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Back in the mid-1970s Col. Jeff Cooper introduced the world to the concept of the “Four Color Code” for awareness-of-mind of the potential dangers around you. Many people (including the government) have taken his ideas far beyond the simple Code that Cooper envisioned. While some of the current teaching is fine as it is, the original ideas behind the Code are still quite good and applicable today for all those who are interested in getting through the day safe and sound.
Some people have likened following the Code as “living in a state of paranoia.” This is poor thinking, and is no different than accusing someone who believes in “defensive driving“ as being paranoid. We all understand that it is our responsibility to watch out for the other guy on the road and be prepared to take necessary action. Cooper’s Code does nothing really different from that but applies the same principles in our daily lives.
The codes start at White, and run through Yellow, Orange, and Red at the end. They reflect a mindset, an awareness that the person has in his immediate surroundings. The basic idea is that you ramp up through the color codes as the potential danger in the situation develops. Your awareness of your possible need to take action increases as you ramp up. There is no set action that is required, no mandatory response from an individual as he moves through the steps. One can skip one or more steps if the situation requires.
White is basically your oblivious, non-aware status. You are walking down the street immersed in your own thoughts, without regard to those around you. You have a seat on the bus and have no idea who is there with you or what is happening in your immediate area. This is not a good mindset in public and pretty much everyone who sees you in White knows you are in White. Being in White is why so many victims of crime say, “I never saw it coming.”
Being in Yellow is a relaxed, alert view. Those around you know that you are alert and aware. In comparison to defensive driving it is similar to being aware of all the traffic around you and knowing the areas where potential problems may happen. It is much harder to be surprised by events that develop. You never start the day thinking that this is the day you are going to be in a wreck but because you know it could happen you are prepared enough to engage in the traffic instead of driving blindly and hoping you get to your destination safely. Code Yellow is a normal, low-resource use of your mind.
Orange means that something has caught your attention and you alert on it. You are now focused on it and are making plans “in case.” Some of your actions may be automatic, such as stepping on the brake to slow your car down when you notice someone edging into the traffic up in front of you. In a self-defense situation you are ramping up your mindset to preparation for taking action such as pulling out your stun gun or pepper spray. An example of maintaining an Orange-type awareness for hours would be driving to Chicago during rush hour. It may not be your favorite activity but after spending the long time in Orange you can quickly shake it off. Many people can go weeks and even months without ever being in a self-defense situation that requires Code Orange.
Code Red does not mean that you have to take action, but it puts you in the mindset that if immediate action is required you are ready and primed for it. You are prepared mentally to do what is necessary to defend yourself and those you are responsible for. You are past the point of wondering what to do or if the situation is serious. Code Red may last ten seconds or ten minutes. Circumstances vary with individuals and situations.
Each individual reacts to the Color Codes differently. Some will be in Orange while others are still comfortable in Yellow in identical situations. Someone may reach Red far quicker than another. There is no “right way” or “wrong way” to make the Color Codes work for you as long as you stick to the basics of the program. The only real consensus is that spending time in White is perhaps not the best way to go about your daily business in public, or even at home if need be.
I invite you to look around at my other blogs. I am sure you’ll find something of interest. And stop by my Store for the best and finest in non-lethal self-defense supplies.
Our Constitution makes it very clear that there should be a hands off approach to any entanglement between government and churches. The Supreme Court has amplified it through the years and the lawmakers have pretty clear direction that if they make any laws impacting churches there must either be
(1) a darn good reason why, or
(2) that the law impacts generally everyone the same way and that the churches' religious charter has nothing to do with the law (i.e., safety codes allowing certain maximum occupation of a building based on size regardless of the type of organization.).
The Federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 states this in no uncertain terms. However, the courts have ruled that this Act only applies to Federal regulations and not to the individual states and their laws. As a response to the ruling a number of states have enacted their own RFRA that limits what they can do, but many others have chosen not to do so.
A church is a 501(c)3 charity, the same as thousands of other charities. These range from the local animal shelter to the "Ladies of the Green Hat Society." There's nothing extra-special about being a 501(c)3, it's just a way to notify the Federal and state government that one is a tax-exempt organization.
Yet, of the thousands of 501(c)3 organizations some states specifically singled out only one type, churches, as being off limits to those who are legally licensed to carry a handgun. (CCW for short).
Many of these states also ban CCW holders from schools, bars, casinos, government buildings and other places, but these almost always have some connection with the state... they are either owned outright by the state such as schools, regulated in some fashion or another, or answer to the state for certain aspects of their business. This nexus simply does not hold true for churches.
The sole reason that the legislature picked the churches out from all the other charities to ban CCW on the premises is simply because of religious reasons. Someone, somewhere, thought it would be an offense against God for a CCW holder to carry in a church.
This was made very clear when Michigan was considering CCW a few years back. The quote from the Metro Times leaves no doubt:
"Tom Hendrickson, director of the Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police, says the idea of mixing guns with religion doesn't make his day." ‘Law enforcement is of the opinion that these are places where people shouldn't be armed.' "
Mr. Hendrickson can only justify his comments about churches via ultimately appealing to an argument based upon religious views concerning the "sanctity" of the church. Without the sanctity argument, there is no uniqueness to a church as an organization that requires or demands special treatment in this particular law.
If there was any actual reason it would logically apply equally to every other charity which holds group meetings, and the law would then have been written to also cover them.
It is not up to the state to determine what the state-mandated default position a church or a member should have concerning the theological question of self-defense. Church property is totally privately owned, and other than the general laws that apply to everyone else those who own it are free to make their own rules as to what people may or may not carry on their property.
Since this portion of the various state laws cannot be justified under either condition (1) or (2), it is clearly unconstitutional under the First Amendment. I cannot imagine a court holding these sections up for approval.
Churches should not be mentioned in any CCW law, period. If the law provides that any private organization or business may post or otherwise observe a "gun free" environment, then any church would fall under the same regulation under condition (2) listed above. They have full freedom along with every other organization to determine their own philosophy towards this issue.
I invite you to browse around and look at some of my other blogs. I am sure that you will find something of interest to you.
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Two certainties pop up on a regular basis when the subject of gun control, or its lack, gets discussed on the Internet. One is that a pro-gun-freedom poster will state that there are “20,000 gun laws already on the books” and the other is that it will only take a moment for a pro-gun-control poster to post and challenge that number as fictional.
This number has become as well beloved to many gun enthusiasts and supporters as pi is 3.14 (and so on) with mathematicians, the speed of light is 186,000 miles per second with physicists, and the earth is 24,000 miles in circumference with geologists.
But is it true?
Who knows? It is impossible to state just how many laws affecting firearms there are in existence. But we can make some fairly good suppositions that might help to clarify the issue.
A critical step in any discussion where there is uncertainly is defining terms. This helps lessen the opportunity that two people will talk past one another using the same term but meaning different things to each.
That’s why we are going to start by defining “laws.” There are federal, state and local legislative (or statutory) laws passed by a governing body and signed by an executive. Local can mean anywhere from the county level down to an ordinance passed by a hamlet with a few dozen people in residence.
For example, here in Indiana we have 92 counties, 119 cities and 447 towns that can pass laws. That’s not even counting the townships, which have the ability to pass their own laws.
There are federal and state “case laws” that come from judicial rulings and are required to be followed the same as legislative laws. These can range from the Supreme Court through the entire federal court system down to lower level state court cases.
There are rulings, procedures and regulations from federal, state and local agencies that have the force and nature of laws. You can be fined and even put in jail by violating one of these agency rules.
There are laws that deal with the importation, manufacturing, distribution, testing, selling and buying of firearms. There are laws affecting the carrying, storing and shooting of firearms. More laws deal with modifications to firearms and who can and can’t own firearms. There are also laws, rules, and regulations concerning peripherals around firearms such as what holsters are legal, the ammunition that can be sold, bought, and kept, and, according to the State Department, what information about firearms can be legally posted on the Internet.
Added together, no one really knows the number of firearm laws and regulations, but 20,000 is not out of the reach of reasonableness.
Up until July of 2011 I could guarantee you that virtually all of the 92 counties, 119 cities and 447 towns in Indiana had at least several firearm laws on the books concerning what types of guns were allowed in town, where and when they could be carried, and when they could be used. Indiana passed a state law early in 2011 to preempt the field of firearm law and consolidate the authority for them within the state. Therefore, all the local laws were wiped off the books.
There was such a wailing and gnashing of teeth from the towns that you could not imagine. Some of them are even attempting to defy state law now. There were, with a good, reasonable estimate, probably 1,000 local town and city laws that went by the wayside over the state preemption. And that was just in one of 50 states.
According to Bryan Lee Ciyou, an attorney with Ciyou & Dixon P.C. in Indianapolis, and author of “Indiana Firearms Law Reference Manual” there are 12 states that do not preempt local firearm laws. You'll find the same hodge-podge of hundreds if not thousands of local laws in these states. Several large states such as Ohio recently joined Indiana in preempting the issue so is easy to see the up until just a short few years ago there was an opportunity for tens of thousands of local laws.
Yes, there easily could have been well-over 20,000 laws when this particular number started in being shared around the Internet. There still could be very close to that many that affect firearms by the time you add them all up. What is perfectly legal in Springfield, Indiana may or may not be legal in Springfield, Oregon, Springfield, Illinois, Springfield, Massachusetts, or Springfield, Missouri as the firearms laws change from place to place.
To help this info reach the greatest number of people please feel free to post a link to it on any gun-related forums that you participate in.
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I was given this years and years ago as it passed around the net from person to person. I wish I could give credit to the proper author but it was lost in the mists of time and I can't. Nevertheless, it doesn't take away from the absolutely critical information contained herein. I don't necessarily agree with every single point here but overall it is excellent advice for everyone to learn from and follow.
For the past few decades the rate of accidents with guns has been dropping steadily. However, even one accident can bring grief to a family, to a community. Even if you're not a gun owner or shooter this is information that you need to know, and to impart to others, especially your children.
If nothing else, at least commit to memory, and action, the first part, The Fundamentals of Firearms Safety. If everyone knew and lived those four simple rules 90 percent of all firearm accidents would no longer happen.
I. The Fundamentals of Firearm Safety
The four basic general rules of safe gun handling.
All guns are loaded. The only unloaded gun in the entire world is the one that you have in your hand and have personally verified is unloaded. If you set it down and take your hand off from it, it becomes a loaded gun again.
Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.
Don't point the gun at anything you are not willing to destroy.
Know your target and what lies beyond it
II. Additional specific rules of safe gun handling
Safety Rules Related to the Shooter and His Behavior.
Keep the action open and the gun unloaded until you are ready to use it.
Never pass a firearm to another person, or accept a firearm from another person, until the cylinder or action is open and you've personally checked that the weapon is completely unloaded.
Before handling any firearm, understand its operation.
Never rely on any mechanical device for safety.
Think before shooting: once you pull the trigger you can't take back the shot you've just fired!
Never joke around or engage in horseplay while handling or using firearms.
Be alert at all times; never shoot if you're tired, cold or impaired in any way. Don't mix alcohol or drugs with shooting.
Don't sleep with a loaded firearm in your bedroom if you sleepwalk, have nightmares, sleep restlessly or have other sleep problems.
Safeguard your sight, hearing and health. Always wear eye and ear protection. Endeavor to limit your exposure to heavy metal particulates and gases, and minimize your contact with aromatic organic solvents (such as those commonly used in gun cleaning products).
If you see unsafe behavior any time when firearms are being handled or used, speak up and take action to correct the unsafe behavior at once.
Receive competent instruction from a qualified person before beginning to shoot. If questions arise later, after you've been shooting for a period of time, get answers to those questions from a competent authority.
Safety Rules Related to Your Target.
Positively identify your target and the threat it poses before firing at it.
What's behind your target? Always make sure that a stray shot, or a bullet which penetrates its intended target through and through, will be safely stopped.
Never shoot at a hard surface, or at water -- your shot may glance off, ricochet and injure someone.
Never shoot at glass bottles, living trees, or inappropriate targets which would create a hazard for other persons or damage the environment.
Never shoot a rifle or handgun directly upwards, or at a high angle of elevation. Even a rimfire .22 bullet fired at an angle into the air can have enough energy a mile and a half away to accidentally kill someone!
Never shoot across a highway or other roadway.
Never vandalize a road sign (or other public or private property) by using it as a target.
Never poach a game animal out of season, or shoot any game animal you don't intend to eat.
Safety Rules Related to Your Firearm.
Make sure your firearm is in good mechanical condition before firing it. Periodically have your firearm checked for signs of erosion, cracking, or wear by the factory, by a qualified armorer, or by a factory certified gunsmith.
Never try to fire a gun which may have a plugged or partially obstructed barrel.
Insure that any modifications made to a firearm are made by a qualified individual, and that those modifications don't interfere with your firearm's safety features.
Be sure all accessories, such as holsters and grips, are compatible with the firearm and won't interfere with its safe operation.
Remember: a backup firearm carried about your person may be highly valuable to you in the event your primary firearm is ever rendered inoperable or is taken from you by an assailant.
It is your responsibility to insure that your firearm is always either about your person and under your personal control, or positively secured from access by children or other unauthorized parties. Prevent tragedy: lock down your firearms when they aren't in use.
When storing a firearm for a long period of time, consider storing the slide, bolt, or other critical components of the firearm separately under separate lock and key.
Never carry a single action revolver with a round under the hammer unless that revolver is a modern transfer-bar type, equipped with an inertial firing pin.
Never carry a pistol with a round in the chamber unless the pistol has an automatic firing-pin block and/or an inertial firing pin.
Generally, avoid carrying or storing an external hammer-type firearm with its hammer cocked. Exercise extreme care in decocking any external hammer firearm: it is very easy to experience an accidental discharge while doing so if your thumb slips off the hammer.
Generally, avoid unloading a firearm by working the cartridges through the action one-at-a-time; drop the magazine and then eject the round which may be left in the chamber, instead, if possible.
Never use a scope mounted on a firearm as a general purpose spotting scope: while observing an area you may end up accidentally aiming your firearm at fellow hunters, or other non-targets.
Avoid trying to catch a live round (while unloading a semiautomatic pistol) by cupping your hand around the ejection port while retracting the slide; doing so may result in an accidental discharge.
Safety Rules Related to Ammunition.
Be sure your gun and ammunition are compatible. Shooting incorrect ammunition in a firearm may cause it to be damaged or even make it blow up.
Relying on ammunition which doesn't feed reliably in your particular firearm may make your firearm malfunction at a critical juncture: get experience with a particular lot of ammunition in your firearm before relying on it for defensive purposes.
Use only ammunition recommended for your firearm by its manufacturer. Never fire ammunition which exceeds industry standard pressure specifications. Over-pressure ammunition will reduce the service life of your handgun, and puts you and those around you at risk of a catastrophic firearm failure.
Use reloaded ammunition judiciously. Be aware that many firearms manufacturers specifically forbid the use of reloaded ammunition in their products, and will void their product's warranty if you elect to use reloaded ammunition in contravention of their instructions.
Also remember that a cartridge which has: the wrong powder, no powder charge, or too large a powder charge; an inverted primer, mis-seated primer, the wrong type of primer or an inert primer; a mis-seated, inverted, or mis-sized bullet; a collapsed, weakened, improperly sized or mis-crimped case; incorrect overall length or any of a host of other defects may seriously jeopardize your safety, the safety of those around you, and/or the reliability of your firearm in a defensive situation.
Many shooters prepare and safely use reloaded ammunition each day, and it can be an economical way to stretch your ammunition budget, but the safety of that reloaded ammunition directly depends on the care, components, equipment, and practices used in preparing it.
Carry only one caliber of ammunition when shooting. Accidentally grabbing the wrong ammunition while shooting can result in a shooter or third party being injured, or damage or destruction of a firearm. Insure you carry sufficient spare ammunition for your defensive firearm, and make sure you carry it in a readily employable fashion (such as in spare magazines or in speedloaders). Store ammunition that isn't being used under lock and key, inaccessible to unauthorized parties and children. Dispose of unwanted ammunition safely.
Safety Rules Related to Your Firearm's Holster and Ammo Carrier.
Always use a holster which is designed for, and which fits, your handgun.
Make sure your holster covers the trigger guard of your handgun.
Purchase a holster which allows you to obtain a secure grip on your handgun while it is still holstered.
Be sure the thumb break, safety strap, or other firearm retention device on your holster is functional and consistently employed. A good holster should retain your firearm during normal carry and routine physical activity, but no holster can insure that a firearm will be secure against determined attempts at disarmament, or keep a firearm secure during all possible physical activities.
Avoid clip-on holsters and magazine pouches. These carriers may fail to stay clipped to the belt and end up being drawn along with the firearm or the magazine they still hold, thereby interfering with use of the firearm or with timely reloading.
Avoid paddle-style holsters, cross draw holsters, and similar holsters which provide poor weapon retention.
Avoid ankle holsters, shoulder holsters and other types of holsters which can introduce unnecessary delays in accessing a defensive firearm.
Avoid carrying a defensive firearm in a purse, pocketbook, daypack or briefcase. A firearm carried in that fashion is:
Typically hard to rapidly access due to the presence of slow-to-open zippers, multiple latches, etc.,
Often hard to find and draw amidst all the other items routinely carried, since few purses or briefcases include a dedicated handgun-carrying compartment,
Prone to being unavailable when needed, since briefcases, purses and other carriers are routinely set down or put away in a desk drawer where they may or may not be readily accessible and under your physical control,
Unusually vulnerable to being stolen, since purses, pocketbooks, daypacks and briefcases are prime targets for purse snatchers, pick pockets, muggers and thieves,
Prone to misfunction in an emergency since materials carried along with your handgun in a purse or brief case may gum up the firearm's mechanism and potentially interfere with its proper operation, and
Likely to allow your handgun to accidentally become visible to shop clerks, bank tellers or other parties while you are searching for your checkbook or locating a credit card, and that inadvertent exposure may potentially result in a tense situation or even a tragic over-reaction on the part of an individual noticing the firearm and/or summoning law enforcement officers to the scene.
Never carry a handgun tucked into your belt or waistband without a holster (i.e., so-called ``mexican carry''). A handgun carried in this fashion may be unintentionally dislodged, fall onto a hard surface and accidentally discharge or be damaged. Inside the waistband-type holsters will allow you to obtain the concealment of this type of carry while simultaneously providing vastly improved firearm retention.
Always employ a proper magazine holder or speed loader carrier to carry your spare ammunition. Select a design that secures and protects your speedloaders or magazines while still making them readily available for use. Avoid ammunition loops and ammo dump boxes.
Never put a partially empty magazine or speedloader back into a magazine carrier or speedloader pouch: only full magazines or full speedloaders belong in a carrier. Partially empty magazines or speed loaders should go into your pocket; empty magazines or speedloaders should be allowed to fall where they're used during an emergency.
Miscellaneous Safety Rules.
At a range, obey the commands of the range officers, or any individual calling `cease fire,' at once. Read, know and follow any rules peculiar to a particular range which you may be using.
Be careful of hot gases and metal shavings ejected at the forcing cone of a revolver.
Keep your fingers and other parts of your body away from the muzzle, the rear of the slide, and the ejection area of a semiautomatic pistol.
In the event of a misfire, keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction, remove your finger from the trigger, wait ten seconds, then eject the cartridge and dispose of it properly.
If you hear an unusual sound upon squeezing the trigger or feel an unusual recoil, stop shooting and investigate. You may have experienced a ``squib'' load (or under-powered cartridge), and it may have caused a bore obstruction. Keep the firearm pointed in a safe direction, remove your finger from the trigger, wait ten seconds, then unload the firearm and safely examine the barrel, checking carefully for any possible obstructions before reloading and resuming shooting.
Climb a tree with a loaded firearm,
Cross a fence with a loaded firearm,
Jump a ditch or ford a stream with a loaded firearm,
Scale or descend a steep incline or hill with a loaded firearm,
Climb a tree, or climb into a hunting stand with a loaded firearm,
Prop or lean a loaded firearm against a tree or other surface which may allow it to slide
Transport a cased loaded firearm.
Always carry your firearms in a way which will allow you to control where the muzzle is pointing, should you stumble or fall.
A ballistic vest may substantially improve your chances of surviving an armed encounter on the street.
Always wear a thousand square inches or more of blaze orange while in the field during hunting season.
Blackpowder (and replica blackpowder) firearms require additional safety precautions not discussed here. Obtain qualified instruction in the safe operation of blackpowder firearms before attempting to load or fire any such firearm.
Circumstances may require additional safety rules unique to a particular situation.
III. Safe Gun Storage.
When you are not using your firearm, you should insure that it is store safely. Affirmative measures designed to prevent unauthorized access to a defensive firearm by minors, or firearm theft, include:
Use of a simplex-type locking box for securing firearms which need to be kept loaded yet available for ready-access defensive use, and
Use of trigger locks or padlocks to secure firearms which don't need to be kept immediately available for defensive use.
Also note that:
Gun security devices which rely solely on physical strength to secure firearms from unauthorized use are generally undesirable since ingenious children can potentially employ leverage or tools to overcome those devices.
"Hiding" a firearm won't secure it from discovery and possible misuse by curious children or intruders.
Metal gun cabinets or gun safes can be used to safeguard firearms from unauthorized access or theft in many circumstances and metal gun cabinets or gun safes are generally preferable to open racks or glass-front cabinets.
Firearms should be stored unloaded and separate from ammunition when the firearm isn't needed for ready-access defensive use.
You may want to store critical components of a firearm (such as the gun's bolt or slide) separately from the rest of the firearm when the gun won't be used in the immediate future.
Consider engraving your firearms with your social security number, driver's license number, or concealed firearms license number to deter theft and facilitate return of stolen firearms which may happen to be recovered.
Explore "gun-proofing" your child by proper training, and by controlled and closely supervised access to firearms to reduce your child's natural unsatisfied curiosity about firearms.
We invite you to look around our store and see if there are any self-defense tools that will make your life go smoother and safer.
[A missionary friend of mine, Rev. Mac, wrote this for a small group of people who were studying the issue of what the Bible had to say about self-defense.]
This question comes up every so often and I'd like to hit it from a slightly different angle. When discussing any topic and using the bible as the final authority people tend to raise the objection - "That's only your interpretation, after all you can make the Bible say anything you want it to."
There are many methods that could be used to interpret any document. Some of these methods are so familiar that you naturally follow them without even realizing it.
Others are quite strange and include things like reducing each word to a numerical value in an effort to see hidden meanings in the text! It all depends on what you believe to be true about the document you are studying.
The most accurate and universally accepted method of interpreting any document is the Historical-Grammatical method. In short: a document can only mean what the author intended it to mean and must be understood in light of the time and place it was written and the original audience that received the text.
The words have meaning and were chosen by the author to convey that meaning in the normal way that words are understood in human communication.
Now that is not to say that every word or phrase is to be taken LITERALLY. Human communication takes many forms, figures of speech, allegory, metaphor etc.
When Jesus said, "I am the door", He did not mean He was a hinged piece of wood. He did have a very specific meaning though, and the historical-grammatical method seeks to determine that meaning and holds that His intended meaning is the only possible meaning. Any other method of interpretation creates as many "meanings" as there are readers.
Now, I said all that to say this. Many strange teachings attributed to the Bible arise as the result of methods of interpretation that diverge from the historical-grammatical method. Just like modern interpretations of the second amendment diverge from the original intentions of the founding fathers for the same reason. EXTREME PACIFISM is one such teaching; it is not a product of the historical-grammatical method of interpretation.
Using the historical-grammatical method of interpretation you first need to determine the concept of the use of force taught in the Jewish scriptures. Even a casual reading of the Jewish scripture will reveal that God's people engaged in war, capital punishment, and armed-lethal self-defense. Weapons are viewed in a positive light when employed in these purposes. When used for evil, the person is always blamed and not the weapon. Once the Jewish concept is established (historical context) you need to examine the Christian scriptures (if you hold them to be an authority) to determine if that concept of the use of force or the use of weapons is altered in any way.
The fact that there is almost no direct teaching on the use of force in the New Testament is evidence in itself that the Jewish concept of the just use of force was not being altered in any way. Luke 22:36 is one of the only clear references to the use of weapons in the NT and it is 100% in accord with the already established Jewish concept of self-defense. Another passage that illustrates this is Acts 23. A plot to kill Paul is hatched (by 40 assassins) and he is moved by night to another city. As protection he receives an armed escort of 200 soldiers, 200 spearmen, and 70 horsemen. There is no objection by Paul and no comment as to why this is incorrect by Luke (the author).
Paul directly teaches that God ordains the just use of force by the government for the punishment of evil - Rom 13:4. Again, this is in accord with the Jewish concept of the use of force and indicates that Christian scripture does not alter it.
In many NT passages "use of force" illustrations are used to teach SPIRITUAL concepts. EXAMPLES: A man defending his home from robbers - Luke 12:39, serving God like a good soldier - 2 Tim 2:3-4, putting on the whole armor of God - Eph 6:10 & 13. That such examples were used strongly indicates that the just use of force was an acceptable concept to both Jesus and Paul. It is absurd to think that a person who taught that the use of force was wrong would use military life, or home defense to teach positive spiritual concepts.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus' teaching about "turning the other cheek" was in response to a clear case of petty annoyances that were insulting. Nothing in these verses mandate a refusal to protect yourself or your loved ones when life itself is being threatened.
Now in all of this, please do not miss the fact that the Jewish and Christian scriptures are not primarily about the use of force, though they do give us moral law that governs its use. The central teaching of the Bible is that mankind, all of us, are in rebellion against God and we need to lay down our arms and turn to Him for forgiveness. Fortunately, that does not mean you have to be a chew toy for the evil beasts that stalk this earth.
Professor Eugene Volokh of the The Volokh Conspiracy takes a look at a critical issue surrounding stun guns in his article, "Are stun guns protected by the Second Amendment?"
Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, and cities such as Baltimore, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C., all ban the possession of stun guns. Yet hundreds of thousands of Americans who want to be able to defend themselves against crime possess stun guns for understandable and law-abiding reasons. Some people may have religious or ethical objections to using lethal weapons. Others may feel emotionally unable to pull the trigger of a firearm. Others may worry that children or a suicidal roommate may misuse the weapon. Still others worry that they may kill someone who they erroneously believe is an attacker.
The move marches on to overturn the unconstitutional bans on stun guns around the country.
We have the best deals for all your stun gun shopping.
[A good friend, Jack Burton, let me borrow this post from him.]
A common argument from those who are in favor of more stringent gun control laws is that the necessity of firearms in the hands of citizens as a “check” against an out-of-control government is simply not needed in this day and age.
America has a mature, stable government, they say, and the possibility of it suddenly going off the rails and needing to be “taken back” by its citizens is simply preposterous. They cite history as showing that the government has never been that overbearing, and there’s never been a need in over two centuries for the armed citizens to rise up. Therefore there will never be such a need.
This view is very shortsighted and misses out on the prime role of the Second Amendment. I’ll leave it to others to defend the concept that a citizen militia can force an out-of-control government back onto the right track. I want to concentrate of the Second Amendment as a prophylactic.
Merriam-webster.com defines a prophylactic as:
1: guarding from or preventing the spread or occurrence of disease or infection
2: tending to prevent or ward off: preventive
It comes from the Greek words prophylaktikos and prophylassein; to be on guard, from pro- before + phylassein to guard, from phylak-, phylax guard.
The best known use of the word in the general public is probably when it is referred to in birth control. An example would be when a condom is referred to as a prophylactic.
Medical staff use the concept on a daily basis, as many medicines are used as a prophylactic to keep diseases away. A smallpox or measles vaccination is an example. Sterilizing the equipment used for patient treatment is a prophylactic measure, along with washing hands frequently. The Founding Fathers were very aware of the concept of prophylactics. Their use goes back centuries and are amoung some of the most basic forms of health care and treatment.
And so they built just the same concept into the Constitution with the Second Amendment.
The primary task of the Amendment and an armed citizenry is not to “put the country back together.” It is to keep the country from an aggressive, overbearing government in the very first place. It is a preventative. A guard that wards off beforehand.
Yes, it is absolutely true that the Second Amendment has apparently not been needed in the past 200 plus years to overcome a tyrannical government. That’s because it has been doing its job quietly all along. It has prevented the rise of a tyrannical government. It is far easier for a government to consolidate all power and authority within itself when there is no viable opposition… no “guard” to prevent it from doing so.
No one has really needed to pay close attention to the Second Amendment over the decades any more than one pays close attention to the vitamin pill that is taken each morning. Or the antiseptic that is put on a scratch to prevent infection. They are just “there” doing the job. But as the pill guards the body… as the antiseptic guards the wound… the Amendment has guarded our nation all these years.
It is not a “front of mind” awareness. No politician needs to remind himself of the power of the armed citizens. It is just “there,” always working and always just a thought away.
Unfortunately, because it has always worked behind the scenes, the respect for the Second Amendment has fallen away from many. We have lost sight of the prophylactic nature of the armed citizen against the power of the government, and that is going to lead the nation down a dangerous path.
The man who regularly uses the services of prostitutes who protects himself with a condom can, at some point, wonder why he is wasting his money buying the condoms when obviously he has not come down with any disease. The moment he decides to stop “wasting money” on condoms is the moment he has guaranteed himself a venereal disease at some point in the future.
When the American society weakens or abandons the Second Amendment we are guaranteed that we are going to have a government at some future time that is far more tyrannical that what we can now believe. Those that believe the Amendment is outmoded because it has never been needed or used are no different in philosophy than the person who has quit using condoms with prostitutes because he has never caught a disease from a prostitute yet.[And yes, if you want to argue the point, I did just compare prostitutes with the federal government. Certainly an apt comparison at times.]
Many of those pushing against the protections of the Second Amendment know full well the prophylactic nature of the armed citizen. That is exactly why they would see the Amendment weakened, or regulated out of business. Some of our leading politicians and journalists have expressed contempt for the American system and have outright wondered why we as a country cannot be more like Communist China, where “things get done.”
At some point in time, there just may be a clash to see which philosophy wins out. I, personally, would bet on the wisdom of the Founding Fathers.
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