When I took my Concealed Carry handgun class in Texas a couple of years ago I learned something very important. People who have a CCH license are probably some of the most gun-safe people around. Not only that, the regard for human life is ratcheted up a notch after taking that type of course. Why? It’s pretty basic, if a person is going to carry a concealed firearm, they better come to a decision under what terms they would and would not use deadly force. That’s a question many people never grapple with.
Last week, at the store where I work, the assistant manager was robbed at gunpoint. All the thief took was a laptop computer, but he used a gun to do it. Now, I’ve thought a good deal about that incident. At times I think about it from the perspective, “what if it were me being robbed?” Other times, “What if I were in the store as a customer when the robbery took place and I was armed?” These are the kind of questions people licensed to carry a firearm MUST ask themselves all the time. Why? Because it is imperative to know under what circumstances you would use your weapon.
Here’s my conclusion. If I were in the store at the time and was armed. I would NOT draw my weapon since the bad guy was only stealing not shooting. A human life is much more valuable than a computer. I would probably follow him but that would be all. However, if he had fired his weapon at the manager or any other person in the store, that would change the scenario completely. (As things go, today at work, there was a narcotics officer in the store and we talked about the robbery. His response was an exact mirror of what I had said. It made me feel good that I was thinking the right way.)
Now some may say this is a crude argument and even thinking in these terms is unchristian and moronic. However, let me post this scenario. You are in a store and a man comes in and starts beating on a woman, you later learn is his girlfriend. Would you stand there and do nothing? Would you yell “stop!” at the guy hoping he would comply with your request? Would you simply call 911 and hope the police arrive before he beats her to death, or would you intervene with anything available to you to use as a weapon?
If you were in the nursing home in Carthage, NC at the time the man was walking the halls killing residents at random. Would you do nothing? Yell “stop”? Call 911 and get behind a desk? Or, would you attempt to stop the shooter any way you could? Or hope someone visiting there had a concealed firearm and could/would stop the bad guy?
There were times in our country when senseless violence was a rare occurrence. Now, it’s not so rare – but still senseless. As citizens, neighbors, and friends, thinking through what we might do in certain types of situations is imperative. Yes, we all would hope it NEVER happens, but being at least mentally prepared if it did is important.
Pardon the pun, but there are no magic bullets when it comes to self-defense or defending others when appropriate. Nevertheless, isn’t there a certain responsibility we all bear when it comes to “creating” a safe environment? Yes, we can pray. We can love. We can turn the other cheek if necessary. And yes, we could ask “What would Jesus do?” The bottom line, in my mind is this, can we – will we – should we – do whatever is in our power to stop bad people from doing bad things to us or those we love?