I had occassion to attend the NRA convention in Phoenix last weekend, and what a class act that was. Incredibly polite children learning tips at the air rifle range, manicured displays of pistols, shotguns, and rifles of every configuration...most right out there where you could pick them up. Know what? I didn't see one nasty sign or hear one voice raised in anger. And I read that large numbers of the attendees were legally "packing heat." So let's look at this topic.
The most famous Right of the people is the 1st Amendment, an acknowlegement that we possess the right of free speech, assembly, press, petitioning the government, and practicing religion. Now keep in mind the founding fathers did NOT say the government grants these rights, but rather it acknowleges these rights are inherant in human beings. One of the most infamous (to many people) is ironically the 2nd Amendment, which I'll quote here: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed." Many people would suggest that unless you belong to the militia (which they think means the National Guard), you should not own guns. That's historically disingenuous, since the militia in Revolutionary times meant all able-bodied males from 17-45 who are NOT in the armed forces.
Others suggest guns are O.K. for hunting, but not otherwise. GONG! Not according to our founding fathers, who assumed hunting was a given, for as young a chap as could swing a longarm and bring home dinner. Arms are for defending the rest of our rights, thank you very much. Still others may say, that's all fine and dandy, but "What would Jesus do?" Here's one response (in the Gospel of Luke): And He said to them, "But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one."
So, although we should trust in God alone, we do not throw away those rights He endowed us with, rights the U.S. Constitution recognizes. Today we hear much in the news about whether the U.S. should restrict the rights of its citizens to benefit other countries, and other such nonsense. Jesus was a leader, not a follower, and to maintain our rights and live freely, neither should we follow the whims of other nations. Here's a little blast from the recent past...
Too Young To Hunt? By John Hay Rabb, Posted: 10-08-05
... the Humane Society of the U.S. and the rest of the antihunting community argue that youths under age 18 are not mature enough to hunt safely with a firearm. Never mind that millions of 16-year-olds are handed driver's licenses each year. Tragically, thousands of these youthful drivers are killed or seriously injured before their 18th birthdays. By contrast, there were only 89 hunting fatalities in 2002. Of these, 29 involved hunters less than 12 years old.
Celebrity animal rights activist Mary Tyler Moore recently excoriated state fish and game officials for allowing young people to hunt so that license revenues would increase. "The government should not be in the role of promoting and placing firearms in the hands of children," she said. "Basketball, baseball and books are much better alternatives."
...According to the National Sporting Goods Association, there are almost 18 million active hunters in the U.S. As a participatory sport, hunting ranks higher than baseball, soccer, softball, tennis or volleyball. Hunting is also safer than some other popular sports. The National Safety Council reported that in 1995 there were 1,700 swimming-related fatalities and 836 boating-related fatalities. In the same year there were only 87 hunting-related deaths.
By seeking to limit hunting to those individuals who are at least 18 years of age, the animal rights movement has carefully planned the ultimate demise of hunting in America. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Sporting Goods Manufacturing Association, 80 percent of all first-time hunting experiences occur between the ages of 6 and 15. There is only a brief window of opportunity to interest young men and women in hunting. After about age 12, young people are increasingly drawn to computer games, cars and the opposite sex.
...But if hunting must wait until a child reaches age 18, then parents may see little reason to buy guns for their children. Taken to its logical extreme, interest in firearms could virtually disappear in the next generation. For the coercive utopians this would constitute a victory beyond their wildest imagination
In reality, the HSUS will never persuade a majority of congressmen and state legislators to go along with its hare-brained scheme to increase the minimum hunting age to 18. But in politics, sometimes you win by losing. Even after its plan crashes and burns, the HSUS will derive solace from the knowledge that it has put its issue on the radar screen. The organization needs only keep its powder dry until the next congressional and state legislative sessions begin.
The most important responsibility for today's hunter is to train his replacement. He must pass along his love of hunting to the next generation. ...
Indeed, we must train our "replacements" and pass along our love of Christ as well. This is a most important responsibility if they are to remain free: in body, soul, and spirit.