On Violence – Religion and Politics

Kurt's Religion and Politics

You may be surprised to hear this—particularly considering my staunch support for the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution—but I’m a pacifist. It’s my belief that very little can be solved through violent activity.

I’m not arguing there aren’t circumstances in which one might potentially save the life of one or more innocents by acting in violence against someone desirous to maim or kill them.

To put it mildly though, I’m very much against the use of violence to forward or even accomplish most ends.

Most of my Conservative friends won’t acknowledge it’s the case, but they’re almost as rabidly peace-mongering as am I.

I don’t argue against people (even, believe it or not, felons) having guns or other weapons of much of any kind. Like with anything, how they use them is entirely another matter.

When once a person chooses to level a pistol or rifle at another human being with no provocation, for example, I can in no way support their doing so.

That said, I saw a video in which an anti police activist went through a piece of police training, where he was asked to respond to situations in which a cop may find him or her self, either using, or foregoing, deadly force.

Unsurprisingly, he came away with a new respect for the scenarios in which law enforcement officers find themselves on a daily and ongoing basis.

It was equally not shocking, that he came to understand the necessity of compliance when dealing with those in blue.

Those who’ve seen videos of emergency service personnel of one sort or other being gunned down in cold blood in things like routine traffic stops, are already well aware they confront horrible risk with startling regularity.

In the same way I won’t try to pump up the numbers of black people killed by police on a yearly basis—the number being exceptionally small when compared to even those in the general population counted black—I shan’t either, try to indicate that police are at a gigantic risk in most situations, of dealing with violent criminals intent on taking their lives.

Still, where I understand black folks having some trepidation dealing with police, I also certainly feel it reasonable for law officers to have consternation when working with folks who act aggressively, and who may potentially have weapons on their persons or nearby.

Where that group seems to be largely comprised of African American males under the age of forty, that doesn’t mean others aren’t equally assumed to be in that number. The next most likely, is probably men of European descent in that same age group.

All in all, the point though, is where I am a pacifist, I don’t find the things law enforcement does in the normal course of duty to typically be problematic. They’re often where one finds them for the protection of innocents—or at least people for whom they have no reason to assume guilt.

That’s not to say they never misbehave, just that in general their position is entirely understandable.

I also have no problem with folks who have families, having or carrying in either a concealed or open way, weapons intended to protect themselves in situations where it’s necessary. I would hope, based on things I’ve said in past, that it would be clear the protection of family members is even less of a problem in my mind.

Though I know many would argue against such things, I can further easily support the idea of folks going out and hunting for game, whether to feed their families or themselves, or in order to donate that which they dispatch to needy people or organizations.

Where I’m not nearly as enthused by the idea, I can even support certain types of sport activities that involve guns or other weapons (knives, bows and arrows, darts, and others). After all, who are they hurting by doing as they do? And let’s face it, being more expert with a weapon, means you’re less likely to harm another if you have to use it for less frivolous purposes.

The funny thing about all that I’ve said to this point, is that I have yet to touch on an important question. Are the previous uses, those for which 2nd Amendment was penned?

The answer, pretty directly is, “No.”

That change to our Constitution, was intended to make it possible for those former colonists, to protect themselves from tyranny, whether from domestic sources, or those outside the U. S.

You may have a hard time reconciling this idea with that of pacifism. That’s because it’s not the easiest thing in the World to do. Let me help you though.

It’s just as likely that peaceful people will die as a result of the ensconcement of tyrannical regimes, as at the hands of violent criminals.

So as much as I count myself a pacifist, and you can be assured, that’s to a very great degree, I still strongly support, both the right to have and bear arms, and the right to use them when doing so can be justified.

To be clear, in my mind, race is not a factor in this. If you’re black, and you legally and responsibly own various types or armament, I’m no more concerned by that, than when white folks do so.

Getting back to my original point though, the idea of refusing to act violently unless it’s called for, or doing so on an ongoing basis, is a strong current in my psyche. That doesn’t change based on the fact that there’re situations I may perceive require behavior I strongly dislike.

So, if you think violence should be a thing with which you deal on a regular basis, allow me to say, I’m not on board with that idea. Is it something with which one must periodically deal? Certainly! Is it ever desirable? Not in any circumstance I can imagine. That imparted, though I count myself a pacifist, don’t expect to not meet resistance on my part, most particularly if you try to harm innocents.

Thanks for reading, and may your time be good.

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