Vicar’s Reflection: OS 27, October 8th , 2017
The second amendment to the American Constitution is getting a lot of mention following the massacre of the innocents at Las Vegas a few days ago. The words are: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." Whether this freedom applies to individuals or to a ‘well regulated Militia’ has been a matter of great debate in American society and law. In my view any freedom granted by the second amendment is subject to the Sixth Commandment which declares the value of life and commands our responsibility to safeguard it. Jesus took it even further declaring that to even get angry with another was as serious as murder. A gun can be used for lots of things; to make a bookend, doorstop, with string attached a good pendulum, but it is designed to do only one thing, to kill. By its very design it is a transgression of the 6th Commandment. Acting impulsively is a feature of our modern world. This lack of self-regulation combined with availability of guns means that the events of Las Vegas were inevitable somewhere, sometime, as also was Sandy Hook, the Orlando Night Club, Columbine High School. Not that NZ is a lot better at respecting life as recent events in Otara, Northland and Mamaku show. The Commandments are not spoil-sport rules but guarantees of respect and freedom.