Love Your Brother, Decline the Right

The better the society the less law ther will be. In Heaven, there will be no law, and the lion will lie down with the lamb. In Hell, there will be nothing but law, and due process will be meticulously observe. – Grant Gilmore

On September 30, 2002, each year I still mourn the loss of my twin brother who was shot four times (two in the chest, one in the side, and one in the back) and fell at my mother’s feet where he died. The bloodstain on the carpet is forever etched into my memory, maybe on my soul. I confess I knew my brothers and their faults. I worry about what I failed to do.

My brother was not killed by an intruder, but rather in an argument with our brother. It is hard to believe it has been fifteen years since. From then until now there have been 177,311 additional homicides. There are 177,311 families that have felt the same pain. Yet, we do nothing to address gun safety. The lack of action by Congress is shocking not just because of the alarming number of homicides, but also suicides and accidental deaths. While the majority of American believe there should be sensible gun safety law the militant minority has managed to intimidate our elected officials or bribe them through campaign contributions.

The militant minority that says it takes a person to pull the trigger misses the fact that it is much harder to kill without a gun. People do kill people, but people with guns are more likely to do so either intentionally or accidentally.  The technology exists to reduce the risk of accidental death and even someone using a gun that doesn’t belong to them and yet these technologies are too rarely used and in some places not even available. The law could require greater gun safety.

Christianity teaches that human life is sacred and “the dignity of the human person is the foundation of a moral vision for society” (USCCB).  I often what moral vision one finds in a gun. The sanctity of human life and the inherent dignity of the human person cannot just be about abortion or assisted suicide, but must include protecting all life and that means stopping gun violence and all violence.  My wish is for a day that in acting on our own judgment we make use of responsible freedom.  I hope for a day that no American is driven by coercion, but rather through a sense of duty declines the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms.

The 2nd Amendment is our Constitutional right, but it does not mean that most people should avail themselves of the right.  I have the right to own a gun and choose not to because I believe they are implements of violence and are designed to take life. I have the right to have an abortion, but would not have one.  Some states still have a death penalty despite the growing evidence that we frequently convict the innocent and are more likely to do so based on race and social status.  If we value life then sometimes we make decisions not because it is our legal right, but because it is morally right.

Micah 6:8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.

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Gun Violence by the Numbers from


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