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?