Yet look carefully at the final two paragraphs.
Yes, I want to feel like I can protect myself when I am confronted by danger. But I also know that in the heat of a dangerous moment, there is no predicting how I will respond. I might freeze up. I might run. I might start screaming. If I owned a gun and carried it, openly or concealed, I don’t know what I would do. My hands might shake. I might not be able to dislodge the safety. I might not be able to shoot straight. I don’t know if I would rise to heroics.
The author claims to want to “feel” like she can protect herself yet from the language of the penultimate paragraph it is obvious she has not bothered to take the step of getting trained properly. Yes, stress will affect the performance of anyone. (We are taught: “In a real life-threatening emergency, you will only be half as good as your best day on the range.”) But hers are not the words of a woman with training.
Or it comes down to this. Despite the ways in which I am forced to think about safety, despite statistics, despite the gun owners I have known and respected, despite politicians’ hypotheticals, I recognize that to own a gun, to keep a gun in my home, to carry a gun on my person means I am taking on the responsibility of using that gun. I am taking on the responsibility of being willing to take another human life. And over and over—even as I lock my doors, even as I look over my shoulder—that is not a responsibility I am willing to bear.
Her reference to “being willing to take another human life” in the last paragraph shows she is unaware of the distinction made by Thomas Aquinas allowing for lethal force to be used in self-defense as long as there is no specific intent to kill. That distinction would have been clear to her if she had taken a modern concealed carry class which trains shooters to stop the threat, not the “shoot to kill” ethos ingrained by Hollywood and military training. Fight-stopping, center-of-mass hits are usually survivable.
If attacked, do you want to be Victor or Victim?
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David R. Duringer, JD, LL.M, is a concealed firearm instructor and tax lawyer specializing in business and estate planning. He is managing shareholder at Protective Law Corporation, serving Southern California from its Laguna Hills (Orange County) headquarters and a satellite office in Coronado (San Diego County).
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