversation to take place.

    1. The 1-1.5 million figure came out from the Clinton administration, not the NRA. They may cite it, but it was Clinton’s administration that issued that number. He was the same one who issued the first assault weapons ban. The number has also been backed up by other studies. What is more, violent crime has drastically decreased in America over the last decade, not increased. Based on the media you would think it was the other way around.

    2. I can’t find any recent numbers for this but in 1995 there were twice as many instances of self defense with a firearm as there were instances of crime being committed with a firearm 1,029,615 vs 436,000. That is according to the Kleck and Gertz article in the Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology. So you are right that firearms are used more than 10k times per year in the commission of crime.

  3. Luke 22:36 ESV

    He said to them, “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.

    Believe it or not, last night a helicopter circled over the houses in my neighborhood (which is not a ‘bad neighborhood’), for half a an hour or so, shining their floodlights several times into our yards and windows. Too, there was a sheriff unit parked in front of our home shining its lights into the empty lot across the street, as well as into and around the trees in and around our home. In the event somebody came into my home at that point, I would be glad to have a weapon adequate to stop any intruder from getting near my wife and sleeping baby. Wouldn’t you?

    1. Some people believe that the police will save them. Well, maybe they will and maybe they won’t. I have known pacifists who would never advocate violence but would be willing to call the police in the event someone attacked them or their family. What do they expect the police to do? Do they expect the police to be their hired hand…do the dirty work for them? Self-defense and defending one’s family is about protecting the innocent and standing in the way of evil. I see nothing unbiblical about either.

  4. Matt, a couple of more comments if you don’t mind. (1) thank you for the stats and the reference. I will still argue that there is a frequent disconnect between correlation and causation – for example, the number of reported rapes might increase with the increase in the amount of ice cream sales. The two could be correlated, but one hardly can be associated with causing the other. A person might be reported to have defended him or herself with a firearm, when it was actually some other factor that was the actual cause of the defense, not the presence of the gun. (2) There are many non-lethal ways in which to defend oneself today. To suggest that a firearm is the ONLY source of self-defense is specious argument. (3) the passage in Luke as referenced above by Hank is NOT an argument for owning a firearm or any weapon. NONE of the apostles understood it in this way (at least following the crucifixion) because we do not have ANY evidence that the early church used the “two swords” to defend themselves, and many went to martyrs deaths. In fact, it was their willingness to submit to various attacks that set them apart from other sects and religions. Paul appealed to Roman law, but did not use the dagger to defend himself during his many beatings and stonings. Appeal to Luke 22 as a defense for gun use is horrid theology. If Jesus meant himself to be taken literally he would be teaching his disciples to walk around in their underwear with a weapon strapped onto their hip.

    I will defend my family to my death if need be, but my handgun is locked so securely that it would take me a good 5 minutes to get to it and get it loaded. I do that to prevent any accidents. My rifles are stored away and I actually do not even have any ammunition in the house for any of my firearms.

    Your reference to police is actually quite interesting. More and more police departments are training their officers in the use of Tazers and other non-lethal forms of subduing a suspect, and even with all of their training and testing, police officers still kill innocent people, and despite the fact that they are virtually all protected by loaded firearms, dozens of officers are killed in the line of duty with firearms. Can an untrained or poorly trained civilian hope to have a better record in terms of not making mistakes?

    My issue with the tone of the current debate is that Christians are showing far more devotion and emotion in referring to the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment than they are the counter-cultural teachings of Jesus. We are called to be a different kind of person – not enslaved by the passions and motivations of this world. Why is a gun so important to so many people? America is one of the few places on this earth where gun ownership is so fanatically defended. Does that mean there can be no Christians in Russia, or China, or Japan, or Australia, or any other of the countries with strict bans on gun ownership? Are families in those countries forbidden from defending themselves from intruders? Do they walk in constant fear and dread of being murdered with no way to defend themselves? I just think we are looking at this issue too profoundly as 21st century Americans rather than 21st century disciples of Christ.

    Thanks for putting up with the long response.


    1. Paul,

      You are always welcome to comment and comment as long as you like. Always welcome brother. Help me out here. What is the record of policemen in the line of duty of the deaths of innocent people and even themselves vs. the times firearms are used to protect the innocent in ways that don’t involve the death of anyone (the vast, vast majority of times) and/or the lives of the innocent?

      Jesus was certainly counter-cultural. It may be that I have a heart issue here. The reason I don’t think that I do is because what I am most interested here is my own loved ones…as precious as they are. I am not interested in defeating people. I am not interested in having power over people. I am interested in fulfilling my vows as a husband and my duty and responsibilities as a father.

    2. Matt, I am not suggesting that you have a heart issue here – nothing you have said has been wrong. I do disagree with the use of Luke 22 as a proof-text for gun ownership, but I do not think that is what you were saying. I believe your suggestion in a prior post about closing the loophole in the sale of guns was perfect. From your comments there I would suggest we are far closer in understanding than our posts today might seem to indicate.

      Let me draw a parallel – maybe valid, maybe not. I am a firm supporter of the death penalty – or at least I was, until I saw the numbers of individuals who have been convicted of capital crimes who were later exonerated. I believe in the concept of capital punishment because I believe it to be biblical – not just in the Mosaic law but from the very beginning. However, the WAY in which it was being implemented in the United States was clearly flawed. I would like those flaws to be remedied, but until they are I have to limit my support for any death penalties.

      As I mentioned, I am not against gun ownership. The guns I own are for sentimental reasons, and possibly for target shooting, although it has been years since any of them have been fired. If a person should use a firearm to defend himself, herself or his or her family, that is up to their conscience and mental capabilities. I could not, most probably because I could not handle the after-effects of having killed someone, especially if it turned out I had done so in error.

      My concern, and this comes from reading many FaceBook posts as well as Tweets and Blogs, is that we view gun ownership as something determined by God, and that is simply not the case. It is provided by a written document, a human one at that, and if that document needs to be amended then so be it. I lose nothing of my relationship with God if I have a gun or if I do not. I will protect my family just as passionately (although perhaps not as effectively) without the use of a gun just as someone else will defend their family with their gun.



  5. Clarification: that’s not an assertion that you ARE misusing that passage. Just advocating a note of caution. It deserves more study than just saying that Jesus told them to buy swords.

    Grace and peace,

    1. You are more than welcome to disagree with me citing those passages. I am open to criticism and critique. My ears are always listening. One other thing I would point out is that there are some who say we shouldn’t be concerned about amendments and legislation in order to get things done, that we have a higher calling…who then go on in support of using the legislative process when it suits them. It is important to be consistent. Thanks for sharing your thought. I value them.

    2. Good point. I may well be guilty of that inconsistency.

      At this point in my life (I may need a timestamp on this), I’m not opposed to someone using force to defend family. May even to defend innocents around us. I am concerned about us feeling like we are responsible for punishing evildoers; I don’t see that in the New Testament.

      I wrote a post for gun owners on Monday:
      Maybe it will be of interest and relevant to this discussion.

      Grace and peace,

    3. That was a good read Tim. It was very well written and well thought out. It gets to the heart of what we all must consider here and it reminds us to always remind ourselves of where our citizenship is.

      I have a couple of random thoughts that I would like to put out there and see if any of you guys have mulled any of this over.

      1 – There is so much silence on this in the Bible because the narrative in scripture that is being advanced isn’t interested in addressing issues related to the Bill of Rights. For instance, Herod kills the baby boys. I can only imagine that some of the fathers of those baby boys were killed as well as they undoubtedly didn’t just allow someone to come in there and kill their child. But scripture is silent on that. It is never mentioned. We are just left with silence and assumptions for the very reason that that is not the narrative scripture is interested in telling.

      2 – We live in a sanitized society that is, in that regard, very much unlike the world of the 1st century. They had to kill their food to eat it. Ever killed a bull? It is work and it is nasty, bloody and troublesome. Imagine having to do all those animal sacrifices from the Torah. They were around blood all the time. We have someone else do it. We don’t see all the carnage when we eat a hamburger. They did. Our society is sanitized. We push death back behind the curtain. When tragedy strikes, it hits us all the more, because we aren’t used to being faced with things like this (not that we should be).

      There are a few more I will share later but that will do for now. Thanks all for your input.

  6. Your “gun culture” and gun laws seem to focus on rights and neglect responsibilities. Also, when Jesus said to “love your neighbour”, did he mean, “love him to death – with a gun”? Did he mean to turn the cheek in order to get a better shot at your enemy? You have a serious problem that laws won’t solve …. And, of course, neither will over simplification as this post might suggest. (Beside assault weapons designed only to kill as many people as possible in a short time, there are also mental health issues that need attention.)

    1. Richard,
      You have hit on something really, really important here. Actually several things that are really important. If you look at how the government operates, as government expands they take away rights and take on our responsibilities. Look at public assistance. They give handouts, food stamps, welfare, social security disability, and on and on we could go. Much of that is needed but it is amazing to me how people are willing to hand over taking responsibility for their own life and let the government make their decisions for them. We have a rights/responsibility issue in this country on many different levels. What you just said is what of the root causes/problems we have in this country without a doubt. Thank you for sharing.

    2. And here are two radical ideas: 1. Both countries (Canada/USA) would benefit from a Bill of Responsibilities to go along with the Bill of Rights (Of course, no politicial desiring re-election would dare suggest such today!). So you have a “right” to own a gun. Shouldn’t you have the “responsiblity” to learn how to use it properly, care for it, store it safely, etc? 2. Perhaps if Christians were less focused on personal security and lived more dangerously among the “bad” people, they might be part of the solution? Am I wrong to observe that Jesus didn’t just associate with “his kind of people”? Didn’t he go where the “good people” didn’t venture? Didn’t he just live above the slander, “what would people think”?

  7. ”Perhaps if Christians were less focused on personal security and lived more dangerously among the “bad” people, they might be part of the solution?”

    The solution to what? To me, the topic of this thread concerns guns and whether or not our rights to own them should be limited and/or taken away. Personally, I dont understand why some believe that whoever owns guns and stands up for such rights, does not then love Jesus and the lost. Its an incorrect and unwarrented conclusion.
    Too, I would be real curious to know what the person who opposes the right
    and/desire to own guns (and who

    1. ..what does one who is against using force (including deadly) really believe he would do in the event of an intruder entering his home and seeking to do ungodly things to his family. What exactly, would ‘turning the cheek’ require. Would praying for and preaching to the madman while he does his thing, rather than forcing him to stop, be the Lord’s will? I would rather protect myself and family

    2. Also, being willing to be fed to lions and burned on fire for refusing to deny Christ is a lot different than being willing to alow yourself and loved ones to be attacked and violated by a criminal.

      Lastly, some of the most humble and godly men I know, are some of the most interdsted in rights concerning guns. Appreciating guns does not equate to a lack of Love for God and his word. It just doesnt

  8. Obviously, my post created reaction rather than reflection. You live in a “gun culture”, a “drug culture”, and “consumption culture”, which has many too many challenges and emotional issues to consider in this blog. I was suggesting that there are deeper issues at work here. Yes, I think it would be good to look at them as “spiritual” challenges. However, I’m totally unqualified to judge anyone else’s level of spirituality. In some areas I’m more spiritual than I was in years gone by and in other areas I wonder if I’ll ever mature. (In no way was I or could I suggest that one who disagrees is less spiritual.) Each person is in their unique situation spiritually, though it would be good for all to have Jesus as the model.

  9. I’m sure I’m out of my depth here, but I think Mr. Kruse is right in saying it’s a culture issue. Guns are an integral part of American culture–always have been. Yet, we’ve never seen anything as abhorent as the school massacres. On the one hand I feel like stricter gun control laws are knee-jerk reactions and unlikely to work (after all, guns are prohibited at schools already). On the other, I don’t see how adding more guns is a viable solution. When Jesus talks of ‘turning the other cheek’ he talks about how to respond to insults (“striking the right cheek” in my understanding wasn’t about a fist fight or violent attack but rather a public insult) and he doesn’t say to return in kind. The way of the world is to demand a bigger and crushing response to any affront but that is clearly not the Christian way. Frankly, I think niether solution–no guns or more guns–will work because the American culture (or lack of it) continues to spiral down the tubes. Until we change ourselves and tackle the true problems of sin and selfishness, we won’t stop the violence. I do think the scriptures tell us something about improving our world. They tend to be silent on how we stay alive to do so.

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