I have been greatly dismayed to read, during the past couple of days, articles on one or two of my favorite web sites (such as The American Muslim) lambasting defenders of the Second Amendment of the US Constitution (“the right to keep and bear arms”) as vile supporters of murder. These sites are Muslim sites (well, that’s kind of obvious from the name “The American Muslim” 🙄 ); and it should be fairly well known that the Qur’an is blatant in teaching that fighting in defense of the oppressed is very legitimate. Fighting to defend the oppressed obviously implies using weapons to fight.
Consider a few verses from the Qur’an (using the Abdel Haleem English vesion):
(4:75) Why should you not fight in God’s cause and for those oppressed men, women, and children who cry out ‘Lord, rescue us from this town whose people are oppressors! By your grace, give us a protector and give us a helper!’?
Are not men, women, and children ‘crying out’ to be delivered from oppressors and murderers in shopping malls, buildings set aside for worship, and schools? And will we (especially those who claim to believe in the Qur’an as God’s Guidance to mankind) tell people they can’t have access to the ‘arms’ they need to defend against oppression and murder? As we have seen so many times – including this most recent atrocity in Connecticut – the response of police is much too slow to prevent large numbers of deaths (and that’s not a condemnation of the police, either; it simply takes too much time for police to arrive after notification). Does it not make sense (and isn’t it in keeping with the above verse) for people to be armed and prepared for those enemies of God and mankind such as the Connecticut murderer?
Consider also this verse: (22:39, 40) Those who have been attacked are permitted to take up arms because they have been wronged – God has the power to help them – (40) those who have been driven unjustly from their homes only for saying, ‘Our Lord is God.’ If God did not repel some people by means of others, many monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques, where God’s name is much invoked, would have been destroyed…
Those verses mention defense of homes and places of worship. Should we imagine that other public places such as schools, stores, and malls are excluded from this permission to “repel some people by means of others” in order to defend against the oppressors? I for one don’t think so!
But how can we defend against the attacker if we are not ourselves armed and prepared for him/her? As Dr. Mary Ruwart pointed out in her blog article entitled “Save the Children”, the recent massacre in Newtown, Connecticut need not have happened if the principal and teachers had themselves been armed and ready. Instead of being killed themselves when making an unarmed attempt to stop the attacker, they would no doubt have been able to wound or kill the murderer before he could do any (or much) damage. (No aspersion is meant for the bravery of the principal and teachers. Perhaps they would have been willing to carry weapons if the law permitted it; but the law prohibited it – schools are “gun free zones” – so they couldn’t “bear arms” if they desired to.)
The Qur’an itself also specifically endorses the idea of acquiring weapons in preparation for the possibility of attacks by ‘unbelievers’:
(8:60) Prepare against them whatever forces you [believers] can muster, including warhorses, to frighten off [these] enemies of God and of yours, and warn others unknown to you but known to God…
Notice that God’s guidance said that preparing weapons in advance was in order to frighten off and warn would be attackers. Does this not apply to our current situation? As was pointed out in this article (The Facts about Mass Shootings), it is the almost invariable rule that mass shootings are carried out (in the USA at least) in places where weapons are prohibited; the attackers know there will be no armed opposition to them. In fact, since 1950 there has only been one exception to this ‘rule’ where 3 or more people have been killed: the 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona in which congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was nearly killed.
The author of the last linked article pointed out that in the theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado a few months ago, there were 7 theaters showing the ‘Batman’ movie within a twenty minute drive of the murderer’s home. All except one permitted people with ‘concealed carry’ permits to bring their weapons into the theater. Naturally, the killer chose the one exception where all guns were prohibited.
Killers simply don’t want to attempt their murders in places where they know people are armed and ready for them; that’s why you don’t hear of many (if any) cases where a shooter goes into a police station to carry out his plans!
Naturally, this does not mean that there is absolutely no chance that a killer will enter a building knowing that some or many of the people present will be armed; but if he does, at least those present will be ready for him.
Here’s a link to a short video (one minute and 15 seconds) entitled How to stop a massacre. It shows an attempted armed robbery at an ‘Internet Café’ in which two armed robbers got quite a surprise when an elderly ‘Grandpa’ pulled out his gun and started shooting at them! As the saying goes: “Now that’s what I’m talking about!” One might suspect that they probably would not have even attempted the robbery there had they imagined that they might meet up with armed opposition (instead of everyone being frightened into submission at the sight of guns).
No, it just doesn’t make any sense to react to mass shootings by attempting to further limit public access to guns. When such legislation is passed, law abiding citizens will indeed obey the law; but they will just make themselves sitting ducks for those who don’t give a hoot about the law. I find it particularly discouraging to see Muslims falling for this anti-gun propaganda. May it please God to open our eyes so that we truly understand that it’s not only not ‘wrong’, but entirely ‘right’ and ‘godly’ to “repel some people by means of others”, and to be prepared by arming oneself in advance.