Friday, March 14, 2008

Everyday Theology

The District of Columbia’s 31-year-old gun restriction law is going to be tested before the Supreme Court soon, and I heard opposing sides on the radio offering perspectives yesterday. There was really nothing new under the sun on this argument, which has been going on in one form or another my entire life, but I was struck by a theological error voiced by a Cato Institute representative arguing against the restriction.

He was making the case that gun laws only strike at “good people who obey the laws.” I’ve heard this argument many times, and I’m enough of a Calvinist to ask, “who are these good people?”

Are they the ones who never break any laws? Not even traffic laws? Which leads me to wonder about the number of speed-related traffic fatalities compared to the number of gun-related deaths. A lot of good people break laws, and sometimes they kill other people when they do so. I don't know what the Framers would have thought about traffic laws as not even those most imaginative of them would have foreseen the Beltway. Of course, they probably also did not imagine AK-47s.

I’m not suggesting that the DC gun law is necessarily a good one, I’m simply pointing to a theologically flawed argument. I do think the Framers would have understood that.

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