Michigan Episcopal Church wants to ban guns

Don’t ever let anyone get away with telling you no one wants to ban your guns.

We have Episcopal Church in Michigan passes gun resolution as evidence to the contrary. The resolution says:

RESOLVED: that the 180th Convention of the Diocese of Michigan, in response to the impact on Michigan communities of deaths from gun violence, join with other faith communities calling for the following steps to be taken by Federal and State lawmakers:

1. Requiring and enforcing universal background checks on all gun sales;
2. A clear ban on all future sales of military-style semi-automatic weapons, high-capacity ammunition magazines and high-impact ammunition (i.e. ammunition more deadly than ordinarily used in hunting);
3. Making gun trafficking a Federal crime;

The Episcopal Church supports the U.S. Constitution’s protections of the rights of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms; but, we also stand for public policies to ban gun violence and assault weapons.

You have to marvel at the naiveté and/or stupid exhibited here.

You can’t support the Second Amendment then make the demands for background checks anymore than you could require background checks for sales of First Amendment materials. One would guess they support the First Amendment and would claim protection if gun owners were to demand they be punished for hate speech because of their vocal support of restrictions to gun ownership.

Background checks on all gun sales? As the supporters of I-594 in Washington State found out there are lots of devils in the details. Will gifts and loans require background checks? If not then they have a big loophole. If yes will we then end up with me being able to loan my gun to my son but not my daughter in law? If I loan it to him can he then loan it her? Or maybe I can gift it to him and then he can loan it to her and then after a week he can gift it back to me. Or if all “transfers” require background checks will it make gun rentals impractical? Or how about letting your buddy (or a new shooter or student) take a few shots with your gun? Or loaning a gun to someone for the evening or a weekend with a suddenly active stalker and no FFL available to do the background check? Truly “universal background checks” will result in a chilling effect on the exercise of specific enumerated right. If there are enough exceptions to avoid clear infringement of the right then any claim of society benefit is delusional.

A “clear” ban on “military-style” weapons? I’m speculating the word “clear” was an acknowledgement of the difficulties with the Federal 1994 (and various states) “assault weapon” bans. But the issues aren’t resolved by demanding the ban be “clear”. Bayonet lugs, pistol grips, barrel shrouds, and detachable magazines restrictions were all minor stumbling blocks to people wishing to exercise their rights. We were still able to create, sell, and use firearms that gave anti-gun people the evil black rifle hysterics. And now we have the Heller decision which said firearms in common use are protected. Evil black rifles are now the most popular type of rifle in the entry country. So, good luck with your demands to violate that specific enumerated right.

“High capacity” magazines? The Heller decision said firearms in common use were protected so good luck with that as well.

I have no idea what they mean by “gun trafficking”. Firearm wholesalers? Retailers? Private sales? The Second Amendment would rendered meaningless if you couldn’t buy and sell the protected items.

But the item that pegged my naiveté and stupid detection meters was their call for a ban on “high-impact ammunition (i.e. ammunition more deadly than ordinarily used in hunting)”. The very purpose of hunting is to kill as quickly and humanly as possible. To that end hunting ammunition has been evolving for the last several centuries to make it the most deadly it can possibly be with the exception of delivering chemical, nuclear, or biological agents which kill more slowly than a lead projectile which expands upon impact. There is no commercially available ammunition more deadly than that ordinarily used in hunting.

So just what were they thinking here? I’m pretty sure thinking is outside of their domain of expertise so such a question should be rejected on the basis that it presumes facts not in evidence.

23 thoughts on “Michigan Episcopal Church wants to ban guns

  1. I seem to remember the Episcopal church leadership is notorious for its touchy feely disconnectedness from reality. This is just another example of having no functional brain cells.
    I wonder if in “gun trafficking” they would include Fast & Furious. Probably not, that’s the government doing stuff and the government is by definition good.
    Frankly, it’s hard to respect a church whose only reason for existing is that some random tyrant a few centuries ago wanted a divorce.

  2. Churches, as places of worship, receive exemptions from taxes and other benefits that lobbying groups like the NRA, the AARP, and the SAF do not receive. Once a church begins lobbying for political positions that are not directly related to the free practice of religion, they are (in my opinion) no longer an exempt religious organization. They are now a political lobbying group, and should be subject to the same taxes and rules as any other lobbying group.

    • Correct. But they seem to get a “blind eye” from the prosecutors nearly all the time so I didn’t bring it up this time.

      • Not always; churches that have non-PC opinions do get harassed about this.
        The real answer is that churches should not have tax privileges, and that such privileges are a violation of the 1st Amendment. Not to mention that they get the government involved in judging what is a “real” religion and what isn’t. I guess some “churches” don’t mind that since they think they have the government on their side. As a WSJ op-ed pointed out some time ago, they might discover over time that they have made a Faustian bargain.

    • So that means that any mosque, which is pushing Islam, should not get any tax break because it’s as much or more a political ideology as it is a religion. When they start hitting them I’ll believe they are serious.

  3. The Progressive movement has been targeting churches for years. It seems to have been fairly successful.

  4. This is just more trope written by people who have no clue about which they are writing. As you like to say, Joe, they have crap for brains.

    Same disconnect: As a non-practicing Catholic, I think I’ll write an article on the Episcopalian Church. As we’re both Christians, I should have enough knowledge to speak about the subject.

  5. You clearly don’t speak Episcopalian. This is classic: a statement that appears to take both sides of the issue and says nothing of importance. They have been doing this pretty much since the days of Henry VIII because it took a while to figure out if the Church of England was going to be Protestant or Catholic. The wrong answer would have been dangerous so they decided to be both. They and their offshoots have applied that philosophy to most things ever since.

    • I still remember the comical situation some years ago involving prince Charlie, when various reporters were saying that there was a problem with him remarrying because “divorce is against the principles of the Church of England”. Amusing; the correct statement would be “is the very purpose of the C.of.E”.

    • Also, while the official position of the Episcopal church is probably anti-gun, that counts for almost nothing. There are conservatives, liberals, libertarians, socialists, evangelicals, Anglo-Catholics, atheists, agnostics, and everything in between in the Episcopal church. I am one. You can’t generalize too much about us like you can with some groups.

      • I didn’t make it as clear as I probably should have but I didn’t intend to generalize. My rant was aimed at the particular church and individuals who approved the resolution.

      • Good point Publius, and as Joe says, this is about the self-proclaimed leadership as opposed to the wide variety of members. (Well, it’s about the members to the extent that they elect the leadership; I don’t know if they do in this church.) And yes, any “mainstream” church probably has a wide variety of opinions in its membership; the exceptions I can think of are the ones that kill those who disagree with the approved views.

        • Yes and no–the congregation elects the vestry, which (among other things) elects the priest. The bishop has final say in the matter, but as a general rule he/she will defer to their judgment.

  6. Also; the Pope has come out in favor of socialism, saying “We must take care of the poor” or some such. He either fails to see the gigantic disconnect between taking care of the poor and holding a gun to someone’s head to take care of the poor, or he believes it is a distinction without a difference.

    I point out that Jesus did NOT lobby the Roman government in an attempt to convince them to initiate a taxation and redistribution program. If he had, they’d likely have embraced him as one of their own, rather than fear, hate and murder him as a usurper.. Nor did Jesus go around robbing on his own, and advocating robbery, so as to acquire the resources to take care of the poor. That would be the OPPOSITE of his actual message, see.

    Maybe the Pope doesn’t know that. So is he shockingly ignorant or is he on the wrong side? Has to be one or the other. Same goes for other religions that advocate the wholesale violation of human rights as “charity”.

    So we have the supposedly spiritually aware who can’t see what’s blatantly in front of their faces. We were warned about false prophets.

    The upshot is even more tragic– The hypocrisy is obvious to anyone genuinely searching for the truth. They see the self-appointed purveyors of “truth” going around spewing total bullshit like that and think to themselves “If this is spirituality then I want nothing to do with it– These people are fucked up”. The religious give religion a bad name.

  7. The Episcopal church is pretty much in a death spiral. The African churches which were the only dynamic element have basically seceded over gay ordination and other issues. In the West (basically US and the place where Great Britain used to be) they are hemorrhaging membership both to dynamic religions and heathenism.

  8. Lyle, if you want to read some epic remakes about te current pope, check out what ann barnhardt has to say about him, woooee…

  9. Somewhat related, and sufficiently well written that I wanted to point people to it: the October 2014 issue of Hillsdale College’s publication “Imprimis”. http://imprimis.hillsdale.edu/current (for now; when the next issue comes out, look in archives, but for now the obvious URL for a permanent link doesn’t work). The title: “The Case Against Liberal Compassion”. It makes the case that liberal politics are all about making the liberal feel compassionate. Not actually doing good, that’s ok if it happens but not all that important. Rather, feeling an ego boost from pushing “kind” policies. Follow-through is also very much optional.
    It’s amazing how accurately that fits Obama — he always acts as if giving a speech on some topic is equivalent to achieving the goal that the speech describes. Actually doing the work required isn’t something he understands or is at all interested in.

  10. I guess the E church had to stoop to legislative prompting because their god doesn’t possess the ability to address this issue. In actuality their god does not possess the ability to soft boil an egg.

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