Saturday, May 17, 2008

A Firearm's Creed Regarding Concealed Carry

Thanks to quidni pro quo I got to read The Concealed Carry Creed that appears at Xavier Thoughts - Nurse With A Gun. I left a lengthy reply to the post over at quidni pro quo, where I first saw the creed. After a bit, I thought I would post my reply here in order to make sure this gets around as much as possible to promote some intelligent discussion on the issue. Read the creed here, then read my reply below. Hopefully there will be some good discussion and sharing of thoughts, and more of it because now it is being discussed on at least three different blogs.

MY REPLY (with a minor but important edit as noted):

"As a legitimate and legal gun owner, I have to say there is an awful lot in that 'creed' with which I disagree. This sort of disagreement usually arises whenever anyone says this is the way it must be, and the only way it must be - just like it is said in that piece.

For instance, my weapon is not only for the protection of life. if that were the case it would only ever be used defensively. My weapon could also conceivably be used not only to protect life, but to ensure the continuance of the United States of America and her Constitution.

I will not seek ‘never to have to use my weapon’; instead I will practice with it often in the event I ever need rely upon it. If I were to seek never to use it, I would put it in a drawer and lock it away, or I would surrender it to my enemy. I would indeed seek to use it as I find myself morally, logically, and justifiably able to do so - otherwise why bother having it. I will not be "forced" to use my weapon as would the author of the 'creed' I would choose to use it when I deem necessary.

In preparing myself to use my weapon, I will not as would the author of the 'creed' acquire superior training; however I will train with it to make myself thoroughly familiar and proficient with it in various situations. To believe that any training I receive, or any practice I perform is superior leaves me open to failure because I have unwisely underestimated the ability of my assailant.

I will never be able to know, and understand all laws regarding the possession and use of firearms, or anything else for that matter. The legislators who enact laws, the executive branch who enforces them, and the judicial branch who interprets them are constantly at odds with one another over the meaning of laws, and all three are at odds with the People over the same, so how is it that anyone can believe that we can be expected to know it all.

On the other hand, I will make every effort in good conscience to obey laws about firearms, until those laws violate the Constitution of The United States of America. When that violation is blatant, and it results in the harm to fellow good citizens, and oppression of our rights to an extreme degree, I will do all within my power to uphold the Constitution of this great land. if that includes violating unjust, oppressive and tyrannical laws to achieve preservation of the Constitution, well then, so be it. Failure to do so means the end of liberty and justice, and the demise of a nation.

I will go far beyond the so called '4 Rules of Safe gun Handling' if only because they are a poorly abbreviated version of the Rules of Firearms Safety that were taught for many, many years before someone well versed in firearms decided to shorten them to help sell his name and his book. Yes he knew a lot about shooting, but Colonel Jeff Cooper was a fool if he believed those 4 rules were what it took to handle a firearm safely. I don' t believe that is what he thought, but I do believe it helped him sell himself and his book, and maybe that made him much worse than a fool in this regard, and I say that without attempting to detract from giving him his due relative to his other knowledge about firearms and his ability to use them. (edited a bit from the original to show I defer to the man and his experience on many things related to firearms, but just certainly not the 4 rules)

The above is not my creed, I have no creed when it comes to firearms usage. Life with all its twists and turns cause circumstances to change from day to day, and I tend to be flexible when it comes to my practical applications of anything. That includes my use of firearms. There is always something else to learn, maybe something to discard that you have already learned.

Of course if I were to have a creed, it might go something like:

I, Glenn Bartley, do solemnly affirm that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter.

And you can bet I would be willing to use a gun to get the job done within the framework of just and moral legal system.

This may seem like semantics to some of you who read this. I think not. I think there is a definite difference between myself and the author of that creed, a basic difference in our philosophies when it comes down to the nitty gritty of it all. Not a vast difference mind you, but an essential one. Maybe I am wrong, maybe we are more alike than I imagine, and it is just the way of saying things that differs. Regardless of which, I am pretty sure our philosophies do not differ that much that we would not both strive for morality, justice, and the right way of being a responsible gun owner. For that, despite any differences, I tip my proverbial hat to the author of the Concealed Carry Creed.

By the way, I did not give my reply in order to offend the author of the creed; but rather to intelligently promote discussion about it, and to make others and maybe even the author himself realize there are a lot of other ways to look at legitimate firearms ownership. In that regard, I suppose my intent was also maybe even to get others tho think about whether or not creeds are probably much to narrow in scope to be applied to such a topic as carrying, or use of, firearms. "

All the best,
Glenn B

1 comment:

MightyMom said...

well, I don't claim "intelligence" but I'll discuss with you.

A) I read the creed, your comment and those that responded to you.

here's a general observation. You're a cop, "he's" (I think it's a him, right?) a nurse. There in lies a basic difference in how life is viewed.

You have an indepth knowledge of the enforcement and breaking of laws, as well as how "flexible" some laws may be...maybe open to interpretation is a better way to say it. .... or I could say you deal well in "leaglese" and therefore you would see anything such as "the 4 rules of gunsafety" or any "creed" as being too simplistic and rigid. Because cops, better perhaps than anyone, know that life doesn't follow the rules and things can always go sideways on you.

now, I speak from what I've learned about you, Glenn, from reading your blog over the last year. And I mean no disrespect in what I say.

I can only generalize about Xavier/nurses from the standpoint of being a nurse. I frequently find myself in the position of taking a vast amount of knowledge and possibilities and boiling them down to a cliff notes version highlighting only the most common potential occurances to discuss with patients/families.

This creed, seems to me to come from that standpoint. It leaves out the times when life might go sideways, probably because most of us think the chances of that happening are very very small.

For the record, it's a creed that I would leave over there at Xavier's place and not choose to pass on as it isn't something I could follow. My self preservation is why I have a gun. And I have no hesitation in taking someone else's life to save my own or my children's. And frankly, if you're not prepared to use the damn thing...why bother toting around the extra weight? And, like you said, I take issue with that "superior training" statement..although I think it just a poor choice of words, probably because of trying to create this cliff notes statment.

I believe that when we try to pare down how/when/why of gun ownership (among other things) into an easily memorizable snippet we are going to run the danger of producing something that, while it may sound good on the surface, misses some vital points. This is always true, and why reading the Cliff Notes is never as good as reading the entire novel. However, I will say that I respect Xavier for attempting to create a "standard of care" so to speak for gun carriers...I just think this one is too simplistic.