It’s a real shame that migrants aren’t handguns.

If migrants were handguns, this President would treat them with kid gloves.

He’d be ever so careful with his words so as not to cause offense. He’d exercise the rarest of restraint to avoid angering those who love them; couching his words in every moment, being the closest thing to decent that he ever is. He would suddenly find compassion for them.

If migrants were handguns, Republican politicians would passionately protect them.

They’d go to bat for them and plead for them and legislate every possible way to make their existence easier. They’d bend every rule of law to ensure their survival in the name of safety. They’d forever lobby for their innocence and extol their virtue and steamroll any efforts to hinder them.

If migrants were handguns, white Evangelicals would warmly embrace them.

They’d justify their worth using the Bible, they’d demand respect for them from their pulpits. Celebrity evangelists would leverage their social media platforms and their local congregations to prove how much Jesus approves of them. Migrants would feel loved around the people of Jesus and welcomed in their gatherings if they were handguns.

If migrants were handguns, FoxNews would never stop celebrating them.

Their endless parade of pundits and would-be experts would come and heap effusive praise upon them; they’d relentlessly attack the brazen celebrities who dared speak out against them, they’d tell those who questioned the harm they were doing—that they were fighting the wrong battles. They would create fake news to convince their faithful.

If migrants were handguns, they’d be everywhere MAGAs are.

An army of rabid conservative Twitter warriors would descend to come to their defense, shouting down with great passion any suggestion that they were a danger. They’d advocate for them, flaunt their allegiance to them, adorn their bumpers with their images, and speak their admiration loudly for them.

If migrants were handguns, they’d be adored by professed patriots.

The flag-wavers would demand they be treated with dignity, they’d protest in the streets that their inalienable rights be honored, they’d remind us all that those who served and died for this country—died for them. They’d gather for rallies and walk with them down city streets and they’d openly profess their love for them. Migrants would be fully welcomed in the MAGA story if they were handguns.

If migrants were handguns, they’d be shown reverence by Conservatives.

They’d be made to feel treasured. They’d be adored by the people of Jesus. They’d never have to be in fear or be marginalized or feel threatened—because those in the highest levels of Church and Government would demand they never did.

Unfortunately, migrants are not handguns they’re only flesh and blood, beautiful, never to be repeated human beings who are seeking rest and peace and safety—and so these things are all still a long way off for them here.

They’ll need to wait to be advocated for by our President. They’ll need to wait to be lobbied for by Republican specials interest groups. They’ll need to wait to have their worth legislated. They’ll need to wait for megachurch pastors to risk losing their congregations over them. They need to wait for the good ol’ boys and the Bible thumpers to openly support them. They’ll need to wait to be given the simple dignity and respect that now eludes them.

It’s a real shame migrants aren’t handguns.

More white American Christians would probably give a damn about them right now.

John Pavlovitz

The original version of this Op Ed was published on

John Pavlovitz launched an online ministry to help connect people who want community, encouragement, and to grow spiritually. Individuals who want to support his work can sponsor his mission on Patreon, and help the very real pastoral missionary expand its impact in the world.