Self defense and pacifism
Tim says he won’t own a gun because he’s a pacifist. Blake says you can be an armed pacifist. I concur. As someone who is generally armed, I can tell you that I will not use a weapon if the only thing I risk losing is material wealth. I could care less. I have insurance. However, the threat of violence to me or my loved ones will be met with force. That said, a couple of Tim’s ideas leapt out at me:
The fact that my wife “naturally” does not consider reacting to violence with violence fills me with wonderment and awe. Honestly—if someone on the highway cuts her off and flips her the bird, Sue just smiles and waves at the aggressive driver. I admire her so much for that. For whatever reason, the notion of countering violence or aggression with compassion is a relatively new concept for me. However, it is a concept that I buy into with my entire body, heart, mind, and soul.
This passage implies to me that he was, at least until recently, the kind that would engage an aggressive driver in a bit of aggression himself. If that’s the case, it’s probably for the best that you not arm yourself. Full disclosure: When someone flips me off in traffic, I blow them a kiss too but it’s because I’m a smart ass and not out of compassion. Additionally, he says:
It seems reasonable to me that if I am futzin’ around with a firearm or some other kind of lethal weapon, whether that weapon is on my person, in my vehicle, under my bed, or wherever, then I am probably concerned more with fear than I am with loving and caring about my family and other ones who are dear to me.
This is the kinder gentler way of saying that gun-nuts are scared folks with little penises. And it doesn’t fly. Sure, some folks like me (a self professed gun nut) do seem preoccupied with guns and that’s only because I think they’re fun. It’s a hobby. But in the event I was not a gun nut, I’d very likely still own a handgun for home defense because, here in the real world, idealism isn’t worth a squirt of piss when it comes to defending those I love. And it is not that I’m scared or in fear or this ridiculous notion that I’m scared more than I love my family. It’s realism. Study after study has shown that active armed resistance is the best way to deal with a violent situation. More:
Speaking only for myself, Sue and I have a home security system, and we have security systems in our vehicles. In the past, I have had my material possessions ripped off—it isn’t the greatest feeling in the world, but, after all, they are only replaceable material possessions. In moments of meditation, the worst thing I can think of would be for harm to come to someone I love. Yes, that would be tragically painful. On the other hand, I nonetheless cleave to the belief that countering violence with violence is not a solution to the problem of fear.
No one I know is intimating that countering violence with violence is a solution to the problem of fear. Rather, countering violence with violence is a solution to the problem of violence. Again, the implication is that those who choose to be prepared are scared. Perhaps in some hippie, tree-hugging fantasy land where houses are painted with pixie dust and the streets are made of lollipops, this plan might work. But here in the real world, I’ll trust a gun over the compassion of a robber/ rapist /mugger /murderer any day.
My advice: You should hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.