Guns and Spirituality P2

It is of no surprise to me that the author of Theology Archaeology responded quite rapidly to my defence of Jill Dennison. Let us see if he has any reasonable arguments to the ones I made. Also posted on The Coalition of the Brave.

Our nemesis at Meerkat Musings has published another article critiquing our gun post. There is a reason why we call him and other atheists, unbelievers, etc., distorters. They claim to have the facts and use them but upon closer look, their stats are often manipulated to fit their narrative.

They use stats and fall back on them as evidence that they are correct but they can easily be challenged with a little logic. We read one article where a person under the article left the comment,” the difference between democrats, leftists and liberals and conservatives and republican is that when the latter doesn’t like something, they do not buy it. Whereas the former forces everyone not to buy something they do not like.

That analogy is so true when it comes to guns. The logic the democrats, liberals leftists use to support their point of view often leaves one scratching their heads as they do not make sense.

Of course, Meerkat Musing’s owner rejected everything we said because he thinks he knows more than God does on this issue. As a Christian, if you do not like guns, then do not buy one. But do not let your beliefs about guns interfere with those who do not share those beliefs.

You love them just the same as gun ownership is not a sin. if it was God would have told us in the Bible, not through unbelievers who like to control others.

None of the above is anything other than character assassinations. His claims of distortion usually lack substance, and he insistence that the left demands conformity is rather ironic, given the attitudes of the religious right. Indeed, the author has repeatedly expressed his views that the LGBT community should not exist, that women should be held to his standards, and demonstrated a host of other ideals that show how he would happily impose his version of Christianity upon everyone else. His views typically mirror the religious right, which has long sought to stifle expression of anything outside the box of heterosexual white men.

He goes on to quote me – as per his post, that text shall be in red.

Is it a coincidence that there are 120.5 guns per every 100 people in the USA? The next country with a significant number of guns per 100 people is Germany, with 32 guns per 100 people.

Thhisispartially true but before we get to the error, we need to point out that the number of guns owned per 100 people has little to no bearing on the amount of gun violence that takes place.

Gun ownership does not lead to people looking to kill other people. That is left up to the criminal element who uses guns like most gun owners use their toothbrushes.

It is the training the gun owner has had over their lives, the spiritual training as well as common sense. Rarely do you see a responsible gun owner committing a crime.

It is a spiritual issue and criminals are more likely to use guns because they have no spiritual protection to help them overcome the desire to fire a weapon.

As to the false reporting in that quote, America does have 120.1 guns per 100 people and that is not a crime nor a sin. However, Germany does not even crack the top 10 list of countries that own guns per capita.

Falklands is second at 62.1, followed by Yemen at 52.8 and new Caledonia at 42.5 (source). If you are going to make an argument, get the facts right before saying you have the facts.

I’ll actually give him a little benefit of the doubt here. I should have been clearer in my point (though I do clarify it later), that I was comparing countries of similar socio-economic backgrounds. However the overall point stands. Countries with a lot of guns and a lack of coherent gun control laws see a lot of gun violence. The USA is a prime example of this, and has been an example of this for many years. It is not a coincidence that between two-thirds and three-quarters of all US murders involve guns. Plus, data for the murder rate in the Falkland Islands is difficult to come by, but said islands have a number of gun control measures enshrined into law. The fact remains that the USA and Germany, two broadly similar countries of comparative social and economic levels, have vastly different gun laws, and one country is much safer than the other, something the author fails to address in any meaningful way.

Then the number of guns per capita do not reflect true crime stats. If people are intent on killing someone else, they will use any weapon at hand. To be honest and fair in this argument, one would have to look at all the crime stats involving killing someone.

Knives, blunt instruments, fireplace pokers, hammers, drills, and so on. If you don’t do this you are not being honest about a country being safer than another country. Gun stats are not the benchmark for safety.

It is a statistical fact that in the US, guns kill far more people than any other form of weapon. Take a look at the FBI’s own stats from 2019.

Apologies, but I could not recreate the table in one image, so it’s broken down into three images.

Have a look at the states and have a look at what weapons are used in the majority of murders. In nearly every state, guns are most lethal weapon, making up a significant percentage of murder weapons. We’ll be returning to this table later.

In my previous post I said:

It is an unavoidable statistical truth that guns, which are designed to be lethal weapons, prove to be devastatingly effective at taking life, and in countries where they are prevalent, or where gun control laws are inconsistent or absent, they take more lives than in countries which have sensible and consistent laws.

We will not argue that guns are designed for a specific purpose but we will argue that design is not limited to murder. Different tools are designed for different purposes. the design does not make gun violence more prevalent.

It is illogical to even consider such an argument. If guns were designed in different ways they would be useless. And that would be a waste of time ad money. Someone would eventually design a gun in the proper way and we would be back to where we are now.

Again, though, it is ludicrous to say that gun design motivates people to kill other people. It is a very big stretch to even think that way. What motivates people to kill are greed, hatred, lust, and the love of money.

The gun design does not influence any of these attitudes or sins. Evil does but not gun designs. We will deal with the latter part of that quote in the next section.

I don’t even know what he’s trying to say here. He has already admitted that guns are designed to be lethal and this is demonstrated in the stats. I never said anything about designing guns in a different way or saying the design motivates people to kill. Once again, the author has attacked an argument I did not make, which is a form of dishonesty in my book. However guns make it a lot easier to kill, as demonstrated by numerous pieces of information.

What the facts demonstrate is that countries with high rates of gun ownership that combine said high ownership with slack and inconsistent regulations see more gun deaths.

This is not true and we did a little research on the topic. If we look at America alone, the places that see more gun violence are those states and cities that have very strict gun laws. (source & source).

Probably because the innocent victims cannot own a gun to defend themselves. There are some exceptions to that fact about the stricter the gun laws the more gun violence but not many.

If you are going to make an anti-gun statement then one should be honest about the situation. Not distort the record. There are cities and states with very lax gun laws that do not see the amount of gun crime New York, Chicago, Baltimore, Washington DC, and Los Angeles see.

Let’s refer back to the table from earlier, and I’ll quote myself, from a previous post.

Let’s start from the top. Urban areas, are they safer with or without guns? Among US cities, St. Louis has more murders per 100,000 people (64.54) than any other US city. Baltimore is next on 58.64 murders per 100,000 people. In third place is San Juan, with 54.01 murders per 100,000 people. Missouri, the State in which St. Louis resides, has some of the weakest gun control laws of any US State. Maryland (where Baltimore resides) is better, and Puerto Rico (host to San Juan) is quite slack. Detroit, fourth among US cities for murders, has a rate of 40.74 murders per 100,000 people, and Michigan, the State upon which Detroit sits in, has inconsistent gun laws. All figures are based on 2019.

Looking at more recent data, Montana saw an 84% increase in its homicide rate over the last couple of years. Montana has some of the weakest gun control laws in the US. Missouri is another state with weak gun control laws and it is also the most dangerous state in terms of homicides. Louisiana is second on the list and also has very weak gun laws. The same is true of the third state on the list, Alabama.

So the author’s assertion that stricter laws make things worse isn’t backed up by reality, and the comparison of different nations would ruin his argument anyway.

We must ask MM if the many recent deaths of many law enforcement officers came at the hands of responsible gun owners or criminals who do not care about the law?

Criminals do not care about gun laws and can always get guns. Again gun violence is a spiritual issue not a gun ownership problem. We are not going to continue looking at that article as it degrades into more of a personal attack and defense of a person who wanted to force her ways on others.

If MM and that woman do not want to own guns, they are free to not own guns. They are not free to force other peop[le to not own guns.

As for Christians, you are free to make up your own minds on this issue. Remember ‘do unto others as you would like to be treated’ (paraphrased), From MM’s and that woman’s actions and words, they want others to control what they can or cannot own.

I would ask the author if he truly believes there is no connection between the rates of deaths via guns and the ease with which guns can be obtained? He might also want to consider why countries with robust, consistent, national laws regarding guns have considerably fewer gun-related deaths, and are generally safer overall?

His misunderstanding of what motivates Jill and myself always manifests itself in this notion that anyone who holds an opinion contrary to his own is trying to force opinions on others. Jill made it clear that whilst she would like to remove guns from society, she understands this will not happen, so she argues for stronger gun control laws to make things safer. Why is it the religious right (and the author) will pontificate at length on the subject of abortion, but when it comes to suggestions and ideas to protect children (and others), it becomes ‘unfair’ or it represents ‘forcing ways upon others’. Meanwhile the author has no problem in forcing his wishes upon others – or he would if he could.

He also appears to be conflating ‘gun control’ with ‘gun ban’. The two are not one and the same. Germany is a perfect demonstration. You can legally own guns, but the difference is that there are regulations that are cohesive on a national level, and much stronger forms of background checks, as well as on-going checks.

I will return to a point I raised in my previous post. Would the author consider it unfair that laws exist to prevent people from drink-driving? Is that not a form of controlling what others can or cannot do?

They do not have an argument as gun violence is a spiritual issue and they are not qualified to partake in the discussion on how to solve it. They cannot even admit to the source of the gun and other violence so they have nothing to add to the discussion.

The Christian is governed by God and his rules in this and any issue facing humans. That is who they obey not some anti-gun people who want to control the actions of others.

When it comes to guns, they must listen to God correctly and humbly. Then ignore those who are irrational, unrealistic and distort the issues to fit their objectives.

An interesting and hypocritical statement from the author. The very fact that different countries have enacted different forms of gun control and they have avoided the gun violence that afflicts the USA is proof that this is not a spiritual issue, and as the author mangles facts, it is painfully clear he is not qualified to discuss solutions. He can treat it from a Christian perspective but he does not seem to understand that for all his bluster on forcing opinions onto others, he has no more right to do that than anyone else. If he, as a Christian, wishes to approach the gun issue from a Christian perspective, he can do that. He does not have the right to force me, Jill, or anyone else to approach it in the same way.

Gun violence is a spiritual issue that takes the one who conquers evil and is more powerful than evil. Only Jesus can solve this problem. However, like MM and that lady he refers to, they reject the solution and wonder why gun violence is out of control.

When you reject the solution, you lose all credibility and your arguments against gun ownership, etc. are moot.

How many times has offering hope and prayers prevented a mass shooting? Zero. The empty promise of praying away the problem of gun violence when tangible, effective solutions exist, all over the world, speaks to the author’s incredible arrogance and ignorance.

Before guns, humans used rocks, slingshots, spears, swords, knives, and other weapons to kill those they did not like or were in their way. Those weapons have the same design as guns do- to take a life.

How is MM going to remove all the rocks from being controlled by humans? For that matter, how about people’s hands? Those limbs strangle others using ropes, wire, clothing,  and other implements to kill others. How are MM and that lady going to handle that situation?

Take another look at the stats. 75% of murder victims are killed by a gun. This ‘other things kill too!’ copout argument has never held water. Guns kill a lot more people, and have done so for years.

One final point, why isn’t MM and company denouncing science? It is after all science that created these weapons and other more destructive ones?

Throughout history, Christians and followers of other religions have been among the first to use weapons to wage war upon those who did not conform to their beliefs. Additionally, the author’s tirade against science conveniently ignores that science itself is neutral. He benefits from it in so many ways, on a daily basis. I wonder if he can understand that.

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