John Piper, Guns, Self-Defense

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Tirian

Puritan Board Sophomore
Tirian,

you have a reading comprehension problem.

I'm not certain what level of education you have or if that education has served you well

Tirian - when you can demonstrate a basic reading comprehension level based on a few short sentences then I'll give some weight to what you say


Rich,

May God bless you richly in the new year upon us, may He care and tend to your families needs and grant your desires. May he cause His face to shine upon you and give you great peace and joy.

Matt
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner

Tirian

Puritan Board Sophomore
His whole paper summarised my position far more eloquently than I can put it - including the necessary defence of life, the role of the magistrate as the primary bearer of arms. Here is one part of many that I found helpful:

Ok, but the position set out in the passage you quoted assumes that the populace is armed. The lesser magistrate can't lawfully resist unless there is an armed populace to support him. Remember that Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos was written as a contemporary defence of the Huguenot resistance in France.

Philip - understood, but reading the whole paper his expectation is that primarily those that are armed within the church have an extraordinary vocational right to do so:
Among others, they have the examples of the centurions, and men at arms, who readily and cheerfully obeyed the princes of Judah who, stirred up by Jehoidas, purged the church from all profanation, and delivered the kingdom from the tyranny of Athaliah.
and;
but since the time that grace has been offered by Jesus Christ, who would not enter into Jerusalem mounted on a brave horse, but meekly sitting on an ass, these "holy wars" are no longer lawful.
and;
Finally, more private individuals must be informed that nothing can excuse them if they obey any command that offends God, and yet they have no right nor permission of any sort to take up arms by their private authority, unless it is absolutely clear that they have extraordinary vocation to do so - which we have confirmed by cogent testimonies drawn from scripture.


His advice to the general population in the case of a rogue ruler whom the magistrate will not control, and a magistrate which is unjust is to flee that place:
But if the rulers and magistrates approve the course of an outrageous and irreligious ruler, or if they do not resist him, we must lend our ears to the counsel of Jesus Christ: we should flee to some other place.


He specifically argues against the populace taking matters into their own hands:
"What shall we say of Moses, who led Israel away in spite of King Pharaoh? And of Ehud, who, after ten years' servitude, when Israel might seem to belong by right of prescription to him who owned it, killed Eglon, the king of Moab, and delivered Israel from the yoke of the Moabites; and of Jehu, who put to death his lord the king Joram, exterminated the family of Ahab, and destroyed the priests of Baal? Weren't these private individuals? I answer, that if they be considered in themselves, they may well be accounted private persons, insomuch as they had not any ordinary vocation. But, seeing that we know that they were called extraordinarily and that God Himself has, so to speak, put His sword into their hands, far be it from us to account them private persons: but rather let us think of them as specially deputized officials, and ranked above any magistrate whatsoever." (These are the extraordinary vocational examples offered and referred to in the quote above)
 

Tirian

Puritan Board Sophomore
Mr. Glover - I was thinking about suggesting that Australia didn't have enough diversity for you to understand the issues, but then I see the news from Melbourne.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watc...s-strip/#page1
http://poqari.ml/2015/12/31/african-...ugh-melbourne/

I see your point. They only used "knives, baseball bats, stones, and at least one samurai sword and a machete" while the Asians and whites cower in fear.

The incident mentioned at Kananook is actually the next suburb from me Seaford! We have a melting pot of Asians, Europeans, Sudanese, Greeks, Italians and Islander migrants (in the main).

What is really telling here is that the violence was constrained to inter-gang warfare. The offenders were easily caught and will be taken from the street.

The gang members weren't all carrying guns, and therefore if they subsequently got high on ICE or another drug, there was no danger of them walking into a shopping mall (centre) and unloading a gun into the brains of a mass number random strangers.

Sure, they could have taken their knife or club - but even the shopping mall security would easily have overcome them before they caused too much damage.

This simply could not have been so well contained if everyone had guns.

Thanks - that is a helpful case study to support my contention.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
Philip - understood, but reading the whole paper his expectation is that primarily those that are armed within the church have an extraordinary vocational right to do so:

First, this is not a paper in the modern sense. Calling it one is anachronistic.

Secondly, remember the situation in 16th century France when this was written: most ordinary people would have been armed. Swords, pikes, and other arms were not at all uncommon, even among peasants and townsfolk (hence Richelieu's crackdowns in the next century). He's saying that taking up arms as a private person is not permitted, but that once the call has been sounded by the lesser magistrate it is appropriate to do so. But the situation he descrobes assumes that the population at large has arms already.

Two parts of this that have survived into modern times along with the right to bear arms: the draft and juries. In each of these cases, ordinary citizens are asked to perform the functions of the magistrate. The right to keep and bear arms is part of that: when police are not yet there, being armed is appropriate. And when lesser magistrates (like Moses, Ehud, etc) call for resistance, the assumption made by the authors of the Vinidciae is that the populace is already armed. As was the case in Israel.
 

Tirian

Puritan Board Sophomore
First, this is not a paper in the modern sense. Calling it one is anachronistic.

Philip - it would be great if you could focus on the bigger picture, otherwise we'll end up criticising one another's grammar, spelling and goodness knows what not. I didn't place a time boundary on this writing by using the word paper and I did read the whole [appropriate noun to describe this body of work] and it's historical background before my first post to you. You tell me the right word and I'll edit my post where I called it a "paper".




econdly, remember the situation in 16th century France when this was written: most ordinary people would have been armed. Swords, pikes, and other arms were not at all uncommon, even among peasants and townsfolk (hence Richelieu's crackdowns in the next century). He's saying that taking up arms as a private person is not permitted, but that once the call has been sounded by the lesser magistrate it is appropriate to do so. But the situation he descrobes assumes that the population at large has arms already.

Two parts of this that have survived into modern times along with the right to bear arms: the draft and juries. In each of these cases, ordinary citizens are asked to perform the functions of the magistrate. The right to keep and bear arms is part of that: when police are not yet there, being armed is appropriate. And when lesser magistrates (like Moses, Ehud, etc) call for resistance, the assumption made by the authors of the Vinidciae is that the populace is already armed. As was the case in Israel.

Could you cite those parts of his [appropriate noun to describe this body of work] that support these contentions - I can't just put my finger on them (which doesn't mean they are not there). As the writer uses scripture well to defend his position I would value being pointed in the right direction.

Cheers!
 

Tirian

Puritan Board Sophomore
Mr. Glover - I was thinking about suggesting that Australia didn't have enough diversity for you to understand the issues, but then I see the news from Melbourne.

https://au.news.yahoo.com/video/watc...s-strip/#page1
http://poqari.ml/2015/12/31/african-...ugh-melbourne/

I see your point. They only used "knives, baseball bats, stones, and at least one samurai sword and a machete" while the Asians and whites cower in fear.

The incident mentioned at Kananook is actually the next suburb from me Seaford! We have a melting pot of Asians, Europeans, Sudanese, Greeks, Italians and Islander migrants (in the main).

What is really telling here is that the violence was constrained to inter-gang warfare. The offenders were easily caught and will be taken from the street.

The gang members weren't all carrying guns, and therefore if they subsequently got high on ICE or another drug, there was no danger of them walking into a shopping mall (centre) and unloading a gun into the brains of a mass number random strangers.

Sure, they could have taken their knife or club - but even the shopping mall security would easily have overcome them before they caused too much damage.

This simply could not have been so well contained if everyone had guns.

Thanks - that is a helpful case study to support my contention.

I should also have mentioned that in Seaford, Frankston and the surrounding districts we do not live in fear. We have a well equipped police force who intercept and prevent more things that we will ever know about. The result is a very relaxed and easy going community that, if anything, show more of an attitude of entitlement more than anything else.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
Could you cite those parts of his [appropriate noun to describe this body of work] that support these contentions

I'm citing the historical context in which it was written. Early modern societies were usually well-armed at most levels of society. For example, in England at the time, weekly longbow practice was mandatory for all males over the age of 7.

Also, did Israel have a standard army at the time of the Judges? No. So where did the weapons come from when they rose up under the Judges?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Could you cite those parts of his [appropriate noun to describe this body of work] that support these contentions

I'm citing the historical context in which it was written. Early modern societies were usually well-armed at most levels of society. For example, in England at the time, weekly longbow practice was mandatory for all males over the age of 7.

Also, did Israel have a standard army at the time of the Judges? No. So where did the weapons come from when they rose up under the Judges?

2 Samuel 2: "And David said the bow should be learned in Israel."
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Could you cite those parts of his [appropriate noun to describe this body of work] that support these contentions -

My ancestor is the Huguenot Admiral Gaspar de Coligny. Since the Huguenots weren't part of "The Government" (well, a few exceptions), and yet they fought with weapons, whence then the weapons?
 

Tirian

Puritan Board Sophomore
Could you cite those parts of his [appropriate noun to describe this body of work] that support these contentions

I'm citing the historical context in which it was written. Early modern societies were usually well-armed at most levels of society. For example, in England at the time, weekly longbow practice was mandatory for all males over the age of 7.

Also, did Israel have a standard army at the time of the Judges? No. So where did the weapons come from when they rose up under the Judges?

I understand the context as you have laid it out. Could you cite the relevant part of Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos that would draw your thinking together? I have quoted the Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos and it seems to contradict what you are saying that it says. I'm not interested in England at the time - but how scripture (as used in the Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos) supports your contention.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Could you cite those parts of his [appropriate noun to describe this body of work] that support these contentions

I'm citing the historical context in which it was written. Early modern societies were usually well-armed at most levels of society. For example, in England at the time, weekly longbow practice was mandatory for all males over the age of 7.

Also, did Israel have a standard army at the time of the Judges? No. So where did the weapons come from when they rose up under the Judges?

I understand the context as you have laid it out. Could you cite the relevant part of Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos that would draw your thinking together? I have quoted the Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos and it seems to contradict what you are saying that it says. I'm not interested in England at the time - but how scripture (as used in the Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos) supports your contention.

It's simple. Vindicae says to use force against tyrants. This implies weapons. It implies knowing how to use them. Where do the weapons come from?
 

Tirian

Puritan Board Sophomore
2 Samuel 2: "And David said the bow should be learned in Israel."

I don't know why you have quoted this Jacob and how it advances the discussion. I presume you mean the previous chapter 2 Sam 1?

In any case Spurgeon delivered a sermon on this: http://www.spurgeongems.org/vols28-30/chs1694.pdf

From which I quote:

"Why is the military order concerning the use of a certain instrument of war inserted here, when the passage is full of lamentation?” If any ask, I say, I answer most fitly, as
I shall have to show you—it was the best memorial of that skillful archer, Jonathan, and of the other princes who had
fallen by the arrows of the Philistines, that from the disastrous day of their slaughter, David caused his own tribe, over
which he had chief power, to be trained in the use of that special weapon of war."

"I have more faith in prayer than in police and prisons. In any time of national need, the men that save a nation are
the men of prayer! What? Not the wise statesmen? Certainly, wise statesmen—but who makes them wise? God has power
over all minds and, in answer to the prayer from this pulpit, He can visit yonder mind in St. Stephen’s! From a humble
cottage in the western highlands, there may go up to God a cry that shall come down upon the Prime Minister and direct
his thoughts! Remember what Queen Mary used to say when she tried to bring popery back to Scotland? She said that she
was more afraid of John Knox’s prayers than of all the armies that the Scottish lords could get together! She was right,
for once! When men overlook prayer, they overlook the greatest factor in human affairs! The mystic rod of God is still in
the hand of many a Moses among us—a rod which brings victory to Israel and defeat to Amalek."

There is some wisdom here, though I think the context of 2 Samuel 1 doesn't gel with the discussion at hand.
 

Tirian

Puritan Board Sophomore
It's simple. Vindicae says to use force against tyrants. This implies weapons. It implies knowing how to use them. Where do the weapons come from?

I have quoted the Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos and it seems to contradict what you are saying that it says. Could you cite the relevant part of Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos that support you usurping (for example) the US Government?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
It's simple. Vindicae says to use force against tyrants. This implies weapons. It implies knowing how to use them. Where do the weapons come from?

I have quoted the Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos and it seems to contradict what you are saying that it says. Could you cite the relevant part of Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos that support you usurping (for example) the US Government?

My point (and Philip's) was that the populace had access to guns and were expected to know how to use them. We aren't talking about the US govt.
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
The problem with Piper's point #8 is that "insert any defense of your loved ones here" is seen as something that he counsels against.
Do I need to underline it as well? Do you understand what he is writing.

Forget about guns for a second. His Biblical principle applies to the NT era as well where he argues that the example of Saul dragging men and women bound to Jerusalem is an example where Christians are not to use lethal force in their home to protect their loved ones but that, rather, the PERVASIVE THRUST in the New Testament is "...pushing us toward blessing and doing good to thos who hate, curse, and abuse us...."

Rich, you need Grammarly. It would have saved you from the missing question mark in your second question and the omitted "e" in "thos."

 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
"This simply could not have been so well contained if everyone had guns."

I see this on the contrary. Had I been there, I could not have defended myself nearly as well with my bare hands or a knife or mace (which I don't know if you'd support using anyway?)

I need to have what the bad guys have. Or I have no defense.
 

Philip

Puritan Board Graduate
I have quoted the Vindiciae Contra Tyrannos and it seems to contradict what you are saying that it says.

No it doesn't. Your quoted portion says that the lesser magistrate is qualified to call the people to arms against a corrupt government. Remember, this is a defence of an historical revolt of reformed Protestants against the government of the day (the French monarch). It assumes that the people are already armed.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
The problem with Piper's point #8 is that "insert any defense of your loved ones here" is seen as something that he counsels against.
Do I need to underline it as well? Do you understand what he is writing.

Forget about guns for a second. His Biblical principle applies to the NT era as well where he argues that the example of Saul dragging men and women bound to Jerusalem is an example where Christians are not to use lethal force in their home to protect their loved ones but that, rather, the PERVASIVE THRUST in the New Testament is "...pushing us toward blessing and doing good to thos who hate, curse, and abuse us...."

Rich, you need Grammarly. It would have saved you from the missing question mark in your second question and the omitted "e" in "thos."


Probably. I tend to not spell check posts and have a habit of forgetting question marks.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
Luke 22:36

"He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."
 

timmopussycat

Puritan Board Junior
Luke 22:36

"He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one."

The problem here is that Christ not only ensured that his disciples had swords on the night but forbade Peter from using one of them when he tried to do so (Luke 22:52). Why the apparent contradiction? Was it to illustrate that Christ would not have his people take up arms against the magistrate, or was it to make the point that Christ would have his people as individuals never take up arms at all, given the general principle he elucidates in the parallel passage Matt. 26:52?

It is premature to assume that that Christ meant the former since general equity from the sixth commandment allows the right of individual self-defense in certain circumstances. Before we get to that conclusion, we need to consider a more fundamental question; whether or not Christ, as the Lawgiver, is changing the Law in Lk. 22:52 (Nobody in the Reformed world would deny that Christ has made changes to the Law in the NT era, what is at issue is whether Lk. 22:52 is one of them.)
 
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NaphtaliPress

Administrator
Staff member
So no one is confused or assumes something against anyone else, I locked this because of a complaint. The moderators are/will be dealing with this because of a complaint against a moderator.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Ladies & Gentlemen,

I have removed a couple of posts that I think were unbecoming a Christian man and sinful. I repent to Matt with no reservations for the manner in which I wrote. Ironically, I pray every morning for patience and kindness and need to repent regularly of not being so.

The irony of this is that I'm not really into "guns" per se. I have friends who love to collect guns. I don't have a problem with it but I didn't grow up with them and so I just don't think about them very much. I do think there is an idolatry in some of the gun culture in America but I always want to tease that out from the actual issues at hand.

I mainly wanted to join in the thread because I hadn't read the Piper article and, after I did, I realized that the bulk of his point was spot on. When I first heard Jerry Falwell, Jr I thought the same thing about the "John Wayne" nature. I understand the occasionally frustrated bluster but it's simply not a Christian attitude to hope for confrontation when one uses weapons. I wish he had left the issue at that point but, as I noted, I think the relevant portions of point #8 create confusion because they promote a sort of dispensational division in the OT & NT about the general equity of the Law and apply passages dealing with valid Christian suffering (and not returning insult for insult) with the sphere of neighbor-neighbor interaction when we, as citizens, may have to protect our own or other's lives even as Paul preserved his life against injustice in some cases and was stoned in others. I don't know Piper's theology well but I have a very low bar of annoyance for pacifism. It's probably too low but I've always found the anabaptist position to be wicked as it calls evil what God calls good and teaches its adherents to think and act in ways fundamentally opposed to God's order. I detected an anabaptist hermeneutic in Piper's points 8-9. That said, the main thrust of the article is appropriate.

Let me state that I do not think that Matt is making the same arguments that John Piper is making. I don't agree with him but I understand the point he is trying to make.

There is a general equity principle of the preservation of life. I don't ever want to own a swimming pool. In addition, to the maintenance aspects, I just don't want to have to keep it enclosed and I'd be concerned my kid might drown in it. It's not a fear thing but I just don't want one. My kids want me to buy them a trampoline but I tend to be conscious of injury and having hurt myself on trampolines as a kid I guess I tend to not want to put them in jeopardy either. My point is that the general equity of the 6th Commandment motivates me in a certain direction on these issues.

I can understand that someone like Matt and others would be motivated to argue against gun ownership on the idea that when you decrease the lethality of the instrument of death you decrease the possibility that others will be killed. Studies on killing (at least in combat) demonstrate that the more "distance" (either physically or emotionally) one gets from the act of killing, the easier it is. It is much easier to kill someone from 10,000 miles away using a drone and a hellfire mission than it is to look down the sights of a weapon and pull the trigger. Men have a natural aversion to killing. The most feared fighting forces in the world are those who are known for their deadliness in close combat. Killing by hand or knife is a brutal, brutal thing and it's not everyone who has the stomach for it. It's easier to spray a house with bullets than to kill people with a knife.

I get it. There's an argument to be made that if you could somehow remove the instruments that cause "easier" bloodshed than you are preserving life.

I just respectfully disagree. Matt and I both agree that the 6th Commandment requires the defense of our home and others. That's not in dispute.

I just want to note this to show proper respect to Matt's position so he doesn't feel like his argument has fallen on deaf ears.

My own conviction is akin to the fear that the Roman Catholic Church had in putting the Scriptures in the hands of the average person. Look at the spiritual destruction that has been caused by heretics and Bibles. One solution to the problem of heresy is to make sure Bibles can only be given to the appropriately trained persons who are not unstable and will not twist its words to the destruction of others.

I agree with Luther that the flood of iniquity that results from the free availability of the Word is necessary to ensure that there cannot be a case when someone who needs the Word cannot access one. I respect the scruples of those who will not own a gun but I've had my share of boxing and pugilism experience to realize that a determined opponent is very difficult to overcome and I do not ever want to be in a position where an assailant has an increased chance of success because I am not strong enough to subdue him. It's actually hard enough to maintain composure with a handgun when under pressure and actually hit the target you're aiming at. When it comes to preserving life I want to give myself the maximum opportunity toward that end. Even if all the guns could be collected so that the bad guys could only use lead pipes, I'd still want a society where I could get a gun because I don't want men with lead pipes that I somehow have to protect my family from without the Providential blessing that a handgun can permit me to defend them with.

So again Matt, forgive me. I just want to make sure you understand where I'm coming from and make sure you understand that citizens who keep arms do actually think through some of the general equity issues of preserving life. May the Lord bless you and keep you and make his face to shine upon you. May he be gracious to you, lift up his countenance toward you, and give you his peace.
 

Edward

Puritanboard Commissioner
Studies on killing (at least in combat) demonstrate that the more "distance" (either physically or emotionally) one gets from the act of killing, the easier it is. It is much easier to kill someone from 10,000 miles away using a drone and a hellfire mission than it is to look down the sights of a weapon and pull the trigger.

That would seem to militate in favor, not against, handguns as opposed to long guns.
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
Ladies & Gentlemen,

I have removed a couple of posts that I think were unbecoming a Christian man and sinful. I repent to Matt with no reservations for the manner in which I wrote. Ironically, I pray every morning for patience and kindness and need to repent regularly of not being so.
For me the irony is that I thought those removed posts were spot on and a correct assessment. Out of 203 replies to this thread the brother you addressed your comments to has 71 of them.

Obstinacy is not a Christian virtue as far as I'm concerned. Stating ones case, agreeing to disagree, and not being compelled to have the last word in any argument, is a truer demonstration of Christian charity. In my humble opinion.

The new year gives us all a better perspective on our need of self examination and repentance. I hope 2016 will be a better year for us all.
 

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
Studies on killing (at least in combat) demonstrate that the more "distance" (either physically or emotionally) one gets from the act of killing, the easier it is. It is much easier to kill someone from 10,000 miles away using a drone and a hellfire mission than it is to look down the sights of a weapon and pull the trigger.

That would seem to militate in favor, not against, handguns as opposed to long guns.

I guess my larger point is that studies on killing have shown that the more distance you get from the person you need to kill the easier it becomes (psychologically at least). On the one hand, it is much easier to push a button and forget that there is a human writhing in agony as a result. I don't know if you've ever seen the video of an AC-130 gunship decimating some Taliban in Afghanistan. It has a "video game" quality to it and the people dying look more like icons on a screen.

Even with rifles, you can see the person you're going to shoot and there is a history of men with 10 musket balls stuffed down a barrel because they would not shoot even under deadly fire. Killing is hard. It ought to be.

In close combat, it is incredibly hard to stand your ground because sword or knife fighting is not only gruesome but terrifying. Armies fought in very close quarters to give each other courage in the face of this fear and trained armies often saw very large armies melt before them because, even with large numbers, the opposing force would be too fearful to fight.

My point was sort of complicated but I was generally agreeing with the idea that murder would naturally lend itself to more ease with a handgun (or even a rifle or a shotgun) because dispatching a person with a knife or a blunt instrument would be very hard and require a particularly brutal kind of person.

That said, it is the reason why I don't want to test my mettle against an intruder who may be so inclined to use a knife and I find it much more prudent not to have to deal with a situation where I would have to fend a man off when I have a weapon (handgun or shotgun) that could end the altercation with much less violence. I do not believe that I have to suffer multiple wounds to my own body when a man is an intruder to my home or is hurting another when I can stop him with a single shot. There is not Biblical principle where an assailant is owed my consideration in striking him in the head with a metal bat or stabbing him repeatedly to get him to stop as opposed to some other lethal use of force. Once the decision has been made that lethal force is warranted I want to be able to end it quickly.
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Studies on killing (at least in combat) demonstrate that the more "distance" (either physically or emotionally) one gets from the act of killing, the easier it is. It is much easier to kill someone from 10,000 miles away using a drone and a hellfire mission than it is to look down the sights of a weapon and pull the trigger.

That would seem to militate in favor, not against, handguns as opposed to long guns.

I guess my larger point is that studies on killing have shown that the more distance you get from the person you need to kill the easier it becomes (psychologically at least). On the one hand, it is much easier to push a button and forget that there is a human writhing in agony as a result. I don't know if you've ever seen the video of an AC-130 gunship decimating some Taliban in Afghanistan. It has a "video game" quality to it and the people dying look more like icons on a screen.

Even with rifles, you can see the person you're going to shoot and there is a history of men with 10 musket balls stuffed down a barrel because they would not shoot even under deadly fire. Killing is hard. It ought to be.

In close combat, it is incredibly hard to stand your ground because sword or knife fighting is not only gruesome but terrifying. Armies fought in very close quarters to give each other courage in the face of this fear and trained armies often saw very large armies melt before them because, even with large numbers, the opposing force would be too fearful to fight.

My point was sort of complicated but I was generally agreeing with the idea that murder would naturally lend itself to more ease with a handgun (or even a rifle or a shotgun) because dispatching a person with a knife or a blunt instrument would be very hard and require a particularly brutal kind of person.

That said, it is the reason why I don't want to test my mettle against an intruder who may be so inclined to use a knife and I find it much more prudent not to have to deal with a situation where I would have to fend a man off when I have a weapon (handgun or shotgun) that could end the altercation with much less violence. I do not believe that I have to suffer multiple wounds to my own body when a man is an intruder to my home or is hurting another when I can stop him with a single shot. There is not Biblical principle where an assailant is owed my consideration in striking him in the head with a metal bat or stabbing him repeatedly to get him to stop as opposed to some other lethal use of force. Once the decision has been made that lethal force is warranted I want to be able to end it quickly.

This article expounds on some of your points. Guns are not qualitatively different super-deadly-kill-machines when compared with knives. (Thus calling into question the claim that just getting rid of guns will make it better).

http://moderncombatandsurvival.com/featured/tactical-firearms-training-vs-a-knife/
 

ZackF

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I was sad to see this thread derailed by Glover's views on civilian firearm ownership not that I fault him for that happening. I don't. I am disappointed to see this tread for the most part miss Piper's concern: The issue is about the whole tenor and focus and demeanor and heart-attitude of the Christian life. I put my cards on the table; I have no issue with civilians owning firearms. I own several myself. I have no issue with conceal & carry, open carry or Falwell allowing guns on his campus. I think Piper's message would have been better served by putting this in the context with other examples of how one may suffer for Christ's and His Gospel's sake. Piper's example of Jim Elliot and his friends is extremely illustrative of being armed and NOT using the weapons. That's behavior that fascinates and inspires me.
 

Miss Marple

Puritan Board Junior
" Killing is hard. It ought to be."

I will argue that killing should be made easier for me.

I am no match against almost anyone.

I won't beat them in sheer physical strength. I won't get them by surprise. I won't be able to outrun them. I won't have planned anything on anyone in advance.

Therefore, killing needs to be made as easy for me as possible. So that I can defend myself. That's why they are called "equalizers."
 
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