In the interest of complete transparency, I should disclose that I am not American and I am getting into territory that I am at risk of not understanding fully.
But I do have a point of view that I feel is certainlynot being paid too much attention to.
That is understanding the importance of freedom especially in the United States.
I have to say I was a little disappointed with certain Australian attitudes towards freedom, I felt like we had viewed anyone who viewed their freedom or celebrating their freedom as ‘selfish’, which is not true.
In Australia it seems to me that the more control the Government puts on us the more we seem to like them, we saw this particularly in Western Australia with the supremacy of Mark McGowan who subjected his citizens to very tight Covid controls and in Victoria where the state had one of the harshest lockdowns in the world but still supported overwhelmingly the Labor Party of Victoria during the Federal Election eventhough they were the proponents of the world’s longest lockdown.
We don’t seem to understand the American idea of freedom because frankly in Australia we are willing to give it up, we simply don’t get it.
But in the US it endures and only gets stronger with the greater the opposition
It started back in the American Revolution .
In Australia we have never had to fight for much.
We have never been invaded, we did not have to fight the British to get our independence, it was virtually handed to us.
Basically, Australia was formed by agreeing to unite the colonies into a federation, we would be independent and just agree to keep the British Monarch as your head of state.
I know there was other factors but that was virtually it in a nutshell.
The point is theYanks violently went to war to achieve their independence from the British and they did it with guns.
Ordinary citizens rose up formed militias and with the help of the French managed to defeat the British Empire
And when the declaration was signed so was the right “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” Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
You see we might view guns as a privilege here, in the US it is viewed as a right such the right to your religion or right to an education.
Any moves by the United States Congress or the State Legislatures to restrict the control of guns represents a threat to their freedom.
Your gun is linked to your freedom, take it away or restrict it, so it would be too your freedom.
With the country having developed from revolution to what it is now and given the amount of guns in circulation the argument that ‘it is not the weapon that is bad but the people using the weapon’ is common thinking. The truth is the vast majority that own guns never do a wrong thing with them.
They would be right to think thatas a responsible gun owner why should I be subjected to further controls? Which would only give more power to criminals.
However, we know that society does not operate that way, one person’s freedom can kill or tear apart a community there needs to be controls.
The Church is far from innocent in this?
Let’s not pretend that the Church is not involved somehow in this.
Richard Nixon who was seeking to win votes back in the 1960’s was looking to appeal to freedom of religion voters which included the freedom to bare arms, this political move gave people of faith “tacit cultural permission” to own guns.
In 2008,Democratic Party Presidential hopeful Barack Obama took aim at white-working class voters in old industrial towns decimated by job losses.
“They get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to the people who are not like them,”
Although I feel those comments were unhelpful he may have stumbled upon issue that is no doubt uncomfortable for the Church.
The link between our freedom and guns.
Is the Church possibly complicit in this culture due to our will to keep our freedoms over the expense of everyone else.
Certainly food for thought for us all.
Ben Kruzins is the Campus Pastor of The Hub Baptist Church in Ocean Shores on the North Coast of New South Wales. He is also a Journalism graduate who has written articles in The Canberra Times and The Sydney Morning Herald.