Monday, August 17, 2015

Concealed Carry: Part of a Man's Responsibility

As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we have what we call priesthood authority. We believe this is the power of God given to man. As priesthood holders we get together every week in our church meetings and talk about how to use this power. Since the priesthood is given to men, we also talk about how to improve ourselves as men, as Fathers, and as husbands.
I have always looked for things that I could check myself against as I am trying to be a good Father and husband. One of those things for me to check myself with is “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”. In that proclamation it talks about the roles of fathers and mothers and what they should ideally be. Of fathers it says this, “By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.”
I’ve thought about this statement for some time. I’ve wondered how I do these things in my life and how I can do them better. For the sake of this blog I will focus on what I call the 3 “P’s”. Preside, provide, and protect. Presiding over a family is something that we seem to talk about a lot in priesthood meeting and what we hear in Sacrament meeting and Conference. I think that is covered quite well by the Church. Providing for a family is touched on when life’s work and education is talked about. Also touched upon is protecting, but usually in a spiritual way. I agree that protecting your family spiritually is most important. But that does not mean we ignore the physical protection. In our discussion I heard the same tired arguments for not protecting your family from harm. I would bet that in other countries this is discussed differently than here in North America. We have relative peace here in the U.S. The problem with that is that it breeds lack of preparedness. Because we generally have clean water in the country most people don’t think it’s very important to have a supply of water. This works fine until the earthquake, tornado, or flood comes, then emergency water storage makes a lot of sense. The same is true of security and protection. Some of the arguments are, “That’s what the police are for” or “That doesn’t happen in my neighborhood.” These are the same tired old lines that could get your family in trouble. My advice is always lock and load, close and engage. Now I realize that some church members, and other Christians for that matter, take offense to this aggressive mindset. I believe fully that Father’s should be engaged in the security and safety of their family. Many are engaged. They have implemented code words and deadbolts and alarm systems into the lives of their families. I think this is great! But I only think it’s a start.
Teaching your family security I think is the responsibility of the parents, and primarily the father. Parents must decide when they will start this type of training with their children. Public school starts talking to children about staying away from drugs at an early age. I think it would be advantageous to start talking about security early with your kids. There are all kinds of things out there, stranger danger, and other programs. It doesn’t have to be scary and the more we talk about it the less scary it will be. It will be routine. This is why I started with gun safety early with my kids. We started at 8 years old. This is when Cub Scouts starts and I think that’s a good age. It could be earlier or later, but not too much later. The schools start with the drug abuse programs at about 10 years old.
Should you carry a gun? I think if you can legally carry you should. I think wives should also. This is only my opinion and I’m a gun guy. Even if you are not (my wife really is not) you can learn, practice, and carry. Everyone carries a cell phone and teaches our kids to use 911. Why not teach our kids gun safety, teach them to shoot, take the mystery out of guns, and then practice safe gun handling and storage as parents? Why not protect your family by carrying a gun? It is logical. Some people out there will be afraid and will think that a gun will only cause problems.
When I was a kid I was scared of cars. I could ride in a car alright with someone who could drive, but I didn’t like to be alone in a car. When my Mom asked me about this I told her I was scared the car was going to crash without a driver. She told me that the car would not crash if it was not on or there was no driver to crash it. That still did not help my fears. Eventually, I learned that cars don’t just crash themselves.
The same is true of guns. Contrary to Hollywood and T.V., guns don’t just go off. They need a “driver”. Just as if a driver of a car understands how to safely operate the car, and practices safety with the car, a gun can be safe with a safe operator. Just as if someone drives drunk, operates a car unsafely, a gun can be operated unsafely. Vehicles kill many people every year yet it’s not unusual for someone to operate one. Guns are no different. If you are stupid with a car you can kill someone. If you are stupid with a gun you can kill someone too.
How will you protect your family? Insurance only pays if someone dies. That may be financial protection. Locks and alarms may slow down or actually deter a criminal. But a gun can deter or stop a criminal. I think sometimes we as Americans can get a false sense of security. The police are minutes away but there are times you need them in seconds. There may come a time when the only thing between your family and criminals is you. I hope this never happens but the most common thing said by a victim of crime is “I never thought it would happen to me.”
I suppose there could be someone out there who could defend his family without a gun. There are other weapons and martial arts. I would recommend all of these. The martial arts also takes time and practice as a gun does. It also takes a certain physical conditioning. These are good things but as I get older I don’t see myself using the hand-to-hand combat training that I have. I am also not in the kind of shape I’d like to be for this type of defense. Other weapons besides guns are out there and I would recommend some training in something other than a gun even if you decide you want to carry a gun. Less than lethal weapons are a very good thing to have skill in. I can’t think of any weapon that would stop an assailant that would be as easy, convenient, and practical than a gun.
There it is my friends. The responsibility spoken of at the beginning of this article. It will always be there. What will you do today to protect those you have stewardship and responsibility for? There are many ways to start. I would recommend looking for ways to fortify and make your residence safe, and a place of refuge for your family. After that is accomplished, education and training for you, your spouse, and your children. There are many ways to do this but find good, competent instruction.
Carrying a gun is not paranoid. It is not a dangerous endeavor. It is a responsible response to an uncertain world.
Protecting your family is part of a “divine design” that each of us as husbands and fathers should respond to.
Semper Paratus
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