In Which Your Correspondent Considers Protecting Others While Armed

I am a sinner. For those of you who do not share my faith, please understand that I offer this meditation only to my brothers and sisters, though feel free to participate. I don’t think anything I say is meant for anyone except for those who voluntarily submit to the authority of God and or His son Jesus Christ.

As I said, I am a sinner. My rebellion against God’s just law created an insurmountable barrier between myself and Him. For all intents and purposes, I was dead to God save for the part where I quit moving and the ambulatory plant my carcass into the ground.

Though I was for all intents and purposes dead, God still loved me. He wanted to end that separation, he wanted me alive. With Him. For eternity. His Son was willing to make the payment for my sin so that could happen.

This last Good Friday we celebrated the 1977th anniversary of Jesus of Nazareth choosing the death of Roman crucifixion over the rights and privileges that were rightfully his as the Son of God. I believe that by dying, experiencing death for three days, and returning to life he put paid the penalty I owed to God for my rebellion. All I have to do is surrender, and exchange my various and sundry false gods for service to the True and Living God.

Corrie Ten Boom hid Jews during the Holocaust. She lost members of her family to the Nazis for her trouble. I heard a recording of her noting that God would have more friends if he treated the ones he had better.

During the plague years in ancient Rome, the Christians were compelled by their faith to care for the dying, typically at the cost of their own life. My forebears believed that a life of service and sacrifice at the time of need was their “reasonable service” to borrow a phrase from the Great Apostle.

Queen Esther of the Hebrew scriptures – which I believe are authoritative upon my life – could have simply stood by while others were at great risk of death. Haman had conspired to trick the Babylonian King into signing a law allowing the lawful slaughter of her fellow Jews. By approaching the King without being summoned, she risked being struck down by the palace guard.  As an interesting note, Esther secured a law that gave the Jews the right to self defense against attacks by their gentile neighbors.

I said all that to say this. Even as I did not learn to swim in order to be a lifeguard I don’t think I could be true to Christ and stand idly by while my neighbor drowned. While I did not arm myself in order to protect anyone but myself and my loved ones, I do not think I could be true to the enormous sacrifice my Savior made for me if I stood by while someone I thought was otherwise innocent was in great peril.

I do not think the myriad examples in scripture, and in the history of the faithful throughout the ages were given to me so I could ignore the innocent in peril.

By being prepared for that awful moment when our life is imperiled by evil, we are also prepared to help our neighbor. We may be prepared to do for them what they cannot do for themselves. In so doing, I believe we reflect the very Good News of Jesus.

My wife could be widowed, my children orphaned. I could be sent to jail for the rest of my life due to a well-intentioned error in judgment. Still, for me, my beloved older brother did not think twice before leaping to my rescue and paying an unspeakable price for my salvation.

I want to die an old man, surrounded by my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I want to be sorely missed when I am gone. However, I want to be missed because I was a good adopted son of God who reflected the love and sacrificial qualities of God’s first and only born son.

I don’t believe I can do that and make myself safe from misfortune and heartbreak. I cannot serve without risk, and my faith does not indemnify me against calamity even when doing His work.

The best I can do is be prepared, be wise, and pray that God would give me the good sense and insight I need to bring Him glory and honor. I’ll probably screw it up, but God will know my heart, and that’s what will matter long after I am dust.

comments

  1. avatar Dustin says:

    Amen!

    1. avatar MikeyO says:

      +1….well said, Tim! God bless.

    2. avatar GS650G says:

      I didn’t realize TTAG was a no faith area, are we supposed to check it at the door?

  2. avatar Bill Baldwin says:

    Psalm 82:4 Rescue the weak and needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

    John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

  3. avatar Kelly in GA says:

    Well said, Tim.

    As an extension of what you said, my family and I know salvation, and they understand that I am willing to risk my life to give another person a chance to know God.

  4. avatar kahless1984 says:

    I never really thought about it that way…
    thanks for the insight!
    Amen though! good stuff!

  5. avatar Tommy Knocker says:

    Beautiful prose sir. Agree entirely.

  6. avatar Shannon T. Baker says:

    Starting the day with an article that brought tears to my eyes is not generally considered a good thing; but to start the day with an article that reminds me, in no uncertain terms, of what is most important is priceless.

    I really needed this today.

    Thank you

  7. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Outstanding article, Tim.

    For the naysayers, and there will be some, remember that you don’t have to believe to understand.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      St. Francis said he believed so that he may understand.

  8. avatar HAVE GUN says:

    Well written Tim.
    I like the reasoning process there, and the result.

  9. avatar BenL says:

    Thanks a lot for that Tim. Wonderful insight and perspective. You have a good handle on what life is all about, and Christ’s sacrifice for us.

  10. avatar Tarrou says:

    Lads, I’m the one screeching for unity on gun rights at the expense of partisan politics, and I’m an atheist. I don’t see anything wrong with this article. Mr. McNabb has laid out his personal philosophy, based on religion, for the carry and use of weapons. I respect that, even if I disagree with it. And what is better, he managed to do so without disparaging any other person or group. There are a lot of christian gun owners, and encouraging them in their personal framework is both legitimate and great, as long as it does not lead to the exclusion of other frameworks. I look forward to reading any other personal philosophies. In fact, Mr. McNabb may have inspired me to begin work on another article of my own. Cheers, lads.

    1. avatar Kent Carlson says:

      Thank you Tarrou for making such a good point.

    2. avatar Moonshine7102 says:

      Agreed, Tarrou. Tim just told us what works for him, and what guides his decision to intervene or not. As an atheist, the reasoning may confound me, but I find no fault with the delivery.

    3. avatar NR says:

      Agreed. If Tarrou (or anyone else) wrote an article arguing that we should take a page out of evolution’s book and carry because, hey- the fit survive, that would be appropriate for this site, just like this article.

      I would disagree with such an argument, btw- but it would make for some interesting discussion regarding why we carry.

  11. avatar Ryan Finn says:

    Well said Tim.

  12. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    I struggle with this. God has bestowed upon me an enormous responsibility in my wife and children. Their salvation is my first priority. The possibility of neglecting that specific responsibility in order to address a more general responsibility to my fellow man is not a decision to be taken lightly. A “defense of others” scenario that is uncertain, often ambiguous, and rapidly evolving provides a huge potential risk of choosing poorly, thus shirking my first responsibility.

    I don’t know the right answer… these are just my thoughts.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      I don’t know the right answer… these are just my thoughts.

      I totally understand.

      I have found that the truths of scripture are in tension, pulled one way and another. If it was easy, it would not merit discussion.

      The most important thing is to be faithful, and trust God for the results. If my life is not my own, if my wife and children are not mine but God’s, I have to trust that He will take care of things in the end.

      However, this is not an invitation to be an idiot.

    2. avatar virtualjohn says:

      I believe that marriage vows are a holy covenant with God, I also believe that the gift of children involves another covenant. Each of these charge us with responsibilities. That said, I also believe that God doesn’t have grandchildren just children. In other words my child’s spiritual education is part of my covenant with God I accepted upon becoming a parent. My child’s salvation is between my child and God. What’s the point? While I need to take care of my family, I also need to trust and rely on God. If my life is to end in the service of others I trust God will care for my child.

      1. avatar Henry Bowman says:

        “If my life is to end in the service of others I trust God will care for my child”

        I agree. Yet service to others begins with service to your family.

  13. avatar Michael B. says:

    Tim, you sound like a good person. I’m an atheist but I respect your willingness to put your life and freedom on the line for those who might unjustly lose theirs due to imminent criminal violence.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      I don’t know how willing I am, but I am compelled…

  14. avatar Robert Farago says:

    NOTE: I have deleted all the comments questioning TTAG’s decision to post this piece.

    It’s our longstanding policy not to discuss TTAG’s editorial stance or style in the comments section underneath an unrelated post (i.e. a post that isn’t tagged “Housekeeping”). These comments are excluded because they quickly descend into a pissing match and they detract from the content of the original post.

    If you have any questions or comments TTAG’s editorial decisions, please email me at guntruth@me.com.

    In this case, I will create a separate post on our decision for later in the day. In that post, it will be no holds barred. Save flaming, of course.

  15. avatar Ross says:

    Tim,

    You so totally Rocked that, thank you.

  16. avatar NR says:

    I generally agree with this article, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a good idea to intervene. If I ever have to use my gun to defend myself, I would hate to be shot by Tim McNabb while I’m right in the middle of it. No matter how well he means it.

    My guess is that most of the time, you won’t know who to shoot. So…. don’t.

    I agree that we should help other people, but when it comes to violence, I think RF’s “mind your own business” mindset is one that is much less likely to lead to a really bad situation, for everyone. If you do decide to intervene, you’ll be making a conscious exception to your ordinary way of doing things, which means you’ll hopefully think about it first.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      If I ever have to use my gun to defend myself, I would hate to be shot by Tim McNabb while I’m right in the middle of it. No matter how well he means it.

      Indeed.

    2. avatar TS says:

      I think NR brings a valid point, but it is rather an extension of Tim’s original piece.

      As a Christian, I feel the same weight Tim does. And I think that weight of conscience extends – heavily – to the fact that as an imperfect person I might make the wrong decision. However, rather than deterring me from what I feel is something I must do, it encourages me to use the utmost care.

      As a married man, I’m excessively careful about my relationships with women who are not my family. I work hard to improve my relationship with my wife and with great effort strive to change my behavior, habits, and quirks to be agreeable to her. I do it because I love her and because I love Jesus. At times, it is exceedingly difficult.

      The weight of gun ownership and the safety of others encourages me to be as practiced, accurate, and have as perfect judgement as I can. I’m sure Tim would agree that the same feeling of obligation he has to the defense of others extends to his responsibility to make himself able to carry out that defense, safely and legally, as God makes him able.

      God grant us wisdom in our decisions.

  17. avatar Low Budget Dave says:

    Well-written. And now for the practical application:

    Let’s say you are in a crowd, and you hear three or four shots nearby. You hear screaming. You turn in the direction where you thought the shots started, and you see someone pointing a gun at someone else.

    What do you do? Do you place your hand on your weapon and prepare to draw? Do you draw your weapon and point it? Do you shoot the person that you think is the shooter? Or do you stand still and not make any move unless your own life is threatened?

    A few years ago, this situation happened outside a football game near where I live. One person had drawn his gun because he saw a person that he thought was the shooter. Before he realized his mistake, he was killed by an off-duty cop. The off-duty cop then was nearly killed by a third person, who witnessed the shooting, but not the mistake that led to it.

    What would Jesus do? I don’t mean to make light of your beliefs, but I can’t picture Jesus taking sides in this one.

    1. avatar Michael B. says:

      In a situation where it’s not clear cut who’s who, I think that getting to cover and determining if it’s possible to run away without getting shot in the back would be the best thing to do. You could also watch and wait to try to figure out what’s going on, but I wouldn’t.

      Not every situation is like the one you described. If you see some guy holding a gun or a knife on someone and forcing them to hand over their wallets then you have a pretty good idea of what’s going on. If a woman is screaming for help and being chased down by one or more guys, then you know something bad is happening or about to happen.

  18. avatar Aharon says:

    Great post. I’ve been positively spiritually challenged reading it this morning. It is a good ‘inspirational pick-up piece’ of writing putting things into a higher moral and spiritual perspective. I can’t state that it is going to change my positions I commented to yesterday about involvement in the affairs of strangers when deadly force might occur yet I’m glad I read it.

    “Haman had conspired to trick the Babylonian King into signing a law allowing the lawful slaughter of her fellow Jews.”
    — Just a minor comment here: I believe that the story of Esther occurred in ancient Persia and involved the Persian king.

    I claim no scholarship on Jewish teachings and do not defer to those who do make such claims. However, I believe it is a Jewish teaching or possibly a commandment to go to the self-defense of an innocent person who is being attacked and to strike down the attacker. I do not know how far to extend the ideal to going to support a threatened or oppressed group of people from another dangerous attacking oppressive group.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      Crap – you are right. It was “the law of the Meads and Persians” that kept the king from changing the law, which lead to the ancient “Stand Your Ground” law rather than a simple repeal.

      Good catch.

    2. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      I do not know how far to extend the ideal to going to support a threatened or oppressed group of people from another dangerous attacking oppressive group.

      Underground Railroad, Miep Gies, there is a lengthy list of people who were very brave in the face of grave danger to help strangers. I think we are a better society for this spirit.

      I think perhaps we who believe ought to ponder these matters before we need to, to pray, to meditate and carefully consider with our family and friends what the limits to our calling are. It’s not something I can answer for anyone else, but I think definitely worth thinking about.

      My first prayer is that I never have to use violence.

  19. avatar Low Budget Dave says:

    Well-written. And now for the practical application:

    Let’s say you are in a crowd, and you hear three or four shots nearby. You hear screaming. You turn in the direction where you thought the shots started, and you see someone pointing a gun at someone else.

    What do you do? Do you place your hand on your weapon and prepare to draw? Do you draw your weapon and point it? Do you shoot the person that you think is the shooter? Or do you stand still and not make any move unless your own life is threatened?

    A few years ago, this situation happened outside a football game near where I live. One person had drawn his gun because he saw a person that he thought was the shooter. Before he realized his mistake, he was killed by an off-duty cop. The off-duty cop then was nearly killed by a third person, who witnessed the shooting, but not the mistake that led to it. The original gunfire had been someone shooting into the air, and the screaming was never explained.

    What would Jesus do? I don’t mean to make light of your beliefs, but I can’t picture Jesus studying the details of armed defense.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      What would Jesus do? I don’t mean to make light of your beliefs, but I can’t picture Jesus studying the details of armed defense.

      I think Christ had the benefit of being in such communion with God that he knew precisely what his future held – death on the cross, and trusted that if he listened to the Father he would get there. He evaded death a number of times, from a mob, from Herod’s forces. I don’t think Christ wondered what was next very often.

      He surrendered to the temple police at the appointed time, but not before.

      I am not a pacifist, but I do believe that force should be the last, practical resort.

  20. avatar Stant says:

    A very good post.

  21. avatar bontai Joe says:

    I liked and understood your post, makes perfect sense to me. I am one who lost his faith in God after watching my infant son die an inch at a time. Apparently my prayers were answered with a loud NO. As to devine guidance when presented with something bad happening, I’ll be using my powers of reason and observation to determine if I can be of help, or just get killed or others killed by participating. As you said, “However, this is not an invitation to be an idiot.”

    1. avatar Roadrunner says:

      Joe, I hope not to presume too much, especially about your personal pain. I lost two unborn kids I never got to hold, but somehow I know God and Christ were hurting with me. It helps me to remember this life is just the title page, and I’ll see them in eternity. Please don’t stay out in the cold too long.

    2. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      I am very sorry for your loss, Bontai Joe.

      That’s all I have to say other than I’ve been where you have been. tim dot mcnabb at gmail dot com if you feel so inclined.

  22. avatar Anon in CT says:

    “If I am not for myself, who will be for me?

    If I am only for myself, what am I?

    And, if not now, when?”

    –Hillel the Elder

  23. avatar Ron says:

    Hi Tim,
    Interesting post.
    You most certainly have the right to explain your reasons for posting as you did.
    I do it all the time. We all do. In fact it is necessary to do so more often than not.
    Stating that your views are those of a Christian is no different than Ralph’s stating that his are those of an attorney.

    My understanding of your post is that you are willing to sacrifice your life, freedom and welfare of your family to aid others, if in doing so you are doing God’s work.
    On 4/17 @ 13:23 I commented on the post titled “Some Thoughts on the Zimmerman Incident”. I stated that I am uncertain as to my stand on defense of the public at large, and some concerns I have with intervening in situations that do not affect me personally.
    If you have time to read this post I would like to hear your perspective on these concerns.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      Not everything in life has a bright line of demarcation, and this is very murky to me.

      I do not fault guys like Ralph who make a bright circle around his family and says everyone outside that circle, he feels he is not compelled to help at risk of life and limb.

      My point is that I do not necessarily have that option if I am to be true to my faith. I can choose to help, I can choose to not help, but I always should work to reflect the love of God.

      I think the most important thing a Christian can do is pray and think about it. Talk it over with their family and friends. Ask for wisdom. Then do your best.

      For those who do not believe – I think society is a better place where we have citizens who will look out for the stranger. What that means has to be worked out case by case, I suppose.

      1. avatar Ron says:

        I do not fault guys like Ralph either. I may very well share his view. At this time I do not know. I have never had to choose between putting my life on the line for another or putting my welfare first. At least not as a civilian. As a combat medic I put my life on the line for others many times, but at that time I had no wife or children to consider and the others were not strangers to me.

        My comment was intended for those who believe that you should refrain from posting your religious comments.
        I used Ralph as an example because as an attorney he thinks like an attorney.This influences his comments. He often remarks that” as an attorney I did this…….. or I know that…….”. As he should.
        As a devout Christian you comments are influenced by your faith. And you have the right to make this known when you choose to.
        I could have chosen a LEO or firearms instructor or most anyone else who post on this site as an example.
        Ralph was simply the first to come to mind.

  24. avatar Ralph says:

    Tim, I trust you because I know you through your works. But you should understand that, to parts of the non-Christian world, there’s nothing more frightening than a Christian with a gun. Just as to parts of the Christian world, there’s nothing more frightening than a Muslim with a gun.

    In my opinion, religion has been the cause of more death and suffering than fatty foods. So I think that religion and guns mix about as well as booze and guns, and is more dangerous than frying bacon in the nude. YMMV.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      Respectfully, I don’t think it is religion that causes suffering, it is people. Communists – bereft of any religion save worship of the State, are responsible for their millions of dead, too.

      I think Charles Darwin noted that a shipwrecked sailor would rather land on an island where missionaries had already been. It was the difference between being served dinner or served as dinner.

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Communism was a religion with a high priest but no god. And if the missionaries had guns, Darwin would have bugged out — and fast.

        Look, you are right that all the evil in the world traces right back to people. But all too often, those people are relying on what they perceive as the word of god to justify their acts. That’s not good, but that’s the way it is.

      2. avatar Tim McNabb says:

        My meta-point is that we all are religious whether we believe it or not. We all have a god – that is – that thing we are loyal to no matter what. We all justify our evil somehow.

        More important, I do not think anyone become less evil just because they eschew religion.

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          “Those who can make you believe absurdities, can make you commit atrocities.”

          – Voltaire

          If you believe the creator of everything is telling you to do something, who are you to argue? That’s the thought process behind many a heinous act. There are a lot of people out there who would be much less able to justify horrible acts if they didn’t believe that the Almighty himself were telling them to act.

      3. avatar Tim McNabb says:

        An atrocity is an atrocity whether you believe the Almighty is telling you to do it, or you are just following orders.

        If the Almighty told me to commit an atrocity, I would check myself into a hospital.

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          You’re really back where you started, then. You have to evaluate everything by your own judgment to know if it’s moral or not.

      4. avatar Tim McNabb says:

        You’re really back where you started, then. You have to evaluate everything by your own judgment to know if it’s moral or not.

        Indeed. Though on balance, I think you would rather have neighbors who believe in a transcendent moral authority that commands them to do good works in his name, and defines good works clearly. Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, comfort the afflicted and visit those in prison.

        Put another way – in the United States, Christians who believe in using violence to advance the church would run into a buzzsaw of opposition from folks like me.

        The biggest assholes in America who hold up Christ as their prime motivator, the Westboro Baptist Church are truly awful people, but so far have not been violent.

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          Well, we’ve established it’s the people who are ultimately deciding to do those things, but yes, I think we can agree that nice people make better neighbors. The “transcendent moral authority” also tells them to do a lot of other things in his most famous publication, which thankfully most of which are ignored.

          In any case, what it comes down to is all morality is human. Even proclamations from on high are evaluated against our own moral sense and rejected if they are found wanting. For good or for ill, it’s all down to us.

    2. avatar Aharon says:

      I think it’s ideology taken to the extremes and twisted. The sheeple often only seem too happy to let the demagogues lead them down a bloody pathway of destruction and oppression. One can argue that the -isms such as communism, socialism, capitalism, nationalism, free-marketism, fascism, marxism, feminism, etc are also religions.

      I like the teaching of the Buddha to walk the middle path. Man is made for a spiritual relationship with God and the Infinite. Man-made religious practice, teaching, and leadership have helped and harmed the human race’s ancient quest.

    3. avatar Mikeb302000 says:

      I know, let’s have a separation of church and gun. It really does sound a bit grandiose to elevate the decision to carry a gun to that of doinig God’s will, to be on call to protect and serve those poor unfortunates who might need help.

      I believe you’re sincere, Tim, that’s just a feeling I get reading what you write, but I couldn’t help that little disclaimer you put in at the end. You’ll probably mess it up but at least God will know you heart was in the right place.

    4. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      Carlos – to what famous publication are you referring.

      1. avatar CarlosT says:

        The Bible. Or the Torah. Or the Koran. Or what have you.

  25. avatar Silver says:

    While I do not share your faith, I do share your outlook on helping and defending others, and even for a similar reason: I don’t think I could stand idly by while someone is truly in danger because my heart does not allow it…heart, soul, instinct, whatever one wants to call it, I am moved to help. I believe I am doing a truly “good” thing by helping or defending, which could also be expressed as God’s work by one of faith. I apologize if I missed the mark, but that’s what I initially came away with.

    Helping and especially defending others carries with it a great risk and, in my opinion, a great responsibility. In modern times, the acceptability and legality of rendering aid and specifically armed aid has become muddled and subjective, but the spirit of it hasn’t. Morally right and lawfully right do not always run parallel. For me, I hold faith that “good” will always come out on top. I’d rather deal with lawyers than with my reflection.

  26. avatar Wade says:

    Tim, you just helped restore quite a bit of my faith in humanity. I am proud that you stepped forth and represented us Christian gun owners, and in such a way that doesn’t make us look like a bunch of extremists. This article parallels a train of thought I’ve had for a long time, but just haven’t been able to put into words. Thank you.

  27. I’m also a Christian, so I believe and agree with everything you said.

    The practical application is the sticky part.

    What is the best course of action in specific situations?

    Yes, I want to defend others and yes, I want to NOT die, (although I’m willing to.)

    It seems that in the heat of the moment, anything can and will happen. I don’t think there are any cut and dried rules as to when you should engage and when you should hold back.

    I do agree that the idea that “I should only protect me and mine” is incorrect.

    But where and when to pull out a gun, to protect anyone, including yourself, is a tough question.

    I’ll just give it my best shot. 🙂

  28. avatar old and scarred says:

    Tim, thank you for your testimony, your willingness to speak out.

    Exodus 33:19

  29. avatar ThomasR says:

    All the people in the world are my spiritual brothers and sisters, I just don’t know them all personally, that is why I won’t stand by when one of my family is being attacked.

  30. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    I think people of a sound Biblical faith have a sometimes impossible task. We live in a broken world and sometimes it is not possible to conduct ourselves without sinning if you will. There are plenty of Bible stories that espouse charity and helping others — even others in desperate circumstances. And the Bible teaches us to be prudent and not waste energy on “fools”. Finally the Bible also teaches us to love, teach, and provide for our families. Clearly one would do a very poor job loving, teaching, and providing for their family after their death while trying to save someone else.

    There is another perspective that I think lots of people miss. Not all, but many people are in dire circumstances because of unwise choices that they make. I have a Christian friend who is a husband and father. About a year ago I really impressed upon him the importance to arm himself so he is in the best possible position to love, teach, and provide for his family as long as possible. While he recognized what I was saying, he ultimately decided not to arm himself because:
    (a) he doesn’t have $1000 to spare for his concealed carry license and a suitable handgun because he is saving money to buy a $25,000 boat, and
    (b) his wife is a nervous person and would not be comfortable with him carrying a handgun.

    Do you see what happened here? If he faces an attacker, he will be unarmed because he would rather spend his money on a boat and isn’t willing to stand up to his wife and be the head of the household (a Biblical mandate no less). I on the other hand spent $1000 that I really didn’t have and took the time to win my wife over. So why should I put myself in peril for him? And I can only imagine how many other people have made similar choices.

    The “no brainer” in my book is a minor. If I saw a criminal attack two 13 year old children walking home from the park by themselves — mind you a 13 year old cannot legally even carry a handgun — I would intervene without hesitation. Beyond that, it would be a situation by situation kind of thing.

    For anyone wondering why I would automatically intervene for a 13 year old and not, say, a 25 year old woman, the answer is that the woman can legally carry a handgun. One year after I obtained my concealed carry license, my wife jumped on the bandwagon and obtained hers. (Which cost another $1000 that we really didn’t have.) She carries just about all the time and I feel much better knowing it.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      If the Savior waited until I deserved salvation, I would be doomed.

  31. avatar Eric says:

    Respect.

  32. avatar Tom says:

    I am not saying I am an atheist, but I think most people regardless of background probably would at least have a strong urge to defend known innocent people from a known evil madman if clearly presented with the facts of the situation.
    However, defending others is fraught with risks and dangers both physically, financially, and legally.
    Choose your actions wisely.

  33. avatar Fred says:

    Tim, I respect your belief in your faith, and I respect your right to free speech. I respect your willingness to put it out there, in service to spreading the word, and in service to the conversation about the article about a duty to defend.

    I do have to tell you I would find it a little bit creepy if it goes on and on. A thought experiment- if you changed every reference to God to Allah, and so on, I think you might be able to get some sense of where I am coming from. Not disrespecting Muslims here- just pointing out sensitivities, is all, and I guess hoping you will respect the secular nature of this space.

    1. avatar Tim McNabb says:

      I do have to tell you I would find it a little bit creepy if it goes on and on. A thought experiment- if you changed every reference to God to Allah, and so on, I think you might be able to get some sense of where I am coming from.

      Let’s follow that idea, Fred. Would you object to a Muslim who expressed that they were compelled by their faith to put themselves at risk to protect others?

      1. avatar Ralph says:

        Would you object to a Muslim who expressed that they were compelled by their faith to put themselves at risk to protect others?

        The arguments made by Muslims suicide bombers — that they’re protecting their brothers and sisters — is exactly your argument. And they’re willing to die to serve their lord, because it will bring them salvation in paradise. Have you seen this movie before?

        I get real nervous when anyone tells me that they’ll kill because that’s what their deity wants them to do, whether the deity is named Allah or Jesus or Jehovah. Not to put too fine a point on it, but while I trust that you will do the right thing, I cannot say the same about anyone else.

        1. avatar CarlosT says:

          I get real nervous when anyone tells me that they’ll kill because that’s what their deity wants them to do, whether the deity is named Allah or Jesus or Jehovah. Not to put too fine a point on it, but while I trust that you will do the right thing, I cannot say the same about anyone else.

          As should we all, because when the being that created everything is giving you orders, what basis do you have to question them? Remember that most monotheistic religions hold this being to be omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent, so any request He makes of you would automatically be for the greatest good, because he knows everything, can do anything, and is infinitely good. Therefore if He asks that you blow up a school bus full of first-graders, then it must be somehow part of his greater plan to maximize goodness in the world. Otherwise he would never ask you to do it.

      2. avatar Tim McNabb says:

        The arguments made by Muslims suicide bombers — that they’re protecting their brothers and sisters — is exactly your argument.

        No it’s not. Not even close.

        I am specifically talking a person about to come to what I perceive as great bodily harm or death at the hands of another, and I have the opportunity to intervene in an emergent, crisis situation. I’d take no regard to the faith or lack thereof of the person I am helping.

        No premeditation, no desire to force a change in heart or mind of anyone. Not for the specific purpose of promoting or defending my faith. Violence only to prevent more grievous violence, and then only as a last resort. Then as the crisis is passed, on my way.

        I do not see how Suicide Bombers meet any of these sort of criteria, neither in their heart or in their action.

  34. avatar Tim McNabb says:

    For what it is worth, I am enjoying the discussion. Smart, thoughtful response and interesting dialogue. I can talk with people I agree with all day on Sundays.

    1. avatar Aharon says:

      Tim,

      It’s great and I’d like to see more such posts and discussions. Personally, I get bored with booth babe and political posts real quick and have been choosing to lower myself down to my animal nature in sometimes making non-spiritual comments after those stories. Your post was as real and meaningful as any that I’ve read here.

  35. avatar Stephen says:

    Well said, my brother.

  36. avatar Kirsten says:

    Well said, and felt. “God will know my heart”. We’re gonna inevitably screw something up because we aren’t perfect, but if our heart is right that is what matters. And God will make up for where we lack 🙂
    With all the “preppers” and things, there is a mentality of “every man for himself” but I think to open up your world and think of others maybe you don’t even know–even in a survival type scenario– is not human nature. When we think of others ( especially in a time of crisis) and not just ourselves, it shows the true nature of God’s love. If only I could do this ALL the time!! Its a worthy pursuit. But I mess up just like you 😉 Good thing I dont trust in my own strength, but His. 🙂

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