In today’s media-saturated America, everyone has an opinion. From Bill O’Reilly to Chris Matthews, Rush Limbaugh to Rachel Maddow – there is no shortage of viewpoints. But how many of those perspectives bring you back to a place of passionate, persistent prayer for the nation?
“Viewpoint” allows the expression on the political, social and moral issues of the day. At times, you may not agree. But in the end, you will be energized to pray for America, with the prism of Scripture and a decidedly Godly direction as your guide. Plus, you can blog your comments to every article, have your say.
Read – then pray with an enlightened, more informed viewpoint for your nation and its leaders.
The Second Amendment in Today’s America
Pondering preferences, rights, and priorities
By Nikolas Grosfield
How many guns are in America? The exact answer is beyond detection, but various surveys have reported some 300 million. This number rivals the number of persons in America, but fewer than two in five individuals own firearms.
Opinion polls over the past year suggest that a slight majority of Americans support “gun rights” over “gun control,” while an overwhelming majority prefer to live in neighborhoods “where guns are allowed.” All the same, one U.S. gun in Charleston, South Carolina, contributed to the tragic killing of nine people at a church Bible study two weeks ago.
In response to such violence, one side rushes to delineate the problems of too many guns, and the other retorts that more guns could have stopped or lessened such a crime. How do these things fit together?
It may be helpful to consider some of the history of guns in America. Scholarship in this area has ripened over the past two decades. NPR dates the earliest proper firearm in America to Hernando de Soto’s exploration of Florida in 1539. The Fordham Law Review notes that gun regulations in early America were extensive. And the William and Mary Law Review demonstrates that at least fifty percent of colonial and early U.S. households had firearms.
Here is the text of the Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
The simplified legal debate over this amendment in recent decades juxtaposes the rights of states to maintain militias versus the rights of individuals to have their own guns for legal personal use. The National Guard has functioned as the de facto state militia for years, and the Supreme Court ruled in 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller that individuals have the right to possess firearms apart from the state militia.
Contrary to popular rhetoric, neither legal stance cares much about Citizen A wanting more guns or Citizen B wanting fewer guns. A smart bomb can take out Citizen A and his guns just as much as a determined murderer can avoid all of Citizen B’s red tape. Citizen A might reason that since he wants guns, he deserves them. Citizen B may not realize that his regulations hurt the many for the sake of the few.
The Second Amendment probably better suits Citizens C and D. One sees that acquiring a gun is a privilege, so he obtains it humbly and uses it wisely. The other believes in education more than bureaucracy, so he starts a prevention and rehabilitation program for criminals and their victims.
At the end of the day, the Second Amendment is not the First Amendment—which was designed to protect the freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and grievances. The reason is simple: the Second Amendment is less important than the First Amendment. Loud voices often appear to put gun rights or gun control at the top of their list. But both camps seem to miss the wisdom that the Founding Fathers had in putting ideas not weapons, principles not fears, atop their list.
- For those who have suffered from any gun violence
- For those who have committed any gun violence
- For military and law enforcement personnel facing armed threats
- Against firearm-related accidents in your family and community
- Wisdom for officials as they ponder more or less gun regulation
Nikolas Grosfield is a writer and rancher from Montana. He has written 130 articles for various media sources, dwelt five years in the Middle East and East Africa, and earned a B.A. in History from Cedarville University. Nik is a child of God, Elsbeth’s husband, and Ole’s daddy.
The following expressions and comments are from our members and do not necessarily represent or reflect the biblical, world views or opinions of the Presidential Prayer Team
To Add - Enter Below