A Christian Worldview Perspective on Gun Control


On Tuesday the President announced executive action on gun control. Now there’s no shortage of political takes on the issue. How about a Christian worldview perspective?

On Tuesday, an emotional President Obama announced a series of executive actions to, in his words, “do something to try to prevent the next” mass shooting. “We can,” the President told a cheering White House audience, “reduce gun violence a whole lot more” through “common-sense gun control measures.”

Among the measures outlined by the President are increased background checks for gun purchasers, additional licensing requirements for certain gun sellers, gun safety research, and funding for mental health care.

The President took specific aim at Republicans, urging Americans to “demand a Congress brave enough to stand up to the gun lobby’s lies.”

The political response was, pardon the pun, fast and furious. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan said “the President has never respected the right to safe and legal gun ownership” and that the President “does not trump the Second Amendment.”

Other critics pointed out that the President’s actions would do little if anything to reduce gun violence or prevent another San Bernardino or Sandy Hook.

So there’s the expected political responses. But my question is how should we, as Christians, think about the President’s executive actions about gun control?

First, a disclaimer. I am a gun owner and I respect the Second Amendment. And yes, I also understand that no right, including this one, is absolute. As my friend Russell Moore wrote in an excellent reflection on the gun debate, “We rightly do not allow private citizens to own surface-to-air missiles, for example.”

And let’s all agree that no sane person wants to make it easy for folks to shoot innocent people.

But here are my concerns. First, I believe, along with Chuck Colson, that the role of government is to promote justice and preserve order, which it can only do according to the rule of law. The President’s actions on Tuesday overstep his authority as the chief executive, just as the SCOTUS decision last summer on same-sex marriage overstepped their authority. Congress’s refusal to enact gun-control laws that the President wants does not give him legal or moral authority to legislate. All of this legal overstepping that we’re seeing should concern everyone.

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SOURCE: Breakpoint
John Stonestreet