Liberal Churches are Confused
About Evil and Guns

By Greg Hopkins. January 6th, 2017

The Presbyters of Pittsburgh of the Presbyterian Church, USA, have demanded that the Pennsylvania legislature ban all “assault weapons”, .50 cal sniper rifles, and armor-piercing handgun ammo. They base this action on the Orlando nightclub slaughter of last year. They suggest a political remedy for a problem that is, alas, a personal problem of heart, mind, and value systems.

The presbyters (elders) call for a ban of Modern Sporting Rifles the correct term for the semi-auto rifles they call “assault rifles”. Their demand is flawed from the outset. Let me list the ways.-

  • No crime (to my knowledge) has ever been committed with a .50 caliber rifle since the civil war.
  • Armor-piercing handgun ammo has been banned in most states for decades.
  • “Assault rifles” have been used in so few crimes that the Federal Assault Rifle ban of 1994 failed to be renewed by in 2004 by Congress because there was no evidence that crimes with these rifles had been reduced in the previous ten years. In fact, the instances of them being used in crimes were so low that nation-wide criminal use of “assault weapons” amounted to about one-half of one percent of all firearms used in crimes. These rifles which the uninformed say were “solely designed to kill people”, were actually designed to WOUND on the battlefield rather than kill. The death rates from being shot with these modern sporting rifles are about the same as death by handguns. Only one in four people shot with a modern sporting rifle will die.
  • Long guns are seldom used in violent crime. The FBI Uniform Crime Reports show that each year, more people are murdered with hands, fists and feet than ALL rifles and shotguns combined

This demand by the Presbytery fails on many levels. .......

Once again we see the implement of crime getting all the blame, with seemingly little regard for the perpetrators - they are the evil doers. Plus, these supposed ''wicked weapons have rarely been exploited in many crimes statistically.
Rabbi Bendory in this article "The Ten Commandments, Killing, and Murder" makes the profound distinction between 'killing' and 'murder' - in the former case it can be pure self defense and fully justified - in the latter it is killing with malice and intent.

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