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A Personal Reflection on Conceal Carry

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:23 am

On November 1, 2011 the citizens of Wisconsin will be able to apply for a license to carry a concealed weapon and I am glad. I have no intention of carrying on a regular basis, at least not initially, but I do think that I will attend the class and apply for the license. Moreover, I think I can even convince my wife to attend and get her own license as well. I want to contribute to the movement that made conceal carry legal in this state because I believe in the right of people to legally carry; even if, in the end, I decide to never carry myself. This path is not without personal risk though, admittedly, a very personal kind of risk.

I can see myself carrying in some specific situations, mostly involving the possibility of bear or badger at some seculded apiary. This may, however, change with on-going training, personal evolution and world events. I would be very surprised to see my wife ever carry and I would have reservations about her doing so. Her instincts are rather passive and it would take some ongoing training and apparant changes in her own life course to convince me that the best strategy for her is anything other than that of the possum. No judgment intended. It is what it is, she is who she is and I love her.

The personal risk arises from the fact that I am religiously commited to a path of non-violence but I am not passive by nature. I have made a career of walking toward the chaos and seizing control. Usually through the careful use of voice, presence or humor but sometimes through waiting for the other to take a swing so I can use the force of their commitment to bring them safely to the ground. Once on the ground I use those methods necessary to keep everyone safe until the aggressor can be controled. More than a career, I enjoy it. I like it when they throw a punch; even better when they throw a chair or break a television. I should not like it but I do.

When faced with a fight I can not go passive. I may not engage if personal safty dictates but I can not play the possum. I doubt I could even flee as long as there were weaker and slower to my rear, unguarded. In the extreme situation I might be able to say, "Every man for himself," maybe, but only after "women and children first." Whether this is nature or nurture I can not say. It does not matter. It arises from a deep inseperable part of my inmost being. It is more "real" than my religious convictions which are the mind and spirit's attempt to tame the flesh. My response to threat is the place where the flesh seeks to counter the mind and spirit.

I can rationalize carrying even though it represents a commitment to violate my ethic, a commitment to sin; akin to carrying a condemn in case I have the opportunity to commit adultery. The condem and the firearm are tools and morally neutral in and of themselves. It is what I would do with them that constitute the moral threat. Carrying them indicates a commitment to a course of action that would be "sin;" a betrayal of what I believe, a denial of what I proclaim as true. I do not carry a condem for the very reason that I am not willing to sin for the sole purpose of some momentary gratification and I do not doubt my ability to maintain that resolve. I continue to struggle with the fact that I am capable of sin to preserve the life of another. If I look deep enough, I may be willing to sin to preserve my own life. I would sin boldly in order to preserve the lives of my children.

It is a hard thing to admit that one is a hypocrite of sorts: that what he has preached, he would not be able to follow. My flesh and my spirit do not agree and I am ready to recognize that giving way to the flesh is a sin, a denial in act of that which I so deeply affirm in word and spirit. One theologian has mused, "If there is such a thing as a 'just war' in the Christian tradition, it would take a pacifist to recognize it." It is quite another thing, however, for a pacifist to contemplate preparing for war.

The dichotomy I have drawn is a false one: there is plenty of room for action in a crisis without resorting to lethal violence. There are plenty of ways to prepare without carrying a concealed weapon. Heck, even though they were illegal to possess before the new law, the conceal carry law will also allow me to carry a concealed stun gun if I choose. The options laid before us in any given situation are a varied as our imagination but, now that I have the choice, it is hard to let go of that one last option. The one you never want to face but if forced to face it would much rather be prepared for it than not. The dichotomy may be false but that does not question is not.

Perhaps this is nothing but a convert's midlife crisis: a choice between a second conversion or reversion to the culture of my birth. Whatever it is, it is real and the outcome uncertain. As I wrestle with it I wish my greatest struggle were the advances of some sweet young thing. In confronting the allure of infidelity one's love for their wife and children is a strong ally. When confronted with the possibile need to engage in lethal violence, it is, for the pacifist, a strong foe.

I'll keep you updated on how it works out.

http://www.senecasdog.blogspot.com

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Sevareid's Law: "The leading cause of problems is solutions."
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Re: A Personal Reflection on Conceal Carry

Permanent Linkby General Doom on Fri Sep 09, 2011 1:27 pm

I read this with much interest. Do I understand correctly that your dogma is that committing an act of violence is a sin under any circumstances, even to preserve the life of your children?
"Every junkie's like a setting sun..." - Neil Young
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Re: A Personal Reflection on Conceal Carry

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:37 pm

Lethal violence, yes. An understandable sin but one none the less.
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“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Sevareid's Law: "The leading cause of problems is solutions."
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Re: A Personal Reflection on Conceal Carry

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:53 pm

Sin might be too harsh a term in it's strictest sense. It would be an occasion for repentance and a failure of faith. The early christians let their children go to the lions rather than be fostered to pagans. An early version I guess of "better dead than red.". If Christs death and resurrection frees us from the need to kill the enemy, empowers us to love the enemy, what is puting a hole in the enemy's chest but a denial of that death and resurrection? A denial that one trusts in the future resurrection of the race ( including one's children).
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Sevareid's Law: "The leading cause of problems is solutions."
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Re: A Personal Reflection on Conceal Carry

Permanent Linkby Thomas on Sat Sep 10, 2011 9:22 am

This is a debate that has existed since the early Church and undoubtedly before its founding. Some relevant passages from the Catholic Catechism:

"Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow"

"If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful.... Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's"

"Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another's life. Preserving the common good requires rendering the unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. To this end, those holding legitimate authority have the right to repel by armed force aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their charge."

This is just one Christian source that supports the idea of the morality of self-defense. The last passage can apply, in my mind, to a father and his family. So to me, if someone comes after your wife and/or children and you have retreated to the point where retreat is no longer possible then under the law and under moral law you are justified in using potentially deadly force to stop the offender.
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Re: A Personal Reflection on Conceal Carry

Permanent Linkby wisconsin_cur on Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:01 am

While I am not catholic neither am I able to just pick the conviction that suits my desires.

in short: 1)I am called to love my enemy
2) putting a bullet in someone's chest is counter to love
3) a person seeking to do me or my family harm meets the definition of enemy.
http://www.senecasdog.blogspot.com

“It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.” J.R.R. Tolkien

Sevareid's Law: "The leading cause of problems is solutions."
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