An armed citizenry

I recently read, and heartily recommend, Shooting Back by Charl van Wyk. The author reflects on his own experience when the South African church he attended was attacked by men with guns and grenades. Van Wyk pulled out his handgun and shot back. The book addresses some important issues for Christians:

It deals with burning questions that plague all conscience-driven people:

  • Should we carry arms?
  • When is it appropriate to defend ourselves and our families?
  • What can we do when our freedom to carry arms is legislated away from us?

Using the Bible as his guidepost, van Wyck makes the case that Christians not only have the right but the duty to defend themselves and other innocents from such aggression.

The issue of self-defense, and particularly self-defense against government tyranny, was addressed by the Founders of the United States when they wrote,

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The security of a free state also depends upon men and women such as former Miss America Venus Ramey, who is 82 years old. Earlier this month, she stopped thieves in the commission of their crime by shooting out the tires of their truck. Three were arrested, thanks to her spunk and crime fighting.

And fighting crime with an armed citizenry truly works, if the town of Kennesaw, Georgia is any proof. Since instituting a law that requires every head of household to own a gun, the crime rate has gone down–and it began dropping immediately after the law was implemented. 25 years ago, before the law came about, the small town had a higher crime rate than the national average. Now, even with an increased population, the crime rate is still lower than before the ordinance was passed. Compare this to the town of Morton Grove, Illinois, a town which passed a gun ban just before Kennesaw’s law came about. The crime rate for Morton Grove has risen by 15.7 percent over the last 25 years while the population has dropped.


  1. Well said. I have always been in favor of self defense, but I have had to give it more thought as to what it means as a priest. I mean, isn’t there something unseemly about a priest pulling a gun and shooting someone? Well, yes. It is. But it’s even more unseemly for a shepherd not to defend his flock. The natural backdrop to all of this now is what happened at Virginia Tech. I know that Virginia has a right to carry law and Virginians routinely interact with each other while carrying a gun. I can’t help but imagine that things may have turned out differently if competent and licensed individuals on campus were armed. The cowardly (yes cowardly – why did he not attack a police station?) murderer may have been stopped before executing so many. In the end, an armed society is a polite society. Don+

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  3. Fr Ron White

    This to me representsone of the most contoversial discussions in this country today.. An armed society is not necessarily a “polite society” just an armed one. I was thinking what would Jesus advocate ? And are there examples of christians forming into armed camps ?
    What could we say about those who gave up the lives for the sake of their faith in Rome for example? And could we as priests stand in the pulpit and say to to the parishoners “You all need toget yourself a heater.” Would any of us pull a gun and start blazing away trying to kill another for stealing our car ? I joked with a friend in Texas who is a priest when he was going to buy a handgun for protection…when you shoot the guy are you then going to perform Last Rites on the car thief? Are we going to insist that parishoners check their weapons at the door?r So many questions……. God Bless your Ron+

  4. First of all, I was initially quite taken aback when I came across your blog. You’re a priest. I didn’t know priests knew about blogging. Just sharing my initial reaction. đŸ™‚ As a new mother, I find that most of my views on various subjects have changed. I am now more calm, more reasonable … and I seem to be always going for the safer side of things. As to guns and gun control, I really can’t put a finger on it. Yes, gun licenses are here as a sort of protection for everybody. After all, only sane, responsible people get to have gun licenses, right? Right? Right? Oh well. But then again, who needs to apply for a gun license when you can get hold of guns practically in any side alley you pass through on your way home? Bottomline is, guns should belong only to sane, responsible, sober individuals who know how to use guns properly. Wishful thinking …? I hope not.

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