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Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Church Of Saints Smith And Wesson

by capper

Over the weekend, Keith talked about the tragedy in Omaha and pointed out the flaw in the NRA's argument about concealed carry laws preventing more deaths than just outlawing the guns in the first place. There were the usual arguments in the comment thread going back and forth on gun laws and trigger locks and all that.

Then, I saw a story about two shootings that occurred today in Colorado. The first happened when a gunman opened fire at a missionary training center, killing at least two people. Later on today, a gunman opened fire at the New Life Church, killing at least one person and wounding several others before he was killed by a security guard. The report states that authorities are looking into whether the two shootings are related.

It is the second shooting that points out some of the errors in the NRA's arguments. From the story:

...About 12 hours later, a gunman fatally shot a person at a megachurch in Colorado Springs before a guard killed him, police said.

and later in the article, there is this:

Police arrived to find that the gunman had been killed by a member of the church's armed security staff, Myers said.

Even though there were armed security guards that were trained to be on the lookout for situations like this, one person was still killed and several others were wounded. If the shooter didn't have a gun, would the casualty count be that high? Maybe, maybe not. Murders have been committed by stabbing, bludgeoning, strangulation, etc, but not on a grand scale like we have seen over the last week or even the last several years. Furthermore, Europe, which has much stricter gun laws, still has incidents of mass murder, but not to the frequency that occurs in the United States.

The other thing that caught my eye was the simple fact that the church had armed security guards on duty. When we have some conservative bloggers consistently calling Islam such a violent religion, referring to it as the Religion of Piece (of arm, of leg, of torso), and pointing out that Christianity is nothing like that, why would a Christian church feel the need for armed guards?

Well, to be fair, the article does point out one possible reason:

New Life was founded by the Rev. Ted Haggard, who was fired last year after a former male prostitute alleged he had a three-year cash-for-sex relationship with him. Haggard, then the president of the National Association of Evangelicals, admitted committing undisclosed "sexual immorality."

Either way, one would have to wonder about the relationship between the church and the NRA, and what agendas are they trying to promote.

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