By L.A. Williams
Christian Action League
February 21, 2020
Firearms fanatics, gun control extremists, and plenty of concerned citizens whose views land somewhere in between all seemed to have their sights set on Virginia this year, where Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam and a new blue legislature promised sweeping changes in gun laws.
A crowd of 22,000 rallied in Richmond on Jan. 20 to show their support for gun rights, and Northam’s plan to weaken them seems less sure after a bill that would have banned the sale of certain assault-style weapons wound up tabled this week.
Nonetheless, the issue remains contentious in the Commonwealth with seven more gun control bills awaiting action in the Senate. Meanwhile, many gun owners across the nation are bracing for legal battles and urging county leaders to declare their jurisdictions “Second Amendment sanctuaries.” As of Friday, at least 63 of North Carolina’s 100 counties had adopted Second Amendment sanctuary or similar resolutions.
The county-level votes are considered to be mostly symbolic, but significant nonetheless as citizens and their local officials make clear their intent to take whatever actions are necessary to defend their rights under the Constitution.
“Self-defense is a God-given right,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “Therefore, laws should guarantee that citizens may bear arms consistent with the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.”
He said that studies have shown that when private citizens possess the right to own guns for self-defense, there is less violent crime.
“The right to bear arms is also effective protection against the threat of governmental tyranny,” Creech added.
“I have heard some clergy quote Jesus’ words from Matthew 5:38-39, “do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also,” as a proof-text against self-defense,” continued Creech. “But the point of Jesus’ words were not to prohibit self-defense, but to prevent ‘personal vengeance.’ He was calling on us to resist that baser instinct to ‘get even’ with someone, but instead, leave such matters to God. The idea an assailant is about to seriously injure you or even kill you is not in the picture. Such words from our Lord are not meant to be absolute commands for all situations. Otherwise, we would, in every case, have to obey Christ’s similar command, ‘Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you’ (Matthew 5:42). If you take Christ’s words in that text as an absolute for every situation, then you’ll likely end up bankrupt. I think its wrong-headed beliefs here about what Christ said which put people in danger. Guns are equalizers, and although they are meant for killing, the result is not always death, sometimes they disable and wound so that an attack is thwarted, and the criminal recovers and faces trial. Leftists politicians and clergy who use Christ’s words or the Bible to tout gun control laws lack context and violate basic rules of hermeneutics in their interpretations.”
Even before the gun control push and resulting rally in Virginia, many Tar Heel gun owners were feeling threatened by Gov. Roy Cooper’s actions last summer.
The state’s highest elected official signed an executive order strengthening background checks for gun buyers in August. He also called on state lawmakers to take action on one bill that would have banned certain large-capacity magazines and the sale of certain weapons to people younger than 21 and another that would let family members or police ask a court to restrict someone’s access to guns if there’s evidence that person poses a danger. The Republican-led state legislature did not take up the proposals, although that doesn’t mean that they won’t come up again.
In fact, gun control advocates are ensuring that the issue remains top of mind. The Everytown for Gun Safety PAC that poured some $2.5 million into Virginia last year plans to spend at least $250,000 in North Carolina this year, according to media reports.
Everytown is primarily financed by Democratic presidential candidate and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg.
“This is the reality of politics, that North Carolina often becomes the target of outside groups who swoop in and buy influence. Residents need to remain vigilant and informed,” said Rev. Creech. “We strongly encourage those who support the Second Amendment to do so actively, so that rights are not chipped away bit by bit. I do not believe it is hyperbole to say that nefarious forces work behind the scenes, even deceptively with well-meaning people, to completely disarm us that they might rob, steal, and destroy our nation.”