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John Snyder: ‘Jesus Calls for Us to be Armed’

The "Gun Saint"

John Snyder, a member of the St. Gabriel Possenti Society, a group that honors the “gun saint” brags that he is designated the “senior rights activist in Washington” by Shotgun News. Snyder recently published a news release on the Christian News Wire saying “we must be armed to fight the Islamists.”

Snyder attempts to argue for the use of handguns on the basis that we are under threat from terrorists. It is the same piggyback and fear-mongering argument used by radical Tea Partiers and scions of Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller to propagate the conspiracy of Muslim menace and threat. The fact is you are more likely to be hit by lightning, killed in a car crash, drowning, fire, or murder  than to be killed by a terrorist in America. From Reason Magazine,

But how afraid should Americans be of terrorist attacks? Not very, as some quick comparisons with other risks that we regularly run in our daily lives indicate…in 2003 about 45,000 Americans died in motor accidents out of population of 291,000,000. So, according to the National Safety Council this means your one-year odds of dying in a car accident is about one out of 6500. Therefore your lifetime probability (6500 ÷ 78 years life expectancy) of dying in a motor accident are about one in 83.

What about your chances of dying in an airplane crash? A one-year risk of one in 400,000 and one in 5,000 lifetime risk. What about walking across the street? A one-year risk of one in 48,500 and a lifetime risk of one in 625. Drowning? A one-year risk of one in 88,000 and a one in 1100 lifetime risk. In a fire? About the same risk as drowning. Murder? A one-year risk of one in 16,500 and a lifetime risk of one in 210. What about falling? Essentially the same as being murdered. And the proverbial being struck by lightning? A one-year risk of one in 6.2 million and a lifetime risk of one in 80,000. And what is the risk that you will die of a catastrophic asteroid strike? In 1994, astronomers calculated that the chance was one in 20,000. However, as they’ve gathered more data on the orbits of near earth objects, the lifetime risk has been reduced to one in 200,000 or more.

What are the odds of dying in a terrorist attack?

So how do these common risks compare to your risk of dying in a terrorist attack? To try to calculate those odds realistically, Michael Rothschild, a former business professor at the University of Wisconsin, worked out a couple of plausible scenarios. For example, he figured that if terrorists were to destroy entirely one of America’s 40,000 shopping malls per week, your chances of being there at the wrong time would be about one in one million or more. Rothschild also estimated that if terrorists hijacked and crashed one of America’s 18,000 commercial flights per week that your chance of being on the crashed plane would be one in 135,000.

Even if terrorists were able to pull off one attack per year on the scale of the 9/11 atrocity, that would mean your one-year risk would be one in 100,000 and your lifetime risk would be about one in 1300. (300,000,000 ÷ 3,000 = 100,000 ÷ 78 years = 1282) In other words, your risk of dying in a plausible terrorist attack is much lower than your risk of dying in a car accident, by walking across the street, by drowning, in a fire, by falling, or by being murdered.

For Snyder and his ilk these facts obviously don’t matter. Why let facts get in the way when you need to drudge up support for liberal gun laws? Can we say that Snyder is motivated by religious sentiment and that he in fact feels that he is religiously obligated to own a gun?

Yes.

In his “news release” Snyder writes,

Snyder warned, “Those who work against this freedom in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere should beware. If it so happens that people are murdered because politically correct elitists spoke and worked successfully to prevent citizens from getting, carrying and using self-defense guns, the blood of the innocent will be on their hands.

“Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us that, ‘A man without a sword must sell his cloak and buy one,’ according to Luke (22:36). It’s time to take all of His words to heart.”

Ominous words from Snyder, but does this comport with Christian teaching? Is the old song, “Praise the Lord, and pass the ammunition” on the mark? Imagine if a Muslim had said something similar about Muslim teaching requiring Muslims to own guns, there would be no doubt that individuals in the media and the usual anti-Muslim suspects would be saying that this is the correct interpretation of the religion and therefore Islam is a violent Faith.

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  • No to fallacies

    ““You could have said; ‘no, millions of Muslim soldiers were never fielded against the Axis powers. Where they were, they were colonies that still belonged to the allies.’”

    Erm, sorry, what is your point here? Are you still trying to deny that Muslims didn’t fight against the Axis? Yes, of course they were from colonies, the whole Muslim world was colonized, there were no independent states. Does this detract from their sacrifice? No, it does not, these people could just as easily said that they were not going to fight for the allies and in fact, many Hindus in India allied with Germany during WWI and possibly WWII”

    Yes many Muslims actually volunteered e.g. British India (including modern Pakistan/Bangladesh/Kashmir/India etc) i.e. the largest volunteer army.

  • Rob

    Of course. That’s why I tried to say perspective, but mistakenly put perceptive. 🙂

  • Interesting piece Rob, thanks for that. As I’ve said before, such people abandoned the teachings of the Bible and just corrupted it for their own use. We still have them today, in Islam too.

  • Rob

    Speaking of Christian Colonialism, I’m sure everyone is aware of Leopold II of Belgium and the genocide in Congo. Well, here is a letter from him to the colonial missionaries:

    http://www.africawithin.com/chinweizu/trouble_with_africa.htm

    You would think these events in history would put many things in perceptive even for the most arrogant and self-righteous holier than though individual.

  • Khushboo

    ^5 Rob

  • Rob

    “the whole Muslim world was colonized”

    See, when christian European countries went all over the world enslaving the local populations, killing millions, forcibly converting others to Christianity and stealing their resources it’s all acceptable to WhatAboutBob. But when some extremist nutjob holds up a sign which reads “Islam will dominate the world”, holy sh!t hang on to your cross because the natives are starting to get restless.

  • “You could have said; ‘no, millions of Muslim soldiers were never fielded against the Axis powers. Where they were, they were colonies that still belonged to the allies.’”

    Erm, sorry, what is your point here? Are you still trying to deny that Muslims didn’t fight against the Axis? Yes, of course they were from colonies, the whole Muslim world was colonized, there were no independent states. Does this detract from their sacrifice? No, it does not, these people could just as easily said that they were not going to fight for the allies and in fact, many Hindus in India allied with Germany during WWI and possibly WWII.

    “So we have it from you that Muhammad and the ‘rightly’ guided caliphs were practicing their Islam incorrectly.

    Misunderstanders, just like al-Qaeda.”

    Please show me where they acted in forcing people to convert.

  • Cynic

    You could’ve simply said “I hate Muslims” instead of getting your panties in a bunch over something as irrelevant as Muslims during WWII.

    ^ This.

  • NassirH

    You could’ve simply said “I hate Muslims” instead of getting your panties in a bunch over something as irrelevant as Muslims during WWII.

  • Khushboo

    Bob, are you actually comparing our messenger to the crazies, Al Q?? *sigh* I’m sure you’ve been told this many times but our prophet has never forced Islam on anyone unlike Al Qaeda who believe in forcing people to their way. Our prophet simply wanted to spread the message and people converted out of their own free will not out of force. Our prophet only fought those who fought them first! You really have to do your own research. Stop relying on Islamophobes’ misinformation. It’s not too late for you Bob!

  • JihadBob

    You could have said; ‘no, millions of Muslim soldiers were never fielded against the Axis powers. Where they were, they were colonies that still belonged to the allies.’

    Nor is Islam obliged to gain power over nations, once again that’s just crap.

    So we have it from you that Muhammad and the ‘rightly’ guided caliphs were practicing their Islam incorrectly.

    Misunderstanders, just like al-Qaeda.

  • Try Malaysia and Indonesia for starters Bob, then add what we now call Pakistan, then all the Middle Eastern countries, oh and India. There are probably more that I can remember if I put my mind to it.

    “In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force… The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense… Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.”

    No, that is a quite frankly shite teaching of Jihad that even the Wahhabis would reject. Where did you get it? Looks like a Spenser…

    For starters Muslims are not obliged to convert anyone by any means, only to ensure that the message of Islam is heard so that people can then make up their minds about it (free will, forced faith has no purpose as is stated in the Qu’ran and God treats it as such). Nor is Islam obliged to gain power over nations, once again that’s just crap. I won’t bother dismantling this further since I don’t want to post pages of stuff. See why people stopped bothering to talk to you? You still spout out junk.

  • NassirH

    Actually, many Muslims did fight for the allies. South Asian Muslims fought for the Brits, Chinese Muslim fought against the Japanese, and Albanian Muslims took in Jewish refugees. There are many other examples.

    Really, it’s not that hard to find this stuff. Just google it.

  • JihadBob

    Mr Pork, do you know that millions of Muslims fought on the side of the allies,

    Nope. Didn’t know that. Which Muslim nation(s) fielded millions of troops for the allied war effort?

    Do you know that these days, a good example of ‘Jihad’ is seen to be the efforts by the Allies against the Nazis, that it is used as a teaching example?

    I think this is a close teaching of Jihad:

    In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the [Muslim] mission and [the obligation to] convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force… The other religious groups did not have a universal mission, and the holy war was not a religious duty for them, save only for purposes of defense… Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.

  • Mr Pork, do you know that millions of Muslims fought on the side of the allies, thousands died and that Muslims suffered wholesale slaughter at the hands of the Japanese in Asia as well as hundreds of thousands sent to the gas chambers? Do you also know of the many more Muslims who partook in the resistance efforts of the occupied territories? Or the ones that saved hundreds of thousands of Jews? Do you know that these days, a good example of ‘Jihad’ is seen to be the efforts by the Allies against the Nazis, that it is used as a teaching example? Do you also know that the Mufti’s ‘soldiers’ rebelled against their Nazi masters and that the battalion they created only lasted a matter of months before the Muslims realized they had been duped and deserted on mass? Do you know that these soldiers had a tactical effect of virtually zero since they disobeyed orders? Do you know that these soldiers never saw what they were doing as any sort of Islamic duty, that they saw it as a purely nationalistic effort to rid their nation of Communism? That they never fought allied soldiers nor were trained or equipped to fight allied soldiers? Do you know anything?

    On the flip side do you know that most of Hitlers soldiers were Christian? Do you know of Hitlers support from the Church? Do you know that Hitler was raised a Catholic? That he extensively quoted from the Bible in his speeches and books? That he believed he was Gods warrior in killing Jews? Do you know that the Pope stood aside and did nothing to even condemn Hitler? That the Church was part and parcel of Hitlers machine? Do you know that the Nazi soldiers marched with belts inscribed ‘God is with us’? That these soldiers were mass blessed, along with their equipment, by the Church? Do you know this?

    Stop trying to pass of Hitler as a ‘Muslim problem’, he is well and truly in your court. I think it is you who needs to be out of the kitchen and I fully expect you won’t be able to come up with a reply to my facts.

  • @Jihad Bob :It was definitely Bill Clinton.I hope the LEARNED sir david knows now.He should be ashamed of himself to impress and fool people like you who know better.@ Jack Cope:Do you know that the Mufti of Palestine was supporter of Hitler and supplied Muslim soldiers to fight against the Allied forces.If you can not stand the heat,just get out the Halal Pork kitchen.

  • JihadBob

    To Quote President Bush “its the economy Stupid!”

    Wasn’t the Bill Clinton?

  • I kinda agree Cynic, there should be a test first. Mr Pork, if I write a reply will you read it or shall I just not bother. I mean, there is so much shite in there, especially the Nazism stuff. Islam =/= to Nazism fool, why do you think so many Muslims fought against it? Nazism was a ‘Christian’ problem, don’t try and offload it.

  • Cynic

    I don’t think halal pork deserves freedom of speech.

  • @ Sir David ;Let me quote ONE who was bigger than President Bush: MAN DOE’S NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE.Unfortunately, you are walking with your eyes wide shut.I really pity you as to how low you could stoop.Be humble and stop using the title:SIR; You simply don’t deserve that.Your real value is what the market dictates.

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