According to NBC’s Mike Taibbi, “Gun sales here [in Colorado] are surging.” Ever since the theater shooting in Aurora, gun sales and permit applications in Colorado have increased by 43%. One gun salesman said that when he came to his store to open the morning after the shooting, there were about 15 people standing outside waiting.

Now, don’t get me wrong – like everyone else, I was appalled by the massacre. Death is never a good thing. It wasn’t part of God’s original plan. However, I’m not convinced that the best way to alleviate gun violence is by introducing more guns into the situation. To be fair, my views on this issue have changed a lot over the past decade. There was a time when I thought the best way to deter people from shooting others is to instill fear within them that someone else might shoot them. But, truthfully, most of the people who do this sort of thing don’t love themselves any more than their victims. In fact, a good many shooters finish their killing spree by turning their guns on themselves.

But before I take this much further, I’ll just throw out a few considerations…

  • If a person is determined to kill someone, they don’t need a gun to do it.
  • Guns don’t kill people, people kill people.
  • Guns are designed to kill things … that’s what they’re made for.
  • If there had been another person in the theater with a gun, they might have shot the killer before he was able to squeeze off so many rounds.
  • If there had been another person in the theater with a gun, there might have been more bullets flying around the dark and smoky theater, possibly leading to even more injuries and death.
  • Some questions – why the spike in gun sales, but not bulletproof vests? Wouldn’t always carrying a gun and holster around be just as inconvenient as always wearing a vest? When faced with the question, “How do we keep this sort of thing from happening again?” why is our immediate response, “by killing them before they can kill us”? That just seems less focused on protection and more focused on revenge and (dare I say) Hollywood heroics.

Now, these are all practical considerations for our secular world. But lest we forget where I true citizenship resides, let’s focus on what our Lord and his followers taught…

  • “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:43-45; cf. Luke 6:27-36)
  • “Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse… Never pay back evil for evil to anyone… Never take your own revenge… Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:14, 17, 19, 21)
  • “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps … and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously.” (1 Peter 2:21, 23)

So here’s where I land on it – my heart breaks for the loss and suffering of the victims of the shooting, and their families and friends. Like everyone, my heart cries out for justice. However, as a Christ-follower, I cannot believe that the right course of action is to use weapons. Never once do we see Jesus using a weapon to harm someone, or even allowing for his followers to use weapons. When Jesus was being crucified on the cross, his response was not “If only we would have had more swords.” It was a prayer that God would forgive the people torturing him to death. I think as Christ’s disciples our attitude should be the same toward the shooter, James Holmes, and anyone else like him.

Those are my thoughts. What do you guys think?

Ready for another article?

Rocky Munoz
Jesus-follower, husband, daddy, amateur theologian, former youth pastor, nerd, and coffee snob. Feel free to email me at almostheresy@gmail.com and follow me on Twitter (@rockstarmunoz)


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