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First Things First
an editorial by Mark E. Freburg

Before you strap on a gun and leave the house, before you load a gun for defense, before you even buy a gun if you don’t currently own one...there is something you need to do.

You must examine yourself deep in your soul and decide whether or not you can take another human life.

If you decide you cannot, it would be irresponsible or even criminal to have a gun on your person that you will not use. If you have it and won’t use it and are attacked, the criminal can and probably will take it from you. He may kill you or some other innocent person, and in my opinion, you facilitated that tragedy by having a gun you could not or would not use.

Please spend some time thinking about this. It is the one most important decision you can make in the realm of self-defense. I cannot talk to you about morality or religion here, that is far outside the purview of this website. But examine yourself according to what matters most to you.

We are not talking about the legal right to use deadly force here. Everything I will ever write on this topic presumes that if a good citizen uses deadly force against another that it was justified. (If it was not justified, that is also something outside of our purview--we are not criminals and we don't write for criminals here, just law-abiding citizens). No, we are talking about the feeling deep in your gut that you will have to live with if you ever cause another person’s death. Of course it must be legally justified or you’ll live out your life either behind bars or destitute from having lost a civil case. But even though the shooting was justified and the person you shot was attempting to kill or gravely injure you or one under your protection--and you are innocent of any crime--you are still going to have to live with the fact that you have killed that person. You pointed your gun at him, you pulled the trigger, and you sent him to his grave.

Am I overly dramatizing this? I don't think this can be overly dramatized. This is the one barrier that we all must get past if we decide to keep or carry a deadly weapon for self-defense. Think it over carefully. If the answer is yes I can kill if necessary, we can move on, you can explore other articles on this web site, and we won’t have to discuss this again. But if the answer is no I cannot kill, you’ll need to look at other means of defense. Obviously the best means is avoidance, but beyond that you might consider martial arts, or non-lethal means of protection. Are these a good substitute for a firearm? No, but things are what they are.

Give it some thought, do the right thing for you.

copyright 2006/2019 by the author, all rights reserved

Uploaded: 5/18/2006