With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility

February 20, 2013 at 9:24 pm

I’ve talked about firearms before, and the Second Amendment as well as the right to defend one’s self and one’s property.  Those points have all been well established.  Though it seems that some still do not believe this is enough of a reason to own a firearm.  Some seem to be under the impression that the desire to own a weapon has to do with some sort of testosterone-fueled giddiness at the prospect.  I believe it is important to set those ideas to rest.  They are misguided and subvert the logic of owning a weapon by replacing the reasonable argument with some kind of base physiological distortion.

There are many weapons in existence today.  In fact just about every object within your reach as you read this could be used as a weapon.  It isn’t necessarily the nature of a particular item that gives it the designation of ‘weapon’, but the use that it is put to.  Some items fit the designation better than others because their design lends itself to efficiency in terms of potential damage done.  At the basest level, that is what a weapon is; an item capable of causing damage.  Knifes are considered weapons by most, though they primarily serve as aids in eating and culinary.  Of all common weapons though, firearms seem capable of causing an irrational hysteria like no other.  Why?  Because they were designed with efficiency.  A firearm is capable of causing great harm and is not limited by the length of one’s arm, or the skill of one’s throw as a knife is.  For these reasons firearms are demonized by many today because evil individuals recognize their abilities.  It is also these properties however, which make a firearm ideal for defense.

There is a saying that comes up in old western movies about not bringing a knife to a gun fight.  There is a deep wisdom in those words.  Should you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to defend yourself or a loved one, you want to have the edge or at the very least be on equal footing with the aggressor.  If the aggressor is armed with a gun, you are at a severe disadvantage if you are not armed with one also.  A pocket knife, a pair of scissors, car keys etc… would be of very little use in such a set of circumstances.  Gun laws don’t stop criminals.  If laws stopped criminals, they wouldn’t be criminals in the first place.

A firearm is a tool. Like any other tool it can be misused by those with evil intent.  The best defense against such use is to utilize your own firearm to protect those who are threatened.

Getting to the title of this post, it cannot be overstated that while a firearm is a tool, it is a most horrible tool.  Owning one burdens the owner with an exceptionally deep and awful responsibility.  If that firearm ever had to be used defensively, it could very well mean the end of another human life.  Words cannot accurately describe the implications of such action. A firearm isn’t ‘cool’.  It’s not a toy.  It’s not something to be jolly about or to joke around with.  It is a tool with terrible power.  No responsible gun owner ever wants to have to use his or her weapon for anything but target practice or hunting.  If faced with a life or death situation, there is a choice to be made.  Your life or that of a loved one, or the life of the attacker.  An unarmed victim does not get a choice.  An armed victim does get a choice, though it is a monstrous one.  The primary goal of any gun owner should be to avoid having to ever make that choice.  For that reason, proper ongoing training is essential to gain the skill and clarity necessary to make a sound and decisive judgment in the face of terror.  The weight of the world cannot compare to the grave responsibility that comes with owning a weapon.

I value my life.  I value the lives of those I love above all else.  I would do anything to protect them, up to and including ending another life to save theirs. The thought of it is enough to put a lump in my stomach and bring on a feeling of horror.  Pure horror.  The only thing I can conceive as being more horrifying is the prospect of being powerless in such a situation.  Like a nightmare you cannot wake from, doomed to whatever fate an attacker may choose to enforce.

In an ideal world weapons wouldn’t exist.  Violence wouldn’t occur.  All people would respect the sanctity of life and the rights of others.  We do not live in such a world, nor would such a world be possible in our flawed human condition.  The only alternative is to be prepared to live in the world as it is.  A world in which there is evil.  A world in which there are those who would harm the innocent for their own gain or amusement.  The only response to the possibility of such actions is to take personal responsibility for protecting yourself and those you love.  Taking that responsibility entails having the tools necessary, and the training that is essential to using those tools in the most expedient and judicious manner possible should a nightmare ever become a reality.

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Based on a work at http://www.considerliberty.com.
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