December 17, 1997

Editor

The Community Press

Wilson Palmer recently penned a thoughtful editorial (Never Again, December 17, 1997). He made a number of very good and well thought out points. I agreed with some, but not others.

Mr. Palmer’s most outrageous remarks centered on guns: “If there is a gun in your hand, you have taken up arms against God and you serve evil.” He also stated that, “God clearly commands us, saying we are not allowed to kill.”

It is interesting that Mr. Palmer equates bearing arms to being “against God” and “serving evil.” Perhaps we can all agree that the sword is the biblical equivalent to the gun.

Can Mr. Palmer explain Luke 22:36 (NIV)? “He said to them, ‘But now if you have a purse, take it, also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.’” Why did Jesus tell his apostles to buy a sword if it would be “against God” and “serve evil,” as Mr. Palmer asserts?

We can find plenty of Biblical documentation on both sides of this issue. It seems to me that the weapon isn’t the issue, but rather the intentions of its’ user. Will the sword (gun) be used for offensive purposes? Or defensive?

Regarding Mr. Palmer’s statement about killing, I suspect that he is referring to, “Thou shalt not kill” (Exodus 20:8 KJ). This is the Sixth Commandment. The original Hebrew verb for “kill” refers to a deliberate and premeditated act (murder). The NIV translation is: “You shall not murder.”

Again, it seems to me that killing isn’t the issue, but rather the reason for the killing. Is it self-defense? Or Murder? Self-defense and the right to bear arms are unalienable rights granted by God and our Constitution.


John E. Becker