Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Reasons To Carry

To my liberal or friends not from the U.S.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!
I’ve been asked why me, a member of the LDS Church and one who calls himself a follower of Christ, believes in owning, training with, and promoting, guns. “Guns are for killing, how can you follow Christ and promote killing?” I first correct them. My guns are not for killing but for defense. That may, or may not, involve killing. Next I ask if you can be Christian and a Police officer? They usually say “Of course!” That is how many people feel about law enforcement in the U.S. They have complete faith and confidence in them, as we all should, as I do. But we must be realistic.
Researchers found that less than 5 percent of all calls dispatched to police are made quickly enough for officers to stop a crime or arrest a suspect.
Gordon Witkin, Monika Guttman, and Tracy Lenzy, “This is 911 . . . Please Hold,” U.S. News & World Report, June 17, 1996, p. 30.
Police cannot protect us! They do all they can and do stop some crime with their presence, but often it is a short time before the crime starts up again.
“What about turning the other cheek?” some may ask me. Turning the other cheek is doing your best to avoid, de-escalate, or control the situation so that it doesn’t become violent. Who is more apt to tone down their own anger than someone armed but never has wanted to hurt anyone. Being armed and responsible makes you much more sensitive to ways to get out of a fight! I want to fight and run away so that I may be around to fight another day.
Then there is those pesky 10 commandments. Exodus 20:1-17. Verse 13 reads (6th commandment):
“13 Thou shalt not kill.”
That’s pretty clear right? Maybe not.
In the 8th Article of faith we read:
“8 We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.” That IS pretty clear…
In biblical Hebrew, as in English, killing (harag) and murder (ratzah) are two different words with two very different moral connotations, and the commandment uses the Hebrew word ratzah, which means that the proper translation of the commandment from Hebrew into English is, "Thou shalt not murder." The difference is crucial.
But we’ve always maintained that the King James version of the Bible has some problems. It’s pretty obvious to me that on one hand the Lord would say don’t kill, and then in other places in the Old Testament it would seem God condones killing.
All of this is just my own humble opinion of course. Here are a few tips:
1. Know thyself, and then don’t.
Check out all these different ways. Decide which ones fit you best, and prepare. But who knows, maybe you actually have talents you and no one else know about, and would have never guessed.
2. You need plans.
There are lots of different situations to prepare for: personal vs. couple vs. family vs. group, inside vs. outside vs. car, isolated vs. in a crowd, troublesome vs. life-threatening, etc.
3. You need to practice the plan.
4. Let the words of prophets (particularly the living), the scriptures, and especially the guidance of the Holy Ghost lead you. I share one account about this, and its importance:
I dreamed I was with a huge dude. He was big, bad, late 20’s/early 30’s, bald head, muscular. The situation was bad. He said to follow him, I thought yeah, no one could take him, that would be good. I had another feeling—like from the Holy Ghost—not to. We started walking, a group came but I still didn’t worry—until one guy pulled out a gun. Whoops. No amount of muscles beat that…
I’m glad it was just a dream.
Another example, from church history:
A mob was crossing the river to attack the Saints; the local Mormons were ready to ambush what would have been easy targets wading in deep water in a restrictive area; a messenger just arrived from Joseph Smith saying the prophet says to submit, not fight; the local leader prayed, felt the Holy Ghost say to follow the prophet; they submitted instead of fought, were captured but were later released; even though as they were leaving in a straight line (like old English battlefield shooting) they were fired at twice at close range by the whole mob, not one Saint was shot or even hit.
Here are some other ways for success:
Get your family involved. This might also help everyone’s self-confidence. Let everyone explore their own skills and talents.
Think of a list, in order of preference, you could use and areas to work on.
Ok, I keep saying defense and protection is more than just physical confrontation and violence. Here are some things to consider:
Let them know you’re watching.
Sometimes, just one other person being around, or watching, is enough to deter problems before they start. Especially if you’re holding a video camera, or a cellphone, or both.
Do something. Act.
This doesn’t necessarily mean violence. It could be: trying to calm the situation, pulling people apart, seeing if someone’s ok, especially if it was “on the spot” violence.
Get involved.
Depending on the threat, it can be “standing by” someone, physically fighting, or even using a weapon. Realize there are many more crimes deterred by a weapon than crimes committed with a weapon, and many situations are helped by weapons. But you must be wise wielding a weapon.
Take a look in the Book of Mormon at what the Nephites did in particular. Weapons, armor, strong defenses and forts, stratagems galore, praying for help and having faith, and yes fighting—all providing safety to the Nephites, protecting them from the Lamanites, and especially discouraging the enemy.
Now, I’m not saying become a crime fighter with a cape, I’m saying find like-minded people. Train together. Share your plans. Form friendships and brotherhoods.
Decide what you will do when faced with a threat. Involve your family and friends.
This is why I carry a gun. This is why I train. For this country, for my family, and because the alternative is for good people to do nothing and expect law, order, safety, and security.
Don’t just stand by. Hope is not a strategy. I hope this answers some questions.
Semper Paratus
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