I refuse to own a firearm because of religious conviction.
(Do not try to argue this point with me – I will tell you that God told me not to own a firearm. I just woke up one morning, after advocating gun ownership my entire life, knowing that I should not have one. Clearly, I am mentally unstable. Do you really want to give a weapon to a mentally unstable woman who hears voices? I thought not.)
In all seriousness though, the way I understand my religion is that I’m supposed to be like Jesus of the New Testament, to the best of my abilities. The closest he came to hurting anyone was when he drove some religious assholes out of the temple with a whip – hilarious, but hardly life threatening. When his life was in danger, he either ran away or died. Horribly. He wouldn’t even let anyone else defend him.
If Jesus was that incredibly nonviolent, then I can’t see any reason for me to have a gun for self defense. Apparently I should either run away or die horribly. And maybe this is a juvenile understanding of scripture, but it’s the best I can do right now, so I’m going with it.
(Just to clarify, I don’t hunt, and there’s no predators in the woods around here bigger than a coyote. If I lived around my cousins in Michigan where the big cats are coming back or in bear country, I’d probably change my mind.)
This doesn’t mean I don’t think other people should own firearms. Maybe you have a different understanding of scripture, or a different religion, or are entirely nonreligious. If you can be responsible around guns, are not convicted of a violent felony, and are completely certain you’re in your right mind, go for it.
It also doesn’t mean I think I’m exempt from violence. I am choosing the possibility of the people I love dying while I am powerless to stop it. I think there is something bigger at stake.
(Again, to clarify, I don’t have kids, and if I did, I’m not sure I would choose to be powerless then. My mom says it shouldn’t make a difference – right is right no matter the circumstances. And she’s probably correct. I guess there are limits to what I’m willing to sacrifice for my religion. I’ll never know for sure unless I have kids.)
I know this is a powderkeg topic, but I’d love to know why you do or do not own a firearm (or plan to own one.). If you have conflicting ideas like I do, I’d love to hear those as well.