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There are many who think emotionally and naively that believe if they remove guns that peace will somehow exist. They treat a symptom, but fail to treat the cause. The wicked will always disregard laws, and the innocent will fall prey to them if unprepared and unprotected. In Billings alone, four of the officer-involved shootings involved felons, who were not permitted by law to be in possession of a firearm, but disregarded the law. As a priest, parole officer, police chaplain and traumatologist, I know that the basic character of criminality is disregard for law. Laws do not protect. People who sacrificially love one another protect.

What are the causes of violence? First, narcissism instead of sacrificial love for God and one another. Second, multiple studies have determined that television, movie and video game violence are harmful to young minds. Violent media desensitize young minds and make them prone to violence. Third, relative and undefined morality.

Citizens protecting each other is the way of the Good Samaritan. This was what the founders meant by the irregular militia. Jesus taught the Apostles to buy a sword to protect themselves and others (Luke 22:36), not allow people to break into their homes (Luke 12:39), and not allow children to perish (Matt 18:14). Saint Paul taught us that people who bear arms serve God (Romans 13:4). More laws will not protect our community. Moral, honorable, trained, and armed citizens willing to love are what makes a community safe from those who wish it harm.

The Rev. David Kenat Jr.