Recently, there was a terrible tragedy at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon when some crazy killed nine people and wounded numerous others, before killing himself.
Apparently the shooter asked the victims what their religious beliefs were and then killed them if they were Christians. This latest tragedy has brought calls from some folks for tighter gun control or even an outright ban on guns altogether. They argue that obviously if we had no guns, these terrible acts would have been avoided. Unfortunately, whenever gun confiscation is attempted, crime actually increases. Recently Australia adopted a gun confiscation law and violent crime has gone up significantly. Whenever guns are taken from ordinary people, violent crime increases.
The founders of our country were some pretty sharp thinkers when they produced our Constitution and our Bill of Rights. Our freedoms of speech, press, religion, and assembly are protected by the First Amendment, while the Second Amendment protects our right to keep and bear arms. Other Amendments guarantee us the right to a speedy trial and to a trial by a jury to due process of law and from unreasonable searches and seizures.
It appears that one’s religion was an issue in the recent massacre, and that only Christians were killed. In the not too distant past there have been mass killings because of religion. Jonestown and Waco come to mind. If we only outlawed the crazy religious groups maybe we’d solve the problem. The trouble with that approach is that the definition of an acceptable religion could lead to tyranny. If we take away our First Amendment right to freedom of religion we could outlaw groups like Jehovah’s Witnesses, Jews, Mormons, and Seventh Day Adventists. Taking away the First Amendment protections could be a pretty slippery slope.
The same idea holds true with the Second Amendment, if we take away the people’s right to keep and bear arms, we also take away the people’s right to resist an oppressive government.
Until Next Week,