“Fellow Christians who are serious about their faith should think about getting a handgun permit,” Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey in Response to Umpqua Community College shootings.
The Bill of Rights, the idyllic title assigned to the first 10 Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, is what most Americans lean on when it comes to truly defining what it means to be an American. Of these first 10 Amendments, however, most Americans could probably only name three. The three most talked about amendments being the First Amendment (the freedom of speech and religion, etc.), the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms…), and the Fifth Amendment (what gangsters plead when they’re on the witness stand in movies).
Of these famous three, no amendment is more hotly debated and discussed and used as a political divide than the Second Amendment, the right to bear arms. With the rise in mass shootings but a decline in gun violence in most of the United States, the right to bear arms has constantly been a topic of political discussion. Its relevance in today’s society, what the specific phrasing and word choice of the amendment contains, and the Founding Fathers’ actual intent for the use of the amendment are all constantly argued over time and time again.
For the right, protecting the Second Amendment rights of Americans means having access to guns should there be a need, whether to protect themselves from personal danger or tyranny. For the left, the Second Amendment served its purpose in its time, but now it only serves as a political crutch for the Republicans on behalf of the NRA and its pre-Civil War values.
For one Lieutenant Governor, the Second Amendment isn’t just political, it’s religious. Ron Ramsey, the Republican Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee, responded to the tragic shooting at
Umpqua Community College and the gunman’s targeting of Christian students by writing in a lengthy public Facebook post that “Fellow Christians who are serious about their faith should think about getting a handgun permit,” The Washington Post reported.
Ramsey went on to say that “Whether the perpetrators are motivated by aggressive secularism, jihadist extremism, racial supremacy, their targets remain the same: Christians and defenders of the West. While this is not the time for widespread panic, it is a time to prepare. Our enemies are armed. We must do likewise.”
Many responded to Ramsey’s post in the news and social media spheres, ranging on both sides of the issue. But one evangelist has taking up the opposing banner, and once and for all declaring that pro-life means anti-gun. As the Washington Post reported, Rev. Rob Schenk, who has led many antiabortion protests, said in a new documentary called The Armor of Light, “I’ll be very candid, I haven’t felt that it’s our issue, until we end up kneeling in prayer, outside the Navy Yard gates in my neighborhood where my apartment building was in lockdown. So suddenly it goes from theoretical to very realistic.”
— Lark McMillan (@larkmcmillan) October 2, 2015
On Monday, Schenk responded directly to Lt. Gov. Ramsey’s statements on Christians getting guns for protection by saying, “When we say, ‘Nobody will ever take my life, I’ll take theirs,’ it contradicts the Christian life and message. He [Ramsey] is not qualified to issue such a challenge to his fellow Christians. It’s bad advice.”
It seems like Ramsey could learn a thing or two about separating western, American ideals and Christian ones.