25 Sept 23
“When possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all”
The Apostle Paul’s advice to First Century Christians living in Rome (Romans, 12:18)
My long-time friend and colleague, Mas Ayoob, in a recent article reminded us that, at least within this current civilization, the vast majority of lethal interactions in which we might find ourselves are probably avoidable, when we stay alert, aware, informed, and don’t beg the question.
Mas’ advice is sage, as always!
My small addition:
Anger, like fear, is a natural emotion. With most of us, anger arrives suddenly and unbidden, and gradually subsides after we take a breath!
“Being angry,” or “becoming angry,” because of a particular circumstance, is not a crime. If it were, we would all be felons, probably several times per day!
Acting impulsively (and inappropriately) when motivated by anger, is a crime, and thus a big part of “growing-up” is learning to control anger-aggravated impulsiveness and act-out only what is in our best interest, not what anger is exhorting us to do.
This point is critical for those of us who go armed. With deadly force ever at our fingertips, we all need to critically think about the roles anger and fear play in our daily lives!
An immediate, lethal response may well be necessary, appropriate, reasonable, and thus within the law when we are motivated by legitimate fear of an imminent, unavoidable deadly threat.
Indeed, that is the rationale behind “going armed.”
In a desperate, threatening circumstance, fear and anger (both perfectly normal, an probably inescapable, emotions) will probably be mixed together in our minds, at least for a few moments.
However, the “appropriateness” of our actions will always be evaluated based on the degree to which we were genuinely frightened, and whether or not our fear was legitimate and well-founded.
Shooting people because we’re frightened (assuming our fear is licit) is permitted by law.
Shooting people merely because we’re angry, is not permitted!
So, and as Mas reminded us, deliberately/angrily confronting dangerous people in dangerous places (whether we’re armed or not) is rarely in our best interest!
That’s what we pay police to do!
Accordingly, when you choose to “go to the fight,” and a “bad outcome” results, don’t expect much sympathy from our criminal justice system.
Conversely, when “the fight comes to you” (through no invitation on your part), a forceful, protective response will likely be judged “reasonable,” and thus lawful.
It appears Paul’s advice to the Romans, like Mas’ to the rest of us, is benevolent and taken seriously by the wise!