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Gun statement has a flaw

Elders Ballard and Morrison, general authorities of the Mormon Church, have spoken out on guns and violence, and I agree with most of what they said. Guns do not belong in schools and churches. The problem with that statement is they as well as many others in our society want to place limits on law abiding citizens who are not a threat to others or a crime problem.

Can these men or any one guarantee our safety in schools and churches? A prime example was the shooting in the LDS Church's own Family History Library a few weeks ago. We live in crazy times and have a constitutional right to defend ourselves. Since the beginning of time nothing has changed. There has always been violence and crime, and when any people have not had the God-given right to defend themselves, they have become victims and slaves.When Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was betrayed by Judas, and when his apostles saw he was about to be arrested and led away, Peter drew his sword and smote the high priest's servant and cut off his ear in an attempt to save the Savior. Jesus only rebuked him because of his divine mission (John 18:10). Joseph Smith, a beloved Mormon prophet, had a bodyguard. President Gordon B. Hinckley, the LDS Church's beloved leader, has personal security. Why? Because of the times we live in, and because of the potential threat to their lives that is real.

There are plenty of laws against children carrying guns and other weapons to school and even churches. Let us please use a reasoned approach to restricting our right to defend ourselves. The LDS Church believes that the Constitution is an inspired divine document as do I. I hope they don't make me choose between defending myself and a new church policy restricting that right.

Art J. VanTielen

Murray