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I once had a lengthy email debate with someone about guns and the gun-grabbers who are trying to terminate our second-amendment right of keeping and bearing arms. It went well (from my point of view, meaning that we were being civil and, it seemed, learning something from each other) until we got down to why someone might want a gun. The person on the other side of the discussion could see no reasonable reason for owning a gun. When I raised the issue of self-defense, I was totally floored by her response. She stated that she did not have the right to defend herself because she was a Buddhist, and she believed that her beliefs prevented her from any acts of violence, even if those acts would keep her alive.

I didn't know enough at the time to point out to her that even hard-core Buddhists like the Tibetans believed in fighting to stay alive and defending their homeland with guns and whatever else they could bring to hand. And it probably would have had no effect on her to quote Proverbs 25:26: "A righteous man who falters before the wicked is like a murky spring and a polluted well."

However, I did say that she was making the judgment that her life was less valuable than that of some criminal who would take her life without a thought (and probably many others as well), in addition to whatever other crimes he might commit. In fact, by allowing him to commit a crime, she was participating in the commission of that crime and almost certainly making further crimes not only possible but almost inevitable.

This line of reasoning made no impression on her. We ended the discussion at that point, neither of us having been convinced by the other, but, I hope, both of us with a better understanding of how some people think on the issue. But it has always bothered me that she felt her life to be of so little worth that in her mind, anyone had the right to take it away and she had no right to do her best to prevent that. Though for that matter, I do wonder: When it gets right down to it, if her life were threatened, would she really commit suicide by allowing someone to murder her? Or would she realize that it is okay to defend herself?

Even animals know that self-defense is a right. Should you try to attack your cat, your cat will defend itself. Though it may show remarkable self-restraint and not lacerate you as badly as you might otherwise deserve, should you, in your cat's judgment, be accidentally harming it and not deliberately. For example, when trimming some matted fur from my cat's belly, I accidentally nipped his skin with the scissors. He meowed and nipped at me, not breaking the skin but letting me know I had erred. He is a large and strong cat and could have truly injured me, but he knew that I wasn't attacking him. (I felt--and still feel--terrible about my carelessness, and I have never repeated that mistake again.)

Likewise your dog and any other animal that can defend itself, will. Animals that cannot defend themselves will flee. I know of no animal that will willingly take abuse or, worse yet, claim that it has no other option but to take abuse, other than humans. And whoever started the idea that it was somehow holier to allow oneself to be killed than to fight back when attacked was misunderstanding the nature of spirituality and responsbility.

We have responsiblities to ourselves as well as to others, and some of those responsibilities are (A) to make sure we are good people who are doing good in the world (and not harm), (B) to prevent others from doing harm, including to ourselves, and (C) if given a choice between allowing a good person to be removed from the world (presumably, us) or a bad person (a criminal attempting to take our lives or those of our family members), it is our duty and obligation to make sure that the world stays a better place and doesn't become a worse one by our loss. Of course, as thinking, reasonable people with consciences, we must make sure that the threat is real and that we are reasonable in our response to it.

But don't just take my word for it. The Pope, Gandhi, even Jesus all said things in support of self-defense. Here are some links; I'll add more as I find them.

The pope's opinion of self-defense.

Jesus on sword (gun) ownership: "But now, he who has a money bag, let him take it, and likewise a sack; and he who has no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one." (Luke 22: 36.)

Another quote from the Bible: ""If the thief is found breaking in, and he is struck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed. If the sun has risen on him, there shall be guilt for his bloodshed. He should make full restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold for his theft" (Exodus 22: 2-3.) He who steals into another?s home bears the responsibility of his criminal action. Self-defence is not a crime." (Source)

David Koppel weighs in: ""Consider the situation of a mother in a rough Los Angeles neighborhood, moments after an escaped psychopathic murderer has broken into her house," suggests David B. Koppel. "The woman has good reason to fear that the intruder is about to slaughter her three children. If she does not shoot him with her .38 special, the children will be dead before the police arrive. Is [it] the woman's moral obligation to murmur "violence engenders violence," and keep her handgun in the drawer while her children die? Or is the mother's moral duty to save her children, and shoot the intruder?" ("Does God Believe In Gun Control?")" (Source)

The Bible and gun control.

A patron saint for gun owners?


The bottom line is that not defending oneself is part and parcel of an insidious political agenda that is anti-life and anti-freedom. The next time you hear someone talking about how no one should own guns, ask yourself (and them) some pointed questions about who benefits from a disarmed citizenry. Think of how one of Hitler's first actions was national gun registration, and one of his next actions was to then have his troops go door-to-door collecting guns from Jews and other "undesirables," who of course could no longer defend themselves. And then of course the next step was the death camps.

I am not saying that such a horrible thing could happen in America, but part of why that is so is because citizens have the right to keep and bear arms. We do not yet, thank God, have a national gun registration program, though some states, such as California, are so close to one (in that everyone who purchases a gun legally has to fill out paperwork that the Department of Justice gets to see--and how naive would someone have to be to think that the DOJ doesn't keep copies of that paperwork?

I will end this post with this famous quote by Martin Niemoller, a Lutheran priest who spent seven years in the Sachsenhasuen and Dachau concetration camps--and remember that 22 million people died in those camps. 6 million were Jews; the remaining 16 million were others considered to be undesirable by the Nazi party.

First, they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and the Trade Unionists, but I was neither so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not a Jew so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me.


... speaking of self defense. I got here via search for Love of "Money is the root of all evil.", and so Timotheus 6:10 came up with explanation by Marina. I will delve further here as I have a burning question about business in Los Angeles that is so good for many poor people who have had a loved one die and are then taken advantage of by mortuary companies. I can help so many of those families that are in the same state of suffering as Marina was when she wrote her feelings about Lemon. It is not a good time to make financial decisions and I know there are so many people who need help not marketing. I would hope to see people vote with their feet as you say to the executives of the rapacious corporations. I need Marina's help in establishing this company and network of people in LA. I will only sign a contract with her and God and Metatron and Jesus to establish "The League of Mary and Martha" and so forth. I can be reached at (208) 741-1366 or by email at idabo@cableone.net - Thanks, Gary

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