Get PJ Media on your Apple

PJM Lifestyle

by
Paula Bolyard

Bio

April 29, 2013 - 9:00 am
Page 1 of 4  Next ->   View as Single Page

Last week I wrote about my “evolution” on guns during the Boston manhunt:

In the middle of that night listening to the Boston police scanner, I evolved. I realized right then that if I were holed up in my house while a cold-blooded terrorist roamed my neighborhood, I wouldn’t want to be a sitting duck with only a deadbolt lock between me and an armed intruder. There are not enough police and they cannot come to my rescue quickly enough. They carry guns to protect themselves, not me. I knew at that instant if Dzhokhar Tsarnaev showed up at my door while I was “sheltered-in-place” and aimed a gun at my head and only one of us would live, I could pull the trigger.

Once I made the decision that I would not be a victim, I began to research my options for home protection. I plan to share the experience of choosing my first gun in a future post but first I’d like to deal with some of the moral implications of the decision to purchase, own — and potentially use — a gun.

I wrote about one of the reasons I refrained from owning a gun for many years:

The other thing holding me back was my belief that if you’re going to own a gun, you must be willing to shoot to kill…I searched my heart and realized that in the heat of the moment of an attack, I wasn’t sure what I would do with a gun in my hand. I knew that could be more dangerous than being unarmed; it wasn’t worth the risk.

A gun is an inanimate object and as such is morally neutral. Lying on a table, tucked under a mattress, or locked in a gun safe it cannot kill, inflict harm, or protect its owner. However, the fact that a gun is in one’s home creates the potential for both danger and protection depending on many variables, including the training, skill, and temperament of the residents of the home and the mental capacity and willingness of the gun owners to use the weapon, whether in self-defense or to inflict intentional harm.

While I understand that many who grew up around guns accept them as a normal part of life, for me, it’s a decision that requires serious introspection and moral evaluation. Though I passionately support the Second Amendment, I confess that I had never taken the time to earnestly contemplate its practical applications. Perhaps this is because I’ve mostly lived in safe, virtually crime-free neighborhoods and have never experienced violent crime. Whatever the reason, it’s not an excuse to jump into gun ownership without first embarking on this intellectual exercise.

Comments are closed.

Top Rated Comments   
PB: "A gun is an inanimate object and as such is morally neutral."

Exactly. An AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in the hands of a terrorist or criminal is an assault weapon. The same AR-15 semi-automatic rifle in the hands of a man defending himself and his family is a defense weapon.

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I've known a fair number of people who've wrestled with the moral implications of defending themselves, and some of them have judged me as being morally inferior for being comfortable with the idea of violence.

Here's how I finally learned how to handle it:
Me: If you won't defend yourself, what will you do?
Them: Call the cops.
Me: So, if using violence to defend yourself is wrong how is calling someone ELSE to use violence on your behalf ok?
Them:

Someone saying they don't believe in violence is like saying they don't believe in the flu. It doesn't matter if you believe in it or not, it exists. All you get to choose is how you deal with it.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"Though I passionately support the Second Amendment, I confess that I had never taken the time to earnestly contemplate its practical applications."

Once I became a mother, there was never any doubt that I could kill to protect my children.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (77)
All Comments   (77)
Sort: Newest Oldest Top Rated
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Reference answering the front door with a Ruger tucked into your yoga pants.

I don't have any yoga* pants, but whenever I answer the front door I'm wearing my Glock. Mainly because if I'm out of bed, I'm wearing it. (It's called home carry.) Several reasons:
1. If I need to make a sudden quick trip I don't have to "gear up" first. (I have a concealed handgun license, so I can carry most places.)
2. Trouble doesn't RSVP. As an instructor over the last 30 years I've heard too many self-defense stories to count. Working for agencies dealing with sexual assault and other violence I've heard too many non-self-defense stories to count. Almost all of them begin, "It was a routine day..."
3. If you keep a home-defense gun you want it handy, so you can get to it when you need it, and secure, so no one else can get to it. The one place where a gun is most handy and secure is on your person.

YMMV

*I do have sweat pants and running shorts, and a fanny pack.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Paula's comment about questioning her faith in God if she owned a gun reminded me about an old joke. During a flood, a preacher climbed to the roof of his house for safety. Two fire department boats came by to pick him up, followed by a sheriff's helicopter. He declined, saying, "Save someone else...God will provide for me." After he was washed away and drowned, he went to Heaven and came before God, asking, "Lord, why didn't you save me?" And God replied, "I can't understand it...I sent two rowboats and a helicopter..." MORAL: God helps those who help themselves.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Read John Lott's book "More Guns, Less Crime" to learn some of the statistics about defensive gun use. Guns are used every day in the US to STOP crime. Most criminals are afraid of guns, or at least a gun being pointed at them. Guns deter criminals from harming you. Guns are a threat and a deterrent to criminals. Some of them may be crazy, but not all of them and most of them don't want to be shot.

Most guns being used defensively in a criminal attack are not fired a majority of the time. Even less of the time is the criminal wounded and even less of the time is the criminal killed. Guns are a very good deterrent of crime.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Boston has had a long history of residents protecting hearth and home from fellow citizens. Col. George Middleton, Bucks of America, resident of Pickney Street, single handed stopped a mob one June day with a courageous stand and a musket. Boston's finest would be created 40 years after this incident. Good luck to you as you come to a new understanding of the 2nd Amendment.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The most important thing about Romans was the ability to determine who was a Free and a Citizen...
by the fact that they COULD carry a sword, but slaves could NOT.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm not "comfortable" owning a gun either, and haven't had one in over 40 years (my last gun back then was a state-trooper-type S&W .357 Magnum revolver). I have lived in mostly "safe" areas much of my life, and have felt no compelling need to have a gun.

I am going to acquire a pistol and join the NRA for the following reason: I am as alarmed as most people who post here about the new gun-control pushes. The fact that the latest national legislative effort failed is no reaosn to let my guard down. The more of us that are armed and the bigger the NRA is, the better. I intend to do the "full Monty," including training, safety precautions, get a permit to carry, you name it. I will still feel "uncomfortable" at some level, but screw that. I live in a 2nd Amendment state, and will take full advantage of that fact while it still remains true.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"The requirement to act in love toward our neighbors, including even the intruder, implies that the least amount of force required to stop the attack should be used, resulting in the least amount of physical harm to the intruder himself."

This is a good way to get yourself killed.

Proper technique is:
Aim for center of mass, shoot until the intruder stops moving.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Proper technique is:
Aim for center of mass, shoot until the intruder stops moving.

I would change that slightly to:
Aim for center of mass, shoot until the intruder is no longer a threat.
Defensive firearm use is not to kill, not to punish, it is to defend yourself and your loved ones from physical harm.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Welcome to the world of Freedom and standing up for Freedom.
Sometimes it takes some very harsh things to convince those among us that the police are not here to protect us, they are here to solve the crime after we have been violated by some criminal.
We are our own protection and we have always been our own protection. Keep many weapons in your surroundings for you cannot tell from where a problem can come from nor can you count on a particular weapon to solve the issue at hand. Don't worry about speed of delivery, be calm, be deliberate and keep control in all situations. Practice, practice, paractice and do some live action, take up hunting for food....
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I had a confrontation with an armed suspect and, although I was unarmed because I was a medic, I was convinced then that I could shoot if I had to. Never been tested since that day, hope it never will be.
Partly prejudice on my part, but I would avoid any of the AK family of firearms. They have been the weapon of oppression, favored by the Warsaw Pact, the Soviets and the Chinese Communists, and their clients around the world. Also, being 7.62mm, they're bigger and have more recoil in many cases than the .223 or 5.56 mm rifles.
I own several single-action revolvers and I shoot primarily for sport, so that's what I'd use if the occasion arises and I pray, literally, that it won't.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
An AK 47 is a tool like any other firearm. It has been popular because it is relatively inexpensive and extraordinarily dependable. It is accurate enough out to 75 yards or a bit more but that is the range of the vast majority of fights and far more then any self defense situation short of the zombie apocalypse.

An AK does have more recoil but nothing of any real note. It is nothing like a full power hunting rifle. I know several women whose favorite firearm is the AK.

Still, own what you will shoot. If you won't practice with it then it is worse than useless.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
1 2 3 4 Next View All