One of the leading voices of the conservative political movement has published an editorial that argues that gun control legislation seeks to limit Americans' God-given rights to guns.
In the National Review, David French cites various Bible passages to make his point.
The Old Testament showed that "the morality of self-defense is not only presumed, the act of self-defense is permitted and even mandated by key Biblical figures," French writes.
French then goes on to say that Jesus' disciples carried swords, "and Jesus even said in some contexts the unarmed should arm themselves."
Responding to the National Review piece, ThinkProgress's Zack Beauchamp said that French is missing the point when it comes to President Barack Obama's attempts to pass new gun control legislation:
Even if French is right about the Christian view of self-defense (though Jesus did have choice words about “turning the other cheek“), it’s a logical fallacy to say this implies anything about restrictions on access to guns. Saying that people have a right to defend themselves if attacked isn’t the same thing as saying they should have a right to possess any conceivable means of defending themselves – presumably, French is fine with banning grenade launchers. The burden, instead, is on French to prove that universal background checks or limitations on assault weapon ownership somehow prevent people from defending themselves.
French's argument -- that the right to bear arms is not just a Constitutional right, but one ordained from God -- has been used several times throughout the past few weeks.
On Jan. 22, National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre said that "No government gave [the right to bear arms] to us and no government can take them away," Breitbart reports.
And on Dec. 4, a spokesman for the American Family Association claimed the "whole concept of using a weapon for self-defense is rooted in the teaching of Christ."
Bryan Fischer referred to an anecdote about Jesus recorded in the Book of Luke.
“Jesus Christ said this to his own disciples, ‘my recommendation to you is if you don’t have a weapon of lethal force that you can use in self-defense, sell your cloak and go buy one,’” Fischer said.
The National Review previously drew the ire of gun control advocates in December after implying that the Newtown massacre, while sad, did not outweigh the importance of an unrestricted right to bear arms:
If the possibility of terrors like Newtown are a reminder of why we need politics, their reality is a reminder that politics can do only so much.