Disclamier: Since writing this, numerous other violent and traumatic events have occurred in our country and around the world.
- Title of this post is accredited to RE Factor Tactical. Check ’em out.
- “I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
- JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
In the past couple years we’ve seen videos, news reports, and articles involving heinous acts of terror and murder. The attacks in Paris, San Francisco, Chattanooga, Brussels, Istanbul, Orlando, Dallas, and Nice all have three things in common:
– Evil men (and women) were determined to commit evil, violent acts by whatever means necessary and refused to be reasoned with.
– The only thing that stopped them was their death.
– No amount of on duty police, investigations, laws, background checks, or metal detectors could prevent these attacks from occurring.
Conversely, I have commonly seen stories where evil people’s evil intentions were repulsed. For example:
– An old man with a concealed weapon chased out two would be robbers.
– A student with a shotgun went to school to shoot kids but was tackled and subdued by another student.
– Two men with body armor and rifles intent on killing people at an art contest were killed by a responsible citizen when they started shooting.
– An eight year old girl was dragged out of her bed and used martial arts to fight him off.
These stories have something in common too: violence in behalf of the victims.
Violence is traditionally thought of as a use of force intended to kill, or hurt someone. And because of this, it’s looked down upon as an immature and ugly solution to problems… And that’s not wrong. But, it’s not completely true either. Violence can be a necessary, just, and even righteous solution in the correct context.
My definition of violence is simple. I define violence as action – swift, merciless, determined, unwavering action. It could be as simple as flicking someone in the eyes, or as extreme as taking someone’s life. My definition of violence comes from my experiences growing up, my training, and even my faith.
I spent six years of my life in the Marine Corps reserve. I was honored with being a part of the most vulgar, pitiless, blood thirsty, and ferocious fighting force in the world. (If you don’t believe me, you obviously don’t know any marines well enough, or need to be versed in their illustriously successful career as war fighters). It’s this part of me and others like me, that make us wish we could be at the scene of one of these tragic incidents so we can do our part.
In contrast, I also spent two years as a missionary, doing nothing but preaching faith and spending everyday being filled with a love for all people so deep my heart wanted to burst. It’s this part of me that cries at night after reading the news, and that prays for my friends and family’s safety during these dark times.
These experiences taught me something very important. It’s possible to reconcile peace and violence. You can be a warrior in a garden. You can be a farmer prepared to beat his “plowshares into swords” (Joel 3:10). You can be a parent making an honest living who, at a moments notice, can efficiently exercise violence in behalf of themselves or others. Some of the most influential people in scripture and history have been peaceful people who, when pressed, were ready to get their hands dirty.
Perhaps you’ve asked yourself (or been asked by someone else) “What are you willing to die for?” It’s a noble question to be sure. However, I think the better question is “What are you willing to kill for?”
Personally, I’m willing to kill for mine and my families’ safety, the safety of innocent fleeing victims, and to protect my country from all enemies foreign and domestic. Bear in mind, my “kill” list involves an occupational and ethical duty, so it’s longer than most. Your kill list could be very small, or even blank. But you should still be prepared to be violent.
What fits your lifestyle? What are you physically, mentally, and financially capable of? Your plan could be to responsibly and lawfully carry a firearm. Or, your plan could involve carrying a flashlight, or a knife, and being familiar with emergency exits. OR, your plan could simply be to run or hide, and then fight if those fail. It doesn’t matter what your plan is… just have one and carry it out violently.
I don’t write this in the hopes that you’ll sue for war instead of peace, or that you’ll join my brothers and sisters in arms. My only hope is that you will try to prepare yourself and do your best not to become a victim… Seriously and even prayerfully consider the question “What are you willing to kill for?” and then prepare accordingly.