Sunday, August 17, 2014

Concealed Carry and Sacred Honor

Not too many people know I carry concealed. But upon learning (accidently, I try to practice OPSEC)that I carry a weapon someone asked “Why do you carry?”
With the recent problems with the police it has me thinking. I have an opinion about the current challenge in Missouri but I don’t really want to talk about that here. What I do want to talk about is an oath. Many years ago I was TDY (temporary duty assignment) doing some training. The military did not have room for us on base so they put us up in a hotel right outside the base. I had been in the military some time and so were the guys I was training with. One night we started telling “war stories” in my room at the end of a particularly long training week. We got on the subject of taking care of your “brothers” in combat. That discussion brought us to our oath that we took several years prior. That is the oath I was thinking about recently. It says:

“I _Burn_ do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, So help me God.”

As a Boy Scout leader I have the boys memorize and recite the Scout Oath that goes:

“On my honor I will do my best, To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”

Each of these oaths mention God, law, and country.

Law enforcement, firefighting, EMT’s (first responders), the military, even government office has an oath.

The military oath I took, and still uphold, was first taken by soldiers fighting for the independence of this country on June 14, 1775. Those words were replaced by the Continental Congress Section 3, Article 1 of the Articles of War on September 20, 1776. The first oath under the Constitution was approved on September 29, 1789. George Washington took a similar oath and required it of his men.

Back to my story. Each of us in that hotel room had taken the same oath. We talked about the true meaning of such words and what they meant to us. The end of the Declaration of Independence has a pledge or “oath” at it’s conclusion:

“And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

We discussed what the phrase “I’ve got your back” really means and what sacred honor was.

As LDS members we are a covenant people. Priesthood holders subscribe to the “Oath and covenant of the priesthood”. We take covenants and oaths seriously. My sons took the Scout oath. My son has taken the EMT oath. I took an oath that I intend to keep with my “sacred Honor.” I no longer belong to the United States military, but that doesn’t mean my oath is null and void. That is why it’s important for oath keepers to carry. If we have sworn to defend this nation from her enemies then we should legally carry a weapon. It’s similar to promises at a wedding. What part of “death do you part” or “for time and all eternity” do you not understand? We think there are exceptions and so instead of working like we’ve never worked before, divorce runs wild. That’s how I view my oath. My sacred honor doesn’t end when I no longer have a legal agreement with the military. I don’t mean to be a vigilante or a mercenary or something outside of law. But to legally carry a weapon is within the law. Does that mean you don’t run from a fight? No. But you should have enough sense to get out of danger if you can. Otherwise defend yourself, close and engage. I emphasize the part of those oaths that speak of law. Do these things lawfully and divine providence will protect you after all you can do.
Some people go a little nuts with this. They feel that an M4 with a combat load out and a ABU (airman battle uniform) uniform will make them magically a military member. The difference of course is that oath. Anyone can get the gear, get the training, and live the life, but it’s the oath that sets you apart. Sacred honor and living a life worthy makes you an oath keeper.

In that ragged little hotel room (the military isn’t known for comfort) in Tampa, Florida, 6 military members, of different branches of the military, reaffirmed their oath and also took a unspoken oath, to check each other’s 6. To be there for each other if the need ever arose. That’s what brothers do. For those of you who took, and live by a similar oath, “...we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.”

Semper Paratus
Check 6