Wednesday, October 10, 2018

We Have To Better Than Them

When it comes to defense the lyric to a song by the band Dire Straits may apply.
These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Someday you'll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you'll no longer burn to be
Brothers in arms

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I've witnessed your suffering
As the battle raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There's so many different worlds
So many different suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun's gone to hell and
The moon's riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But it's written in the starlight
And every line in your palm
We are fools to make war
On our brothers in arms
Mark Knopfler really hit the nail on the head. This song says to me that battle creates bonds that are not broken. I served with guys I haven’t seen in some time, yet I know if I needed their help they would move heaven and earth to be there for me. And the same goes for me, for them. There is a bond that is struck with sharing a life and death situation that is hard to break. In combat you must depend on the guy next to you to save you or defend you.
In sharing this bond with these guys, I have come to become a little cold to death and killing. I think as a human thrust into a situation where you must kill or be killed, you have to be calloused to survive the unthinkable of killing another human being. I know those who are still in therapy for something that happened over 30 years ago. It affects you and so it is something to be avoided.
So, how do you defend yourself and your family, and remain a good, and decent human being? I’ve learned to do this through scripture. Alma 44:2, 5
2 Behold, we have not come out to battle against you that we might shed your blood for power; neither do we desire to bring any one to the yoke of bondage. But this is the very cause for which ye have come against us; yea, and ye are angry with us because of our religion.
5 And now, Zerahemnah, I command you, in the name of that all-powerful God, who has strengthened our arms that we have gained power over you, by our faith, by our religion, and by our rites of worship, and by our church, and by the sacred support which we owe to our wives and our children, by that liberty which binds us to our lands and our country; yea, and also by the maintenance of the sacred word of God, to which we owe all our happiness; and by all that is most dear unto us—
Alma 46:12, 13, 20
12 And it came to pass that he rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.
13 And he fastened on his head-plate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land—
20 Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them.
This is how we justify carrying a weapon. This is how I have answered those who say I am not Christian if I am willing to do violence. This is the kind of man I strive to be. As was Moroni.
Some would say “But you are not fighting for liberty. You are not at war.” I would beg to differ. Crime and terrorism deprives us of our liberty and our God given rights. When we defend ourselves against crime and terrorism we are defending our liberty.
In Psalm 82:4 it says that we are to “Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.” In Nehemiah 4:14 we are told to “…fight for your brethren, your sons, and your daughters, your wives, and your houses.” These passages show us that we are required by biblical principles to defend innocent life, be it our families or merely the “weak and needy”.

1 Timothy 5:8 states that “…if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel” What greater provision is there than the provision for the defense and safety of our loved ones?

Not only is an armed response to life threatening evil condoned in scripture, but skill at arms is presented in a positive light. We are expected to have the tools and to acquire the skills needed to fulfill our obligation in protecting innocents from the evil that is loose in the world. This is clearly demonstrated in Psalm 144:1 “Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight” and again in Psalm 18:34 “He teacheth my hands to war, so that a bow of steel is broken by mine arms.”.

Luke 11:21-22 tells us that “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armor wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.” This passage of scripture not only allows specifically for armed defense, but serves as a model for the Castle Doctrine or perhaps the “Palace doctrine?”

I want to be clear at this point that I only advocate the use of deadly force for the preservation of innocent life. I stress this strongly when I have taught classes. I have never had a car that was worth a human life, and I don’t think there is enough money to kill over. I know for a fact that the finest of worldly possessions does not have the value of the basest of human lives. I would not use deadly force in defense of property, but I would not hesitate to use it to save the lives of my children or anybody else’s children, from a person of evil intent. Make no mistake, those people are out there these days, in droves.
I write this article to help those of you who have served in a combat role, served in law enforcement, or have had defend yourself and others in a civilian role and their families. But also for all of the above who train. When you get right down to it, we are training to kill or at least to do violence. Hopefully, we train to be able to make wise decisions when to not shoot, and how to avoid. Our lives should be dedicated to avoidance, deterrence, and de-escalation. This is what I call the concealed carry ADD. Being aware of where you are and what’s going on can give you a good heads up to avoid. If you are successful at avoidance then your need to judge when to draw, or when to shoot will be eliminated. In your training make sure you get some good ADD training.
If we are to truly protect our families and ourselves, we will learn controlled violence. Without it I’m not sure what will stop a determined terrorist or criminal. Control is the key. We have to be better than they are to protect. We have to be better than them.
Semper Paratus
Check 6
Burn