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Gun Ownership Is Pro-Life

AP Photo/Brittainy Newman

It might seem counterintuitive, but some on the anti-gunner left have often trotted out an argument referencing the debate over abortion to advocate for stricter gun control laws.

Sociologist and pastor Tony Campolo recently employed this argument in an op-ed in which he makes the dubious claim that to be pro-life, one must also be anti-gun.

The article, titled “If you’re truly ‘pro-life,’ you should be anti-gun,” highlights the staggering impact of gun violence in the United States and uses all the usual anti-gunner talking points. These include the fact that Americans own half the world’s guns, which somehow leads to some of the highest homicide rates, and polls showing Americans support at least some gun control measures, blah blah blah.

Campolo then takes aim at conservative politicians who oppose gun control legislation while proclaiming to be pro-life when it comes to abortion.

What is most remarkable is that many of these legislators call themselves “pro-life.” House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., “pro-life,” “pro-family” evangelical Christian, like most in his tribe, opposes even the most popular, commonsense restrictions on guns.

Johnson was elected speaker the same day a mentally unhealthy gun enthusiast killed 18 people in a bowling alley and bar in Lewiston, Maine. “At the end of the day, the problem is the human heart, it’s not the guns, it’s not weapons,” Johnson told Fox News’ Sean Hannity a day later.

The author then argues that even though conservative Christians called Jesus the “Prince of Peace,” they “are more likely to own guns than the average American and less likely to support gun legislation” and “assert that America’s gun violence epidemic is caused by anything but guns.”

“I don’t think guns are the issue,” said Harrison Butker, kicker for Kansas City Chiefs, whose hometown Super Bowl parade was interrupted by gunfire that killed one and injured 20. “I think we need strong fathers in the home that are being great examples for our youth,” he told Catholic channel EWTN.

One “pro-life” leader, James Dobson, blamed the 2012 killing of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School on God’s judgment against America for accepting abortion and gay marriage. “We have turned our back on the Scripture and on God Almighty,” he said, “and I think he has allowed judgment to fall upon us.”

One “pro-life” group blamed the 2023 shooting that killed six at a Christian school in Nashville, Tennessee, on “a woman who identifies as a transgender man,” “some sort of demonic possession” and the fact that the Biden White House “has two men who wear dresses” (an apparent reference to trans people working in the administration). Tennessee legislators rebuffed Christian parents’ pleas for gun control.

“Pro-life” voters regularly vote for representatives who feature AR–15s in their Christmas card photos and who back legislation that would make the AR–15 “the national gun of the United States.”

Campolo goes on to acknowledge that “guns don’t shoot themselves” and that “people pull triggers,” but then suggests this is why “we should all support laws that keep triggers away from troubled souls like the man who shot up Lewiston” a reference to the mass shooting in Maine.

He then claims that gun ownership poses a danger to those who keep firearms in their homes, especially people who are prone to suicide.

For starters, Campolo is leaving out an inconvenient truth that anti-gunners have constantly sought to avoid when arguing against the Second Amendment: Gun owners are far more likely to use their firearms to defend their lives, families, and property than to use them to commit a crime or suicide. This fact alone should end the argument. If folks like Campolo can’t guarantee that street criminals or other bad actors will not use firearms to victimize people, then there is no justification for disarming law-abiding citizens.

The very fact that defensive gun uses occur drastically more than murders and suicides shows that owning a firearm is very much pro-life. If folks like Campolo had their way, there is no telling how many more lives would be lost to people who do not obey the gun laws they support. When one knows the facts, it is not hard to conclude the obvious: Being anti-gun is anti-life.

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