Wednesday, July 13, 2016

If Your Wife Was Being Threatened By An Armed Attacker, Should You Use A Gun To Protect Her?

I can't verify the math in this graphic, but here's a link to the source
One of my gun-advocating friends recently asked me whether I would use armed force to defend my wife if she were being attacked.

According to the numbers above, perhaps I can take comfort in the fact that in the US, at least, most of us have only a 0.0000085641025264% chance of being killed by someone with a gun in a given year. I'm not much of a mathematician, but doesn't that put my wife and me at far less risk of being shot than our being struck by lightning?

So based on the logic of the statistics cited, I'm puzzled by those who feel I should buy an AR-15 or two to defend myself and my family.

This doesn't mean I would just stand passively by if someone dared to inflict harm on a friend or a member of my family--or even a stranger, for that matter. In fact, in the desperate and adrenaline-driven passion of the moment I might find myself inflicting serious injury or suffering grave personal injury or death in an effort to prevent someone from doing violence to another, and especially if it were my wife or another family member (though in fact none of knows exactly how we would respond).

Or in the case of a terrorist attack in a public place, if I as a civilian (rather than a uniformed and trained police officer) were to brandish a gun, I would far more likely add to the carnage and chaos going on, to say nothing of my risk being shot by any official first responder aiming to take out any shooter in the area. So I would likely do what even most concealed carry gun toters have done in such circumstances, run for cover.

At any rate, the above are not the kind of extremely rare scenarios that will determine whether I arm and train myself to use deadly force. I grew up on a farm where guns were considered necessary for butchering, hunting and getting rid of varmints. For me that's not necessarily a problem (though having any gun around is always a safety risk, especially with children around). But purchasing a firearm and keeping it loaded for the sole purpose of killing or maiming someone is something I refuse to do as a follower of Jesus.

Meanwhile, I will not hesitate to keep my doors locked as appropriate, and will immediately dial 911 if I suspect an intruder might be about to cause harm to me or to anyone else. That's what I believe the God-ordained institution of civil authority is instituted to do (see Romans 13), to protect the innocent and to bring violent people to justice. Some kind of "well-regulated militia" or a well trained and disciplined police force may always be necessary as long as a majority of citizens are not living by the higher law of love for God and for their fellow human beings.

Having said that, the use of military force, especially on foreign soil, is in my mind quite another matter. Here the primary aim is to inflict death and destruction, and to intimidate, threaten and/or conquer an alleged enemy by whatever means possible.

What are your thoughts?
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