SBC leader supports gun ownershipcomment (0)
December 21, 2012
Gun ownership and using lethal violence to save lives are applications of the Golden Rule, Southern Baptists’ top leader on moral and ethical concerns said Dec. 19 on National Public Radio (NPR).
Asked on NPR’s All Things Considered program about the New Testament justification for owning firearms, Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, replied: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Love your neighbor as yourself.”
“If you see your neighbor being attacked, if you see your neighbor in danger, you have an obligation and a responsibility to do what you can to protect them,” Land said.
Land acknowledged that as a Christian he has a responsibility to turn the other cheek.
“I think I do, personally, but the difference between personal and defending others, you know, it's the justification that's used for soldiers and others and police officers, and I think for private citizens as well,” he said.
“If I find that someone is trying to do harm to someone else, I believe that I have a moral and Christian obligation to do whatever I can — with the least amount of violence necessary but, if necessary, lethal violence — to stop them from harming others,” Land said. “That's loving my neighbor as myself. That's doing unto others as I would have them do unto me.”
Land, a gun owner, said he personally has no problem with laws banning certain kind of weapons, but he knows there are many Americans that do. The grandfather of three, Land said he would feel better about his grandsons knowing there were armed teachers with weapons instruction prepared to shoot an intruder.
“Gun-free zones are a fantasy, and they're an invitation to criminals,” Land said. “I know of one school, a graduate school in Texas, where a new president took down the gun-free zone signs and crime on campus dropped precipitously and has remained down for the last decade. Gun-free zones assume that murderers and criminals are going to obey the law. They're not.”