Bulletproof Friday: The Morality of Shooting People in the Face
Any time there is a mass shooting the media,
politicians, and everyday people ask, “Why do we allow these things to happen?” The answers are usually given in sound-bite snacks to feed their respective sides, left or right, without ever exploring the moral foundations of our Second Amendment rights or examining where the real issues that lead to these tragedies reside.
I will get into the historic underpinnings of the Second Amendment in a later article but right now I want to focus on the moral pillars that the Second Amendment is built upon.
Before I get into that, let me say that I have spent much of my adult life hunting and fighting criminals and terrorists who think nothing of killing the innocent regardless of their age. However, those that hurt children light a particularly intense fire of hatred in my heart. I feel great sorrow for the lives and potential lost, and, as a father, I can empathize with the families left behind. Some people need to die for the security of our families and for the protection of our society. Wishing it wasn’t so is not a solution.
The world is an imperfect place full of evil men intent on doing evil things. They come in all shapes and colors; all religions and ages; some sympathetic and charismatic, some blatantly hostile; but the effect of their actions is not something that can be ignored, tolerated, or wished-away. I have seen the effects of their bullets and bombs on the fragile flesh of my fellow servicemen and on innocent civilians caught in their sights. This is the really-real world ladies and gentlemen. To deny that these people exist and are not actively praying for your death, training to kill you, and seeking to target you is to live in a state of denial that makes the bad man’s job easier.
While some liberal elements are sounding emotional calls for everything from a new Assault Weapons Ban to a repeal of the Second Amendment their leftist political overlords are salivating at the prospect of new laws destroying your liberty and giving them more control. Remember, the founders believed this was a God-given basic human right that no individual or government could take away.
But what is the moral ground that the Second Amendment is based on? Why is it so dear to so many Americans? The founders believed that everyone had the right to be safe in their own person. This comes from the Judeo-Christian society that thousands of years of Western Culture bore and in whose philosophical tenants they were brought up in.
An example of this comes from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraphs 2263-2265:
2263 The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. "The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one's own life; and the killing of the aggressor.... the one is intended, the other is not."
2264 Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality. Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one's own right to life. Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:
If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful.... Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one's own life than of another's.
2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for someone responsible for another's life. Preserving the common good requires rendering the unjust aggressor unable to inflict harm. To this end, those holding legitimate authority have the right to repel by armed force aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their charge.”
And from the Jewish tradition, the Mitzvot (the 613 Commandments):
“265.To save the pursued even at the cost of the life of the pursuer (Deut. 25:12)
266. Not to spare a pursuer, but he is to be slain before he reaches the pursued and slays the latter, or uncovers his nakedness (Deut. 25:12)”
Notice that the commandment in 266 is to slay the pursuer, it is not an option but a directive to kill those seeking to kill or rape before they reach their victim.
Even the normally pacifist religion of Buddhism has adherents and leaders who champion self-defense. The most famous of these are the Shaolin Monks whose founders, according to legend, were military men already highly skilled in martial arts before they became followers of Buddhabhadra and later Bodhidharma, two Buddhas who came from India and possibly Tamil to evangelize China for Buddhism. They continued to train and pass on their martial ways and now Shaolin is synonymous with the self-defense art of kung-fu.
No less a Buddhist leader than the Dalai Lama has also reportedly commented:
“But if someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, he said, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. Not at the head, where a fatal wound might result. But at some other body part, such as a leg.”
The Dalai Lama, being a pacifist, can be forgiven for not knowing that a gunshot to the leg can also be fatal, or that a typical shooter would not have the skill and presence of mind to be able to place such a shot. It is worthy of note, however, that this was given in answer to a question about what to do in the event of a shooter who takes aim at a classmate. This question was posed by a student at a school which had recently gone through a mass shooting.
So the question that must be asked of those who would disarm us is “who deserves protection?” We know that guns are used in over 30,000 deaths each year (This includes suicides and accidental shootings), but did you know that number of reported instances where a firearm was used to save a life is over 500,000? That is the absolute low end and many estimate the true figures to be well in excess of 3,000,000. These figures do not take into account times when the brandishing of a firearm prevented a crime. What about those people? Did they deserve to die if there were no firearm to save them?
If you had a little girl who stood five feet tall and weighed 95 pounds soaking wet would you stand by and wait for the police to respond while a six foot four, 300 pound man jumped her and beat her with his fists? Are you going to say, “well he isn’t armed!”? Or would you have the internal fortitude to do anything up to and including putting a bullet in his brain box to save her? My 20 year old daughter is exactly as I described, short and petite and very attractive, I can tell you I am not a physically imposing man, but I do have the mental and physical wherewithal to defend my family. If that means permanently stopping one or more assailants I would do it and sleep soundly that night.
The old adage “God made man, but Sam Colt made them equal” is true. Only through the use of firearms can a much weaker or physically disabled person defend themselves from a stronger violent attacker. "But do you need military grade weapons to do this?" Damn right! I want every advantage over an attacker. There is no such thing as a fair fight when lives are on the line.
Do you think having “assault rifles” everywhere
would lead to many more shooting sprees as the left would have you believe? How is that working out for Israel? There they know how to look for the potential terrorist and many are ready to respond if need be, but then their national survival depends on every citizens’ vigilance while here in America our young eat laundry soap and believe socialism will give them everything they want without having to pay a price.
Educate your young. Educate the left. Train yourself becase as you were sitting here reading this a bad man was training to kill you.