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Beauchamp writes: "Legislation aimed at reducing gun violence is 'a limitation on a God-given right of man that has existed throughout the history of civil society' according to an article published in the leading conservative opinion journal National Review."

Gun rights advocates believe they have God given right to guns. (photo: religion link)
Gun rights advocates believe they have God given right to guns. (photo: religion link)

God Wants You to Have an Assault Rifle

By Zack Beauchamp, ThinkProgress

29 January 13


egislation aimed at reducing gun violence is "a limitation on a God-given right of man that has existed throughout the history of civil society," according to an article published in the leading conservative opinion journal National Review.

The author, David French, interprets the Christian Bible as granting everyone a right to self-defense. He suggests that this, if true, means that God's will is that people have access to guns, as they are the means for self defense:

In fact, Jesus's disciples carried swords, and Jesus even said in some contexts the unarmed should arm themselves… What does all this mean? Essentially that gun control represents not merely a limitation on a constitutional right but a limitation on a God-given right of man that has existed throughout the history of civil society. All rights - of course - are subject to some limits (the right of free speech is not unlimited, for example), and there is much room for debate on the extent of those limits, but state action against the right of self-defense is by default a violation of the natural rights of man, and the state's political judgment about the limitations of that right should be viewed with extreme skepticism and must overcome a heavy burden of justification.

Even if French is right about the Christian view of self-defense (though Jesus did have choice words about "turning the other cheek"), it's a logical fallacy to say this implies anything about restrictions on access to guns. Saying that people have a right to defend themselves if attacked isn't the same thing as saying they should have a right to possess any conceivable means of defending themselves – presumably, French is fine with banning grenade launchers. The burden, instead, is on French to prove that universal background checks or limitations on assault weapon ownership somehow prevent people from defending themselves; to prove, in other words, that gun regulation is actually a restriction on the right of self-defense proper rather than a crime-prevention statute.

Moreover, French is wrong about the role of "self-defense" in a democracy. He cites John Locke, enlightenment philosopher and inspiration for the American Revolution, to suggest that gun rights are "fundamental rights of nature." But as Ari Kohen, a professor of political theory at the University of Nebraska, points out, French radically misinterprets Locke:

But for people to establish a political community, Locke asserts that people must give up to the government their natural right to punish criminal behavior and agree to have the government settle grievances. This is why we have standing laws that are meant to be applied equally by independent officers of the law and by the courts.

Locke, as Kohen says, held that our right to use force was necessarily limited by the creation of legitimate government - that's why we have police. This means that the government can limit access to certain weapons as means of discharging its responsibility to keep the peace. While the government may not be able to legitimately ban you from say, killing a home invader who's brandishing a gun, it also can take reasonable steps to prevent criminals from being able to threaten you with arms in the first place without having to overcome a "heavy burden of justification."

This isn't the first questionable gun piece published in National Review. After the Newtown shooting, its editors suggested that mass school shootings were the price we pay for the Second Amendment. One of its writers, Charlotte Allen, infamously wrote that the Newtown massacre happened because there were too many female teachers. your social media marketing partner


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+95 # Robert B 2013-01-29 10:19
The right to own a gun is not "God-given." It's very much a function of government whether or not to allow public ownership of weapons. Right-wing nuts, of course, despise the idea that the mean old government should be in charge of anything, so they defer to "GOD." Armed fascist theocrats is the last thing we need.
+42 # motamanx 2013-01-29 12:05
[quote name=Armed fascist theocrats is the last thing we need.
Yep. Adolph Hitler told his people, in 1933, that God was on their side. They believed him.
+11 # robniel 2013-01-29 14:09
If my imaginary invisible fiend has forwarded a gun ownership message I'm afraid I didn't notice it.
+3 # aaheart 2013-01-29 23:29
No Robert, you need to read the Declaration of Independence in which Jefferson writes of natural rights. The Constitution does not give rights to the people; it proscribes government from infringing on those natural rights. Government cannot take away those rights that are inherently ours by "nature's god". Government does not give rights; WE the People give the government a carefully crafted directions on what IT might do and places restrictions of government.
+29 # cherylpetro 2013-01-29 10:49
Okay, follow Jesus and have swords instead! They can't wipe out hundreds of people in minutes!
-3 # aaheart 2013-01-29 23:33
It's not about Jesus, Cheryl. It's about the limits to government. Those guys in the white wigs knew something about tyranny. The revolution went hot when the redcoats tried to confiscate the guns and ammunition when the farmers and businessmen, preachers and teachers fired the first shot that was heard around the world at Lexington and Concord.
-2 # EPGAH3 2013-01-31 16:45
Unless you're in an 80s movie, if you have a sword when your enemy has a gun, you're already dead!
If prohibition on alcohol, illegal drugs, and illegal thugs failed because criminals get what they want anyways, what makes you think a prohibition on guns will do any more good?
You might end up in the very situation of bringing a knife to a gunfight!
+40 # Yopeace 2013-01-29 10:51
NH Chiefs of Police have created a raffle to give away a gun a day for 31 days in May. The first day's prize is a semi automatic assault weapon. Please join the community in asking the Chiefs: "Give up the gun giveaway and accept the offer of a buyback of all of the raffle tickets."

+24 # cherylpetro 2013-01-29 11:01
That is an absurd notion! How would they feel if people died as a result of this obscene contest? It can't even be legal!
+30 # Barbara K 2013-01-29 11:21
Yopeace: Thanks for posting this petition, I signed it. This Chief is an idiot. Is he just wanting more deaths to investigate, he doesn't get enough? He may be in the wrong job. There is no God-given right to own assault weapons. It is mind-boggling how many idiots have sprouted forth in the past 5 or 6 years.

-6 # aaheart 2013-01-29 23:40
Switzerland ... lots of guns, little crime. US ... lots of Prozac and other SSRIs prescribed to people under the age of 24 have resulted in suicidal and homicidal tendencies...Co lumbine, and many other murders.
911 ... it took the Newtown police 20 minutes to respond. How long does it take where you live? Sandy Hook Elementary was a Gun-free Zone. That didn't work very well. You want to make the US a Gun-free Zone? About mind-boggling idiots, Barbara....let' s not go there.
+5 # Glen 2013-01-30 13:19
aaheart, Switzerland is a very small country, especially compared to the U.S., does train everyone in the use of guns in an intelligent way, has NONE of the issues of the U.S. in the way of corporations, corruption, a brutal military, and so much more.

Switzerland learned a long time ago that healthy citizens make a healthier country, both mentally and physically, and that militaristic aggression only leads to death and destruction.

Never compare the U.S. to a country as Switzerland.
-20 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-01-29 10:55
Unfortunately the days of agreeing to trust the government to settle grievances is long over. Who can trust a government that can have a person killed for jumping over a transit turnstile or telling people about bad behavior on the part of the government when the banksters steal trillions of dollars and collapse our whole economy and they get a bonus for this evil deed?

We no longer have a good government. Read the Declaration of Independence. It is time for us to form a new government.
+20 # cherylpetro 2013-01-29 11:15
Well, I want a consitutal amendment that revises the second amendment to clearly state linitations on guns, and their ownership! I doubt if the Framers ever envisioned rights that made life unsafe for its citizens, and gave the ability of groups to decide they want to overthrow the government, like some Banana Republic! Also, "wantrealdemocr acy" your comment sounds treasonous! Who will decide what "new government" to form? You? If that is the case, you are NOT talking about democracy! You would be no better than a terrorist! Why should you be the one to decide what government "We the People" want? People like you need to buy an island, and create whatever government you want! Your ideas sound nothing like what I would want! Also, better keep looking over your shoulder! Statements like yours, do not go unnoticed!
+4 # aaheart 2013-01-29 23:50
Treasonous to what, Cheryl? To the US Constitution or to the government? NDAA in 2012 and 2013 established the unconstitutiona l right of indefinite detention without due process, habeas corpus has been eliminated. This is treason. This has been ruled unconstitutiona l by US District Court but the Obama DOJ got another judge to let them keep the law in use while waiting for an appeal to reach the court. We are in deep trouble right now. You need to get in touch with the reality that is developing all around you.

And your terroristic threats are the very thing that could get you swept away never to be seen again, merely because of your words...freedom of speech has ended. You, like all of us, are in danger.
-12 # 2013-01-29 11:32
I agree; our government is corrupt to the bone. It needs to be replaced, as does the entire world system of government and the economic systems they support. Also, I gave a hands-up to this post, but it did not increment.
+23 # randrjwr 2013-01-29 12:00
Are you implying that armed rebellion is the way to go? It seems clear that, given the overwhelming firepower possessed by the U.S. military, this could succeed only if the military joined the rebellion. But that, I fear, would result in our becoming another Egypt or Pakistan. Change is surely needed, but it must be done peaceably. The extent of gun ownership by civilians is irrelevant to any such effort.
+1 # aaheart 2013-01-29 23:59
A population armed even with basic guns is still formidable, especially when they can see their lives being destroyed by the tyranny. The military oath pledges to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. If the military men and women are true to their oaths, and civilians are true to their American heritage, there need not be any bloodshed.

The rebels of 130 years ago were a minority, they had few men-o-war or cannon, but they succeeded. But then King George was a clumsy tyrant, and today's tyrants move more slowly and cautiously. Like a stalking crocodile, they move silently until...SNAPPP. ..too late.
+13 # wwway 2013-01-29 15:13
The Declaration of Independence has nothing to do with good government. It was a written declaration of seperation from England!
Democracy is a process that ensusres that the people get the government they deserve. That the bankers broke our economy and aren't being prosecuted is because Americans voted for politicians who sided with the bankers who have hightly paid lobbyists looking out for them. What should the people do?
+3 # Pickwicky 2013-01-29 17:04
wwway--Thanks for reminding us of the Social Contract. If we choose to live/stay in a nation, vote for candidates of our choice according to democratic principles, and most importantly, accept the benefits conferred by that nation, then we give our tacit agreement to the policies and laws of that nation. If we disagree with our nation's policies and laws, then we can peacefully protest in an effort to effect change or we can move to another country.

Interesting question: Does the Social Contract imply tacit agreement to annihilate mankind in the Nuclear Age?
+6 # DevinMacGregor 2013-01-30 00:14
Plus the DOI is not a govt document as we had no govt when it was written. People seem to jump from it to the US Constitution and skip the decade between when our first govt was the Articles of Confederation with it s perpetual union.

We keep blaming the politicians but it is we who are to blame. So few of us participate. Most of us do not. So we deserve the govt we get. We need more to participate but that would require us to be good sports and realize we do not always win. We are a nation that only wants winners and promotes win at all costs. We are a Republic but how many know what that means? It does not mean we are not a democracy. It means the govt is owned by the people and not a monarchy and/or an elite class. We have a form of democracy called representative democracy. That does not mean we just sit at home and do nothing.

So what the people should do is get civics classes and learn the branches of govt. They should learn classical roman govt and see how ours was modeled after then to better understand our system. We should demand BETTER representation and as to why is the House limited in seats when the Constitution makes no limits. We need to demand gerrymandering stop and demand its control be set to non partisan control. We need to demand publicly funded elections and end the corporate take over of our govts.
+3 # aaheart 2013-01-30 03:05
The Declaration of Independence is one of the founding documents of this nation because it lead to a new nation governed as a federal republic. It was NOT a democracy it was/is a representative form of government with checks and balances and protection for minorities. The DOI encapsulates the philosophy that served as a cornerstone for whatever followed. That philosophy was Deist, positing a god, nature's god.

Our form of government was NOT modeled after the Roman Republic, but after the Iroquois Confederation and suggested by Benjamin Franklin. Felix Cohen proposed, in a 1952 article called "Americanizing the White Man," That "(historians) have seen America only as an imitation of Europe," but that "the real epic of America is the yet unfinished story of the Americanization of the white man."
0 # RMDC 2013-01-30 06:00
The DOI is more important than the constitution. It is the foundation on which the constitution was built. The DOI is a document of the people and their fundamental rights with respect to the creation of a government in the first place.

The DOI follows Rousseau's theory of social contract. The constitution follow's Locke's theory. Rousseau's social contract is an agreement among people about their interests and government is a by-product of a community contract.
+1 # RMDC 2013-01-30 05:57
wwway -- it has something to do with good government. Its rationale for separation from England was because of British bad government or abuses. It asserts the right of people to create their own good governments. It sets down the principle that when governments become bad, people have the right to alter or abolish them.

This is the foundation of good government. The Dec of Ind issues the ultimatum to governments -- perform well or we will abolish you.

Too bad no one today has the courage or the intelligence to write a Declaration of Independence against the Washington Regime which is probably at least 10000000 times worse than the British ever were.
+3 # Anarchist 23 2013-01-31 23:03
Well don't form a new government by using a gun. the old one has drones with Hellfire missiles, sonic cannons, pain rays and black helicopters, recently on view in action in Miami. The best way is to do it peaceably. We are indeed in a world of hurt but the real issues are concentrated money powers controlling everything. It must be brought back to We The People but not at end of gun barrel.
+42 # Happy 2013-01-29 11:07
The price we pay? Too many women teachers? These are "legitimate" reasons for a massacre of children? And that's OK with their God? If you don't have facts, reason, common sense to present your case, just bring in "God" - that always works. Who will these right-wing nuts blame next?
+5 # Pickwicky 2013-01-29 17:06
Happy--they'll blame anyone but themselves.
+8 # cokacoa2 2013-01-29 11:07
Amen to that!
+3 # hd70642 2013-01-29 11:11
I am a devout agnostic And feel a God can be neither proven defined or dis proven .However I do know that human nature exists and has neither been exclusively benign or malignant and certainly humanity at it's current stage of evolution has achieved far more carelessness and arrogance and apathy than humility empathy and wisdom!
However A person does have the right to self defense and it does not require more a than ten round magazine to accomplish that task. Anyone who is addicted to some pacifistic fetish and thinks all situations can be resolved peacefully, seems as logical as some scientific illiterate that espouses creationism and thinks of some tell lie evangelist as learned individual . Evolution states those suited for survival are those who survive !!! How . has Pacifism ever been a tool other than national extinction or personal demise ?
+12 # motamanx 2013-01-29 12:09
Pacifism a tool of extiction? That's not true, hd. There are about a billion sheep on the planet, and about 200 tigers.
+3 # randrjwr 2013-01-29 12:32
But the tigers are all in India or zoos and most of the sheep are in Australia and Utah!! If the tigers start applying for passports, the sheep are in trouble.
+2 # DevinMacGregor 2013-01-29 23:41
Yet in Africa there are plenty of "sheep" and all the "tigers" do not eat all the sheep. If the "tigers" eat all the "sheep" then all the "tigers" become extinct.
+10 # Timaloha 2013-01-29 14:57
"How . has Pacifism ever been a tool other than national extinction or personal demise?"

Well, Ghandi overthrew the British Empire with pacifism and gave India back her sovereignty.
+4 # randrjwr 2013-01-29 16:32
I was going to mention that in the above reply, then didn't. Glad you did. MLK is another example; he ended up with the "personal demise" but the movement succeeded to a significant extent that would not have been possible if the demonstrators had had guns and mass shooting had occurred.
-4 # Pickwicky 2013-01-29 17:10
Timaloha--Yes, Ghandi did get there, but after how many years of civil strife? If there's a message in Pacifism it has to do with inefficiency.
+3 # hd70642 2013-01-29 17:58
Also there was Braggart sin and if Gandhi did not succeed India would have fallen to the communist so the British either have an independent nation friendly to them or the communist would have gained a foot hold. They already fought communist rebels shortly after WW II in Greece
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-30 18:24
-1 # EPGAH3 2013-01-31 16:50
Gandhi only succeeded because he had a lot of violent zealots ready to go if his pacifism failed. Also, look at what Government he created...
+6 # Jean Louise 2013-01-29 11:17
My eyes are stuck up in my head from the massive eye roll that I just did.
BTW, isn't your best defense plain old common sense?
+11 # Rich Austin 2013-01-29 11:18
French is using the right's method to win the heart and minds of America. They've lost when trying to argue issues on their merits, so they decided to sway opinion with hyperbole, half-truths, and outright lies.

They couldn't mount a credible arguement against single payer health care, so they used fear. They said single payer is "socialism", "government control of our bodies", and will have "death panels" to deny seniors the care they need to stay alive. And many, many Americans fell for it.

The other day Obama said that gun control people need to listen to weapons- toters. Baloney! With all due respect, baloney. Don't dsss you base to appease the crazies! You did that with health care reform and look at the fix we're in! The ACA is horribly lacking.

The more we cede to the crazies the more they will want. And they'll use God as a backdrop to justify their screed whenever they think it will help.
-6 # Martintfre 2013-01-29 11:29
If you believe in s slave state - move on, I'm not going to make you happy.

Inherent rights be their source from Nature or God are those things that can not be given by government or a gang or an individual.

Right to life, and the liberty to pursue of happiness is an inherent right to living human beans.

Anyone who believes that there is a right to the life of another believes in a slave state.

The ability to destroy those inherent rights is not the same as the ability to create them : Once the government or a thug kills some one there is not oops here is your life back.

Political privileges are social contract confused as rights. Today you have a right to walk through my yard, tomorrow you do not, the day after that you can again -- political privileges can be granted or revoked at political fiat.

Most of our alleged "rights" are privileges granted to some at the forced expense of others.

A right to life requires a right to defend that life.
+5 # DevinMacGregor 2013-01-29 23:54
What is a human bean Martin?

As I said before nature has no rights. What you keep stating are human constructs of what it believes are rights.

A bear has no more a right to the salmon it fished out of a stream than the salmon has a right to swim up it to spawn. Don't both have a right to this life you speak of? Do not both have the right to pursue this happiness? Or did both pursue it but the bear got it? Or should the salmon have had an assault rifle?

If taking away your ability to buy an assault rifle and magazines larger than 10 rounds takes away your right to defend your self then why does not the ban of ANY weapon take away that ability? Why does a bazooka not make me better to defend myself Martin? Full auto weapons? Mortars? Why not claymores in the front yard and back? Why not a low yield tactical nuke? These are all inherent rights by some magical nature. If all of those being banned do not take away my ability to defend myself then why does an assault rifle ban etc do so?
0 # tabonsell 2013-01-30 19:42
You are right, as far as you go.

In adopting the new Constitution John Jay said Americans would be giving up some rights in order to empower the new government with its needed authority.

One of the rights American gave up was the right to be totally free of restrictions to "defend" oneself at the expense of others. That is reflected in the Constitution where it says Congress has the power to arm and discipline the militia, which is every able-bodied male between the ages of 18 and 49, according to the Founders.

And "taking away your ability to buy an assault rifle and magazines larger than 10 rounds" is exactly one of the rights Americans give up in order that Congress has the power to arm and discipline the militia.

For some reason, those who claim to honor the "original intent" of the Founders can't seem to find this "original intent" when it's spelled out in easy-to-read English right in front of their faces.
+17 # peterjkraus 2013-01-29 11:33
Too many kooks have too many media outlets to spew their idiotic world view. This is not a democratic society anymore: it is one that is kept in constant fear through the naked verbal aggression of a bunch of fascist religionists.
+8 # Jim W. 2013-01-29 11:50
So far in this debate I do not have the sense that anyone has clearly defined the goal to be achieved. Precisely what is it we wish to achieve? Reduce violence? Reduce murders? Reduce firearms related murders? Reduce murders related to specific categories of firearms?

I ask this not to be pedantic, but because the above problems do not necessarily respond to the same medicine.
+20 # Glen 2013-01-29 12:11
There is a county in Missouri now having school exercises in gunmen attacking a school with a weapon. A guy with a gun runs through the halls yelling he is going to kill everybody, banging on doors, rattling locked doors slammed shut by the teachers. The kids are herded in fear.

Then comes a swat team to save them all.

This is real and is insane. The gun issue is out of control. I am much more afraid of the rabid gun lobbyists and defensive citizens than I was of the threat of atomic war, blowing cities and families away, depicted in documentaries shown every Saturday matinee.
+1 # EPGAH3 2013-01-31 16:52
Why aren't the teachers trained to deal with the gunman, rather than training themselves in cowering in fear?
0 # Glen 2013-02-03 16:00
How would a teacher with 25 kids depending on them, "deal" with a gunman ready to kill? Talk him down? Pull out their own AR or AK?

Have you ever been in a school? Teachers are trained to protect the students - tornado training, fire, earthquake - not take up a gun and blast away. You want a firefight in a school? How about where YOUR kids go to school?
+16 # wendy 2013-01-29 12:13
All this anti-gun control enthusiasm from the gun community is about us having a liberal, black man in the white house as well as their desire to impose their religious beliefs on everyone else.
+5 # tbcrawford 2013-01-29 12:14
The title of this post was shocking and tells me we're really approaching treacherous shores in defining what makes a livable and democratic commons. Let's pull back and strive for reasonable debate that represents the best in us.
-1 # kalpal 2013-01-29 12:22
Jesus and his disciples were all Jews and never anything other than Jews. His words are aimed at Jews. Nothing he said was ever aimed at Xtians since none existed. So far as I can tell no reason exists for any Xtians to exist these days. None that I have ever met find being obedient to biblical laws very important in their lives and all seem ready to dispense with all of the commandments as often as convenient.
+8 # roger paul 2013-01-29 12:23
So let met see, since Jesus' disciples carried a sword that make it all right to carry an assault rifle? Hey they wore robes and sandals, is it our god given responsibility to do likewise? I always question when someone says...."god says" or "god wants us to." Which god was that?
+5 # Vern Radul 2013-01-29 12:33
Of course god wants you to have an assault rifle.

It'll be your only defense when the government knocks on your door with F22 Raptors and Hellfire missiles to confiscate your assault rifle.

Don't forget to stand your ground and vote for people handing your social security over to wall street, too.

god also wants you to believe in the two party scam. It's your only defense against thinking.
+2 # BobbyLip 2013-01-29 12:35
If there were a god--which there obviously isn't--she wouldn't give a crap--which she obviously doesn't.
What about the argument that since this god inspired the framers, he also must have inspired the 2nd Amendment (so clear in its wording and intent that it's downright godly!)?
-18 # DaveM 2013-01-29 12:35
The legislation under consideration is not aimed at "reducing gun violence". It is aimed at restricting Americans' right to own firearms. Semi-automatic rifles capable of holding large-capacity magazines have been widely available on the American market since the 1950s. For part of that time, anyone could buy them through the mail without any sort of paperwork or federal background check.

Yes the phenomenon of mass shootings has only become tragically commonplace during the past decade or so? Why? Most of the shooters did not have misnamed "assault weapons". They did, however, have an insane desire to kill.

We will do far better to look very closely into what creates such monsters. We just might find an answer. Turning currently law-abiding Americans into criminals will only compound, not solve, a very real problem.
+8 # Andrew Chase 2013-01-29 13:57
If God wants us to have assault rifles, why didn't he give M-16's to Adam and Eve?
-1 # Pickwicky 2013-01-29 17:18
Come On Andrew--it's right there in Genesis: "And to the man and to the woman, God gave each a M-16, and God saw that it was good."
-5 # jamander4 2013-01-29 14:57
The right to own a gun is not "God-given." It is based on the Second Amendment to the United States Consitition and the Supreme Courts ruling as to what that amendment means. The governments ability to restrict whether or not to allow public ownership of weapons is limited. Authoritarin nuts, of course, despise the idea that the citizens of the USA should have any resposibility in their self defense or be charge of anything, so they defer to the "GOVERNMENT." Americans armed or not who believe in democracy and the rule of law are the first thing we need
+2 # fhunter 2013-01-29 15:48
The David French article is absolutely convincing. I decided not to waste my time with ordinary assault weapons. Instead, I started digging in my backyard to create a space for a nuclear mini-rocket. True the strength is limited to less, than a megaton.
+2 # szq5777 2013-01-29 15:49
Thats right! God wants us all to have assault rifles! I can picture the poster now. Jesus, with an ugly assault monster in hand and aiming directly at you, growling angerly "Believe in me or I will blow your *******! head off!!"
+1 # in deo veritas 2013-01-29 16:39
This mnarcissistic fool has no authority to interpret what God wants. Nor does government. One fine day both will pay for their hubris in trying to use God as a justification for their insanity, making Him an accomplice for their crimes. Thew sooner the better since no earthly authority will make them accountable.
+2 # CAMUS1111 2013-01-29 19:28
god created the crimes too
+5 # tabonsell 2013-01-29 17:01
Religious people who can't understand lessons from the Bible are not to be listened to.

When civil authorities went into the Garden of Gethsemane to serve an arrest warrant on Jesus Christ, Peter took out his sword and cut off the ear of the head priest's servant. Christ admonished Peter and told him to put away his weapon and submit to civil authority.

This is a basic tenet of Christianity, but "true believers" can't find it. David Koresh of the Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, couldn't find it even though his followers thought him to be Christ incarnate. Randy Weaver of Ruby Ridge in Idaho, who claimed to find justification in the Bible for his white-supremacy beliefs, couldn't find this most-obvious Christian principle.

Now we have people, given space in publications such as the National Journal, who also can't find what is plainly in front of them but will spout off in ignorance.

John Locke's assertion that "people must give up to the government their natural right to punish criminal behavior and agree to have the government settle grievances" is exactly what our first Chief Justice John Jay told Americans in adopting their new Constitution, although his statement referred to much more than just criminal behavior. Guess right-wingers can't find that also.
+3 # engelbach 2013-01-29 18:45
God told me to buy a gun.

I told him to go to Hell.
+3 # roger paul 2013-01-29 19:20
Every year 15 million children starve to death in the world and the gods don't give a damn about that. Why would they care about assault weapons in the US? Hey I know, fewer children starving to death.
+2 # Rick Levy 2013-01-29 21:02
If French is representative of the gun lobby--and the destructive power and policies of the NRA indicates that he probably is--then America cannot claim to be a civilized nation.
+5 # jerryball 2013-01-29 21:35
Somehow I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around the premise that the Forefathers advocated guns to turn upon ourselves. A "Well regulated Militia" means a national Army to defend ourselves from "outside" threats. Are we crazy, or what?
+1 # aaheart 2013-01-29 23:23
Jerry, you haven't learned that the American Revolution was fought against tyranny of government? That many of the Founders did not trust government? If you haven't yet noticed the USA Patriot Act has already taken violated the Bill of Rights? You haven't noticed that NDAA 2012 and 2013 have eliminated due process and habeas corpus? Free speech and the right to assemble, protests to redress grievances end in police attacks? The Founders knew that the people had to be protected from the inherent tendency for government to become tyrannical.

The military oath pledges to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic...
0 # Glen 2013-01-30 11:45
Some would argue, aaheart, that the revolution was fought for more than just tyranny of government. You very often cannot trust citizens, either. Citizens of that time were perfectly capable of turning on each other, even boiling rather innocent folks in oil, burning them at the stake, and so much more. There were ferocious debates concerning whether or not to go to war.

Governments at the time of the revolution were powerful, but not beyond a fighting citizenry as it is now.

I don't really think jerryball, was commenting on fighting the government - he mentioned fighting outside threats, but we have turned on each other, which the ole forefathers never imagined in the incidents we are seeing today.
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-01-30 18:31
The British govt!
+2 # aaheart 2013-01-29 23:06
Have you noticed how the issue about gun control, especially assault rifles, took off based on inconsistent evidence and presumptuous conclusions whereas the police investigation into what actually happened will not be complete or released several months from now.

Without a firm grasp on the facts in the Sandy Hook case, our politicians are jumping the gun, literally. Without knowing that it was Adam Lanza fingerprints on the guns? Or the magazines? Or on the steering wheel of the car that was alleged to be his? Or on the assault rifle? What was his time of death? How did the assault rifle get out to the car in the parking lot before he allegedly shot himself? Is it his mother's car or the car of Christopher Rodia, a career petty felon facing several indictments? This brings still more questions.

How can anyone make rational decisions with incomplete,inco nsistent, and anomalous forensics? How can politicians be so certain that the problem was a lack of gun control in a state with very stringent gun control laws already? Was Adam Lanza taking prescription drugs for his Asperger's Syndrome, pyschotropic drugs such as SSRIs that effect suicical and homicidal behaviors in people under the age of 24? If so, there is a much more clear and present danger from a commonly prescribed class of drugs than from assault rifles. Looking back at the shooters from Columbine forward, nearly all of them were using such drugs & under the age of 24. What's the real cause of this tragedy
-1 # LizR 2013-01-29 23:47
Never mind an assault rifle, my right to bear arms should extend to rocket launchers, ballistic missiles and tanks, and I'm building a little something in the basement with some U-235...
+2 # treadlightly 2013-01-30 21:47
Bold statement Liz. That may win you a visit from the black boots. I used to post some very inflammatory stuff but not with all the internet surveillance going on now. It isn't paranoia when they knock on your door. Take care.
+2 # 2013-01-30 02:49
Of course that's Gods wish ` IT'S Why he gave USA mastery of the Capitalist profit chain of killink. Then God sent his USA deciples to prolytyucize with them in 50% or the older world Nations. You just need another Firey Bush not self imoluating.
0 # Glen 2013-01-30 11:22
No no no no. We do not need another BUSH. On fire on not.

Yes, though,, the U.S. is living the old testament and emulating the Jews leaving the desert hellbent on ridding the world of everybody not accepting their new religion. That includes their own citizens.
0 # treadlightly 2013-01-30 16:55
Demand a Plan has a Face Book page where you are free to comment unless you express the slightest disagreement with their views. Then they block you from further comment. That is not democracy. No room for debate? That is no way to come to the best solution for all parties involved.

We have the advantage of seeing what effect gun bans can have on gun violence, because both the U.K. and Australia have removed most of the weapons from their citizens.

Do your own research, do not let hysterical reactions guide your decisions. This tactic of rolling out victims to sway the vote is inflammatory at best and more akin to outright propaganda.
0 # Diareo Knabo 2013-01-31 15:47
I dunno, I am getting fed up with all this mess! I am seriously thinking of moving down into the Southern Hemisphere. Afer all, with few exceptions (like the former Apartheid of South Africa) as of course there is no 'Utopia' on this planet, at least the southern part of this planet has not produced the Adolf Hitlers, the Muammar Quadafis, the Assads, the George Bushes, or even the Caesars of the world! Even the infamous Inquisition is a northern phenomen!

It has been the Northern Hemisphere that has produced all this crap, the atom bomb that has actually been used against Japan, even the Climate Change has prediminately been a northern problem! Both World Wars (and the Cold War inclusive) have been initiated in the Northern Hemisphere!

Too many people in the north as illustrated both by China and India! I am not aware that South Africa, Brasil, Argentina, Chile, Australia/New Zealand has overpopulation cisis like the north. Hell, even the ONLY 'gem' on the African Continent which respects human rights (today) is in the south! South Africa! So I think that I am going to move there to the Southern Hemisphere! Sayonara north!
-1 # EPGAH3 2013-01-31 17:00
No, just Cartels, KONY, Mugabe, FARC, and Chavez...And America is now getting overpopulation runoff FROM the Southern Hemisphere. If you believe we CAUSED Latin American mega-breeding, please explain how!
0 # Diareo Knabo 2013-02-04 02:03
Uh... okay, granted; PARTLY correct, but most of the population runoff is from America CENTRAL, not necessarily Sudamerica. (México, BTW is still considered to be NORTH America -- and look atthe 'runoff' problem from there)! Uh... Not ALL of Latin America is south of the Equator! Need I say more?

Oh yes! One more thing: lest we forget, speaking of 'runoff'... the 'runoff' from CHINA! Uh... the last time I looked at a map, China appeared to be still within the NORTHERN Hemisphere! No? As I said in my original comment, there is NO UTOPIA on this planet! Sure the Southern Hemisphere is not perfect, no one ever said it was. But IMOP MUCH MORE so!
-1 # EPGAH3 2013-01-31 17:02
South Africa does not respect the most important right, that is right to OWN your property. If you build up anything successful, either expect it to be taken from you.
Don't say I didn't warn you!
-2 # Diareo Knabo 2013-01-31 15:50
...Oh yes! I forgot! Even Western religion (the Abrahamic School) is a northern phenomenon that has brought so much trouble, intolerance, and prejudice (along with war) to humanity! It has been from the north that Captain Cook, et all tried to colonise the south! WOW!
-1 # EPGAH3 2013-01-31 17:01
Do you consider the Moslem Cult peaceful, and things like blowing up airplanes, embassies, battleships, even their own Mosques to be the exception, rather than following their twisted rules?
0 # Diareo Knabo 2013-02-04 02:11
Uh... number one, the Islamic religion IS a part of the Abrahamic School -- it still postulates Abraham being (albeit much earlier in history) a prophet. Thus it is indeed considered to be a part of the Abrahamic School (hence Western Religion).

Number two: Once again the Middle East or sometimes referred to as the Near-East is STILL WITHIN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHER! (Pisst! Hey dude, it is still NORTH of the Equator! Go look at an atlas -- or better yet Wiki it)!
0 # Diareo Knabo 2013-02-04 02:17
I wish to make a general follow-up comment here. As indeed I have found to MY PERSONAL TASTE the Southern Hemisphere to be more civilised, it is indeed NO Utopia! YES, there are indeed problems as there is still human life and of course shares the same planet!

But from what I have ascertaind through my own research, with exception perhaps to Post War Japan, the Southern Hemisphere being less popualated in gereral seems to be a tad bit more civilised and more genuinely better behaved. That is my personal opinion, if you choose to differ, please, be my guest!


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