Disarm Hate: A Pro-life View Of Gun Safety

Author: Rob Schenck

The Rev. Dr. Rob Schenck is an ordained evangelical minister and president of the Dietrich Bonhoeffer Institute, located in Washington, DC. He holds a Doctor of Ministry from Faith Evangelical Seminary in Tacoma, Washington and is a senior fellow of The Centre for the Study of Law and Public Policy at Oxford. Rev. Schenck is the author of the book, "Costly Grace".

You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. 

Matthew 5:43-45

Reprinted from Faith & Action.

Any time we can find agreement in a country that is otherwise so very disagreeable we should celebrate it—as I do today in the campaign to “Disarm Hate.” God calls us to love—our families (Ephesians 5:25), our neighbors (Matthew 22:39) and even those who hate us (Matthew 5:44).

As far as the legislative aspect to this gun policy campaign, the Congress will have the last word on that. It’s the way things work in a Republic: Our duly elected representatives and senators are charged with casting a vote according to the their own consciences. (If we don’t like what they do, we work to unseat them and elect others we think will do the right thing.) The moral dimensions to this issue are clear, though: Anyone that cannot control the hate in his or her heart shouldn’t be given a lethal weapon, especially one as deadly as a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle. (I’ve shot one, and it bore out its reputation as a “killing machine.”)

The Creator gave us common sense, and reason would dictate that if you removed the rifle from the Orlando shooter’s hand and left him only with his pistol, the carnage would have been far less. The same would have been true in Aurora, Colorado, Umpqua Community College in Oregon, and, of course, at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

As a pro-life Christian, I believe the Right to Life trumps all other rights. The Second Amendment is subordinate to God’s Commandment against killing. Everything should be done to preserve and protect life, including frustrating hate-motivated murderers when it comes to getting the weapons they want to use to do the most evil in the shortest amount of time.

Of course, as pro-lifers have said for almost half a century about abortion, no matter what the law allows, it doesn’t make it right. There is a moral obligation on the part of gun manufacturers, gun dealers, and gun owners to deny mass murderers their mass-killing instruments. Even if the Congress does nothing on this question, even if state legislators turn a blind eye, individuals must do the right thing—like the one gun shop owner that refused to sell weapons and ammo to the Orlando killer.

“Disarm Hate” is something we should all be able to agree on. Let’s say so—and act on it—today and always.