The prevailing narrative about guns in America divides the populace into three distinct groups- bad guys with guns, good guys with guns, and those without the gun and the gumption to get into the fight. The last group can be identified by the absence of a gun, but how do they distinguish the first two? That is a major question and one which is totally ignored. It’s as if anyone can look into the heart of another and see the label good citizen or bad criminal written there. This attempt at labeling further assumes that people in general and people with guns in particular are consistently wise or unwise, ethical or unethical, mentally and emotionally stable or unstable.
Even a moment’s reflection about this underlying assumption would destroy all these labels and the subsequent conclusions about guns in our culture. First off, those who choose to walk around unarmed are not cowardly, irresponsible, unpatriotic, and uninvolved in addressing evil. Likewise, all those who do carry a gun cannot be neatly label good or bad guys. There are no totally good or bad people; we all fluctuate in our behaviors. In a bad moment, anyone can react poorly and having a ready gun will only make the possible outcome that much more devastating.
Based on the biblical narrative, we have become attuned to the idea that God recognizes good and bad people, so we can too. This is totally false. Jesus and other NT writers blew that earlier concept out of the water. All have sinned. There are none righteous. All are equal in the eyes of God. He is no respecter of persons, no believer in concrete ethical labels.
So, we are dealing here with two different versions of the same false narrative. There are no good and bad guys- in our gun culture or our religious culture. Only frail humans whose shortcomings are magnified by anything that promotes violence and self righteousness.