Thoughts on the Meaning of Life… Todd Helmkamp

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State…”

Posted by Vogeler on October 24, 2008

This is part of the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.  The full Amendment reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

There’s been a lot of talk recently about firearms.  Hunters, anti-hunters, special interest groups, the political candidates, all have different opinions. I, too, have an opinion.

I strongly believe that each and every citizen of the United States of America over the age of 18 has the right to own, load, and shoot a firearm for recreation, hunting, or self-defense.  I strongly believe that this right is fundamental to the proper functioning of a Republic, for several reasons (although I think it’s a bit silly, and dangerous to legitimate authorities, for a private citizen to own such weapons as sniper rifles, assault rifles, armor-piercing ammunition, etc.  That makes me think they’re up to no good).

First, in case of attack by foreign or domestic enemies, it will most likely prove a great asset that many people are trained in, and capable of, the proper use of a firearm.  If it becomes necessary for the average citizen to resist, that resistance will be much more effective if he or she can use a firearm.  One of the reasons the American Revolution was successful was that most of the colonists involved used firearms on a daily basis, either to hunt or in defense against Native American attacks.

Second, if the security of my home is compromised by an enemy who is armed with a firearm, or even another weapon, my chances of successfully defending my family increase dramatically if I have a firearm.  Unfortunately, the 3-5 minute response time necessary for a police officer to reach my home to protect me may be 3-5 minutes too long.  Therefore, I must look to my own defense, which I will gladly do.

Third, a firearm may be used to hunt.  Legal hunting can help to put food on my table (very important during difficult economic times), and it is a great asset in managing animal populations.  In Northeastern Indiana where I live, there are many, many auto accidents every year that involve deer, many of which cause considerable damage and injury.  Out-of-control deer populations also damage farmers’ crops, and compete with agricultural herd animals for pasture and grazing.  Because there are few natural predators left in this area, many deer starve each winter.  By removing some of these animals, hunters help to reduce the risk of these problems.  Not to mention, when done properly and with respect for God’s Creation, hunting can be an intensely spiritual experience, as we reconnect with the world around us.

But the biggest reason I am a strong supporter of gun ownership is defense.  I do not trust my fellow humans, nor do I trust my government.  Unfortunately, human nature has demonstrated for the last several thousand years that my distrust is well-founded.  A man without a gun will have a difficult time effectively defending himself or his family against an assailant that has one, nor will a populace without guns be able to defend themselves from an unjust government that possesses them.  Governments throughout history have known that if the populace does not have access to weapons, they can be controlled.  I don’t think any of us truly want that (except for those who want to do the controlling).

On one of the blogs I read ( by Dave Duffy, from Backwoods Home Magazine) the question was recently asked, “What will you do, personally, if Government agents come to your door and ask you to give them your guns?” After a lot of thought, I have to say that my answer is, “Peacefully hand them over.”  As much as I would hate to give them up, as a Christian I am commanded to acknowledge legitimate authority:

Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”  (Romans 13: 1-2)

Of course, when the established authorities command something that goes against God’s Word, the Word absolutely takes precedence.  The problem is that God’s Word never mentions (to my knowledge; if I’m wrong, please correct me!) a right to own weapons.

That’s my take on the issue, and I have written my elected representatives to let them know how I feel and that I will vote accordingly.  And despite some media spin-doctoring, I do not believe that Senator Obama is a supporter of gun rights, as he consistently has voted against them in the past.  Although Senator McCain is far from perfect, his moral record, stance on abortion, and stance on gun rights make him my candidate of choice this year.

I am a peaceful man; I don’t go out of my way to cause trouble.  I have never been in trouble with the law, and would be absolutely content to live the rest of my life without ever having to fire a gun in self-defense.  But unfortunately, I may not have a choice.

What are your thoughts on this issue?


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