Using Deadly Force

A force is an influence or a potential set into action. If you’ve ever moved your body or anything else, you have experienced a physical force to do so, originating in your muscles. A wood splitter uses hydraulic force. A lawn mower uses the force of expanding gases to spin its blade. A refrigerator uses magnetic forces produced by electricity to turn a compressor and chill the interior.

A deadly force is one that might potentially produce an injury leading to death. There are many such forces, found in many places, from wood splitters to lawn mowers to the movements of our own limbs to the voltage in our power lines. Usually, these deadly forces do not produce such injuries, because we recognize that they must be employed carefully, and under strict control. On the other hand, accidents also happen on a daily basis, and they sometimes lead to death.

You choose to use deadly force when you mow your lawn, drive your car, or shoot a firearm. They are all comparable. In matters of self defense, however, that deadly force is employed in a way that’s likely to stop an attack upon you. Coincidentally, such a use of deadly force is also likely to injure your assailant. Since it is deadly force, there is also a chance that your assailant may die from his injuries.

In order to be prepared to defend yourself when seconds count, you should take some time now to think through your willingness to apply deadly force during those seconds. In the course my wife and I attended at Front Sight, there was a lecture on moral and ethical decisions relating to the use of deadly force.

Continue reading “Using Deadly Force”

Mental Awareness in Self Defense

In Tae Kwon Do class, my instructor has spoken about the need to be aware of our surroundings. That includes items like where the exits are located, where hiding places may be, what kind and how many potential assailants there are in what places. Such awareness can help one to anticipate an attack so that it might either be avoided altogether or the reaction time is instantaneous, increasing the effectiveness of your defense and the likelihood of your survival.

What I learned at [Front Sight][fs] makes mental awareness into a discipline that’s both simpler and more exact. It involves a color code similar to the Department of Defense’s “Defense Conditions:” Defcon 1, Defcon 2, etc., or the Department of Homeland Security’s color-coded threat conditions.

[fs]: Continue reading “Mental Awareness in Self Defense”

Levels of Competence (updated)

While on vacation recently, my wife and I attended a 2-day defensive handgun course at Front Sight Firearms Training Institute. It was partly experimental, to see if the online descriptions of this training are borne out in reality. I wanted to know about the level and quality of training, but I also hoped it would be good enough to help my dear wife to achieve a level of proficiency and comfort with the use of a handgun that might prove decisive in a situation where she might have to defend herself and/or our children in my absence.

The level of training exceeded my high expectations and hopes. One would not think that so much could be taught in only two long days, but the curriculum is geared toward both quality and quantity of training. I regret somewhat that we had not signed up for the 4-day defensive handgun class instead, though I intend to take it sometime later.

Part of the curriculum at Front Sight is training in manual skills, which are important for obvious reasons. Yet at least half of the training is mental work. I intend to reflect on elements of what was taught in several blog posts. One might wonder why I’d like to do this. My reasons are threefold:

  1. In order to undertake a systematic review of what I learned.

  2. Because a number of those concepts may be applied in other disciplines more directly related to the usual topics I address here.

  3. Because those who read these posts might learn something useful, and may even find it interesting.

I’m restricted from reproducing the classroom materials here or quoting them extensively, and I probably won’t even quote them to the full degree of “fair use,” though I will use their terminology.

The first concept I’d like to consider is “levels of competence.” How skilled are you in the disciplines that you consider to be important?

fs: Continue reading “Levels of Competence (updated)”

Almost half of Americans will pay no taxes.

About 47 percent will pay no federal income taxes at all for 2009. Either their incomes were too low, or they qualified for enough credits, deductions and exemptions to eliminate their liability. That’s according to projections by the Tax Policy Center, a Washington research organization.

The rest of the article is here.

Perhaps you’ve also seen this illustration of the way our progressive income tax works.

I believe that Christians should be interested in helping our neighbors. In fact, that should be our second consideration in everything we do. I suppose that many people view our progressive income tax system as a way that we all help our neighbor. The desire to do that is laudable, but I challenge anyone to explain how it’s truly an example of love for your neighbor. Did you voluntarily choose to pay your taxes, or did you have no choice in the matter? If you are a beneficiary of the system, which would include something like 90% of Americans, do you think that your reduced tax burden — or in some cases, your income from the system — comes to you from the love of your neighbors?

The entitlement systems run by our government are also funded from tax-like collection schemes. Whether or not you think that the Social Security program is a benefit to our society, and whether or not you think it has a hope of a continued existence, you should consider the fact that its funding theoretically comes from our neighbors, and is not provided voluntarily. So these government entitlement systems may be one way that our own labor ends up helping our neighbors, but that help is still not given voluntarily, let alone out of love.

If Christians want to help their neighbors, they should do so voluntarily. We can probably agree about that, but I might go a step further. If our neighbors want our help, they should not take it at gunpoint or threat of prison. Even though that very thing is legalized through our progressive tax system, I tend to think it’s contrary to the seventh commandment (You shall not steal).

I’m not advocating a rebellion against our government, or that anyone refuse to pay taxes. Caesar has always used the income of Christians to do many immoral things. What I am suggesting is that when Christians have some kind of influence over what Caesar does, we should do what we can to improve things, out of love for our neighbor.