Guns, guns everywhere?
We seem to be going in that direction with recent court decisions against municipal gun restrictions.
Some have been pushing specifically for guns in bars. What could go wrong there? Plenty, of course.
People drink alcoholic beverages in bars, with some becoming more and more irrational, stubborn and cantankerous. Just looking at someone can lead to a fight.
"Hey, are you looking at me?"
You got a a problem with that?"
"I got a problem with you. Get outa here."
"You got two options: make me, or get out yourself."
And so on. Fisticuffs may be one additional comment away. With everybody packing heat, such verbal exchanges could readily lead to gunplay.
Bouncers would also have to carry a gun; their size would no longer convince some little guy to tame down. We might even have some quick-draw contests. Women might have to draw a weapon to convince some guy she really means "get lost."
But it's not just bars. Other venus could include churches, colleges, the mall, and sporting events, where alcohol and fan fervor would provide an explosive environment.
What about nursing homes? Two people with life-long grudges might want to settle it once and for all. Some residents might want to end their suffering, their mental and physical decline.
Those who propose a gun in everyone's hand forget that guns are much much more likely to be used for suicide than for subduing a crazed gunman at work, in a store or a classroom.
One way friends and family help keep a depressed person alive is to take away that person's gun or guns.
As a society, however, we seem to have backed off from the keep-guns-away-from-troubled-persons approach. Even on a military base a disturbed Army psychiatrist shot a number of persons, killing 12 and wounding 31.
With the latest law change proposals, we seem more into participation than prevention.
This reminds me of humorist Tom Lehrer's old song about nuclear armament, "Who's Next?" One line goes: "The Lord's our shepherd, says the psalm, but just in case we better get a bomb."
The Old Testament has other passages advocating peace and putting our trust in the Lord. But it also has passages depicting God as a warrior, a military champion. Gun advocates can find plenty there to quote in justifying shooting, if not first, then right after a quick question.
In the New Testament, however, gun advocates have much less to cite and put their spin on: Christ's chasing the money-changers out of the temple and his cursing the fig tree. That's about it.
The rest is mainly about peace, pacifism, forgiveness, mercy and love. Jesus was clearly not a heavily armed militaristic person, preaching and practicing violence.
A good example of Christ-like behavior was the Amish dealing with the 2006 school shooting of their children. They followed his words and example.
We don't when we put guns before gospel.
We say we are a Christian nation. We sound increasingly like a Rambo nation.
(James Lein is a community columnist for The Minot Daily?News)