If We Were All Just Christians, then Gun Violence Would…

…still be a problem.

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you know that we’ve had yet another mass shooting at a school. On October 1, 2015 a man who legally purchased all his guns went on a murder spree with them at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Nine people were killed before the previously “law abiding” gun owner shot himself in the head. You can read about the gun-murder spree in this NYTimes article: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/10/02/us/oregon-shooting-umpqua-community-college.html?_r=0

In the days that followed this latest mass shooting, the 291st in 2015 (so far), I have witnessed (once again) more than a few of my fellow Christians take up and parrot the usual NRA propaganda. You know, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people,” and “If we really want to protect our families, then we need MORE guns everywhere, not less,” and “This is really about mental illness, not guns,” etc. If anyone is interested in some sample rebuttals to these bogus soundbites, this blog entry might be of some use: If You Give A Man an Assault Rifle.

But in a slightly new twist (new to me, at least), many conservative Christians have decided that mental illness is no longer the best tool used to steer discussions on gun violence away from guns. Mental illness still gets blamed a lot (since blaming guns is off limits), but the new culprit we are apparently supposed to focus on is sin, or the churchy term that Christians use interchangeably with evil in motion. Guns are not the problem we are told. Mental illness is not (really) the problem either. It’s sin, and if we can just get everyone to become a Christian, then sin will be defeated and gun violence will no longer be an issue. We don’t need restricted access to guns; we just need us some Jesus.

Okay. Let me just say that on philosophical grounds, I agree with the notion that evil is a real problem, and the root of all the other manifestations of “sin” we see in our world. As a Christian myself, I think the Bible is on to something when it describes the state of humanity that has turned away from love and care for our neighbors and enemies (and environment). I also agree, at least in theory, that if everyone always followed Jesus and his “greatest commands” that we love God and our neighbors as ourselves, then yes, gun violence would go extinct.

But how often are told that it is Liberal la-la land to think that gun regulations and bans work because “If we outlaw guns, then only outlaws will have guns”? Apparently we can’t expect everyone to be a law-abiding citizen (that’s just unrealistic), but we can expect everyone to become a Christian, and that is supposed to be the answer? Can we not see the inconsistency in assuming that every one can become a Christian, but that these ubiquitous Jesus people will nevertheless not be law-abiding citizens? This is an internal inconsistency problem that some fellow believers have bought into. And that is about the nicest thing I can say about it.

This logic also fails to consider the present reality that Christians are not known in Western Civilization for their peace and love, either amongst themselves or their non-Christian neighbors. Claims to Christian “peace” and “love” are particularly suspect if you happen to be gay, black, brown, Native American or a woman. The indisputable fact is that being a “Christian” has never been a very good guaranty against violence, genocide, or systemic oppression. In fact, many times throughout the history of the West (as well as today), Christianity has been used as the pretext for these heinous evils. That is a pretty big fail.

I agree that “sin” is a real problem, but how can Christians honestly address the messed-up state of humanity without focusing on the means that we use to perpetuate evil? With reference to the out of control gun violence that our nation witnesses on a daily basis, how can we Christians claim to fight evil while concurrently refusing to fight the means by which it is expressed in deadly and oft-repeated fashion? It makes no sense at all. It is hypocritical. It is revolting, and it is anything but “following” Jesus, who, by the way, didn’t make bland statements about evil in general, but took very specific actions to shut it down and to rescue those who were targeted by it. Can we not follow his example? What does it say about us if we want to make spineless blandishments about sin while refusing to even admit that guns themselves are part of the problem that sin makes use of? Whatever it is, it is not good.

If that is not depressing enough, I recently posted a much shorter invective against Christian hypocrisy on gun violence on my Facebook page. I have included it below, as well as one of the comments left there by a Christian I previously believed was my friend. The response he left was ultimately deleted from Facebook (but presented in its original, unedited form below), because I tend not to put up with name calling in mixed company. But what is particularly saddening is that he actually defends genocide and is so upset at my calling out Christian hypocrisy that he claims I am following the Antichrist, Satan, that I’ve lost my mind, and that *I* am helping usher in “anialtion” [sic] and “genecide” [sic]. That’s right. Because I spoke against gun violence and Christian hypocrisy, I must be worshipping Satan and fomenting some sort of coming genocide. Face. Palm.

I am not often left speechless, but this insanity did the trick. At least until now, that is. With apologies to Hinduism, apparently unfettered access to guns is such a sacred cow in some conservative Christian circles that these folks would rather assign me a place in hell than consider that maybe, just *maybe* the claim that “guns make us safer” happens to be the opposite of reality and needs to be addressed in meaningful ways.

For your viewing displeasure, below is my original Facebook post followed by the response offered by my apparently not-friend.


Corbin says: “When some of my fellow Christians say that gun violence is really just an extension of sin, and it would not be a problem if everyone just became a Christian, I just have to ask about things, like, you know, the Crusades, witchunts, and the various Inquisitions of our sordid Christian/Western history. Oh, and let’s not forget the systemic genocide Christians foisted against Native Americans or why some contemporary Christians load up on guns and ammo for “defense,” or why there is a freaking assault rifle company emblazoning their killing “tools” with Christian imagery and Bible verses. And by the way, how is that Make-Everyone-A-Christian project coming? If we Christians blame sin for violence, gun violence in particular, without talking about serious and lasting gun restrictions or plausible means for limiting gun violence, then we are full of it. And the world knows it.

Jesse D. Armstrong replies: Actually you paint that picture, the world doesn’t know it. Your God… if you claim the God of Christian’s, led his people to drive entire people groups from their lands… corrupt and wicked people who probably were “loving” to their children but who did not know or acknowledge him as Creator. When Christ comes again he will bring a sword for war and destruction…. judgement upon a Godless people. You may not like it but armed men still protect what is God’s today. I personally have two guns which have never killed anyone but that might if anyone threatened my family. These days… as in the days of the U.S. independence, O/C Government and foreign teligion are enemy #1. I say this only because of the antichrist mentality that they are under… which you also seem to be under. You are hell net on a way that is not Christ like. You preach rightly that God forgives but miss entirely that within the relationship purchased by Christ’s violent death men must repent or be even further temoved from the Creator than they first were. God serfs men to trust in his love then to surrender their lives to him… their desires and their wills. I have never used a weapon but I have stood up to homosexuales men trying to rape my boys on the streets of Nica… I have stopped a mmen from beating their wives by force… and by God’s power I will do these things again. The issue is that men no longer want to hear about Jesus because it requires their whole life, but you don’t know that Jesus it seems. Tell men about their sin and about freedom from it. Your gun issue is a smoke screen which Satan is using to accomplish an even greater anialtion yet to come… and you are there promoting this genecide. Your mind is lost Corbin.

Well gee whiz. I hope Jesse will forgive me if I am not persuaded.

Thanks for reading me.


Commenters: Jim Killebrew , Jesse Saxon


About C_Lambeth

I currently live in the Pacific Northwest. I graduated from Missouri State University with a Bachelor's of Science and from George Fox Seminary (now Portland Seminary) with a Master's of Divinity. In addition to knowing Christ and helping others know him, I am passionate about peace, the environment, Christian feminism, justice for all (not just the wealthy) and being a lifelong learner. Please feel free to comment on any of the posts here or to suggest new posts altogether. Thank you for reading me! -CL
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23 Responses to If We Were All Just Christians, then Gun Violence Would…

  1. I know this discussion could last forever in our world because it is built on a foundation of emotion and opinion between ethnocentric and other like-minded individuals who would not be able to change their attitudes even if they wanted to.

    The major ingredient to this entire issue, as you may well agree, is sin. Simple as that, we are fallen; we have been since Cain killed Able with a rock. The sophistication of weaponry has changed to give us the ability to kill more with one shot, but the heart is the real reason people murder. I believe that when God fashioned those Commandments on those rock tablets for Moses to present to the people was because the heart had hardened and each of those Commandments covered behaviors that were already prevalent throughout mankind.

    For sure, there are people by the millions out there in cyberspace who would think I am a feather-head with air for brains simply thinking about sin, or hardened hearts that strike motives of hatred and destruction into the minds of men and women. But from what I read in my Bible, beginning in Genesis, God created mankind with a mind of understanding and a propensity for choices. He tested that choice by putting them in a garden with many opportunities to sustain themselves with foods He pronounced as “Good.” When the Creator God pronounces something “Good” we tend to equate those things with words like paradise. Yet, with only one restriction of choices with all of the other possible opportunities of choice, the woman, then the man, decided to thumb their created noses at the God of the Universe and choose the one thing God had told them not to. You know the “rest of the story” regarding the “curse” and so forth.

    Rather than an “evolution” back toward God, the choices for rejecting Him grew, likely exponentially, offering mankind specifically, and collectively, the opportunity to make decisions regarding life-style and worldview that led further away from his God of Creation. We began the process of devolution that eventually took us to the flood. You know the story there, even God “repented” wishing He had never made mankind. He ended up destroying everything that breathed except for eight souls He saved on the Ark. God didn’t kill them all with guns; He killed them all with water.

    Having said all of that, I think the means of killing people has advanced, but the motives for killing people in terms of murder has remained the same throughout all ages; that motive is sin. Having been in the profession for my adult life as a psychologist, I can speak about mental illness, cognitive disability, symptoms, diagnostics, and treatment. Of course there are physiological accountings for various behaviors; as well as psychological etiological beginnings that build motives, thinking, distorted or not, and behaviors that feed the individual psyche whether conscious or unconscious.

    Both sides of the question or issue can usually present statistics, assessments, evaluations, or experts to bolster each respective side. But we are talking about the DNA of human existence that now has a built-in “sin-nature” that the Apostle Paul wrote about to the Christians in Rome. Within the context of God’s creation of mankind, coupled with the fall from Grace through sin, there is a couple of important “laws” that shape us with character. Those laws are the law of life through righteousness and the law of sin which brings death. The sin-nature of mankind can only be broken by the power of God, the Creator who brought the “treatment” of sin through His Son, Jesus by the work He did on the cross to defeat sin and death. I know you have read all of that in Paul’s writings.

    Therefore, from a purely practical, or somewhat Christian, perspective, I basically agree with your position of having less guns in the hands of people who are controlled by their sin-nature. Guns in the hands of “fallen man” give him the ability to be much more effective in killing people, and greater numbers of people at the same time. We see lots of examples of the devaluation of humans. We actually legally kill at least 1.2 million humans through abortion each year in America alone. We have now been hearing about how organizations like Planned Parenthood even kill humans who survive abortion by cutting up their little bodies and selling their organs to the highest bidder. That seems an effective method of killing humans in much higher numbers than gun murders each year.

    In fact, speaking of killing humans through abortion, since 1973 when the Supreme Court ruled it legal, we have killed over 58 million humans. That would be equivalent to the 78 largest populated cities in America. In reality, to effect that many killings to equal those numbers, it would require the dropping of nuclear bombs on those cities. But here I am digressing from my point about guns.

    I guess what I am trying to say is that putting more guns in the hands of sin-natured people is a disaster. But giving them more knives is a disaster too. Actually, anything that is a weapon that will be used as a weapon should be limited, even the nuclear weapons. The problem is, that will never happen. We have seen it tried in the more totalitarian governments in countries throughout history. Germany sought to do it, Russia did it; when they formed the Soviet Union they did it. Italy did it along with the axis powers in WWII. The point is, when all the guns are taken from one group, the group that is left with the guns will kill those who do not have the guns. What we have seen in the past is when the rank-and-file citizen is disarmed, the government becomes intrusive and abusive and begins to subjugate those who are deemed as weaker.

    I suppose the only reason I think there is a fighting chance of protection in a world filled with sin-natured people is to practice what the United States and the former Soviet Union practiced during the cold war. That was Détente, where both sides were armed to the teeth and understood that it was futile for one side to attack the other since the one attacked would retaliate with like-force and destroy the attacker in like manner. Yes, it provides a world filled with fear, and there is a lot of sinister “spy networks” always trying to find the crack in the shield of the other, but it seemed to hold each powerful, sin-natured devolution of evil at bay.

    Can we truly believe that ISIS would put down their guns if all of America would? That is a rhetorical question: NO, of course not. In like manner, irrespective of Diane Feinstein, criminals will not put down their weapons for any reason, especially if the law-abiding American people putting down their weapons. Right now in Syria or Iraq or anywhere in the ISIS caliphate it doesn’t even take an encircled gun with a line drawn through as a symbol to stop those carrying the black flag to stop, go in and shoot Christians. They find it very easy to go in and shoot people who are not shooting back; the question is, “Would they find it so easy if they were met with in-kind force, or would they start being more cautious in the future when they approached those compounds where they knew there was in-kind force? If that is true in that society, why would it not be just as true in the American culture?

    Self-protection seems a common sense thing for most Americans. Is loading up every American citizen with a passel of guns the best answer? Probably not; but neither is taking away their personal protection in a society where they can be shot down like fish in a barrel by those who are being controlled by their sin nature. The real answer is to flush the nation with the Gospel, shout it from every housetop, pray for the Holy Spirit to change people’s heart and allow the blood of Jesus to cover them as they change from hatred and sin-nature, to a life of life to righteousness.

    At the same time, however, we should work to remove the guns from the criminals by using much, much stiffer sentences of prison time for the misuse of guns. We should uphold the Second Amendment of the Constitution by allowing American citizens who are law-abiding to make the choice to own or not own a gun. We should continue with stringent background checks along with medical histories for people who are purchasing guns. We should close down the week-end, slightly regulated, non-waiting gun shows held at flea markets and local fairgrounds, or from the back of pickups. Every person who owns a gun should be given the opportunity to obtain “free” training in all safety issues for using guns for self-protection.

    Jim Killebrew

    • C_Lambeth says:

      Thank you for taking the time to reply, Jim. While I admit that the topic is virtually inseparable from emotion and opinion, I must also be quick to point out that these are not divorced from facts and known probabilities. It is precisely because of the evidence that I have dramatically changed sides on this issue. I used to buy into the pro-gun rhetoric. Excepting the disconnected aphorism about guns not killing people, I suspect there was likely a time when even most of the pro-gun slogans were true. But this is no longer the case in our nation, and that is why I changed my attitude, with reluctance at first, but now with conviction. I am still tempted to believe that others can change their minds when exposed to compelling evidence as well.

      Regarding sin (or enacting evil), yes, I agree that it is the big-picture problem that guns amplify in humanity. Isn’t it interesting that the Bible says God was saddened by creation and that he repented of his apparent blunder? Perhaps this should give us pause when we are tempted to flippantly assign everything that happens as “God’s will.” There are other wills afoot. In any case, you are right when you say that God didn’t kill off humanity with guns. I’m not sure if there is a point there regarding humanity’s use of guns, but okay.

      I nevertheless agree with you that motives for murder probably don’t differ that much between today and yester-millennium. What has changed is humanity’s ability to murder many at once (especially via guns) and the apparently irresistible urge of Conservatives to blame such gun-murders on little more than “mental illness.” Just as a point of reference, there are many factors that more strongly correlate with gun violence than mental health issues. Chief among these greater risk categories are drug and alcohol use (good thing we can take guns into bars, eh?), childhood abuse, and maleness. It should also be pointed out that only 5% of gun-related deaths between 2001 and 2010 were perpetrated by individuals with mental illness. Most violent and murdering gun owners are completely sane. But perhaps I digress.

      I also find it a little perplexing that you would relate the issue of gun-related deaths with abortion. I don’t deny your assessment of its inherent offensiveness and cruelty, but it seems to me that to be truly “pro-life” we cannot merely be against abortion. We must also be against war, violence, and all the “tools” that are specifically designed for them (like guns, which can only take life). Actually, being pro-life also dictates that we are FOR the already-born as much as we are for the un-born. Pro-life means that we must care for our environment, the poor, the sick, the old, the widowed, the orphaned and the alien within our land more than we care about money, economics, power, popularity and honor. It also dictates that we are for babies and anti-gun. This precisely where my Christian faith meets my politics (and why I vote left-of-center). If you’d like a deeper look into that aspect of my perspective, you might find this blog entry interesting. It’s somewhat dated but still largely relevant, especially when we look at the Republicans running in this year’s presidential primaries.

      Nevertheless, what I really appreciate about your comment is that you acknowledge that more guns in the hands of more (fallen) people is a recipe for “disaster.” On this we are absolutely agreed, but then you back-tracked at the end of your comment when you advocate more folks having guns. Which is it?

      Where we differ also concerns what can be done about the problem. You seem to have resigned yourself to a version of “oh-well-we-can’t-really-stop-it, so-why-bother?” attitude. This deserves criticism. As Christians (and caring, compassionate humans in general), we are mandated to resist the status-quo of violence and injustice in the world. Capitulating is selling out, or at least giving up. Guns do not engender living out the gospel, they are instruments of death.

      As far as knives go, they are not guns. Unlike guns, knives were designed for many uses other than killing, and even when they are used in murders, they do not enable the types of high body counts that guns facilitate. Knives and guns are not suitable for a comparison. Similarly, nuclear power has many worthwhile uses, and while it can dwarf the wave of death that guns facilitate, it is indeed limited by active and vigilant governments the world over. Even if it is used for evil again (by the USA or anyone else) this would by no means indicate that nuclear weapons should NOT be heavily limited, outlawed, regulated and controlled as much as possible. The fact is that we already limit many weapons, even here in gun-loving America. We need more limits.

      Comparing totalitarian regimes to representative democracies like the United States is not impressive, and it suffers from more than a few problems. I mean, really, do you actually believe that the only difference between Nazi Germany in 1939 and the United States today is that we have the right to bear arms? Is that the only difference between us and North Korea? Us and Iran?

      Similarly, the conclusion that gun-having people will always kill those who don’t suffers from a hasty generalization fallacy, and it is one that has significant counter evidence. Your theory that a government will become “intrusive and abusive and subjugate those who are deemed as weaker,” is demonstrably false at the present in our own nation, with our own gun-toting populace. Surely you recognize that no gun-toting bubba force (let alone a few neighborhood “patriots” with pistols) can seriously contend with the soldiers, weaponry and sophistication of the world’s most expensive military. On a more personal level, I openly profess that I do not carry a gun, and I have yet to be “subjugated” by anyone with a gun (government representative or militant citizen).

      “Armed to the teeth” might work with nuclear weapons, a cold war, and the resultant MAD doctrine you alluded to, but that’s not how guns work. When a bullet is coming at your face at 2500 feet per second from a short distance away, you’ll be dead before your brain even registers the sound. More to the point, the majority of mass murdering gun-users in recent decades go on their killing sprees knowing (even hoping) that they will die at the end, so getting shot at or being “destroyed” is anything but a deterrent. Just look at our death penalty if you want to see how ineffective an even more calculated death-as-deterrent system is. Similarly, can you offer a percentage or comparison of mass shootings where bad guys with guns were prevented by law-abiding citizens with guns? There was even a concealed-carry, school rule-breaking, gun-toter at the recent shooting murders in Oregon, and he did absolutely nothing to intervene. The facts do not lie. The USA has the highest percentages of guns in the general population of any nation on Earth, and we are close to the top (worst) in the numbers of per-capita, gun-related deaths on an annual basis. If more guns made us more safe, this would not be the case. No, “armed-to-the-teeth” only promotes more death, not less. When it comes to guns, self protection means getting them out of people’s hands, not the other way around. And last time I checked, Jesus isn’t stopping bullets or the idiots who fire them. As usual, it’s been left up to us.

      As far as your various proposals for limiting gun violence go, I suppose you’ve come farther than many of your fellow Republicans. Your support of President Obama’s leading to require background checks at gun-shows is particularly refreshing. Unfortunately, I don’t think his proposals (or yours) go far enough, especially given the venom universal checks has stirred in the irrational minds of the NRA and every other gunnutter under the sun. For me, I advocate repealing the 2nd amendment. This amendment is antiquated and no longer serves the purpose for which it was created. It’s even a bigger failure than prohibition. And just like the latter amendment, the 2nd needs to be closed down as well. I have no doubt you disagree, but the fact is that gun-privilege works so much better than gun-right. Look at the gun-murder rates in our Western peers if you aren’t sure. The UK and Australia are particularly encouraging. They have no right to have guns, and yet many of them exercise the privilege, and it works.

      A final place to start that isn’t so extreme (and day-dreamy) as striking the #2A from our constitution, is more regulation. We often hear the pro-gun crowd try and make analogies between cars and guns. You know, “Cars kill such and such people each year and can be used as weapons, you gonna ban those too!?” No, we don’t ban all cars even though they can be deadly. We regulate them. Heavily. We require insurance and periodic registration and inspections. We require safety testing, licensing and regularly enforced laws when it comes to using, trading, selling and gifting them. And it works for the most part. In the automobile industry we have a perfect example of how regulations work and benefit our society as a whole. We need to turn this model to guns as well. And as I am sure you know, there is no constitutionally protected “right” to drive cars.


    • C_Lambeth says:

      Looks like your accusations against Planned Parenthood are misplaced too. See the New York Times article that came out today: Vindication for Planned Parenthood.

      Here’s a snippet: “Neither the videos nor the many investigations that followed have found any evidence that Planned Parenthood employees offered to sell fetal tissue for a profit. Texas is the 12th state in which investigations stemming from the videos have found no wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. In October, Representative Jason Chaffetz, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, admitted that the committee’s investigation of Planned Parenthood had found no evidence of misconduct.


  2. Suzanne says:

    Not sure when you posted this but so surprised there are no other likes on this one or the other post I read. Very very nice job writing and pulling this topic together in such an intelligent way.

  3. Suzanne says:

    So many factors to violence. Guns just make it way too easy.
    I don’t personally prescribe to a thing call sin, or to a god, but I do prescribe to peace, love, common sense, respectful communication, and intelligence.
    Factors for violence: poverty, education factors, generations of addiction in families, generations of abuse in families and against races, oppression…..I’m sure the list could go on. One thing I do want to do is really study the most peaceful countries and promote ways we can begin to adopt more of their ways, also to offer more support for families. That is where it needs to start.
    Also media and its consumption is an issue. I am perplexed by how much violence is in movies (shows and video games). That people want to consume it with all of the real life violence makes me extremely sad and confused.

  4. C_Lambeth says:

    Fixed it for you.
    Thank you for all your encouraging and thoughtful comments.
    Much appreciated!


  5. Jesse Saxon says:

    Guns are just a tool among many, and evil people find a way to fulfill their end goals regardless of the tools they have. But the Holy Spirit can change their heart.

    • C_Lambeth says:

      Unlike knives, cars, hands, ropes, etc. Guns are “tools” designed for one thing and one thing only: killing. When people use them to that end, it is exactly what they are made for. This is also why guns are the “tools” of choice when it comes to willful killing. Want target practice? How about a slingshot? Hunting? Get a real skill with a bow and arrow. Anyone paying attention can see that guns have become a public threat to everyone. Their so called benefits are outweighed, by far, by their destruction. More US citizens have been killed domestically by guns then all of our soldiers in all of our wars combined. I hope that gets your attention. Gun violence is a huge problem. And apparently we lack the moral and political will to do anything about it. Every time I see another mass shooting, and there have been 291 (so far) in 2015 alone, I just think we are reaping exactly what we’ve sown. Yay America.

      And how’s that make-everyone-Christian project coming anyway?

      • Jesse Saxon says:

        With that logic let’s take away all guns from cops, military, secret service, and any other person of authority. Let’s get rid of the nukes, missles, grenades, military fighters as well. If the US doesn’t have any weapons at all we will no longer be a danger to ourselves right? You clearly do not understand why the 2nd amendment in the first place.

        • C_Lambeth says:

          We’re not talking about militaries or any other authorities, but citizens. And speaking of not understanding the Second Amendment, it never had standing government armies in mind.

  6. Jesse Saxon says:

    That’s not even a realistic argument corbin.

  7. Jesse Saxon says:

    Are you speaking of James Madison speaking out against standing military? I agree it’s a wise and perfect thought you can dream upon. But that’s not the reality of the world we live in with tyranny in place around the world.

  8. Jesse Saxon says:

    I’ve made my comments Corbin.

  9. Jesse Saxon says:

    I’m not trying to win an argument here. If you want to live in a no gun society that’s your our opinion and I don’t have to agree with it. If you want, we can talk about the constitution which gives us the right to own guns to defend myself. Your comments are unrealistic to the times we live in. You don’t have to agree with me. I’m fine with that, we can have the conversation but in the end nobody can impose their opinions as rule over my mine opinions. It seems that is too common these days that in fact happens.

    • C_Lambeth says:

      Not sure why I would bother engaging you on your constitutional musings when you can’t seem to support the claims you’ve already made. It’s called moving the goalposts. You get nailed on one thing, but you merely change the subject rather than admitting your error. I’ve seen it 1000 times with the pro-gun crowd, and it makes authentic communication impossible. Feel free to defend your previous assertion at any time though. If you can.

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