Saturday, January 12, 2008

Self-defense: Defensible, Sometimes, Maybe

Should I keep a handgun and be prepared to use it? Good question. Unfortunately, I have no satisfying answers. To those raised on the milk of foundational, pat answers my reflections may seem a bit frustrating.
I think it's more a matter of prayer and your conscience.

If you are reading this and living in a rural or mountainous area, I understand your having a rifle to repel wild animals.

Not all of us are wired the same way. Some people are naturally more physically forceful. David was a warrior, yet his son Solomon was a man of peace. And when it came to Jacob and Esau, who would have picked Jacob to be the father of the nation Israel? Genesis 25:27 says Esau was "a skillful hunter, a man of the field, while Jacob was a quiet man, dwelling in tents." If your desire to protect yourself or others leads you to possess weapons, and you are not emotionally unstable, you may prayerfully keep them. Who knows but that shooting to warn or wound might be used to save a life? A few requests, though. First, do not insist that all citizens must bear weapons, or say that those who do not are part of a left-wing conspiracy. If you ever lose control in a fit of rage, do us all a favor and turn in your weapons to the police. Third, pray like anything that you will not have to use them. God is your shield and defender. Don't trust in horses and chariots. Lastly, consider the staggering statement of Nate Saint who, when asked if he would use guns to defend himself against the Waodani tribesmen of Ecuador, said "We can't shoot the Waodani. They're not ready for heaven. We (the missionaries) are."

I personally stand with him, though I am certainly not his equal in magnitude of character.

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