The Sound of Arms, the Tramp of Feet…
(The following is excerpted from the new ebook, Searching for a Christian Response to Prepping by D. F. Stoner Clark
I would like to address at this point a highly charged and controversial aspect of prepping which has fostered much misinformation, confusion, divisiveness and anger. The issue of which I speak is personal defense—particularly self-protection by means of a firearm. Views concerning the use of personal firearms or weapons to protect oneself or others have very much crystallized over the last couple of decades. The extremes in points of view run the gamut from those who believe no private citizen should possess a firearm to those who believe, with the founding fathers, that the entire population should constitute the armed citizen militia of the nation.
The crystallization of these views, along with the angst that usually accompanies them, is very much promulgated by prolific amounts of misinformation and outright lies for which the main stream media bears no small responsibility. The arguments are too often governed more by emotion than by facts and commensurate wisdom. The “my mind is made up so don’t confuse me with the facts” attitude seems to so often assert itself in this debate.
Without an absolute honesty and open mindedness accompanied by the willingness and tenacity to do one’s own research on the subject, the truth of the matter will probably not be ferreted out. Undoubtedly this is one of those subjects for which most persons have already formed some fairly concrete opinions. It is therefore incumbent upon all who sincerely desire truth in the matter to be willing to recognize and at least temporarily set aside their prejudices that they might be open to accept new, different and possibly even more correct understandings.
There is a hard fact that all persons are going to have to reckon with at one time or another in the days ahead. When the collapse of our way of life as we have always known it comes, by whatever means, we will face having to either defend ourselves and what we possess or surrender and accept whatever consequences befall us. Like it or not, there will be plenty of people out there who will want what you have and they will have no compunction over taking it by force when necessary. Please understand my heart—I would rather be prepared and never need it than be unprepared and have to suffer untoward and potentially disastrous consequences.
This is another one of those issues one is well-advised to make a decision about preemptively. You do not want to be faced with having to make a decision in the heat of confrontation. Will you choose to defend your domain? If so, what will it logically take in preparation to do that? Bear in mind that when dealing with firearms it is about far more than simply laying up some weapons, ammunition and cleaning supplies. One must also be mindful of the pertinent laws—both local and federal—regarding ownership, concealment, transporting, etc. of firearms. Additionally, it is imperative that persons choosing to arm themselves obtain familiarization and training commensurate with the equipment they are planning to use.
I have often pondered why the argument related to the personal possession of firearms is so highly emotionally charged. It is one of those unusual debates that results in very little neutral ground but rather tends to polarize persons into either the adamantly for or against camps. Persons holding diametrically opposed views on personal firearm possession and use seem seldom able to address the subject in a detached manner as persons standing side by side examining something independent of themselves. Rather they tend to quickly orient themselves into opposing postures with rising vitriol resulting in more character description than factual disclosure.
I have come to the conclusion that the intensity of passion and conviction generated by this dispute has its roots in a far deeper concern of a spiritual nature—that being one of freedom or liberty. At the risk of over generalizing I believe it is safe to aver that everything from Satan is designed to bring man into bondage and everything relating to Christ is intended to bring us into absolute freedom. The work of Satan is coercive, deceptive and destructive and always redounds to slavery. The ministry of Christ is full of light, healing and deliverance inviting us into a voluntary surrender to himself resulting in utter freedom. Christians are meant to function in all of life and ministry in complete freedom. Our very responses to God only find validity in coming from a context of absolute freedom. Given any amount of coercion or demand would simply produce a false positive.
Spiritual realities have their natural counterparts and that is the essence of our issue here. Ever since the fall in the garden men have been attempting to exercise their will over others. To do so in any measure constitutes the usurpation of freedom of another. The fact that firearms have been used nefariously by some to exercise their will over others does not negate their legitimacy in being utilized to preserve life and protect property. There is an old saying that goes…”Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal.” It would be a highly informative and instructive statistic to know just how many persons would still be alive today had there been a good guy with a gun on the scene during the random mass killings our nation has experienced.
The use of a firearm to deter the victimization of oneself or others is strictly a personal faith decision. In doing so we must avoid summarily attempting to hold others to our personal convictions. Paul indicated as much when asking the question: “For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience?” (1 Cor 10:29). Paul’s argument concerned specifically Jewish taboos regarding certain foods, but the principle is universal and valid.
I believe most efforts to enact gun control are nothing more than false flag events at best. Those persons, organizations and agencies attempting to abridge our Constitutional rights to possess firearms are neither ignorant nor stupid. They well understand whatever restrictions they successfully enact will only serve to deprive law abiding citizens of their rights while doing nothing to prevent the lawless element of society from acquiring and using firearms. Knowing this, one can only surmise that the hidden agenda is the usurpation of our freedom. Historically aberrant governments have always feared an armed citizenry and therefore proceeded to disarm them early in the process of enslaving them.
Probably the most spurious argument fomented by those prosecuting the gun control controversy is the idea that disarming all law abiding citizens will somehow deprive the criminal element of access to firearms. Once again, an honest perusal of legitimate evidential studies substantiates the reality that disarmed societies, such as Great Briton, Canada and Australia, are much more vulnerable and more literally victimized by the criminal element than persons within a more open and free society. Evil people by definition are never deterred by the law.
The purpose of a law is not to actually prohibit unlawful behavior but rather to define what is unlawful and to provide the means by which lawbreakers may be successfully apprehended, prosecuted and punished for their lawbreaking. The below referenced book by John R. Lott emanated from a seminal study of crime which scrutinized every county in the United States. The results of Lott’s research conclusively proved that without exception the rate of crime was inversely proportional to the ownership of guns within each county. More guns less crime proved to be absolutely true.
In researching volatile, emotion laden subjects, it is always important to ascertain how agenda free one’s background source truly is. I would like to recommend John R. Lott’s, More Guns, Less Crime: Understanding Crime and Gun Control Laws, as an excellent and scholarly work on this topic. Lies, fabrications, manipulated data, scientific studies with contrived results, and misleading, slanted and agendized reporting spew forth from the main stream media on a daily basis. Congressional investigatory reports informing the American people on the “truth” regarding findings from the 9/11 attacks to Benghazi are replete with manipulated data massaged toward predetermined conclusions that serve their hidden agendas. Our current administration rode into office on a proffered platform of honesty and transparency. This president will be remembered as one of the most prevaricating, dissembling, disingenuous heads of state in the history of the office closely followed by the outrageous deceitfulness of the State and Justice Departments.
This is indicative of the fog of deception we are forced to negotiate in attempting to know the truth regarding not only gun control but also myriad other issues essential to living informed, constructive and contributing lives. We have to determine from the onset of this discussion the hidden agenda regarding the outrageous efforts of the government to disarm the American people. There are several salient facts informing our discussion at this point. For example, there are already in existence more than ample gun laws to indict, prosecute and punish persons who use guns nefariously and illegally. The need is not for more restrictive legislation but for enforcement of the current laws.
The truth is we have a Justice Department that summarily ignores many of these laws, refusing to enforce them, while simultaneously lobbying for the enactment of even more laws. Many studies have been carried out attempting to ascertain the effectiveness of gun control laws and the overwhelming conclusion is that these laws do little to nothing in terms of making law abiding citizens safer or in reducing crime. Forgive me for stating the obvious but the criminal element in our society has never been known to adjust its behavior to comply with the laws of our nation. Although some gun laws do offer elements that appertain to safety, the majority simply hamstring law-abiding citizens making them less safe. It is even possible to make the case that a great number of so-called gun control laws serve to reduce our safety by denying us our God given and constitutional rights of self-preservation and protection. John R. Lott’s formidable work, More Guns Less Crime, is truly unassailable in its content and conclusions.
Given the foregoing argument, let us return to our question concerning the government’s hidden agenda with respect to its efforts to establish ever increasing levels of gun control. A fairly simple survey of legislative output over the past 20-30 years will bring almost everyone to the conclusion that the sum result has been greater governmental insinuation into the lives of the American people with a commensurate loss of personal freedom in the balance. The terminology “gun control” is simply a misleading and intentional misnomer since guns are inanimate objects. As such, guns do not have a life of their own and therefore cannot be subject to control. In reality it is the use of guns that the powers that be are attempting to control. A more accurate phrase in this argument would be “people control.” The sum result of myriad laws, executive orders and presidential memoranda has been to usurp individual freedoms and control the masses. It is a fact of world history that no armed populace has been conquered by its own government. Conversely, every evil totalitarian regime that has successfully enslaved its own people has routinely disarmed them in the process. I rest my case.
Our government has been aided and abetted in its endeavor to disarm the American people by a compliant and complicit lapdog media content to parrot the administration’s treasonous agenda through their abdication of honest journalism. If only we had truly learned our lessons from history we would probably have a greater readiness to resist what is transpiring right before our eyes. We stand shamed and convicted by our ignorance in this regard. It was the government’s (British) attempt to disarm law abiding citizens in 1775, when British Redcoats sought to confiscate Colonial arms thought to be stored at Concord, MA, that led to the confrontation at North Bridge. The resultant battle was won by the Minutemen and consequently launched the Revolutionary War. It behooves all persons considering the use of firearms to thoroughly research the meaning of the Second Amendment to our Constitution. Our founding fathers considered every able body man a member of the citizen militia with the full expectation that they would be equipped and experienced in the use of firearms for personal defense and for the defense of others. With this understanding they constitutionally established that no one could be deprived of personal arms.
Personally I am approaching this issue from a background of one who received his first gun at the age of 12 as a Christmas gift from his parents. It was a Remington .22 caliber bolt action single shot rifle which I learned to use under the tutelage of my father. My familiarization with and training in the use of firearms continued through my service in the USMC and the National Rifle Association. My interest in and recreational use of firearms has continued unto the present day. My personal interest in firearms is pragmatic in nature seeing them principally as tools which serve very specific purposes.
Unquestionably, whether or not one chooses to own and potentially defensively use a weapon is a highly personal decision. If one opts to incorporate firearm defense as a part of personal preparation, I would highly recommend that decision be accompanied by qualified training and practice in the responsible use and handling of firearms. I am assuming for the sake of this discussion that all matters relating to the handling, use, concealment, etc. of a firearm will be conducted within the boundaries of all applicable and relevant laws. There are federal laws and state laws regulating the disposition of firearms and it is the responsibility of each person to be familiar with those laws germane to his particular situation. As a sub-note to this discussion with respect to laws regulating the possession of firearms, it is this author’s personal opinion that the majority of these laws stand in violation of our Constitution and God given rights. Laws that do not square with the Constitution are in fact non-laws by definition. Individuals will have to make their own determinations regarding compliance with un-Constitutional laws.
It is not within the purview of this article to provide definitive answers as to the moral or biblical justification for firearms and their use. Rather, the attempt here is to provoke honest thinking and research on the part of readers that they might reach God inspired personal conclusions through which they may faithfully respond. Hopefully even when we reach different conclusions we will choose to respect others who march to the beat of a different drummer. One cannot help but observe that the overwhelming demonstration of virulence in this gun control debate lies in the camp of the anti-gunners. Interesting to this writer is the observation made over many years that it is those with the weaker, unsubstantiated and false arguments—regardless of the subject—that tend to invoke vitriol in their defenses. Persons standing on truth seldom feel compelled to bolster their discussions with personal attacks and specious logic.
Having progressed this far in our prepping discussion with respect to firearms, we need to examine one more related aspect of serious and consequential import. Should a person so choose to carry a sidearm—or be committed to use one in the prevention of crime—there must be a thorough thinking through of the moral, philosophical and legal ramifications of so doing. A person must thoroughly consider under what circumstances and with what justification a weapon would be employed. Laws regarding firearm ownership, transport, concealment, use, etc. differ state by state. It is therefore imperative that one understand the laws germane to firearms for his particular situation. Knowing the legal ramifications for employing a firearm and ascertaining one’s willingness to live with the consequences of doing so is part of responsible preparation. Once again, it is imperative that anyone considering the use of a firearm in a self-defense or protective mode become thoroughly familiar with the laws—both state and federal—that appertain to such activity.
It bears repeating that each person is going to have to prayerfully reach their own conclusion regarding the firearm issue. My personal decision has been to draw the line with respect to using deadly force on the grounds of preserving life. I am well aware of how much subjectivity is involved in making just such a decision. If a person is armed and a threatening situation arises, that person will be burdened with the task of interpreting the degree of threat and his potential response to such threat. This is where the scenario can become convoluted and obfuscated and where each individual must pre-think his potential responses. In other words, there can be situations wherein evil persons introduce the palpable potential for deadly force upon innocent people and where an armed citizen must decide whether to act preemptively with his own force or to wait until someone has actually been seriously harmed or killed prior to taking preventative action.
My personal persuasion is that when someone initiates the threat of serious bodily harm upon another person he has crossed my line. I am intellectually and emotionally prepared and physically equipped to counter an evil force with force if necessary. That is a decision I have arrived at and for which I have equipped myself in my personal prepping. I believe one is morally justified in the taking of another’s life when it is in the act of preserving the life of those being victimized. It is not within the constitution of all persons to arrive at a similar disposition. That is as it may be. In this regard, I am simply attempting to provide the intellectual tools and incentive for each individual to prayerfully and faithfully arrive at a personal informed conclusion.
In closing the thoughts of this chapter please understand that the commandment “thou shalt not kill” is a specific reference to murder and is not a biblical prohibition against the taking of life in the context of this discussion. I believe one’s study of the Hebrew text from Exodus 20 will substantiate this conclusion.