In the season of Lent, as we approach Easter, I find myself reflecting upon Matthew 26:51-52 and the arrest of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.Anderson goes on to applaud the fact that the General Assembly decided to table bills that would expand the death penalty but lamented the fact that the Assembly passed a number of pro-rights bills, including a repeal of handgun rationing, which has already been signed by Governor McDonnell.
Suddenly, one of those with Jesus put his hand on his sword, drew it and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to him, "Put your sword back into his place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword."
This is a lesser story in the arc of the Easter week drama. Nonetheless, it is not without relevance to the commonwealth of Virginia.
If any state should be sensitive to the role that guns often play in the service of horrendous crimes, it should be Virginia. If there was ever an occasion that spoke — that cried — for the need of gun reform, it was the Virginia Tech massacre.Anderson closes by revisiting the reference to the the New Testament, where Jesus tells the disciples to carry swords, then muses that it may have been to teach a lesson in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Yet five years later, after the Governor's Review Panel, the legal wrangling and all the political posturing — to say nothing of the direct pleas of Tech survivor Colin Goddard and the parents of several victims to McDonnell — access to guns (the means) in 2012 has become easier in Virginia.
Dave Kopel, Research Director, Independence Institute, has written on the subject of using the New Testament for the purpose of pushing pacifism, and specifically references the same passage that Anderson used to make his point at the end of the Op/Ed.
Kopel writes that using the New Testament to illustrate a pacifist view is a very weak argument. The same can be said of the Tech tragedy as proof we need to keep rationing handguns.Putting the passage from Matthew in the context of the rest of the Bible would, therefore, look to the passage as a warning against violence as a way of life, rather than as a flat-out ban on defensive violence in all situations.
This is the second Op/Ed in the last month that used a religious reason for opposing repealing handgun rationing. Below is NRANews coverage of the first: