150 firearms you might not be allowed to have

Democrats have introduced legislation to ban 150 specific firearms. Not just “assault rifles” but also certain brands of pistols and shotguns.   I’ve posted the complete list after the jump.  Those of you who own guns might want to see if any of yours are on the list. 

http://dailycaller.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Feinstein-Weapons-Ban-e1359047805173.jpg

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Grace

    I posted this elsewhere on the blog, a thread that wasn’t current. I believe it’s to important not to note it, as it is on the front page of DRUDGE tonight.

    D.C. man who shot dogs biting boy could face charges

    By Andrea Noble January 23, 2013
    The Washington Times

    “D.C. police are investigating whether a man will face criminal charges for shooting a pit bull that was attacking a child in his neighborhood.

    The incident unfolded Sunday afternoon, after three pit bulls attacked an 11-year-old boy as he rode his bicycle through the Brightwood neighborhood of Northwest, according to a police report.

    When the man, a neighbor, saw the boy being mauled by the dogs, he went inside his home and got a gun. The man killed one of the dogs. The gunfire attracted the attention of a police officer in the area near Eighth and Sheridan streets, where the attack occurred. The officer responded and shot the other two pit bulls as they continued to attack the boy.

    Another excerpt _______________
    “While public opinion might be supportive of the man’s actions, he could still face significant charges depending on the outcome of the investigation, criminal defense attorney Daniel Gross said.

    READ THE REST:
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/23/man-who-shot-dogs-biting-boy-could-face-charges/

  • MarkB

    The list does contain one gun I have been trying to find lately, that is the Kel Tec Sub 2000. Personally I cannot understand why this would even make the list at all. It is a 9 mm long barrel gun, or a a 40 caliber is the other option. Other than being light and having the “look” of a AR 15. It is just a semi automatic rifle that shoots pistol rounds. It is not high powered and is built to be foldable so you can use it for a pack rifle for camping and such. It just goes to show that this is about visuals and emotion rather than reality.

  • mikeb

    None of my firearms “look” scary so they’re not on the list… yet.

  • Tom Hering

    The manufacturer’s site describes the Kel Tec 2000 as “very useful against small or partially covered targets at shorter range.” Sorry, but that sounds like Newtown to me. A collapsible carbine that’s easy to conceal in a backpack or under a coat, and that’s designed accept high-capacity pistol magazines.

  • http://www.cyberbrethren.com Rev. Paul T. McCain

    I highly doubt this will make it into law, but if it does, all I have to say is:

    MOLON LABE

  • Tom Hering

    Don’t freak out, Rev. McCain. Feinstein’s ban includes a grandfather clause. I wish it didn’t, but it does.

  • PHW

    I’m glad it doesn’t. This gun grab…I mean ban, is an emotional reaction to a problem. Feinstein needs a legacy. She wants this to be it. She’s done nothing else up there for for California,

  • Patrick Kyle

    Let them ‘outlaw’ whatever they like. Many people, including myself, will own whatever firearms we wish. And no, we are not registering them. End of story. It will be one of the largest movements of civil disobedience since Prohibition.

  • Tom Hering

    Re: @ 2 & 7: The old “emotional reaction” critique. Like gun owners aren’t reacting emotionally to the issues. Just as much, if not more, than gun control advocates. Come on.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Nice Tu Quoque there, Tom @9.

    But I would argue that it’s entirely appropriate to have an “emotional reaction” when Government wants to officially infringe basic Human rights.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    This won’t pass. When the AWB passed in the Clinton years, it cost the Democrats Congress. It’ll happen again and most of the Congressmen know it.

    And for those of you who are giddy about taking things from your neighbors because you think you know better and that you think it would magically make all gun violence disappear (*cough* Tom *cough*), consider G. Gordon Liddy’s words about gun control in his book Will, in which he pointed out that, even if he were for gun control (which he obviously is not), it would be impossible for the federal goverment to catalogue and track every single firearm out there.

    My wife’s cousin lives in Canada. Her son told us that there is a LOT of illegal firearm ownership up there, more than is generally talked about. Same with other countries with strict gun control: people STILL have the guns. Problem is, it’s bad people who have them, and the fact that good people do not doesn’t make the good people any safer.

  • Cincinnatus

    Actually, what bothers me most about this bill isn’t the emotivism, aestheticism, or general idiocy, but rather the fact that Feinstein et al. took the time to write it knowing that there is exactly no chance that it will ever make it into law. Congresscritters seems to be doing more of that lately–knowingly writing and grandstanding about pointless, hopeless bills.

    Also, the rifle I keep around for home defense (and occasionally hunting) is significantly more powerful and reliable than a great number of the guns on that list–it’s a favorite of outdoorsman out West because of its rather uncommon ability to down grizzly bears more or less reliably. But it doesn’t look like a “scary” AR-15, so I can apparently keep it. Again, general idiocy, emotivism, etc.

  • Tom Hering

    Mike @ 10, and I think it’s entirely appropriate to have an emotional reaction to gun violence, to the greed of gun manufacturers, and to the selfishness of some gun owners. So it’s a wash on the emotionalism thing, eh?

    … you think it would magically make all gun violence disappear … (J. Dean @ 11)

    I don’t know of any gun control advocates who believe that. Biden, for example, has been quite careful to say that’s not what he expects to accomplish.

  • Steve Bauer

    Let them ‘outlaw’ whatever they like. Many people, including myself, will own whatever firearms we wish. And no, we are not registering them. End of story. It will be one of the largest movements of civil disobedience since Prohibition.

    I guess its true what gun owners say, “If you criminalize guns, only criminals will have guns.” The above only demonstrates a pre-existing “criminal” mind that is the antithesis to any civilized social order.

    It’s kind of like saying, “Let them legislate the speed limit to whatever they like. Many people, including myself, will drive as fast as we darn well please. [Let public safety be d*md!]”

    Come to think of it, the way people drive is probably the biggest movement of civil disobedience that we have ever seen.

  • Mary

    Until we as a society come to value life there will never be a solution to the senseless acts of violence perpetrated against the innocent among us. The problem is not guns, or knives, or baseball bats or….you get the picture. Violence is worse because our culture is so degraded that life is expendable. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the dreadful decision called Roe vs. Wade. We throw babies away the same way we dispose of Pampers or Huggies. We have told our children that if we don’t want them we will get rid of them. We have aborted their siblings. Does this not seep in to our very consciousness? We have told them they are nothing more than an accident of evolution. No more, no less than animals. And now we are reaping the whirlwind.
    So will an empty attempt to outlaw guns do any good? Not in the least.

  • kerner

    Everybody DOES realize, don’t we, that the manufacturers will simply redesign their products with minor modifications and give them different names, which is pretty much what happened last time this was tried. Until the sunset date came.

  • kerner

    Tom H @13:

    And emotional reactions like yours have made the arms manufacturers much wealthier and Americans much more heavily armed. Congratulations. Oh…that wasn’t what you were going for? Better stick to logic and facts, perhaps.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com John

    Of course, we all support gun control (none of my neighbors owns a flame thrower, tank, or drone, and I am ok with that), but this current attack on the second amendment has me concerned for several reasons. My biggest concern stems from the fact that I consider it my own duty to protect me and my family. Why would I, or any man trained to think free, surrender that duty to a stranger? My second concern is the lack of knowledge, carefully constructed arguments, or science used in the defense of those who would take this liberty from us. For example, this country has seen a steady decline in gun violence since the 1930s. This did not come about by restricting weapons, but by restricting criminals. Why would we ever trust a government to take our guns away when they are selling REAL assault weapons (selective fire capability) across the border to cartels in Mexico?

  • fjsteve

    Is there anything here that would have prevented Newtown?

  • Cincinnatus

    fjsteve@19:

    Don’t ask silly questions. They’re killing Feinstein’s buzz.

  • fjsteve

    Cincinnatus,

    So you’re saying that, just like the executive orders, there’s precious little in this proposed legislation that would have had any impact at all on the very event that was the impetus for such legislation? That it’s taking advantage of a tragic situation for political gain? And that, as such, it’s worse than worthless?

    Just want to make sure I understand.

  • DonS

    As Kerner said @ 16, specific gun bans are dumb. It just results in a bunch of new model guns, with minor modifications. But, it feels good, I guess, to go out and tell people that you “did something”.

    This legislation will go nowhere, even in Feinstein’s own Democratic Senate. Harry Reid is pro-gun. A bunch of Democratic senators are up for re-election in 2014 in red states. And, although the proposed legislation avoids the highly un-American confiscation provision, by grandfathering existing weapons, it provides for a national gun registry, whereby all existing banned guns must be registered. Uh-uh. That kills the bill, by itself.

  • fjsteve

    PHW @7,

    You’re right about that. Feinstein has done nothing for California, although she’s done plenty to California.

  • MarkB

    Tom @ 4
    If that is the case then my Kel Tec P-11 fits that mold too other than being scary looking to Feinstein. So why can i have the P-11 which is much smaller and more concealable and takes the same magazines as the Sub 2000, but I cannot have the Sub 2000? Sounds to me like the whole play by Feinstein and company is to chip away at the second ammendment one bit at a time. This is all part of a concerted effort to completely disarm the citizens of this country. If we lose the second ammendment we no longer be citizens, we will be subjects.
    So I say to the Tom Herrings of the world. If you don’t want to be able to protect yourself, fine don’t buy any guns. But, do not infringe on my rights that are enumerated in the constitution. Keep your hands off of my guns and the guns of the lawful citizens of this once great country.

  • tODD

    It’s nice to see that Lutheran publishers have no problem with pre-announcing their unrepentant stance contrary to Romans 13 (@5, @8). That’s the spirit, fellas! Rebel against the authorities that God has instituted! Quite the example for your companies, both of you.

  • tODD

    Mike (@10):

    it’s entirely appropriate to have an “emotional reaction” when Government wants to officially infringe basic Human rights.

    It’s … it’s a “basic human right” to own one of those weapons? Do those words just not have any meaning, whatsoever? Might as well argue it’s a basic human right to own a car.

  • tODD

    Kerner said (@16):

    Everybody DOES realize, don’t we, that the manufacturers will simply redesign their products with minor modifications and give them different names…

    That would be a valid criticism, if the only thing you know about this bill was from that image up there of that one page. There is probably more to the bill than that.

  • tODD

    John said (@18), “Of course, we all support gun control…”

    So, you’re new to this country, then?

  • http://facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Todd @26:
    Constitutionally yes, as far as arms go. That’s specifically spelt out in the 2nd amendment.
    I would argue that applies to cars, or anything else also, supported by the 5th amendment.

  • tODD

    Mike, you’re being incredibly sloppy with language here. You started out (@10) talking about “basic human rights”, and now you’ve shifted (@29) to talking about the Constitution. If it’s a “basic human right”, then it applies no matter what country you live in. And it doesn’t matter if, say, you’re a convicted criminal, either.

    Regardless, the 2nd Amendment does not mean that you have a right to own any and all arms. You can argue that prohibiting this or that type of arm violates the 2nd Amendment, but let’s be honest in our use of words here, shall we?

    And, no, nobody has a “right”, much less a “basic human right”, to own a car. Ugh.

  • Tom Hering

    Something gun owners might clear up for me. If a ban on assault-style guns would just deal with cosmetic differences, why do you care? You’d still have hundreds of non-assault-style guns available to you that have the same or better capabilities, right? It’s just a matter of cosmetics, right? And “scary looking” hasn’t been proven to deter criminals, right? Or are you being less than honest with the rest of us?

  • fjsteve

    As I think about it, this legislation could potentially be a win-win for both gun sellers and gun control advocates in Congress.

    Scenario A: Bill passes into law. Even though the law does nothing to stop gun violence or future gun sales, Feinstein and the gun control advocates score a big political victory. Gun sellers score big sales when people feel that their gun buying rights are going to be taken away and everybody wants to be grandfathered in.

    Scenario B: Bill gets shot down in Congress. Gun sellers win a political victory and still get big sales in the run-up to the vote. Feinstein and the gun-control advocates in Congress score political points for proposing the legislation in the first place and at election time they get to claim Republicans care more about the pro-gun lobby than they do the innocent children of the next Newtown.

    The citizens, on the other hand… well, who cares about the citizens?

  • fws

    tom @ 31
    Hey that is a good question Tom!

    If gun owners can STILL have guns, then why , and exactly how, is this a violation of the 2nd amendment?

  • DonS

    Yeah, as long as everyone can still have a musket, what’s the big deal? Or, as Hilary Clinton might ask, WHAT DOES IT MATTER???

  • BradyR

    Not going to get into the rights argument. Every single one of my firearms is on the list, and I certainly oppose this bill. I just wanted to respond to #32 stating that the amount of craziness in this country leading up to even this bill being proposed has caused a doubling to in some cases tripling of firearms prices.

  • dust

    Tom, if it’s true it’s all cosmetic and the pols know it, then why are they wasting our time and money with all the smoke and mirrors?

    why are they willing to pass laws that interfere with the rights and privacy of law abiding citizens and fund the new enforcement laws that won’t really change a thing?

    What does it say about the citizens of a free nation who put up with such hypocrisy and praise it as progress?

    Guess, we really do get the government we deserve :)

    cheers!

  • Grace

     ‏

    I hope this WAKES UP all the sleepers in the United States!

    Communists Cheer On Obama’s Gun Grab

    William F. Jasper
    New American
    Jan 25, 2013

    “It should come as no surprise that the Communist Party USA is on board with President Obama’s plan to attack Americans’ right to keep and bear arms as a means to “end gun violence.” A cardinal feature of communist regimes, like all dictatorships, is the prohibition of private ownership of arms, creating a monopoly of force in the hands of the State.

    In a January 18 article, People’s World, an official publication of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA), declared that “the ability to live free from the fear or threat of gun violence is a fundamental democratic right — one that far supercedes any so-called personal gun rights allegedly contained in the Second Amendment.”

    READ the REST: http://www.infowars.com/communists-cheer-on-obamas-gun-grab/

  • Grace

    Dust @ 36 “Guess, we really do get the government we deserve”

    No we don’t deserve it. The vast majority of Americans have fought for our freedoms for centuries. The problem we have is, a socialist sub culture that works very hard to disrupt, demolish what we have all held dear, from the time our ancestors imigrated to the U.S.

    All too many American’s have gone on a mental vacation, ignoring the signs of change, which will change our country into all the ugliest of effects witnessed in Europe.

    Socialism and its cousins are a distructive force.

  • http://www.redeemedrambling.blogspot.com John

    @Tom #31
    I think the point is that if there is no difference, then a ban on assault weapons is a distinction without a difference – which in turn opens the door to more and more civilian disarmament. Having been around guns all my life, I can tell you that there is little difference between an a so-called “assault weapon” and any other semi-automatic hunting rifle, except ARs are less expensive* and are available with high-capacity magazines.
    * High end models like Colt and H&K are exempt from this generality

  • dust

    Grace…you are correct, thanks!

    Guess it would have been more accurate to say “they” (those that tolerate this charade, and those on a mental vacation as you put it!) get the country they deserve?

    Unfortunately for the others, while they may not deserve it, they get that government too :(

    God Bless you Grace…and God Bless the USA :)

    cheers!

  • Trey

    Todd @25

    Molon Labe means come and take it. It isn’t a call to resistance. I know you dislike Pastor McCain, but the eighth commandment still applies.

    Tom, Todd and FWS,

    The point of the 2nd amendment is not just the right to own a gun, but to protect oneself from the government, which these guns do. The proposal in effect further restricts the citizens from protecting themselves and moving us closer to being subjects. I thought the point of the gun grab was to prevent another Sandy Hook, yet this proposal does nothing that would have prevented it. Plus no AR was used in the school shooting. So why take this guns in the first place? This coupled with Fast and Furious scandal makes gun owners concerned that the government is becoming more sinister. Are you guys also for limiting any of the other Constitutional amendments by legislation? Like freedom of religion, press and speech?

  • tODD

    Trey (@41) said:

    Molon Labe means come and take it. It isn’t a call to resistance.

    I’m not a complete idiot, you know. Perhaps there’s some historical context that would help us understand the meaning of the phrase — perhaps also explaining why someone has chosen to write it in a transliterated form of a foreign language. Oh! Here’s something:

    The phrase molon labe … means “Come and take”. It is a classical expression of defiance reportedly spoken by King Leonidas I in response to the Persian army’s demand that the Spartans surrender their weapons at the Battle of Thermopylae. … Instead, the Spartans held Thermopylae for three days and, although they were ultimately annihilated, they inflicted serious damage upon the Persian army…

    So, let me get this straight. It’s not a “call to resistance”. It’s just a quote supposedly used by someone who directly defied someone else, and went out in a blaze of glory fighting that someone else.

    But McCain didn’t mean any of that. He was just literally inviting the government to come on over to his house after they’ve passed the appropriate laws, maybe share a beer with him, and then, with his blessing, take away his guns, no hard feelings.

    Got it.

  • MarkB

    Trey @ 41
    “The point of the 2nd amendment is not just the right to own a gun, but to protect oneself from the government, which these guns do. The proposal in effect further restricts the citizens from protecting themselves and moving us closer to being subjects. I thought the point of the gun grab was to prevent another Sandy Hook, yet this proposal does nothing that would have prevented it. Plus no AR was used in the school shooting. So why take this guns in the first place? This coupled with Fast and Furious scandal makes gun owners concerned that the government is becoming more sinister. Are you guys also for limiting any of the other Constitutional amendments by legislation? Like freedom of religion, press and and speech?”

    This I totally agree with!

  • Tom Hering

    Dust @ 36, it isn’t the gun control advocates making the claim that the differences in assault-style guns are merely cosmetic. It’s the pro-gun folks. So I asked why, then, should they care about a ban on merely cosmetic differences – unless there’s really more to assault-style guns than that.Like carbine configurations and collapsible stocks (ease of concealment), less muzzle jump (fast, accurate engagement of multiple targets), and compatibility with high-capacity magazines.

    Grace @ 37, the Communist Party of the United States? Seriously? Pardon me while I hit the snooze button. More than once.

  • Tom Hering

    Anyways, to answer my own question as to why gun owners really care about a ban on assault-style weapons, it has to do with their fantasies of push coming to shove with government. Assault-style weapons make nice platforms for full-auto mods. But here’s how I see that scenario working out:

    Government with drones, S.W.A.T. teams, and special forces: 1

    Mr. Patriot with his 2nd Amendment cache of assault-style weapons: 0

  • Grace

    Tom,

    SNOOZE all you like, so are all too many American’s taking a nap.

    People just like you, laughed their buns off, when it was stated that our country was leaning heavily twards SOCIALISM – and here we are. Maybe you’re one who still quips, NAY, NAY - or have you learned something in the past 5 years or more, (that is being polite, it’s been pushed for at least a dozen years or so)

  • Tom Hering

    Socialism? If you think we have socialism in America – government ownership of the means of production – then you have no idea what Socialism is, other than a very loose term for “icky.”

  • Tom Hering

    Frank @ 33, I almost missed your comment. I was wondering when you’d show up on the new site. Now, where’s Stephen?

  • dust

    Tom….you can have a overt style socialism where the gov does own and control the means of prod, or you can have covert style, where the gov just passes so many laws and regs to tie the hands and control the corps that way.

    That’s how to do it, so the “sheeple” think they are still in charge?

    And they are indeed, at least of their tv remotes :)

    cheers!

  • Grace

    Tom “Socialism? If you think we have socialism in America – government ownership of the means of production – then you have no idea what Socialism is, other than a very loose term for “icky.””

    Yes Tom, I can see how confused you are by the garbled attemp above, to define my beliefs. You haven’t made much headway. You’re stuck!

  • dust

    Tom at 44….ok, but if the pro gun rights folks are right, then my points are still valid…a waste of time and money and a charade and sham, and don’t appreciate being put thru all that just to give the pols and their fans a warm, fuzzy feeling…at their expense, duh!

    Naturally, the gun control advocates have a vested interest in denying all of this, for the obvious reasons, eh?

    Wish everyone could just act like adults :)

    cheers!

  • Tom Hering

    Dust @ 51, I obviously don’t agree that an assault-style gun ban is nothing but a show. Even if it were true that there’s no functional difference between assault-style guns and sporting guns, a ban would still – in future – reduce the number of guns being sold every year, and that’s nothing but a good thing. A very good thing. Except for all those overweight, middle-aged-to-older patriots who think they’ll prove themselves the equals of Taliban mountain fighters in a showdown with government. :-D

  • Grace

    Tom “A very good thing. Except for all those overweight, middle-aged-to-older patriots who think they’ll prove themselves the equals of Taliban mountain fighters in a showdown with government”

    Again you smart off, making up whatever you think might work, to extricate yourself from embarrassment. “Overweight” “middle -aged to older” “Taliban” ? – you are off the cliff on this one, as you blither away!

  • dust

    Tom…yes, and there’s the rub! One side says it’s a show and the other says it is not…how do we resolve it?

    Choose your weapon and let’s have a duel :)

    cheers!

  • Grace

    Dust “Naturally, the gun control advocates have a vested interest in denying all of this, for the obvious reasons, eh?”

    You’re right!!

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom Hering:

    If I may, I think you’re being intellectually dishonest with yourself–or at least with us.

    First of all, it’s uncharitable to suggest that pro-gun advocates are only opposed to this bill because they secretly wish to convert all their weapons to automatic weapons–for some unstated purpose. At best, that’s wildly speculative. There’s nothing pro-gun folks are trying to “hide” from you.

    More likely, though, it’s just incorrect, except in the case of a small minority of gun owners (I’m sure there are a few gun owners who would like to–and do–convert their weapons to automatic). Most folks–myself included–oppose this bill for the reasons Dust stated: it’s stupid, arbitrary, emotive, a waste of time and money. The distinction between “assault” weapons and, uh, “other” weapons is, indeed, purely cosmetic, as has been pointed out ad nauseam. Why would I oppose a “meaningless” ban? Because, as I’ve already said, it’s arbitrary and stupid. But also because I don’t think the government should be in the business of pointlessly and arbitrary banning specific consumer items, especially when those items are specifically guaranteed by the Constitution.

    Imagine if Congress decided to ban Scotch whisky but not Irish whiskey. Lots of drunks drink Scotch after all. Of course, the distinction between Irish and Scotch spirits is purely “cosmetic,” as it were. As someone who prefers Scotch, I’ll be upset, but I can just suck it up and sip on Jameson if I have to. But does that therefore legitimate the government ban? Do I have to suck it up without protest? Or am I hiding something? Is Scotch whisky secretly of a much higher proof than Irish whiskey? No, such a ban would be stupid and arbitrary. So is banning a specifically itemized list of guns with no reference to their danger, etc.

    Finally, the idea that this ban would actually reduce the number of gun sales, as you suggest @52, is just laughable. Really: I literally laughed out loud at my desk when I read the comment. It seems you’ve never taken a course in basic economics, or are just blissfully ignorant of basic political and economic incentives. No, what will happen if this bill passes (it won’t) is exactly what happened when the original “assault” weapons ban was passed: gun sales exploded, and gun manufacturers made tiny alterations (i.e., cosmetic alterations) to their guns so they would pass muster under the ban.

    Besides that, I don’t know why you think a reduction in gun sales would be “nothing but a good thing.” That statement, of course, succumbs to the old trope that anyone who wants to buy a gun just wants to kill someone/something. I mean, I suppose I bought my gun for the original purpose of killing deer–and shooting targets. But I’m otherwise a harmless guy. So is my dad, who owns a small arsenal of hunting and target weapons. It would seem to me that a reduction in (legal) gun sales is, at best, an ethically neutral phenomenon.

  • Grace

    Dust

    A “dual” ? – :lol: You’re on a roll tonight!

  • tODD

    Trek (@41):

    The point of the 2nd amendment is not just the right to own a gun, but to protect oneself from the government

    Right, just like Timothy McVeigh! Okay, fine, he used explosives rather than guns, but still, he decided for himself when the government got too tyrannical, and he rose up against them with various weapons, all of which he did with your blessing and the blessing of the 2nd Amendment.

    Right? Right? All hail Timothy “Hero” McVeigh! Champion of the 2nd Amendment! Certainly nothing he did could possibly be abhorrent to a Christian. He valiantly fought for his freedom, so he wouldn’t be a “subject” of those elitist oppressors in D.C. Huzzah!

  • SKPeterson

    Todd – It would be better if the states actually had their own militias or control over their own guard forces asa balance instead of having to cede that authority to the federal government. It’s a complicated thing – when is armed opposition valid? Something I suppose we could ask the guys at Lexington and Concord when they British came to seize their weapons. Were their actions legitimate? Were they acting like a collection of little McVeigh’s?

  • Tom Hering

    The distinction between “assault” weapons and, uh, “other” weapons is, indeed, purely cosmetic, as has been pointed out ad nauseam. (Cincinnatus @ 56)

    It certainly comes close to making me nauseous. And I don’t agree.

  • tODD

    SK (@59), I am not, as such, defending the actions of “the guys at Lexington and Concord”. My question for those — especially those Christians — who prefer the interpretation of the 2nd Amendment that allows for, or even calls for, rising up against a tyrannical government is, simply: do you defend the actions of Timothy McVeigh? If not, why not?

  • dust

    Todd at 61…as for me, would not defend those actions :(

    gee, that was easy :)

    cheers!

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@60:

    Some rube told me today that the earth revolves around the sun. Frankly, it made me nause[ated], and I don’t agree. I even found some geocentric blogs to corroborate my belief.

  • tODD

    Dust (@62), if you consider yourself one who so interprets the 2nd Amendment, yet you don’t defend McVeigh’s actions, then you have to say why you don’t.

    Anyone else? Hello? Cincinnatus?

  • Cincinnatus

    Todd@58:

    I would like to make a motion to establish the “McVeigh Corollary” to Godwin’s Law. Will someone second the motion?

    Seriously, would you stop using Timothy McVeigh as the archetypal case of resistance to government/tyranny? I mean, I know it’s obvious that what the Framers had in mind when crafting the Second Amendment was a clinically deranged, psychopathic mass murderer who used a fertilizer bomb to slaughter almost 200 unarmed civilians. In spite of that obvious fact, though, perhaps we could think of less extreme cases.

    At the very least, look into some of the history and theory behind the idea instead of couching your rather slim objections behind the specter of McVeigh. What the Framers–and their contemporary advocates–had/have in mind when discussing Second-Amendment sanctioned resistance to tyranny is armed agents of the government forcibly threatening your liberties (including that of life). As some constitutional scholars today formulate the problem, “the First Amendment is meaningless without the Second Amendment.” In more concrete, exemplary terms, when the police or national guard show up to shut down your house of worship–that (among other reasons) is why you’re permitted to bear arms and, if necessary, use them. Indeed, ideally the presence of an armed public discourages this phenomenon in the first place.

    I know that earlier this week I disclaimed objective metrics for resistance, but the Framers did have some in mind when explicitly including a Second Amendment to the Constitution. McVeigh isn’t the model.

  • dust

    Todd…why not? Well, am not an expert on the 2nd A, and am more comfortable with defending it as a citizen’s right to self defense, to themselves, their family and the sanctity of their home. But as regarding a “militia” with one purpose in mind as to defending against a tyrannical government, my first reaction (again, just playing as one who has qualifications to interpret) would be with regard to defending their home state against a government that was attempting to usurp the right given to them under the constitution, and not so much an individual trying to stand up against their perception of a tyrannical government. With the distinction, the citizens of a state can come to a common understanding and agreement to organize together and form a militia to protect against their perception of what they believe to be a tyrannical government. In that sense, it would be less likely that just some nut job would take action, as there is some safety in numbers, and if enough of a state’s citizens think something is rotten in denmark, they can together take their fight to denmark, so to speak. Actually, they have a better chance of success as a group, then as isolated individuals, which is another good to wait for some sort of democratic consensus, if you will?

    but whatever, that’s my feeble attempt to play constitutional interpreter and appreciate your cutting me some slack….or else will challenge you to a duel too :)

    cheers!

  • Abby
  • dust

    Todd…why not? Well, am not an expert on the 2nd A, and am more comfortable with defending it as a citizen’s right to self defense, to themselves, their family and the sanctity of their home. But as regarding a “militia” with one purpose in mind as to defending against a tyrannical government, my first reaction (again, just playing as one who has qualifications to interpret) would be with regard to defending their home state against a government that was attempting to usurp the right given to them under the constitution, and not so much an individual trying to stand up against their perception of a tyrannical government. With the distinction, the citizens of a state can come to a common understanding and agreement to organize together and form a militia to protect against their perception of what they believe to be a tyrannical government. In that sense, it would be less likely that just some nut job would take action, as there is some safety in numbers, and if enough of a state’s citizens think something is rotten in denmark, they can together take their fight to denmark, so to speak. Actually, they have a better chance of success as a group, then as isolated individuals, which is another good to wait for some sort of democratic consensus, if you will?

    but whatever, that’s my feeble attempt to play constitutional interpreter and appreciate your cutting me some slack….or else will challenge you to a duel too :)

    cheers!

    ps. am re-submitting because it did not accept my comment the first time :(

  • tODD

    Cincinnatus (@65) said:

    I would like to make a motion to establish the “McVeigh Corollary” to Godwin’s Law. Will someone second the motion?

    Doubtless someone else will — someone who also wishes to simply avoid the comparison merely for the sake of avoiding it, and so claims that, because something is cliched, it is therefore necessarily false. Which isn’t exactly what you did, as you went on to defend this thesis a bit more. But, come on, Godwin’s Law? That’s terrible logic (if nonetheless popular on the Internet — I thought you aimed a bit higher). “Your comparison to Hitler/McVeigh is fallacious because it has been done too many times before in other situations where it wasn’t as applicable!” Really?

  • Cincinnatus

    tODD:

    Oh puh-lease. You’re the one getting indignant?

    Methinks you’ve forgotten the meaning of Godwin’s law. Godwin’s law suggests that anyone who attempts to make his point by comparing the opposition to Hitler or the Holocaust automatically loses the argument because, at best, the argument is uncharitable and hyperbolic, stifling meaningful discussion.

    Similarly, your position in this debate seems to be that anyone who sanctions the possession of firearms as protection, however limited, against tyranny–including, apparently, those who wrote the Second Amendment–endorses the actions of Timothy McVeigh (or at least can offer no adequate critique of McVeigh). Personally, I find such an implication mean-spirited, at the very least. I don’t see your argument as being any more helpful or ethical than those who violate Godwin’s Law. To demand that defenders of the Second Amendment either justify or disclaim McVeigh is just petty. Speaking of your frequent recourse to the Eighth Commandment…

    Which is why I demanded a redirect of the discussion. Which request, apparently, you don’t wish to honor. Indeed, the fact that you even need someone to tell you how McVeigh is distinct from the sort of reasoning that undergirds Second Amendment resistance theory means that you are probably either unfit or, much more likely, unwilling to participate in this discussion in intellectual good faith. This isn’t to say that other interlocutors above haven’t said some stupid stuff in defense of guns, but you don’t have to stoop to their level.

  • Cincinnatus

    I mean, honestly, folks. I don’t usually say this about Cranach threads, but between Tom’s adamant refusal to believe that assault weapons are anything more than a cosmetic category (along with his conspiracy theories about gun nuts, and his faith in the power of item-specific commodity bans to reduce sales) and Todd’s equation, if only rhetorical, between Timothy McVeigh and Second Amendment advocates…

    …there’s some weapons-grade silliness going on here.

  • Grace

    tODD @ 64 “Dust (@62), if you consider yourself one who so interprets the 2nd Amendment, yet you don’t defend McVeigh’s actions, then you have to say why you don’t.

    This isn’t your classroom tODD, it’s a blog – you playing teacher is a joke – Anyone can have an opinion and yet not defend anyone else, including McVeigh. You are STUCK on McVeigh, making him the reason for any argument, it’s boring – your attempt at ‘school teacher is a complete FLOP!
    :lol:

  • John C

    Limiting magazine capacity and making some types of ammunition illegal provides an opportunity to change the narrative on what makes a good citizen.
    Clearly, it is not in the interests of civil society for everyone to be armed in a variation of the cold war MAD doctrine of mutually assured destruction.
    A change in gun culture can only come about if new stories are told of what it means to be an American.
    The Dreamtime stories need to be revised.
    For instance, I understand Dirty Harry’s appeal: the fantasy of the lone vigilante is compelling but hardly a realistic model of American justice.
    The 2nd Amendment allows the right of citizens to bear arms. Gun supporters argue this right is vital if citizens need to defend themselves against the tyranny of government. This argument has been elevated to the status of foundation myth.
    When a gun supporter invests truth in this story of American democracy, does he really believe a time will come when arms will have to be taken up against his fellow citizens? Can this story of civil war and American apocalypse be taken seriously?
    There will be more Sandy Hooks. There is a model for others to follow.
    Americans need to tell new stories about themselves.

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, following the NRA line, continues to insist that assault-style guns are merely cosmetic. So why is the AR-15 type the best-selling rifle? What makes it ideal for home defense? The very thing that makes it ideal for mass shootings in malls, schools, and theaters: a semi-auto design optimized for close-quarters spray. So yeah, I agree these guns are cosmetic – in the effect they have on victims: shattered bone and shredded flesh.

    … the citizens of a state can come to a common understanding and agreement to organize together and form a militia to protect against their perception of what they believe to be a tyrannical government (dust @ 68).

    I seem to remember a bunch of states doing that once. How’d that work out?

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@74:

    You’re being uncommonly stubborn in your drive to invent facts to corroborate your invented theory.

    I neither know nor care what the NRA line is on the AR-15. According to several of my friends who own that particular gun, it’s popular because it’s comparatively affordable, easily modified, incredibly reliable, and well-regarded–in general, great for hobby shooting and hunting. The AR-15 is NOT best selling because of its efficiency in mass killings, you troll. Seriously, what a moronic thing to say. There have been 62 mass shootings in United States history, only a few of which involved an AR-15; there are millions of AR-15s in circulation. Are you seriously suggesting that the folks who bought these rifles did so because they’re just waiting for an opportunity to shoot up a school?

    But no, you continue your silly narrative:

    What makes it ideal for home defense? The very thing that makes it ideal for mass shootings in malls, schools, and theaters: a semi-auto design optimized for close-quarters spray.

    Um, yeah. And the same thing that makes every semi-automatic weapon “optimized” for close-quarters spray, including millions of handguns and including the rifle under my bed. What, exactly, is your point?

    But wait, there’s more!

    … the citizens of a state can come to a common understanding and agreement to organize together and form a militia to protect against their perception of what they believe to be a tyrannical government (dust @ 68).

    Are you referring to the years 1776-1783, which was initiated by unorganized militia and armed civilians? Or are you referring to 1861-1865, which, with the exception of some guerrilla fighting on the Appalachian margins, was conducted entirely by organized armies (i.e., not the institutions protected by the Second Amendment) led by generals from West Point?

  • Tom Hering

    Cincinnatus, you ignorant gun slut. Spend some time on gun sites, and see why owners like their assault-style weapons. See, too, how much they talk about what they’ll do the day the government comes knocking. Then spend some time on sellers’ and manufacturers’ sites, and see the qualities they point to in their assault-style weapons. “Looks cool” isn’t a selling point they emphasize. But ammo options that have nothing to do with plinking or prairie dogs is.

    I never said America’s best-selling long gun, the AR-15 type, was a best-seller because most purchasers wanted it for mass shootings (though the type is indeed being used with greater frequency by mass shooters). I said it was a best-seller because of its supposed suitability for home defense (close-quarters spray), and that it’s qualities make it ideal for mass shootings, too. Of course, I have no idea what the popularity of one accessory, an attached grenade launcher, has to do with plinking, or pest control, or home defense. Maybe a smoke round helps you get to cover behind the couch?

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@76:

    It seems, then, that what you’re suggesting is that specific guns should be prohibited specifically because they could be effective or useful for home defense. Interesting. While it’s probably true that those are the same qualities that would make a gun “useful” for mass shootings–and for hunting, for that matter–that argument runs into immediate and insurmountable constitutional problems. It’s not even worth refuting. The same qualities that make cars attractive to middle-aged men are the same ones that make it much easier to violate the speed limit, etc. The same qualities that make Scotch such an appealing beverage to me are the same ones that make it much easier to get dangerously drunk while drinking it. And so on.

    Meanwhile, I’m curious as to how you define “gun nut.” You, like many progressives, have been using the Gun Nut ™ as a kind of anonymous whipping boy in this debate, much as conservatives use the anonymous Welfare Queen when critiquing redistributive programs. But when you accuse me of being a gun nut or “slut” for owning a single, common hunting rifle, I begin to wonder about the usefulness of the term when deciding on the merits of a policy. The Supreme Court, when evaluating contested laws, routinely uses the artificial construct of a “reasonable/rational person”: a “reasonable person” would construe these words like this; a “reasonable person” would act like this in that situation, etc. Maybe we should do the same. The gun nut, like the “unreasonable person,” surely exists, but he’s a minority, and he doesn’t really help us have a productive or charitable conversation about a political problem.

  • Cincinnatus

    Also, Tom, I’m not sure I see the problem with smoke “grenades.” I mean, I don’t have or want any, and I don’t know a single soul who does, but they’re far less dangerous than actual bullets. I suppose it helps you build the frightful mystique around your Gun Nut ™, though.

  • Tom Hering

    You call me a troll, but bemoan the lack of a “charitable” conversation?

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@79:

    I can’t be bothered that you called me a “gun slut.” Turn about is fair play, after all. And no, I won’t apologize for labeling you a “troll” for (seemingly) suggesting that purchasers of AR-15s are interested in murder.

    As should be clear, I’m more concerned that your opposition to…well, to what I’m not sure. The Second Amendment? Buyers of AR-15s? Anyone who disagrees with the President? Those who refuse to consent cheerily to Feinstein’s blithering idiocy? Anyway, you from your opposition to whatever in terms of this mysterious, frankly terrifying Gun Nut ™, who is apparently representative of anyone who disagrees with your position on this issue. Who is the gun nut? Well, in your own words, we know that so far he is balding, fat, middle-aged, at least slightly delusional, and probably of a violent temper. Obviously someone I would not want on my side. But where is the Gun Nut ™? Could he live in my neighborhood? Gadzooks! I’d better arm myself to defend my home against this Gun Nut ™! But wait! It seems that in elaborating your definition of this fat, shadowy figure, I turn out to be a gun nut myself! I have met the enemy…!

    Tom, since you live in Wisconsin, I would find it hard to believe that you wouldn’t know a rather large number of gun owners and users yourself. How many of them are Gun Nuts ™? How many of them purchase wildly absurd, military-grade weapons hoping for the opportunity to murder people? I can tell you that I grew up in Appalachia (for God’s sake!), and though I was thus surrounded by folks who owned small arsenals, I never met anyone who conformed even remotely to the model of the Gun Nut ™. Yes, I’ve since met some folks (ironically, none of them Southerners) who are a bit too enthusiastic about impractical guns, who spend too much of their money on this hobby, who use silly right-wing rhetoric. Still, none of them would be a Gun Nut ™ by your definition. Or maybe all of them would be. Which is why the term isn’t useful.

    In other words, what I’m suggesting, Tom, is that the language you’re using is ideologically extreme and propagandistic. If Gun Nuts ™ label you a Communist (or whatever) for supporting gun regulations, you don’t have to stoop to their level–certainly not on an intelligent blog like this. Let’s talk about reasonable people and reasonable policies.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    “Gun nut” is just hyperbolic language employed by the Gun Control-Freak™.

  • Tom Hering

    What am I opposed to? The 2nd Amendment. The easy availability of guns and ammo.

    Nope. None of my Wisconsin friends are gun owners. And all but one are conservative Republicans. Go figure.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom@82:

    1) It’s fine that you oppose the 2nd Amendment, though I strongly disagree with you. Congresscritters will do what they will, and our opinions don’t matter. More to the point, though, you must recognize that your position is quite extreme: you aren’t going to get your way without a constitutional convention, so it’s not really something worth discussing in relation to actual policies. I oppose the 14th Amendment (yes, really), but I know I’m in an impractical fringe.

    The real problem is that the reasons you adduce to support your position are either stupid or false (or both). Examples: Anyone who supports the 2nd Amendment is a Gun Nut(tm). “Assault” rifles are substantively different from other semiautomatic weapons. Bans on specific gun models will reduce gun sales. As they say, you’re entitled to your own opinion, Tom, but not your own facts.

    2) There are 300 million legal guns in circulation in the United States. You live in a conservative part of a state where hunting is a very popular activity. If you don’t know a single gun owner, you live in a bubble. It’s fine to live in a bubble, I suppose. But it’s clear that you don’t know much about what goes on outside your bubble when it comes to gun ownership–and bubbles often lead to epistemic closure, which leads to stupid stereotypes and arguments like your hypothetical Gun Nut(tm).

    In short, feel free to stay in your bubble, but don’t try to comment authoritatively on the world outside the bubble. It just makes you look silly.

  • Patrick Kyle

    tODD@25 The Constitution is the law of the land and the intent of the 2nd Amendment is clearly interpreted in the writings of the founding fathers. The laws being proposed are an all out effort to infringe upon my ability to access and own firearms and therefore are illegal according to the Constitution. This administration is does not shy from violating the Constitution. Witness the recent Appeals Court decision regarding Obama appointees during Congressional recess. In light of this I have some questions for you.
    1. Given conflicting laws (Constitution vs. Proposed new laws) which one am I bound to uphold in light of Romans 13?
    2. Am I obligated to follow any laws proposed by whomever is in power regardless of what the Constitution states?
    3. Where is the line drawn? Are we just slavish followers of our political leaders, bound to them by an airtight application of Romans 13?
    4.Given that our system allows for dissent, and that those who founded this country urged their posterity to resist overly centralized government (tyranny) how is it ‘rebellion’ when we resist leaders who war against our founding principles?
    5. How can a christian member of the US military uphold their oath to ‘defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic’ when defending against ‘domestic enemies of the Constitution’ almost certainly entails overthrowing those administrations that attempt to abolish or circumvent the Constitution?

    I have yet to hear a cogent and nuanced explication by those hammering on Romans 13 as to how this applies when you are in the midst of political turmoil or crisis. Their only explanation leads to blind unthinking obedience to authority.

  • Tom Hering

    If I’m in a bubble, Cincinnatus, it’s not a bubble within the context of the whole world, but only within the context of American culture – a country with only 4.46% of the world’s population but about half of the world’s civilian guns. I’m not even willing to grant I’m bubble-bound within the American context. 2/3 of Americans don’t own guns, and 65% of guns in America are owned by just 20% of gun owners. The bubble seems to be around you guys more than folks like me, I’d say.

  • Cincinnatus

    “You guys”–meaning whom? A fellow resident of Wisconsin, most of whose current colleagues are rabidly progressive, but whose family and “former” friends are moderate-to-conservative? What would you call that bubble?

    I don’t dispute your statistics on gun ownership. In fact, they resonate with my own experience: I know lots of folks who own guns; probably about a third of my friends and acquaintances! But I’m not really sure what that fact says about anything. Only 1/3 of Americans (over 100 million people) own guns, so we can take away their rights?

    And obviously, America’s gun culture is unique, only being replicated by Canada and maybe a couple of countries in Western Europe (like Austria, where sport shooting is highly popular). But I’m not sure what that fact says about anything either, especially since none of those countries have a constitutionally protected right to keep guns.

  • Tom Hering

    We were talking about bubbles.

  • Cincinnatus

    Yes, well, whatever bubble I’m floating in fortunately doesn’t move me to go on idiotically about reduced gun sales, Gun Nuts ™, and assault weapons.

    Find better reasons for your position.

  • Tom Hering

    I like my reasons just fine, thank you. And your bubble does move you to go on rather nastily (in this thread as in others). I’m just glad you haven’t decided to grab your deer rifle and start feudin’ with me, bubba. :P

  • kerner

    Tom H @82:

    What am I opposed to? The 2nd Amendment. The easy availability of guns and ammo.

    Well, at least now we are getting down to the heart of the matter. So, why do you oppose:

    1. The Second Amendment?

    2. The easy availability of guns and ammo?

  • Grace

    Regards to my post @37

    About 78 to 81 House Democrats “are members of the Communist Party. … It’s called the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

  • kerner

    tODD @58:

    Right, just like Timothy McVeigh! Okay, fine, he used explosives rather than guns, but still, he decided for himself when the government got too tyrannical, and he rose up against them with various weapons, all of which he did with your blessing and the blessing of the 2nd Amendment.

    OK, let me try to honestly set aside whatever American individualist tendencies I may have nurtured all these years and try to analyse your point (which I want you to clarify if I am misunderstanding it).

    You are not condemning the Second Amendment as such, nor are you condemning (as such) the Constitutional system of widely diffused political power. But you DO condemn the idea that every individual person should get to decide for himself when government has become “tyrannical” and act on that decision? Am I understanding you correctly?

  • kerner

    oops, forgot to turn off the italics. sorry.

  • Cincinnatus

    Tom,

    Yes, I’ve been a bit testy in this thread, primarily in response to what’s been passing for argument. On the one hand, we have tODD suggesting that those who see in the 2nd Amendment a right of resistance are basically endorsing Timothy McVeigh. On the other hand, we have you grossly mischaracterizing the same folks as Gun Nuts ™ (among other ludicrous claims).

    But have I been “nasty”? No. I called some of your claims stupid. Which they are. Man up and get some better arguments!

  • dust

    for your viewing pleasure and edification:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2013/01/26/Paging-Piers-Morgan

    cheers!

  • Grace

    Dust – I wasn’t able to make the VIDEO work. I tried a number of times :(

  • dust

    Grace…try this one (go down about a page and under Breitbart TV, on the right, is a video with a caption “Attn: Piers Morgan” etc.

    http://www.breitbart.com/

    Hope it works, it’s really very apropos to the subject today (and it seems like nothing has changed in all these years?)

    God Bless you Grace :)

    Cheers!

  • Grace

    Dust,

    That is a very articulate, instructive VIDEO. I found the direct LINK, posted below.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2013/01/26/Paging-Piers-Morgan

    THANK YOU DUST, for this video.

    God Bless you Dust – I’m so glad you posted this VIDEO, I hope everyone watches it.

  • Grace

     ‏

    This is an excellent news piece from News Busters

    NewsBusters
    Stephen King: NRA Should ‘Clean Up Blood, Brains and Chunks of Intestine’ After Next Massacre

    By Noel Sheppard | January 26, 2013 | 11:10

    “”One only wishes Wayne LaPierre and his NRA board of directors could be drafted to some of these [violent] scenes, where they would be required to put on booties and rubber gloves and help clean up the blood, the brains, and the chunks of intestine still containing the poor wads of half-digested food that were some innocent bystander’s last meal.”

    So wrote horror writer Stephen King in a Kindle essay Friday entitled “Guns.”

    “[P]lenty of gun advocates cling to their semi-automatics the way Amy Winehouse and Michael Jackson clung to the shit that was killing them,” King wrote in his 25-page essay.

    Not surprisingly, there was a lot of hypocrisy in King’s piece noting “to claim that America’s ‘culture of violence’ is responsible for school shootings is tantamount to cigarette company executives declaring that environmental pollution is the chief cause of cancer.”

    There is more – read the rest:
    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/01/26/stephen-king-nra-should-clean-blood-brains-and-chunks-intestine-after#ixzz2JBcCJ8uG

    The rest of this story is very enlightening.

  • http://www.facebook.com/mesamike Mike Westfall

    Stephen King is talented writer in the Horror Novel genre, but he’s not a very good public policy wonk.

  • Grace

    Mike, did you read the rest of the article?

    In one part of the article it reads, LINK @99 –

    “In 1977, under the pseudonym Richard Bachman, King published “Rage,” a book about a Maine high school senior who kills his algebra teacher and holds the class hostage.

    In subsequent years, numerous school murders occurred around the country with the assailants saying they had gotten the idea directly or loosely from “Rage.”

    King spoke about that in 1999:

  • Grace

    RE: Post 101

    The quote marks, should have included the last sentence which is:

    “King spoke about that in 1999:

  • http://www.saintsandsceptics.org Graham

    There are over 150 types of fire-arms?
    Seriously?
    Wow!

    Why are some more dangerous than others? I mean, they all fire bullets…which is all you need to murder someone.

  • tODD

    Kerner (@92), I appreciate your desire to understand my point. I’ll reply to your summary piece-meal:

    You are not condemning the Second Amendment as such

    Correct. I’m certainly not opposed to all guns. But nor do I agree that the Second Amendment guarantees everyone the right to own all guns. So it depends on whose understanding of the Second Amendment we’re going by. I do think it’s fairly laughable to suggest that the Second Amendment is something like the Constitution’s Self-Destruct Clause, providing for the overthrow of the various powers it sets up.

    …nor are you condemning (as such) the Constitutional system of widely diffused political power

    Well, not for these purposes, at least. Certainly, our system, like any system, has room for improvement. But I happen to think the widely diffused power of ours is, in theory, a good thing.

    But you DO condemn the idea that every individual person should get to decide for himself when government has become “tyrannical” and act on that decision?

    Most definitely. I’d be surprised if anyone didn’t condemn that. How is that not a prescription for anarchy?

    But I guess I’ll see where you’re going with this in a bit…

  • tODD

    Patrick (@84), you said:

    The Constitution is the law of the land and the intent of the 2nd Amendment is clearly interpreted in the writings of the founding fathers.

    The latter part of that claim is certainly debatable. A more accurate statement would be that the Second Amendment is clearly interpreted by the current Supreme Court. Those are the people whose job it is, ultimately, to interpret the Constitution and its amendments. You may have an opinion on the matter (and it may affect whom you vote for, with an ultimate eye towards who may eventually be placed on the Supreme Court), but it is not, nor has it ever been, up to you, personally, to decide what the Constitution means.

    Given conflicting laws (Constitution vs. Proposed new laws) which one am I bound to uphold in light of Romans 13?

    This is a good question, one with, frankly, a more appropriate spirit than some of the others you asked — assuming, of course, that your desire is to properly submit to the governing authorities as you have been commanded to by God. Still, until the governing authorities to whom you are subject (i.e., the Supreme Court) actually determine that a law passed by Congress is actually in conflict with the Constitution, you are bound to follow the law. Because, again, it’s not up to you, personally (or, writ large, each of us as individuals) to decide what the Constitution means for each of us. That’s not how the system works, and that clearly wouldn’t be submission to any authority other than our own personal interpretation.

    Am I obligated to follow any laws proposed by whomever is in power regardless of what the Constitution states?

    This is a popular straw man in response to positions like mine, but, as always, we are not called to submit to the authorities when doing so would violate God’s Law. But still, I worry about the way you’re phrasing it. Once we start thinking in terms of our American rights, we have typically missed the point of what God has prescribed for us. (Just as the Jews at the time of Jesus, asking about their rights with respect to divorce, were really missing the point about how marriage is about submission.)

    Where is the line drawn? Are we just slavish followers of our political leaders, bound to them by an airtight application of Romans 13?

    Really sounds like you’re chafing against the command to “submit” here, sorry. Is it ever a good thing when Christians ask, “Where is the line?” with regards to what they must do? “But how many times must I forgive? Seven?”

    Given that our system allows for dissent, and that those who founded this country urged their posterity to resist overly centralized government (tyranny) how is it ‘rebellion’ when we resist leaders who war against our founding principles?

    It seems to me that you’re deliberately cherry-picking those founding fathers you wish to emphasize, seemingly ignoring the ones who advocated things you don’t like. To say nothing of, you know, the fact that we’re under the Constitution and not the Articles of Confederation. Regardless, if by “resist”, you mean legally resist — petitioning elected authorities, voting, donating money, running for office, etc. — then by all means, do so. However, the context of this discussion, and your earlier comment in particular, suggest that you are, instead, referring to armed rebellion.

    How can a christian member of the US military uphold their oath to ‘defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic’ when defending against ‘domestic enemies of the Constitution’ almost certainly entails overthrowing those administrations that attempt to abolish or circumvent the Constitution?

    It’s gonna be the same answer, but again, it is not the vocation of military members to personally interpret the Constitution, such that they decide whether to obey this or that order, or, indeed, to personally take it upon themselves to assassinate elected authorities based on their personal understanding of the Constitution. Frankly, I’m surprised I have to point that out to a fellow Christian.

  • Cincinnatus

    Todd:

    I’m glad to see you’ve dropped Timothy McVeigh as a plank in your rhetorical strategy. But I’m not sure why you persist in claiming that interpreting the Second Amendment as endorsing resistance to domestic tyranny is a) historically illegitimate and b) a “recipe for anarchy.”

    In fact, this interpretation of the right to bear arms is rooted in the Britain’s “ancient constitution,” recognized by Edward Coke and of which William Blackstone writes:

    “In the three preceding articles we have taken a short view of the principal absolute rights (personal security, personal liberty, private property) which appertain to every Englishman. But in vain would these rights be declared, ascertained, and protected by the dead letter of the laws, if the constitution had provided no other method to secure their actual enjoyment. It has therefore established certain other auxiliary subordinate rights of the subject, which serve principally as outworks or barriers to protect and maintain inviolate the three great and primary rights, of personal security, personal liberty, and private property…To vindicate (the three primary rights), when actually violated or attacked, the subjects of England are entitled, in the first place, to the regular administration and free course of justice in the courts of law; next, to the right of petitioning the king and parliament for redress of grievances; and, lastly, to the right of having and using arms for self–preservation and defense.”

    Joseph Story, commentator on the Constitution and Supreme Court Justice in the early years of the republic, wrote:

    The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons, who have duly reflected upon the subject. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions, domestic insurrections, and domestic usurpations of power by rulers. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace, both from the enormous expenses, with which they are attended, and the facile means, which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers, to subvert the government, or trample upon the rights of the people. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet, though this truth would seem so clear, and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable, it cannot be disguised, that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline, and a strong disposition, from a sense of its burthens, to be rid of all regulations. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization, it is difficult to see. There is certainly no small danger, that indifference may lead to disgust, and disgust to contempt; and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights.

    This view was also maintained by Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton (!), basically all delegates involved in drafting the Bill of Rights, and, most importantly for the current purpose, the Supreme Court in its most recent interpretation of the Second Amendment (the 2nd Amendment to bear arms “intrinsically” applies to “defense against [domestic] tyranny”].

    Of course, the Amendment has also always been interpreted to provide for defense against domestic insurrection. Presumably, since both goals were accepted uncontroversially at the time the Amendment was drafted, the Framers perceived no contradiction, and recognized that a right of resistance is not the same as anarchy or insurrection.

  • kerner

    tODD @104:

    Believe it or not, I’m not trying to go anywhere in particular. Rather, I am trying to find some common ground in our positions. Others, Cin in particular, may care nothing for the Lutheran understanding of Romans 13, but I do. On the other hand, I have come across many Lurtherans who I believe take a simplistic approach to Romans 13. Yet you have begun to convince me that you may not be among them. Now I have to apologize for my bloviating on threads past.

    But I do have to return to a point I have argued before. Whether we approve or not (under Romans 13) of the United States Constitution, or the principles on which it is based, or the revolution that preceded it, Cin is definitely right about one thing. The founding fathers, the people who designed our form of government, definitely did consider private ownership of weapons to be a safeguard against tyranny, and that is, in fact, the reason they put the 2nd Ammendment in the Constitution.

    Which is to say that, we as citizens have been given a certain responsibility to guard against tyranny (not just selfishly, but on behalf of our fellow citizen neighbors), and presumably to take action at some point, extreme though that point may be. But if we don’t decide when to take action as individuals, then how do we do it?

  • Tom Hering

    The NRA will let you know when it’s time, kerner. ;-)

  • tODD

    Cincinnatus (@106), I’ll be honest, I’m just not interested in discussing this topic outside of a Biblical standpoint. And, further to the point, you’ve already made clear that you have no interest in how Romans 13 applies to this issue (cf. “For better or worse, it doesn’t really factor into my political-theoretical analysis.”). I don’t really care what Thomas Jefferson thought, frankly — at least, not as to how Christians should behave.

    Similarly, that the Supreme Court has given its blessing to something does not, ipso facto, make it okay for Christians. Need I cite Roe v. Wade?

    Nonetheless, I am curious about your [curiously edited] assertion that “the 2nd Amendment to bear arms ‘intrinsically’ applies to ‘defense against [domestic] tyranny’.” That appears to be a reference to Heller, but, for some reason, I can’t find those actual words in the text of the decision. Am I missing something? I can find those words in many summaries of Heller, but not in the text itself. I am, again, merely curious about this.

  • tODD

    Also, Cincinnatus, one reason I gave up on talking about Timothy McVeigh with you is that you didn’t seem interested in discussing the actual facts, given that you claimed he was a “clinically deranged, psychopathic mass murderer” (@65). I suppose you know more about the man than did anyone actually involved in his case.

  • Cincinnatus

    Todd@109 and 110:

    1) Outside a Biblical standpoint? How about outside a Christian standpoint, which is a standpoint I hope we share. As I’ve said elsewhere, I think Romans 13 has been wildly overinterpreted and overdetermined by Lutherans, among some other Christians. I think their/your interpretation is uncharacteristically hamfisted and unwilling to consider historical context and other fundamental hermeneutic tools. In short, I find your interpretation to be at least somewhat stifling of discussion, because so often your response is just, “Yes, well, Romans 13, so we can’t do anything.” I’m completely open to critiquing the 2nd Amendment, or a right to resistance, or a right to bear arms. But I’m simply not satisfied by a blunt reference to Romans 13, as if that proves anything. If there’s one thing we should have learned from FWS’s exegeses of scriptural passages pertaining to homosexuality, merely naming a Bible verse usually serves to complicate rather than simplify matters.

    And hey, maybe I am compromising my faith. I just can’t accept a political theory that doesn’t provide space for resistance. But merely saying “Romans 13!” and “blah blah God-appointed rulers” doesn’t prove that I am, indeed, an infidel.

    2) Oops, I shouldn’t have included the quotations as they are not, indeed, a direct quote from the case. Anyway, Scalia refers explicitly to the right to resist domestic tyranny somewhere in the Heller decision. But you’re not interesting in discussion the Supreme Court (a God-appointed authority…?), so moving on…

    3) Timothy McVeigh, which I find it shocking that I need to remind you, slaughtered almost 200 unarmed, unsuspecting civilians. In my opinion, that makes him deranged and psychopathic, or at least sociopathic. If I you don’t agree, then that might explain your inability to differentiate his actions from those of legitimate resistors of tyranny (if, indeed, they exist). Perhaps you’re objecting specifically to the word “clinical,” in which case I can’t be bothered to research whether McVeigh was actually clincally diagnosed or not. Most commentators speculate that he suffered from some combination of paranoia, anti-social disorder, and PTSD. But if you don’t buy such speculations just drop the word “clinical” from my formulation. The point is that he was a sociopath, not a paradigmatic case of 2nd-Amendment sanctioned resistance.

  • tODD

    Kerner (@107), oh, don’t apologize just yet. I’m sure I’ll disappoint you yet. ;)

    The founding fathers, the people who designed our form of government, definitely did consider private ownership of weapons to be a safeguard against tyranny… Which is to say that, we as citizens have been given a certain responsibility to guard against tyranny…

    There’s some faulty logic there. What the founding fathers believed does not tell us what our responsibilities are, as such. They might coincide, they might not, but our responsibilities are spelled out in God’s Law. Given that all governments are run by sinful men, it should not surprise us when a political system is based on assumptions or produces effects contrary to God’s Law.

    So no, we can no more argue that we “have to” rebel because the founding fathers thought it was a good idea than we could say we “have to” support federally legalized, elective abortions (because, according to the Supreme Court, the founding fathers also thought that was a good idea, too).

    …not just selfishly, but on behalf of our fellow citizen neighbors…

    Thank you for phrasing this in terms of someone other than the self! Yes! Love for neighbor! You don’t really hear much about that in all the talk about “me and my guns”, do you? Sure, a selfish person can, as always, attempt to frame their selfishness as being about someone else.

    But when we think of this in terms of our neighbor, there won’t be quite so much bravado and fist-shaking, will there? When our neighbor is truly threatened, then we may be forced to pick between differing principles, it’s true, much as when a pregnancy threatens the life of both the mother and the baby. But still, it’s clear that an abortion in such circumstances is not something one brags about, much less couches in terms of “rights”. So it should be here.

  • tODD

    Cincinnatus (@111), you said:

    Outside a Biblical standpoint? How about outside a Christian standpoint, which is a standpoint I hope we share.

    Of course, I am not questioning your faith. I trust, based on your confession, that you are a Christian.

    But your attempt to create a dichotomy between a “Biblical standpoint” and a “Christian one” confuses me. It should come as no surprise to you that, though I do not doubt your faith, yet we are not in fellowship. Quite simply, we do not agree on things — quite a lot of things, and quite a lot of them important. One of which, per your own confession, is the relevance of scriptural commandments on government to one’s own political beliefs. As I read your comments, you just don’t seem to care. Not a lot of common ground, theologically, is going to come out of our disparate stances here. Sorry.

    I think their/your interpretation is uncharacteristically hamfisted and unwilling to consider historical context

    Sorry, had to laugh at that last bit. For one thing, Romans 13 itself makes no allusions to historical context — there’s certainly nothing conditional in the text. But even so, if you consider what was very likely the historical context in which it was written, then your interpretation is all the more questionable. Because the Roman system at the time of Paul’s writing was almost certainly vastly more tyrannical than the one we face today, or even which the founding fathers found themselves struggling against! Perhaps the people who lived in Rome at the time, to whom he was writing, had the best insight into this fact. Historical context, indeed!

  • Grace

    Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.

    Acts 5:29

    Governments often times demand we do things which go against Scripture, we are seeing this today regarding those men and women who are doctors, being made to accommodate those who demand abortions. Should they go along with this because our leaders have made it law? Does the Bible tell us to do that? NO, it tells us to obey GOD rather than men. This is where the text in Romans 13:1-7 becomes confusing and often times used as an argument for ALL Believers to follow government/leaders who advocate evil, which is contrary to Scripture.   IF   a Believer took this course of action he would most certainly not be obeying GOD but obeying men who often times demand and legislate laws which are clearly against Scripture.

    How then would you answer the problem that existed in the 30′s when Hitler decided to exterminate the Jews, should all the Believers have gone along with this mad man, joining forces to round up the Jewish people, and send them to the camps?

    1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

    2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.

    3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:

    4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

    5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.

    6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.

    7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.

    Romans 13

            WHO DO WE HONOR? WHO DO WE FEAR?

        What happens if these official leaders/rulers no longer follow GOD?   They aren’t serving GOD, they are doing whatever they like, even to the point of supporting the slaughter of unborn infants (ABORTION) to name just one. As in verse 6 they are ministers of GOD, however IF they have turned from GOD, if what they advocate is in direct contradiction to the Word of GOD we must OBEY GOD, not men.

  • Cincinnatus

    Todd,

    I’m not distinguishing a Biblical standpoint from a Christian standpoint so much as I’m taking issue with your uncharacteristically Biblicized (Bibliolatrous?) standpoint: you’re prooftexting with all the bluntness of the Appalachian Baptists I grew up with! You seem to think–in fine Luther-an fashion–that Biblical interpretation is an individual affair that does not occur within a continuous but continually evolving narrative, authoritative tradition.

    In any case, now you add some historical context, apparently confident that yours is the only historically satisfactory reading. It’s not. Common–in my denomination and circles, among others–is the understanding that Romans 13 is a) more akin to dicta from Paul–and certainly not the only example of such dicta–rather than a transhistorical command equivalent to, say, one of Christ’s own commands and b) circumstantially sensitive. By b), I mean this: Much as Jesus had no use at the time for Jewish insurrectionists, Paul is concerned that the fragile Christian community in Rome is spending too much time rabble-rousing in pursuit of political ends rather than advancing the new cause of Christ–rather than making new disciples. Such rabble-rousing was more likely to inspire persecution which might eliminate the entire church. If there is a time for civil resistance, Paul says, it is not now.

    Many interpreters today argue, in effect, that “times have changed.” In a widely Christian culture whose governing institutions are premised on the very idea of rebellion and resistance, it doesn’t make sense to foreclose resistance altogether. Paul’s words to Rome don’t necessarily help us today, in a country where “God-appointed authorities” are so difficult to discern. In fact, as we’ve discussed here, those authorities could be us! Or they could be a document! And so on.

    Yes, yes, it’s nearly identical logic that has led my own denomination to endorse the ordaining of women. So take it or leave it. But don’t pretend that my interpretation is extremist or heretical.

    Finally, references to the horrors of the Roman system no longer have much credence. Most theologians rightly abandoned that line of argument after the events of the twentieth century. Maybe we’re allowing too much “us” into our hermeneutics, but a common understanding seems to be that it’s a moral travesty to suggest that Christians can’t licitly revolt against, say, Stalin, Hitler, or Pol-pot simply because Roman Christians were living under an evil dictator as well.

    Also, it’s odd to me that you suggest that we’re “out of fellowship” based on my reading of Romans 13. Since when is Romans 13 an essential doctrine over which we break fellowship?

  • tODD

    Cincinnatus (@115),

    you’re prooftexting with all the bluntness of the Appalachian Baptists I grew up with!

    Yay! Ad hominem!

    Many interpreters today argue, in effect, that “times have changed.” … Most theologians rightly abandoned that line of argument… a common understanding seems to be…

    Hooray, argumentum ad populum? Or perhaps appeal to authority? A little from Column A, a little from Column B?

    Also, it’s odd to me that you suggest that we’re “out of fellowship” based on my reading of Romans 13. Since when is Romans 13 an essential doctrine over which we break fellowship?

    Even this question is an excellent example of why we are not in fellowship. Because you think that fellowship is predicated solely on agreement on “essential doctrines”. And guess who gets to pick which doctrines are essential or not.

    I think it’s so funny that you spend so much time highlighting the obvious differences in our theologies, and then blanche at my suggestion that we have differing theologies. I mean, come on, we don’t even agree whether a non-contextualized commandment in the Bible is “essential” or not. Just own up to the difference.

    I mean, how do you go from this:

    Feel free to label me a heretic–I won’t be offended–but I’m frankly not interested in a discussion of Romans 13.

    …to this?

    So take it or leave it. But don’t pretend that my interpretation is extremist or heretical.

    I respected your first stance. You at least had the chutzpah to recognize that your position might be contrary to Scripture. No longer, I guess. Now you’re upset if I say so. (Or would it offend you less if I only called you “mildly heretical”?)

    Come on. We disagree. Not as to opinion, but as to the meaning of Scripture. And your comment is loaded with appeals to authorities or populums I have intentionally distanced myself from by establishing fellowship with my church. At least recognize that. We are not of the same spirit.

  • tODD

    Apparently, I mean to say (@116) “blanch”.

  • Steve Bauer

    It’s just that it isn’t only Paul telling Christians not to resist the governing authorites. It’s Peter. It’s Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount, “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” (Matt 5:39) That’s about as trans-historical as you can get.

  • tODD

    Steve (@118), you’re proof-texting even more! Perhaps you could quote more from modern theologians and less from Scripture?

  • Cincinnatus

    Todd,

    Come on. How is that an ad hominem? I accused you of prooftexting–a charge of which I think you’re still guilty. In that, you resemble Appalachian Baptists. Your resemblance to my Biblicist brethren isn’t itself an indictment of your argument (and thus isn’t ad hominem); it’s just a fact: your rejoinder in most of our discussions of civil resistance has been a rather blunt, “But Romans 13!” Since then, in your discussions with kerner, you’ve elaborated your comments a bit. In the meantime, your argument is identical to the hamfisted prooftexting of nondenominational Baptists. Own it.

    And how is that an appeal to authority or an argumentum ad populum? My reference to my denomination, to the sorts of theologians and philosophers I read, etc., isn’t to bang you over the head with my “intelligence” (or, rather, theirs) and claim that their interpretation is correct because they’re authoritative. My only aim is to point out that there are plenty of people–Christian people, actually–who strongly dispute your interpretation of Romans 13. That is to say, you shouldn’t read “Post-Hitler, many theologians no longer see the value in a literalist interpretation of Romans 13″ to say “…and therefore they are right, because they are theologians.” You should rather read, “There is a robust tradition of scriptural interpretation that concludes that previous interpretations of Romans 13 are inadequate.” That’s just a fact, but not a normative injunction. It’s something we ought to think about, instead of immediately suggesting comparisons with Timothy McVeigh. I’m guilty of no fallacy. Please learn the actual nuanced meaning of these fallacies before using them as accusations to shut down debate.

    Finally, it seems you might be one of the only Christians on the planet (uh-oh! argumentum ad populum?!) that doesn’t make a distinction between essential and non-essential doctrines (remember Augustine? “In essentials, unity; in non-essentials liberty; in all things charity.”) Rabid fundamentalists, by definition, make such distinctions. So do liberal Christians. And so, in fact, have most orthodox congregations since the origins of the formal religion. We call them creeds and confessions. In my denomination, anyway, your status as a believing, orthodox Christian is determined by your adherence to the Nicene Creed (in particular), but also the body of doctrine contained implicitly in the Book of Common Prayer. Among those doctrines is not my interpretation of Romans 13. Or, for example, my thoughts on the KJV, etc. My belief in the atoning work of Christ or the trinitarian Godhead is essential. Presumably this is not the case with Lutherans?

    Perhaps it is not the case with Lutherans, but the point is that you should not blanche at the idea that there are, in fact, distinctions to be made between essential doctrines, about which interpretation is not permitted or acceptable, and non-essential doctrines, which do admit of varying interpretations without justifying charges of heresy.

    Which leads to my final point: I’m not being anti-scriptural, as your own comment suggests in its equivocation. I have an interpretation of Romans 13; you have an interpretation of Romans 13. It’s not as if I–or others who share my interpretation say this: “Yes, we know Romans 13 clearly says X, but we’re going to ignore X and do Y anyway.” No, in fact I think that Romans 13 actually says Y when interpreted in a way I think proper and rigorous.

    If you don’t want to discuss this, Todd, then fine. But stop wasting everyone’s time with pre-debate pedantry. We’ve already spent hundreds of words debating the reasons we can’t debate–when, really, I think we can, if you’d lose the zeal of a college freshman who just took a course in introductory logic (but earned only a C).

  • Cincinnatus

    Steve Bauer@118,

    Now that’s the stuff. While Todd is cackling about your supposed coup of my argument, I’d like to challenge your interpretation of the Sermon on the Mount:

    If your reading is sound, then it would seem that politics (at whatever scale) as a vocation is itself illegitimate. After all, politics is, essentially, conflict. By your reading, could I participate in a mass demonstration against abortion? Could I write a scathing letter to the editor against a corrupt politician? Could I run for office and take part in a vigorous debate against my opponent? Can we speak of opponents? Could I hide Jews in my cellar if the Gestapo came knocking? Or is your reading only “physical”? If that’s the case, could I defend myself against a mugger? Could I shoot a man raping my wife or strangling my child? Could I dodge the draft to avoid killing civilians in an unjust war?

    In other words, what are the implications of your reading? Were the radical Christian pacifists right all along? If so, Todd also has a lot to answer for!

  • dust

    So what’s the difference between “over-throwing” or “resisting” an authority all at once by any means necessary, including force, versus “over-throwing” it one step at a time, via the ballot box and changing it’s leaders and/or it laws, up to and including it’s constitution?

    Am probably naive about all this, but seems like if you are going to say “let’s just accept the government that we have, regardless” and under any circumstance, because “it’s God’s will that we not resist it” then how could you be comfortable changing it with referendums or electing pols that pass laws that are more to your liking? Ultimately, how could law abiding, God fearing, resistance resistant believers live in a democracy? How could they in good conscience vote to change anything, if that vote could be seen as resistance to the status quo?

    Perhaps democracy itself is not a biblical thing? Was that the kind of government in Paul’s time? Did regular everyday people have much of a voice in those days, or is this some evil invention of modern times? Rome had senators, so it sounds like perhaps a democracy, but it had slavery too, and someone had to resist that at some time. Jolly good for them, right?

    Of course you can say, but that’s the government we have, it has built into it these mechanisms for change and we are simply following our government’s laws. So we are being good boys and girls by following the rules our government has set up for us, which includes incremental change via the ballot box, etc. but no more than that! In other words, a certain abstract kind of resistance is ok, very genteel and polite via a ballot, but not an in your face, riots in the street kind perhaps?

    Well but that government you find yourselves living under, was founded under the very circumstances you now are against. That is, it had a revolution against a tyrannical government. That’s not a good thing according to Romans 13, as i understand a certain groups interpretation of it? Wouldn’t that be enough to disqualify and/or corrupt the entire enterprise? How could anyone with a good conscience be a part of such a corrupt system, founded under such evil motivations and forceful resistance to boot? Oh my!

    But also, the same government that allows change to it by the ballot box, etc. also has a “bill of rights” that guarantees further protections for the citizen as expressed in the 2nd Amendment. And if it guarantees the right to bear arms, wouldn’t it be against the wishes of Romans 13, to be against it?

    After all, we do not want to resist our leaders, for that is what the Bible tells us, but wait, our leaders gave us a mechanism to resist them and if we did not resist, that would be resistance too, so guess it’s ok. But wait, it’s a government founded under violation of Romans 13, so now what?

    Gee, curiouser and curiouser cried Alice…am sure anyone can spin this ball o yarn to just about to any desired conclusion that suits their purpose?

    And in any case, same as it ever was, this side of the KINGdom, the result will follow the golden rule…he who has the gold, makes the rules :)

    cheers!

  • Cincinnatus

    Dust,

    Every government is founded under violation of [Todd's reading of] Romans 13. As Plato observes, every founding is violent and, by definition, illegitimate.

    Todd’s reading of Romans 13 is also radically elitist: when can we change our God-appointed rulers and rules? Only when the God-appointed rulers say so. Protests and referenda are acceptable now, because our God-appointed rulers say they are. But if those rulers passed a law prohibiting protests, we would of course have to submit.

    One might wonder where these God-appointed authorities come from in the first place. If one gets too curious, one might discover that it would be, in most cases, ethically impossible for a Christian to become a God-appointed ruler. I mean, Todd has the luxury of noting that our system allows Christians to participate lawfully. But otherwise it’s a call to quietism.

  • Grace

    Being submissive to evil is not Biblical. Instead we are to:

    11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
    12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
    13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
    Ephesians 6

    Paul appealed to Caesar – For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar. Acts 25:11

    Paul a Roman citizen, who preached the gospel took advantage of the law, he took advantage of the law to defend himself. Just as Paul took advantage of the law, so can we as Believers. When our leaders, (who have been voted into office) rule over us in an ungodly manner, we have every right to oppose their evil ways.

  • tODD

    Of course, to appeal to Caesar (@124), is, by definition, to submit to his authority, not to rebel against it.

  • dust

    Grace at 124….yes, we have that right under our constitution. It would be against God’s will NOT to resist :)

    cheers!

  • Grace

    Hi Dust,

    The passage of Scripture which comes to mind is this:

    21 Art thou called being a servant? care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.

    22 For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord’s freeman: likewise also he that is called, being free, is Christ’s servant.

    23 Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.

    24 Brethren, let every man, wherein he is called, therein abide with God.
    1 Corinthians 7

    All too often man believes he is to obey a man which is evil, we aren’t called to be the servants of evil men.

  • dust

    One thing that strikes me as quite ironic, at the least, if my observation is correct (but most likely it is not, as usual!) is that, on the surface, it seems that certain Lutherans appear to place secular authorities on a higher pedestal than Church authority? In this sense, that it is ok to question the church authority and change it if you think that’s right, but not a secular authority?

    It seems that the very beginning of the Lutheran church had a lot to do with overcoming the authority of the Pope, a reformation actually, and am pretty sure Luther himself said something along the lines that he had to do it because to do otherwise would go against his conscience or the will of his God, as he see it (please don’t get picky about this, you should get the general idea) and he had no choice….you know, here i stand and all that?

    The modern Lutherans (on this blog for sure) have no problem re-interpreting certain scriptures so that they are more in line with philosophy and enlightenment of modern society, in many cases in ways that clearly don’t resemble teaching and writing of their Church Fathers. So one gets the impression, it’s ok NOT to submit to the Church authorities, when it goes against your conscience or is convenient for your modern purpose, or just your peace of mind? At least seems that way to me.

    But when it comes to the authority of the secular government, it’s the opposite approach. Submit and humble yourselves before the mighty leaders God himself has put in power over you and your lives. The attitude is to be quiet (good word Cincinnatus!) and any thought of resistance or rebellion is contrary to God’s word?

    So, it seems that authority trumps biblical authority? Go ahead and re-interpret the Bible all you want, it’s your right, but don’t mess with secular governments, that will bring down God’s wrath!

    Well, that’s how it seems to me. Am sure there are some very well educated (note, not necessarily bright!) theologians who can spin this irony into something that suits their purpose. can almost imagine the line of reasoning…..well, the church is more important, as it binds our conscience so we have a duty to make sure it’s correct, even if it means appearing to be anti-authoritarian. after all, souls are at stake. And there is truth to that, for sure! But the secular government is temporary and transient and not worth our efforts, which would be better spent doing God’s will elsewhere?

    Problem is to me it seems, if the Government is corrupt and outlaws religion or allows only certain government approved ones, then there will be lots of lost souls too, so don’t the two go hand in hand? But if that happened, since it’s secular by definition, that would be God’s will and we should not interfere with it, as He knows best. Apparently, so do you, since you get to interpret the Bible and come out with God’s will just how you want it and how it advantages you?

    Again, there is truth in that we cannot interfere with God’s will, too, but it just seems to be somewhat ironical from my uninformed perspective and leads me to my uncomfortable observation.

    But, thanks be to God, who has solved the problem by giving us a government that allows us to disagree with it and change it :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    Grace….to paraphrase a reply to one of your comments:

    “Of course, to appeal to “The US Constitution”, is, by definition, to submit to “it’s” authority, not to rebel against it.”

    So go ahead and submit….and rebel “boldly” if you will :)

    cheers!

  • Grace

    Dust

    I appreciate your post, it is very insightful.

    Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
    Acts 5:29

    You also made a statement:

    “Problem is to me it seems, if the Government is corrupt and outlaws religion or allows only certain government approved ones, then there will be lots of lost souls too, so don’t the two go hand in hand? But if that happened, since it’s secular by definition, that would be God’s will and we should not interfere with it, as He knows best. Apparently, so do you, since you get to interpret the Bible and come out with God’s will just how you want it and how it advantages you?

    This advantage has certainly been used in the past regarding other countries, who have laid down laws, demanding their citizens follow their unGodly ways.

    Thanks Dust :)

  • kerner

    tODD @112:

    Well, I AM a little disappointed that you did not answer my question but instead tried to deflect it by questioning my logic. ;)

    You said:
    There’s some faulty logic there. What the founding fathers believed does not tell us what our responsibilities are, as such. They might coincide, they might not, but our responsibilities are spelled out in God’s Law. Given that all governments are run by sinful men, it should not surprise us when a political system is based on assumptions or produces effects contrary to God’s Law.

    Wait a minute. Doesn’t Romans 13 clearly state:
    v.1 “for there is no authority except that which God has established…” and
    v.4 “the one in authority is God’s servant for your good…”

    Does not the Defense of the Augsburg Confession clearly declare:

    Art.XVI:53 “… legitimate civil ordinances are good creatures of God and divine ordinances, which a Christian can use with safety.”

    And is not the 2nd Amendment a “legitimate civil ordiance”, and therefore a “good creature of God and a divine ordinance, which a Christian can use with safety”?

    And if the purpose of the 2nd Amendment is for individual citizens to act as an armed check on against the government becoming a tyranny (and this is undeniably the intent of the people who wrote this particular legitimate civil ordinance), then do not we, you and I and all citizens, have not only the right, but the duty to our neighbors, to take this responsiblity seriously and be prepared to at some point (extreme though that point may be) take action?

    One thing I have been trying to do is to set aside as much of the offensive rhetoric that has been woven into this issue, and look at our circumstances and how God’s Word applies to them. And in the sense that they were writing a “legitimate civil ordinance” what the founding fathers thought while they were writing the 2nd Amendment is of very great importance indeed, because this particular “legitimate civil ordinance” defines our rights, duties and “authority” (Romans 13) as armed citizens in our form of government.

    I could be mistaken, but I still think you don’t want to address the question of how an armed citizen is to decide how and when to use his authority, because you are very uncomfortable with the idea of an armed citizen having that kind of authority at all. I don’t question your motives, but I do ask you to be careful. You are quite right to warn supporters of the 2nd Amendment that they may be dressing up their personal desires for authority in Scripture. Be careful that your own desire to NOT have authority (authority that I believe you have, like it or not) does not lead you to make that same mistake.

  • Cincinnatus

    A question for kerner and/or Todd: what is a “legitimate” civil ordinance? That is, what is meant by “legitimate” here? Are there varying interpretations within the Lutheran tradition?

    If so, it’s quite possible that I’m in full agreement with the Augsburg Confession on this point.

  • kerner

    Cin:
    In answer to your questions @132, but also @121, the Lutheran Confessions denounce both pacifism and political passivity. And in support of that statement I submit Defense of The Augsburg Confession, Article XVI (Political order)

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/defense_15_politicalorder.php

    And Luther’s Large Catechism on the 4th Commandment discusses authority in general along with parental authority (beginning about paragraph 141 through 179)

    http://www.bookofconcord.org/lc-3-tencommandments.php

    One thing that I find significant in the defense of the Augsburg Confession is here at sub-part 59-60

    “Therefore private redress is prohibited not by advice, but by a command, Matt. 5:39; Rom. 12:19. Public redress, which is made through the office of the magistrate, is not advised against, but is commanded, and is a work of God, according to Paul, Rom. 13:1 sqq. Now the different kinds of public redress are legal decisions, 60] capital punishment, wars, military service.” (emphasis mine)

    In my opinion, this is a distinction between private rebellion against authority generally, versus an organized and even violent attempt to change government by force of arms. I believe that it is at least arguable that Lexington through Yorktown, as well as Ft. Sumpter through Appomatox, were public redress (wars) as opposed to private redress (assassination, rebellion), because the combatants organized themselves into an alternative government and fought it out in a public way. This is also, incidently, what Lutherans supported when they encouraged the Lutheran princes to militarily resist the Holy Roman Emperor. But I am opening a whole new discussion here.

    I am not sure that I have shed much light on what constitutes a “legitimate civil ordinance”, and I have to think that through a little more. But these are the passages that I am aware of in the Lutheran Confessions that touch most directly on civil government and a Christian’s place in it, and its responsibility to its citizens.

  • DonS

    The meaning of the 2nd Amendment is not, at least in my view, to give each one of us an individual right to, at some particular individual breaking point, take up arms against the government. The 2nd Amendment was a response to the Constitutional authority given to the federal government to raise an army to provide for the national defense. The framers wanted to ensure that the existing right to bear arms would never be infringed in any way by the federal government as a result of this new power, or any of the other powers granted to the federal government under the Constitution. An example of the reason for their concern was state and local militias. The citizens needed to retain their arms so that, for example, states could maintain a militia, separate from the federal armies, for repelling invaders, protecting state interests, and, arguably, putting down the federal government if it abused its power and threatened states rights. Of course, the federal government won that battle when seceding states put it to the test during the Civil War. This prohibition on the federal government from concentrating power in itself by restricting arms was extended to and applied to the states by the 14th Amendment, as were all other bill of rights amendments, after the Civil War.

    So, the check on this armed rebellion, in my view, is that it involve a substantial number of the citizens, organized as a militia, by one or more states. This view lessens the Romans 13 concern that is being debated here, and I think reflects a historical view of the purpose of the 2nd Amendment. On the other hand, the notion that it is OK to restrict military-grade weapons, when the apparent purpose of the amendment was to ensure the ability to raise a militia, is suspect, to say the least.

  • dust

    My post 129 to rebel “boldly” was to be sort of a parody on the very Lutheran quote to sin “boldly” by Luther himself, but it got me thinking…..why is it that there appears to be very little concern about consequences of certain sins (specifically the ones we should do “boldly”) but when it comes to a sin against the interpretation of Romans 13 to obey our secular governments and be good obedient little boys and girls, and in the case being discussed now, to rebel, then that casual and carefree attitude about being “bold” flies out the window….feathers and all to paraphrase yet another so-called Lutheran quote :)

    cheers!

  • dust

    Kerner at 133…that’s good, thanks! Very much like the distinction between “private” (ala McVeigh) vs. public redress. Since there is “safety in numbers” in a democratic form of government in particular, if there are enough folks who think there is “something rotten in Denmark” (for example) then it increases the chance that that there may be something rotten indeed…as well as increases the chance they may be able to do something about it :)

    cheers!


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