Pistol

I, like everyone else, are sick of hearing of these mass guns shootings by insane people. This latest shooting in Oregon rekindled my thinking on owning a gun. I currently do not own a gun, which in Alabama is some kind of sin, but I’m thinking about it.

Recently, a man came into an Alabama church (Selma) and started shooting. The gun was wrestled from him , after firing and hitting three people, by the Pastor and later captured. I am a Pastor and this kind of event does not make me nervous or scared. I know God is control but I also know that we live in a fallen world and the walls of the church, which used to be out of bounds for such events, are becoming thinner and thinner against such tragedies.

A man has been visiting our church for several weeks. He has severe mental and emotional problems. His erratic behavior has made our congregation nervous. There have been several tense moments which made many in out congregation nervous.  Actions have been taken to engage the man and a plan has been developed in case of an emergency. I recently found out that many of our congregation come to church armed. Being armed can’t stop someone committed to doing harm but it certainly may make them think twice as well as possibly limiting the damage that could be done by those bent on doing harm.

I have shot guns but I do not own a gun. I have never owned a gun; not because I am a pacifist but because I had/have teenagers in my home and I’ve heard of too many cases of kids getting into guns and harming themselves.  I didn’t want that option to be available in my home in case there was ever that kind of situation.  Don’t get me wrong, my kids are all good kids but teens and young adults are prone to emotional waves of fear, anger, and anxiety, depression and I didn’t want a gun to be a temptation to deal with their problems.

So, why I am I thinking about buying a gun? The one thing I don’t think I can deal with, in an any kind of emergency, is the feeling of being helpless. Whether something arises in my home or somewhere else I feel the need to be prepared.  Nothing may ever happen and I pray it never will but if it does. I want options.

This quote by Sheriff Hanlin is becoming too familiar.

“It’s been a terrible day,” said Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin. “This is a peaceful community. Certainly this is a huge shock …These sort of tragedies are not supposed to happen here.” NY Daily News

Unfortunately, “This is a peaceful community” and “This is a loving congregation” are not mindsets that prevent terrible things from happening.

So, am I going to buy a gun? I don’t know. I’m still hesitant because I believe in “Blessed are the peace makers” and that any situation can be handled by negotiation and by God’s Spirit working through a crisis. I am thinking of taking some courses at my local firing range. I don’t believe I will  every be a “live by the sword” kind of guy,  but I think I’d at least like one near by just in case.

Are you a minister, pastor, or Christian who feels the need to arm themselves in church?

Do you struggle with purchasing a gun for protection?

Have the recent events changed or solidified your opinion on guns?

Let me know in the comments.

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