Whenever anyone suggests curtailing guns in America in order to reduce the awful shootings in America, the answer from the gun lobby is that the law can’t be changed, because the right to bear arms is guaranteed by the US constitution.
Way back in 1776 when white Americans felt threatened (by those who had red skins), and by the British (when America didn’t have an army), it was felt that white Americans had the right to defend themselves.
Those who drafted this law could never have imagined that 250 years later people could use it to justify things that lead to do the opposite of what the law was for. Not defending Americans, but killing Americans.
There are six words that should be kept in mind. Six words that would solve so many things.
The six words are these: “That was then, this is now”.
Today, Native Americans are no longer threatening people with bows and arrows. Or wanting to scalp people.
That was then, this is now.
Today, British troops aren’t using guns trying to keep the American colonies in the British empire. That was then, this is now.
But what has this to do with us?
From time to time we read words in the Bible that cause us to ponder. Words that justify slavery.
Words that say women shouldn’t be allowed to speak in church. Words that say women must have their heads covered in church. What do we make of such expressions?
If we were literalists, we might wish to obey such words literally.
But I hope we aren’t literalists. I hope we take an intelligent attitude to the Bible. I hope we try to discover the reason for such words.
I hope we try to see not only what the Bible says, but what the Bible means. And see them in context. We must remember the six-word phrase: That was then, this is now.