Reader Gerald Brennan writes:
My friend, I’ll call her Jane, is a gen-you-wine Ann Arbor progressive with a capital “P.” Like most of her ilk, she believes what she’s told without letting pesky factors like logic, history, evidence, or rational thinking affect her mental processes.
In a perverse mood one day, I entered a conversation we were all having about the evils of concealed carry. Normally there’s no reason to do that because that’s an act of masochism around here, but wits need sharpening and sometimes these conversations bring me to new realizations. As this one did.
I told Jane that if someone punched me in the nose while walking down the street, my first impulse would be not to engage the fellow, but find out what was wrong with him (crazy, drunk, mistaken identity, etc.), then follow up as I deemed appropriate. But if someone were to try to hurt Jane, I would engage them and do whatever was necessary to protect her, even to the point of drawing my pistol and shooting him if I felt she were in real danger and that this was my only recourse.
Jane raised hell. She let me know that she didn’t want me to protect her, and especially never to use my gun against someone on her behalf. (Now, most progressives say they believe this sort of thing. But ask them at the critical moment if they want to die for their belief and the answer almost certainly surprises them.)
It was then that I had the realization that’s stayed with me since. I told her, “Jane, it would not be the danger to you that would cause me to draw my weapon.” She looked puzzled and asked what I meant.
“It would be the insult to me that someone would presume to assault a man or woman in the aura of my protection,” I replied. That was as epiphanic to me as it was unbalancing to her. She stammered, “I don’t care. Just never do that!”
“But this isn’t about you, Jane,” I told her. “That is between me and the aggressor. It’s not your call to make.”
Of course, I scored no points with these folks for that observation, and they likely are now more rabid in their views on the subject than ever.
When you’re armed, the people around you are, or ought to be, in the aura of your protection. Shooting another person must always and only be an act of love – toward self, family, friends, even strangers caught in the throes of lethal malice – if it isn’t an act of love, then it’s always a mistake to draw your weapon.
There is a corollary to this. Don’t hate when you kill (if you must). Violent perps are sick, sick for a reason, and there are always reasons. Reasons you don’t need to know. If you are forced to shoot someone as a last resort, dispassionately and efficiently, and keep a reserved and humble attitude about the event. You’re as an avenging angel doing God’s work.
If you kill, even the worst of men, out of hate and then crow about your achievement, there’s baggage attached to that. Some would say it’s a sin. Most of the rest of the world would say that there’s karma attached to hateful killing. Plainly speaking, it’s ignoble, and that trait in a person is always addressed eventually.
Our responsibilities could not be greater as the deciding agent of the fate of another. We have to be worthy of it. It has to be clear and clearly comprehended before we are ever obliged to face that test, that love must be the force to shape the deed to a noble outcome.