Thursday, January 31, 2008

to my pacifist friends:

I'm sorry.

I went to a shooting range last night with my friend Michael. And I enjoyed it.

I shot off a number of rounds with a glock 9mm. I don't even know what "glock 9mm" means. They could have told me the type gun was a "snicker-doodle 88" and I would have said, "Ooo...sounds cool."

Michael teaches a martial arts class which includes fire arm training. Now, I'm not sure what form of martial arts it is...but I'm guessing it is pretty effective one. More effective than nunchucks, I would think.

He was giving tactical lessons to a couple of his students, and invited me to come and learn basic target shooting. He has a fake gun that is identical to the one we used. So he taught me everything I needed to know before we even left the house; from loading and unloading, to safely handling it, to how to aim. I thought I felt pretty comfortable with it.

Then we got to the shooting range and, between two guys loudly firing away, I loaded the real gun. It was a bit surreal, and scary. I was not raised around guns and can't remember ever having held a loaded one. But I think I did okay.

I closed my eyes real tight (just kidding) and fired away.

Immediately, I felt my chest hair begin to grow. No, that's not true. But it was a lot of darts, only harder to aim. And well, deadly. But Michael is a very good teacher and instills a profound respect for fire arms in his students.

I will admit that it felt a little like I was cheating on my pacifist friends, though. I know they would not approve. Honestly, I go back and forth on the whole gun thing myself. I don't know what I believe. So, I left my philosophical questions at the door. As I said, I'm not smart enough to know where I stand on that issue. But I am smart enough to aim a gun at a paper target and shoot.

So I did that instead.


michaelCODY said...

I hear beaverchucks are fairly nasty if you let them go hungry. In class, we are more accustomed to calling weapons "tools". Rarely will I say "Grab a weapon." This is very important because usually people get a very negative outlook on a workshop structured around what is essentially another term for killing devices. By referring to them as "tools" instead, people appear more open-minded and can understand that these are devices which can be used as an extention to one's self and in other ways than it was intended. For example, a bou (staff). People think of getting beat upon the head with it. I have had one class in my 12 years of teaching which has included striking your partner's head. Rather, we do things like tie them up with it. Rather than cutting them with the sword, wrap them around it. However, it is hard to understand without seeing it isn't it? It is important that we experience these types of things before we can always say "..this is definately something negative."

Before, I have quoted Psalms 144:1, "Blessed be the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war and my fingers to fight. In the case that there ever was a situation beyond our control where we absolutely had to use a weapon to protect ourselves or our loved ones, the first thing we need to do is be right with God. Secondly, our hearts have GOT to be in the right place. "I want to protect my family" or "I have to make it home because I have a family." We can not have our hearts in the setting, "I want to annihilate this guy" or "This guy deserves this." As much as I do believe in miracles, I am a firm believer in God helps those who help themselves so it is my opinion that training in such scenarios helps better equip me for my daily living. Every day I go home is a blessing from God and an affirmation that my training has paid off.

Luke 22:36, has our saviour Christ teaching "...he who has no sword, let him sell his tunic and buy one." The same as in Feudal Japan, the sword back then was today's equal of a gun. Exodus 22:2 teaches, "If a thief is found breaking in and he is truck so that he dies, there shall be no guilt for his bloodshed." It is honestly my opinion, through my training, that evil comes from our hearts and not the weapon. This why it is so important that we train and strive to aquire a righteous heart. Without a righteous heart, we can not be close to God or even be remotely close to understanding His principles. So pray hard and train hard, but most importantly, enjoy, live and play.

Anonymous said...

Buechner to Glock in the same week. My, you have a full life.

greg said...

did you try holding it sideways and shooting it gangsta style? You have to say "bap! bap!" while you do it.

bill said...

no. michael would not let.

ragamuffinminister said...

sounds like a lot of fun to me.

be good, killer.

michaelCODY said...

Bill also hit a bulls-eye. I was filled with butterflies!