Friday, May 6, 2016

Self-defense: A Personal Choice

14 Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives.

What, if anything does this scripture have to do with us? Well, as I've written before, we can learn so much from scripture. They teach us truth and how to live. They also teach us about defense. The above verse says a lot about what a strong leader taught the people. We should defend ourselves, but we must defend righteously. Our modern day prophets have given us the same charge.

"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."
The Family, a Proclamation to the World.

How can this be done in these modern times? There are many definitions of "protection". I believe this to be protection from unrighteousness and from the world. But, it only stands to reason that it was meant to be protection from all evil, including those that would inflict physical harm as well as spiritual harm. Protection from spiritual harm is generally taught by the church in living the gospel, but where is the physical protection training? That is left to us. I have no problem with that but I fear living in a generally safe environment makes us vulnerable. Are the police tasked with our protection? No. The Supreme Court said this:
"The duty to provide public services is owed to the public at large, and, absent a special relationship between the police and an individual, no specific legal duty exists."

So this tells me I can't give my, or family's, security to the police. I must provide this myself. Most people trust their security to laws. The problem is, criminals and terrorists are not concerned with the law. This leaves security in our hands. Or you can take the chance that law will protect you. It will not and it is foolish to believe it will. The police have no obligation to protect us either. What is left?
This usually makes people react in a few ways. One reaction is denial. "It won't happen to me." The statistics depends on a variety of things, your age, sex, race, and location. But loosely speaking, you have about a 15% to 18% chance of violent crime touching your life. That's not much of a percentage and that's why many people depend on it. I still don't like those odds. So I've decided I need to change those odds. I've chosen a gun for defense. I do have less than lethal weapons but those are only a backup and an option. In my opinion less than lethal weapons are weak. There is a chance of any weapon not stopping the threat, but less than lethal has too much chance of not stopping anyone. Martial arts are fine, but they require a lot of time. All weapons require time but martial arts take a few years to become proficient. A gun requires time but I believe you can become proficient with a gun and be adequate before you could be deadly with a martial art.
The above scripture teaches us the correct way of self defense. Making a choice of self defense is an important decision. Don't choose it lightly.

Semper Paratus
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