Friday, January 18, 2019 16:05

Some thoughts from a witch on self-defense

– Wiccapundit

The recent atrocity in Arizona has had the blogosphere in an uproar.  I have withheld comment thus far, preferring to direct the energy of my thoughts in support of the families whose lives have been shattered by this obscene criminal act.  One fact that has emerged from the MSM-induced fog of faux-reporting is that one of the bystanders who selflessly leapt in to restrain the shooter – a young man named Joe Zamudio – was legally carrying a firearm and was prepared to use it.  He did not, showing admirable restraint, and demonstrated what a responsible gun owner and concealed weapon carrier looks like.  Not that the media cares to see that.

I am often asked by liberal friends, particular pagan ones, if I carry a gun.  I reply:  “Of course.  Don’t you?”  My answer is only meant to be partially tongue-in-cheek.  Even though I am known to be a conservative witch, the answer still takes them aback.  Apparently they believe that the Wiccan Rede somehow proscribes the carrying of a personal weapon or using it to defend yourself.    I believe that law-abiding, responsible citizens not only have a right to go armed, but may well have an obligation to do so.  I believe that each of us has an obligation to attend to our own personal safety and not devolve that responsibility to the State.  I believe that responsible adults have an obligation to defend their families, particularly their children.  The most effective way to discharge these obligations is to carry a personal weapon and to be proficient in its use.

The Rede, in its abbreviated form, states that “An it harm none, do as you will.”  What part of this constitutes a proscription on carrying a personal weapon?  Do as you will, but accept the consequences of your decisions, is the correct interpretation of this phrase.  Those who choose to go about their daily business while armed have chosen to exercise their will and to accept the consequences of that very serious decision.

I have been licensed to carry a concealed weapon for nearly three decades.  For nearly every day of that entire time, I have been armed in every place I am legally allowed to be while armed.  I have obtained the proper training in the use of that firearm, from a former law enforcement officer.  The firearm I own was carefully selected by me for the task at hand, and I maintain it just as carefully.  I have taken the time to study completely and to understand thoroughly the laws concerning concealed carry in my jurisdiction and the law governing the use of deadly force.

During those three decades, I have faced two situations in which a weapon could have meant the difference between life and death for me or a bystander.  In one, I arrived on the scene of a mass shooting only minutes after it had occurred exactly at the place I was going that day.  Several people were shot and one killed by a deranged lunatic.  I will never know what might have happened differently had I been at that spot a few minutes earlier.  In the second instance, I narrowly avoided being caught in a rioting mob and had to seek shelter with a small group of people.   We were able to leave safely after the riot was quelled, and I was grateful not to have needed even to unholster my weapon.

In neither case was I called upon to draw my weapon or to fire it.  However, I was prepared to do so.  It was comforting to me to know that in extremis, I would not have been a helpless victim, unable to protect myself or those around me.

Anti-gun people regard firearms with a sense of horror and revulsion that should be reserved for the Ebola virus.  A firearm is a tool; nothing more.  A tool that can be very dangerous in the wrong hands, just as a table saw or a compressed-air nail driver can be very dangerous in the wrong hands.  They are tools as well, and useful ones.  Society does not ban the responsible and law-abiding ownership of such implements just because they could possibly be misused.

Our founding fathers gave us a great gift in the Second Amendment to the Constitution.   We must resist the efforts of those who would cravenly use the recent tragedy in order to diminish our rights and further their own political agenda.

What say you, dear readers?

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9 Responses to “Some thoughts from a witch on self-defense”

  1. Trish Deneen says:

    I say Huzzah! Thank you for stating this so well. I see our right to carry as a given. I’m not Wiccan but Pagan and I’ve never understood why some Wiccans use the Rede as an excuse to be anti-gun. It’s a cop-out and I’m glad you exemplify a different (that is to say correct) way of interpreting it.

  2. Natalie says:

    I say hell yes!

  3. Matt says:

    Excellent post! Within the last few months I’ve become a gun owner. I took a class on how to handle and fire a gun from a certified NRA instructor and make a point to practice shooting at the range at least once a month.

    I am also a concealed carrier.

    “An it harm none”…you know, if it’s between me and an attacker, I will be happy to help make sure I suffer no harm. I don’t care about the attacker–they made their choice.

    I am vaguely familiar with local laws on carrying–any suggestions on how to keep up with that?

    • Wiccapundit says:

      Kudos to you for undertaking the responsibility of an American citizen. You’re doing everything right, in my opinion.

      A good source for information concerning open carry is:
      http://www.opencarry.org/opencarry.html

      That site is primarily geared to exercising the right to carry openly, but it does have reference information for each state’s gun laws. It does not purport to be a legal reference, but you can follow the links to the state statutes for specific language.

      Another site is http://www.handgunlaw.us/.

      I would also review your state’s law concerning reciprocity of your carry permit in other states. In my state, you receive this list with your permit. Know where you can carry in other states using your own state’s permit. Remember, though, that you will be subject to THAT state’s gun laws when carrying in another state.

      Perhaps the most important law to understand is that concerning use of deadly force. This varies considerably from state to state. Be completely familiar with what your state considers circumstances under which deadly force is authorized. For example, some states require that a person threatened attempt to retreat if possible. Others have done away with this requirement.

      There are any number of good books available that consider this topic from a legal standpoint. One is Massad Ayoob’s “In The Gravest Extreme.” I sure the NRA would help you to find information as well. An NRA membership is cheap, helps to support Second Amendment rights, and you get a great magazine in the bargain.

      One side note: I understand that it is legal to fly with an unloaded weapon in your checked baggage, if it is disclosed at the time you check in. As I have friends who’ve had valuables stolen from their bags by TSA or baggage handlers, I would no longer travel by air with a gun in my bag. If it was a state I visited frequently that recognized my carry permit, I would obtain a weapon locally and leave it with a trusted friend so I could get it when I arrive and leave it behind.

      Good luck, and thanks for commenting.

  4. ArmedGeek says:

    Well, said. I carry. I admit some people should not carry but that decision should be up to the person. I agree that if you’re qualified and comfortable carrying a weapon, then it is practically an obligation.

  5. cmblake6 says:

    Extremely well said, my friend. That was a damn good post. And it defines better than many the rights and responsibilities of a citizen. I do not believe that the Rede denies use of force to protect ones self or others, that other individual made the decision to force YOU to act in self defense. The Rede does not deny you that right/responsibility, I see it as saying “Do not attack, but you may defend”.

  6. Sebastian Page says:

    Sometimes I get quite perturbed at the misapplication of the Rede. First off, it’s advice, not a holy commandment. Secondly, as sound as it might be, it does not carry the authoritative weight of a decree from God, it is merely the inspiration of man.

    Besides that, what when harm comes to another because we are not responsibly eqipped to deter that harm? Wrap your noodles around that one, my little loony libby Wicclet friends 😉

    Great artice WP, and if you will pardon the expression…Amen. Makes me feel good to know that there are civilians out there who understand the concepts contained in use of (deadly) force. Now we gotta change the legal climate to understand the protections of self-defense and defense of others (and lets throw in protection of property too, while we’re at it).

    Again, well done.

    BB

    • Wiccapundit says:

      Yep, the Rede is not “carved into stone,” although some Wiccans who vociferously recoil from their Christian, Ten Commandments upbringing seem to treat it as such. Some Christians are fond of saying: “it’s the Ten Commandments, not the Ten Suggestions.” Wicca has no similar imprecations delivered from On High. To act as though it does denies the meaning of the Rede: freedom of action with consequent responsibility. I have found many liberal Wiccans and pagans cite the Rede when convenient to support whatever political leaning they espouse. Deafening silence from supporters of abortion to the “an it harm NONE” language.

      I happen to believe that “an it harm none” also means trying to prevent harm coming to an innocent person. While there may be no legal obligation to render aid, there certainly is a moral one, in my view. Having a weapon on your person and being trained to use it grants you the ability to do that.

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