In a recent Christianity Today article, editor in chief Mark Galli wrote about gun violence. In this he said:
“So while we support the legitimacy of owning guns, given the violence of our land and God’s hatred of violence, we also see a need to regulate the purchase and use of guns. In particular, we Christians should work to ban weapons whose main purpose is to kill a lot of people very quickly, to keep guns in general out of the hands of unstable personalities, and to ensure that everyone who buys and owns guns can demonstrate they know how to use and store them safely.”
Galli would do well to know something about guns before saying things that make him sound stupid. Having just reviewed the statistic showing that past “regulation” of guns had no significant effect on gun violence, he still proposes to “regulate.” He supports the “legitimacy” of owning guns, but has little to say about the right to both own and carry firearms that the “law of the land” declares “shall not be infringed.” I suppose he supports obeying the law, except when it interferes with his plans to “regulate” something he doesn’t like.
He urges Christians to “work to ban weapons whose main purpose is to kill a lot of people very quickly.” In the most recent school shooting, a shotgun and a revolver were used. So exactly which guns have a “main purpose” to “kill a lot of people very quickly”? Most shotguns would be very useful for killing a lot of people very quickly if some evil person decided to put one to that use. So does he want Christians to work to ban shotguns? He leaves that matter very vague, perhaps because he has no idea what he is talking about.
He want gun owners to be required to “demonstrate they know how to use and store guns safely” - presumably demonstrate this to the state. What, exactly, does this mean? Must a gun owner somehow prove to the state that he has a certain level of marksmanship before he can even own a gun? How does one do that without owning one?
What government agency will decide if you are storing your guns “safely” or not? Must everyone, even people with no children in the house, own a certain kind of gun safe? Will government inspectors visit the homes of all gun owners (without regard to Fourth Amendment rights, of course) to make sure guns are “stored safely”? Must all legally-owned guns be locked away so they cannot be easily used in case of a home invasion? Again, Galli is very vague, hinting that he has no idea what he is talking about.
If we take Galli’s approach, why shouldn’t Christianity Today be subject to government preemptive rules to make sure they do not abuse their First Amendment rights? Galli says elsewhere that since we regulate driving, we should regulate gun rights. So why should we not regulate free speech rights? After all, if we allow Galli to say whatever he wants, he might say something stupid - as he does in this article!