A friend told me recently of a robbery in her apartment - at gunpoint. The memory of it reawakened pain, resentment, and outrage. I noticed her disturbance and asked about it. She answered, "I don't resent the things taken. I know how desperate some folks are today. What angers me still is that he held a gun at my head. He threatened to kill me."
Another story is told by a Cambodian doctor who disguised his identity and survived the genocidal rampage of Pol Pot and his regime in the late '70s. He explained how the Khmer Rouge had evacuated the cities, sealed the borders, terminated contact with the outside world, and expelled any foreign presence. They then began to liquidate the "remnants" of colonialism (professionals like the doctor), and to eliminate systematically the weak: children, old people, the sick, injured, and wounded.
"They murdered millions who didn't fit their vision," he said. "They held a gun at the head of a whole people."
I'm sure the reader gets the drift - nuclear guns at the head of everyone on the planet; nuclear guns at the heads of the unborn (untold billions of unborn); nuclear guns at the heads of the dead (to extinguish their history); nuclear guns at the head of Christ.
What is the superpower arsenal - 60,000 warheads? Enough to overkill the planet 20 times; enough for nearly two million Hiroshimas. What policy governs the arsenals? In a word, the splendor of the planet, the miracle of life itself, the design of re-creation and redemption, the very intervention of God in us are all subject to nuclear hair trigger, to the possibility of nuclear accident or technical miscalculation or official tantrum.
The metaphor of a nuclear gun at one's head is not extravagant. Moreover, the gun is legal.