“. . . do not resist an evil person.” (Jesus of Nazareth, quoted in the Gospel According to Matthew)

The following is my response on Facebook to the following news story from the Texas Legislature.

In Texas, it soon could be legal to bring a gun to college

I wish I could say this is unbelievable. But since carrying a gun seems to be the norm out here in the wild west, I guess all I can do is pray for a retirement home in the UK. I would like someone to explain this to me on purely ethical grounds without resorting to the 2nd Amendment. Why is this acceptable as a matter of morality without the childishly petulant, “I have a right?”

Saying that anyone – especially a college student in class – is safer if people are toting guns is absurd.

An acquaintance pointed to the incident of a “mad gunman” being stopped on the campus of UVA. (This was, of course, a hoax–which so much “evidence” of the need for guns is.) How many millions of students spend how many millions of hours per year in class and on campuses without any incident? One lone “mad gunman” (even if it were true) being stopped does not justify the danger of a kid sitting in class next to a gun-toting vigilante.

BUT EVEN THAT IS NOT THE POINT! My hope that someone can explain the MORAL truth behind “open carry” still stands. At best it is expediency, not morality. It is expedient because we know that we have failed so miserably at creating equality (in race, in economic opportunity, in gender, in religion) that we perceive, perhaps rightly, that some people are angry and disenfranchised enough to be violent. And we have also failed so miserably at caring for people with emotional problems that we need to be ready to shoot them when they lose control.

It’s the worst kind of utilitarianism. It has nothing to do with “Thou shalt not kill,” or “love justice, do mercy, walk humbly with your God,” or “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person.” We have, according to Antonin Scalia, the constitutional right to be gun-toting vigilantes — ignoring not only the moral injunctions of the tradition most of those who speak the loudest for the right espouse but also the moral philosophies of all civilized societies.

Being “in the right” means being willing to forgo that “right” for the sake of the greater good.

One Response to “. . . do not resist an evil person.” (Jesus of Nazareth, quoted in the Gospel According to Matthew)

  1. Mary Kalen Romjue says:

    My comment is rather short. I concur with your thoughts and the description of those consequences of the “wild west” approach to controlling the “misfits” of our society. There must be a lot of room for Grey Matter between their ears.

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