Horrific scenario prompts another concealed carry weapon debate – POLLS

Please vote in all three polls, below.

I saw on TV a report, including security camera videos, of a horrific situation.

A mentally ill man takes an infant from a grocery cart seat, holds a knife to the baby’s throat and starts to ramble and make demands.

Many people call 911 and police come.  They try to reason with the guy. After about a half hour, the guy starts a 60 count-down while holding the knife to the baby’s throat.  A cop, the hostage negotiator, puts his gun close to the guy’s head and shoots him in the head.  Deranged guy dead, baby (physically) unharmed.

What a nightmare.  This scenario gave me the creeps.  I can’t imagine what that would be like for a parent.  Story HERE.

I have a question for you readers who have chimed in on discussions about concealed carry weapons.

What if… what if… you are there with your CCW and law enforcement is nowhere in sight.  The guy, obviously freaking out and holding a knife to the baby’s throat, has started a countdown.

Few of us will ever experience anything like this, so it is nearly impossible to guess at what we would do.  I’ll ask anyway…

In the absence of any law-enforcement officers, do you draw your concealed weapon - try to imagine that you have one - and shoot him while he is counting down?

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And also

TO THOSE AGAINST CONCEALED CARRY WEAPONS AND FOR VERY STRICT HAND-GUN CONTROL: Does this incident make you reconsider your position in any degree at all?

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Let’s push this a little farther for the sake of discussion.

In this scenario, I hope I would ...

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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85 Responses to Horrific scenario prompts another concealed carry weapon debate – POLLS

  1. george says:

    That’s a UK site, right? I wonder if this will make it into the US media…

    Very weird that the guy just sat there while the officer walked up to incapacitate him. In addition to the perp, who must have been very ill, I feel bad for the officer who had to deal with that. I hope I am never in a situation like that. I carry, but I don’t want to have to use it…

    However, our neighbor had a guy walk up to his van and talk his little girl out and he held her for a while, very confused. I don’t remember if they called the police, and I don’t think she was in imminent danger, but they eventually talked the guy down and got him to give her back. I don’t know what I would have done had that been me…

  2. beefcake73099 says:

    @george – it may be a UK site, but this happened in a suburb of Oklahoma City nearly a week ago and got fairly decent press coverage in US media. Local tv stations, newspapers, places down in TX, foxnews, and others.

    Although I sympathize with the officer being placed in that position, at least he will have the psychological benefit of knowing that was probably the cleanest shoot that any cop could have hoped to have had.

  3. Ben Kenobi says:

    I would have tried two things;

    1, trying to talk the guy, and see if I can’t get him to put the knife down. [It seems the LEO tried that for quite a while.]
    2, see if I couldn’t get someone to distract him and tackle him from behind. [He had his back up against something.]

    I don’t carry. I don’t think it’s right for me to vote, “assuming I carry” because I do not.

  4. acricketchirps says:

    Of course, who needs a concealed weapon when you’ve got Jedi mind tricks?

  5. Phillip says:

    If I carried (I don’t), and assuming I would be shooting him point-blank as the question asks (I haven’t fired a weapon since basic training, and I wasn’t a good shot then and probably am not now), I would shoot the unjust aggressor without hesitation once it was clear that the child’s life was in imminent danger. You can’t negotiate with a man like that.

  6. If the policeman had the opportunity to put his gun close to the mentally ill man’s head, presumably he could also have put his gun close to some other part of the mentally ill man’s body where a gunshot wound would not have been necessarily fatal?

  7. maskaggs says:

    @CatholicCoffee

    Presumably so. I would suppose the question then enters of whether the baby’s life would still be endangered if the man was shot somewhere else (i.e.,the knife’s still dangerous if he got shot in the leg or something). I don’t know anything about the physiology of getting shot in the head, though, so it’s entirely possible that the knife could still harm the baby as the perp’s body goes through (literal) death throes.

  8. acardnal says:

    I guess you could grab a zucchini, hide it under your shirt and attempt to convince the nut job you have a gun; OR grab a watermelon and try to get close enough to him to hit him over the head with it, and then hope he doesn’t cut the baby’s throat going down to the floor or after he recovers.

    If I had the opportunity to shoot the man without hitting the child, I would do so. . . I think.

  9. Dan says:

    Why would this incident change someone’s view on concealed carry or gun control? Bystanders called 911, the police came and resolved the situation. Seems to be a perfect example of why concealed carry is not necessary.

  10. acardnal says:

    Hahahahahahahaa! And what if the nut case shoved the knife into the child’s throat before the police arrived? Then he started stabbing other bystanders. You had a gun, Dan, and could have shot the man. If I was the mother, I would probably sue you.

  11. maskaggs, I did not so much mean a leg than e.g. the shoulder of the knife hand. This said, a shot anywhere would be enough to distract the man long enough for someone to take the knife off him.

  12. acardnal: You had a gun, Dan, and could have shot the man. If I was the mother, I would probably sue you.
    Another reason for me not to carry that gun then. Do I want to be sued for not shooting someone?!

  13. Dan says:

    acardnal: What if the guy killed the baby before anyone could react? What if the mom hired a guy to kill her baby? What if a cruise missiles strikes the Walmart and kills the baby?

    I don’t own a firearm, and I don’t plan on carrying one. Hypothetical questions are pointless.

  14. mrsmontoya says:

    Father, I have a perhaps-unusual background that prompts me to consider an alternative you don’t mention. In my youth I had extensive training in full contact self-defense, including defense against weapons. I also have years of training in traditional Japanese karate. I am comfortable with the thought of acting without a gun in these situations, including the one in the story. I also own firearms and shoot very well at close distances, which means if I had a permit-to-carry I would have more choices than someone who can only shoot. [I had my years of full-contact Taekwondo, that is NOT was this discussion is about.]

    It would not be difficult for anyone else in reasonable health to have the same self-defense training that I had, and it might spark an interest in on-going martial arts training; that is how I started. And it is much likelier that I will need to defend myself or my loved ones from unarmed attackers than from an armed assailant.

    I recommend anyone considering firearms for self-defense prepare themselves not only by learning to shoot well and practicing regularly, but also by reviewing the applicable rules and regulations. Firearms come with a burden of responsibility, you should be prepared.

  15. acardnal says:

    CatholicCoffee wrote, “Another reason for me not to carry that gun then. Do I want to be sued for not shooting someone?!”

    Actually, many if not most states that permit CCW also prohibit the licensee from being sued by the criminal among others. Laws vary. Similar to “good Samaritan” laws.

  16. Wayward Lamb says:

    I would hope to have enough wits about me to immediately pray to Our Blessed Mother for a swift and peaceful resolution to the situation. But in the meantime, I believe that yes, I would draw my weapon if I were armed at the time and be prepared to act in the defense of a most innocent life.

  17. Geoffrey says:

    I cannot take part in the poll questions, [?]as I do not carry a concealed weapon and cannot imagine a reason to do so anytime soon. While I deplore America’s apparent obsession with guns, [?] I am not for “strict gun control”. I am for safety. Anyone who wants to should be able to own a gun, but, in my opinion, only trained professionals should be carrying concealed weapons in public areas.

    Leave law enforcement to the trained professionals. There is no need for vigilante justice. Untrained wannabe heroes with a gun can be just as dangerous as a knife-wielding nutcase.

    [So... sometime when there is a problem, call the police and then call in an order for a pizza and then see which arrives first.]

  18. acardnal says:

    Dan wrote, “What if the guy killed the baby before anyone could react?” Then I definitely want to shoot him before he kills again.

    ” What if the mom hired a guy to kill her baby?” Again, I would shoot the man.

    “What if a cruise missiles strikes the Walmart and kills the baby?” Then we are all dead.

    “I don’t own a firearm, and I don’t plan on carrying one. Hypothetical questions are pointless.” This case was not hypothetical. It happened. Perhaps you would think differently if you were related to the child as the mother in the video was. That knife at her throat was real!

  19. maryh says:

    @CatholicCoffee If the policeman had the opportunity to put his gun close to the mentally ill man’s head, presumably he could also have put his gun close to some other part of the mentally ill man’s body where a gunshot wound would not have been necessarily fatal?

    I did not so much mean a leg than e.g. the shoulder of the knife hand. This said, a shot anywhere would be enough to distract the man long enough for someone to take the knife off him.

    Really? And he’s going to take a chance that the man, who has a knife at the child’s throat, is not going to move the knife a quarter of an inch? He’s going to take a chance that the shot won’t distract him and that it won’t have the opposite effect and make man kill the child deliberately? And even if he does manage to shoot the the knife out of the man’s hand (not that you suggested it, but might as well consider it), the man could still simply kill the girl with his bare hands, by strangling her, for example.

    This is a trained law enforcement officer who has just spent over half an hour negotiating with the man. I’ll go way out on a limb here and assume he might, he just might, actually know what kind of shot was most likely to save the life of a little girl being held with a knife at her throat. I’m sure that if he thought a non-fatal shot had as good a chance of saving her life, he would have used it.

    Although I tried to imagine having a weapon, and hoped I’d use it like the officer did, I think that I probably would have tried for a non-fatal shot, or a shot that was too hard, and either the girl would have died or been seriously injured, or I would have gotten lucky and it would have worked. I simply don’t have the experience to know what kind of shot to use, and lacking that experience, would probably not have used the right one. And that’s assuming I had the skill to pull off the shot in the first place. At my skill level, the point blank shot may well have been my only option.

    Or even worse, I could see myself managing to kill the man, AND at the same time doing it in such a way that he was able to kill the child. Not on purpose, of course.

  20. Phil_NL says:

    I’m missing an option at the last poll:

    “I’d use my concealed carry weapon, and then immediately call my laywer. Then I’d call someone who’d raise money to pay for that lawyer.”

    In a civilised world, people would be allowed to carry (and I fail to see why that should be concealed, by the way), and would get a medal for saving the baby.
    In the US, you can mostly carry, but saving the baby will almost surely cost you immensely in terms of legal hassle (except perhaps in a few states).
    In much of the rest of the world, civilisation fails on both counts.

    Here in the Netherlands, any attempt to remove the threat to the baby would likely end in a longer sentence for you than for the lunatic with the knife.

  21. Dan says:

    acardnal: “This case was not hypothetical. It happened.”

    This case happened, yes. One notes that it happened with a police officer being called and resolving the situation, and no civilians drew concealed weapons in order to save the child’s life.

    “And what if the nut case shoved the knife into the child’s throat before the police arrived? Then he started stabbing other bystanders. You had a gun, Dan, and could have shot the man. If I was the mother, I would probably sue you.”

    This case did not happen. This is entirely hypothetical. Any number of things could have happened, but they did not, and so are not worth discussing.

  22. mamajen says:

    I’d do whatever it took to save my child.

  23. dominic1955 says:

    I’d have no problem shooting him other than worrying about missing.

  24. acardnal says:

    “This is entirely hypothetical. Any number of things could have happened, but they did not, and so are not worth discussing.”

    But it did happen. . . Elsewhere.

    Aurora, CO; Newtown, CT; Sikh Temple, WI; Santa Monica, CA; and so on.

    Waiting for police to arrive provided the killer with the opportunity to kill more people. Not acceptable.

  25. Dan says:

    acardnal: “But it did happen. . . Elsewhere.”

    That’s rather my point. It did not happen in this situation. So, if I were against concealed carry, why would this situation make me re-consider that position?

  26. e.e. says:

    Another hero, according to police, was the pastor who put his cart in the way to block the man from leaving with the toddler until the police could arrive on the scene. (He’s in the photos on the Daily Mail story, wearing an orange T-shirt.) The pastor, for his part, said in an interview that he did nothing special.

    Here’s some coverage from the Oklahoma City media:
    http://newsok.com/midwest-city-police-release-video-of-standoff-with-knife-wielding-suspect/article/3857152
    http://kfor.com/2013/06/28/pastor-called-hero-for-stopping-suspect-in-midwest-city-hostage-situation/

  27. eulogos says:

    Voted “shoot him.” But practically speaking, I don’t have a gun, have never had a gun, probably never will have a gun. I don’t like loud noises. I theoretically believe in being armed, but I am actually scared of guns. What I hope is that some younger person will shoot him. If nobody were around and he got down to 20 or so I’d try to do something, run down the aisle with a grocery cart and smack him hard with it, hoping he would throw out his arms and take the knife away from the baby’s throat. Probably the best that this out of shape 63 year old woman could do.

    Susan Peterson

  28. rcg says:

    Emotionally, I am equipped for it. Technically, I am uneasy with this sort of discussion. Many folks don’t really understand shooting well enough to set up such a shot and not hurt anyone but the person holding the knife.

    Responding to what I think is the question: do we set up a straw-man ethic for ourselves that keeps us from acting on what we know is right? Do we train ourselves to not act in the name of tolerance, or caution, or some other social trade until we are unable to act on the most fundamental survival requirements? Yes.

  29. Ben Kenobi says:

    @ acricketchirps “Of course, who needs a concealed weapon when you’ve got Jedi mind tricks?”

    Isn’t that what my laser sword would be for? ;)

  30. acardnal says:

    Dan said, “That’s rather my point. It did not happen in this situation. So, if I were against concealed carry, why would this situation make me re-consider that position?”

    Those who fail to prepare should prepare to fail.

  31. avecrux says:

    I found it interesting – at the time I took the poll – that a larger percentage of women seem to be ok with concealed carry than men. My first thought was that perhaps we women are more conscious on a daily basis of our vulnerability.

  32. acardnal says:

    I should have added the following pertinent quote to my above comment about being prepared:

    “ There are known knowns; there are things we know that we know.
    There are known unknowns; that is to say, there are things that we now know we don’t know.
    But there are also unknown unknowns – there are things we do not know we don’t know. ”
    —United States Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld

  33. Kerry says:

    Interestingly enough, in Minnesota, one can only come to the aid of law enforcement, and, as my permit class instructor said, “Those to whom you would donate an organ”. That being said I’d probably take the shot. And I’d not be surprised to have the prosecutor think about charges. (They really are that lunatic here. The wife of a man running for elected office her some years past, I believe a local judge, actually believe no one has the right to defend themselves.)

  34. frjim4321 says:

    Wonder if this was suicide by cop? [Right! That popped into my head, too. But in this way? Seriously messed up.]

    Doesn’t change my position on appropriate gun regulation.

    We have a three-ring circus going on in a Florida courtroom right now because some over-zealous, [Are you psychic?] under-trained [Was he?] yahoo [What is a "yahoo", is that a derogatory term?] with a gun caused the death of a young black man.

    No, I’m not saying what the verdict should be. [So, if this is determined to be self-defense, then perhaps the young black man caused his own death?]

    Would be fascinating to run these poll results against an identical poll with a white guy being shot by a black cop.

  35. Kerry says:

    Catholic Cardinal, “…a shot anywhere would be enough to distract…”. How do you know this? Would a .25 to the pinky work just as well as a .380 in the big toe? Should you use frangible ammunition in the kneecap? Hydra shock .45 ACP at the femoral artery? Glaser Safety slugs in the earlobes? Note that the policeman who arrived “put his gun close to the guy’s head”, but we do not know from where. In front, unseen from behind, slowly, slowly, slowly, Or reallyreallyreallyfast!!!!
    I think many commentors here, including myself, who voted take the shot, (Fiochi 147 grain, 9mm hollowpoints) are very uneasy with this choice. And I am very grateful not to have been there as the count down approached 11, and maybe I might be the one who could not sleep well for a long time.

  36. frjim4321 says:

    No, I’m not saying what the verdict should be. [So, if this is determined to be self-defense, then perhaps the young black man caused his own death?]

    I guess that means if the jury finds the defendant not guilty the inference is that they agreed with the self-defense argument?

    No, I don’t think it’s quite the same as suicide by cop. A possible distinction could be made between “intended” and “caused.”

  37. acardnal says:

    frjim4321 wrote,
    “Wonder if this was suicide by cop?”

    What are you talking about?? Did you read the news report Fr. Z linked to?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2352694/Give-baby–Heart-stopping-moment-man-snatched-toddler-moms-shopping-cart-held-hostage-knifepoint-shot-dead-police.html

    The nut job holding the knife was not a “suicide by cop” scenario. In fact, he had criminal record and was mentally ill according to family members.

  38. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Mr. Zimmerman is also a black man. Okay, a middle-aged multiracial black Peruvian/Jewish man, but a black man nonetheless.

    So does it change your idea of the case to know that it’s black on black crime?

    If it does… you might just be a racist.

  39. Therese says:

    Yes, this sounds very much like “suicide by cop.” Poor fellow. He had removed every other option.

    Here’s another uncomfortable scenario, albeit hypothetical:

    You and your son are roped together, climbing a mountain. Having taken the lead, your son slips, pulling both of you off the cliff face. It becomes obvious the anchor will safely hold only one person. You have a knife in your belt.

    What do you do?

  40. george says:

    @Therese:

    That’s a “lifeboat ethics” question which is specifically crafted to back someone into a “murder or suicide” answer. How does it “become obvious the anchor will safely hold only one”? But it’s holding two at the moment. Therefore there is some period of time when it is holding both and something may be done to save both. In the time it takes to consider cutting the rope, you could either find a way out or prepare for a happy death.

  41. trad catholic mom says:

    Quote: That’s a UK site, right? I wonder if this will make it into the US media…

    I saw the story on the tv news before I read about it here, so yes.

  42. trad catholic mom says:

    Quote: If the policeman had the opportunity to put his gun close to the mentally ill man’s head, presumably he could also have put his gun close to some other part of the mentally ill man’s body where a gunshot wound would not have been necessarily fatal?

    The man had a knife to the child’s neck, wounding him would have probably resulted in the child being stabbed and probably killed.

  43. Christine says:

    I am a mother of 8 kids and while I don’t personally own a gun, I support the right to own a gun and carry it. If it was my child that that man was holding a knife to and I had a gun, I would have walked up to him, given him one chance then if he didn’t release my child I would shoot him. Without a gun I would probably tear off his arm and beat him to death with it. No one messes with this mama bear’s cubs.

  44. Suz. from Oklah. says:

    I support the right to own a gun and carry it. My husband plan on going to a concealed carry class soon. I live in Oklahoma. Our FSSP priest has been threatened three times by a young man who doesn’t live in our state, but has told Father that he would drive to Oklahoma one day to kill Father and anyone else who is there. Father made the parish aware and alerted the sheriff. Fortunately, we have a lot of parishioners who pack heat (have concealed guns). There is no way that a sheriff will get out to our parish in time if and when someone wants to do some damage.

    I think the whole thing with the man and baby in the video is surprising and was probably a suicide attempt because we live in Oklahoma. People know that everyone is packing heat! This is a rare event. Our crime rate is low and many people carry. I feel very safe!

  45. The Masked Chicken says:

    While it would probably, unfortunately, be necessary to take the kill shot, it would be with the knowledge that, the man, being mentally ill, might not have been as morally culpable of the horror of the situation as someone else might be. So, while it might be necessary to use lethal force, I would still pray for his soul, along with praying for the traumatized family. I hope that would be the response of all involved and, in a sense, that should be the sort of person who should be entrusted with the gun that kills him.

    The Chicken

  46. acardnal says:

    Suz. from Oklah.,
    that is a noteworthy anecdote.

    May the Guardian Angels protect Rev. Father.

  47. acardnal says:

    . . . .AND the parishioners protect Rev. Father, too.

  48. Bob B. says:

    Years and years ago, I was in a bookstore and a man came running in telling the manager to lock the door. Next thing you know, three young men surrounded the door and then kicked the glass out and proceeded searching for the man. I was surprised by the number of men who didn’t help the man and managed to run away during the incident. Luckily, the police showed up quickly after an off-duty cop charged in, tackling one of the assailants and the other two were subdued. The young men were high on something and had attempted to rob the man, who also had his young son with him. Too many run away.

  49. JMody says:

    Absolutely unbelievable. Not one commenter here has mentioned anything about chivalry, about the Christian DUTY to protect widows, orphans … ? That is a ghastly situation indeed — I am reminded of a video that was on some of these true crime shows a few years back where a man got out in the middle of the street with a pistol, hollering and obviously deranged, and the police sniper shot the pistol cleanly from his hand — the perp may not have even required a Band-Aid. That would be far better, to save and help the troubled soul that obviously needs it.

    Obviously, this cop saw that this situation was not going to end that way, and had the COURAGE to do something about it – he defended an innocent life in a calm, reasoned, judicious way. I am grateful that I am not put in those situations, and I hope and sincerely pray that if I ever am, I will have the COURAGE and the PROFICIENCY to do the right thing.

    Pray for this cop and pray for the troubled soul of the deceased man.

  50. dholwell says:

    Fr. Z. Love your blog, helped to send you to Rome. Love the analysis of the Latin prayers and their translations. But I think you missed the obvious choice in your poll of actions. Pray that the episode will end peacefully! I’d be begging our Lady and St Joseph to intercede with Our Lord for the safety of the child.

    The theology of taking the life of another, I think, is a more fit topic for us than the niceties of gun control.

    I am pretty sure Jesus doesn’t take the shot, and that he wouldn’t be carrying in the first place. [And I am pretty sure that none of us have Our Lord's divinity.]

  51. Gretchen says:

    It is never advisable to shoot to wound. Why? Because even at close range, it is easy to miss. The aggressor can disarm and/or attack an armed individual in lightning quick time. Also, being wounded can enrage someone and cause them to react with extreme violence. Police are taught to shoot body mass in order to stop the threat, period. Double tap.

    This is not the Lone Ranger. Real life is quite different than the movies.

    If you are going to shoot, then you must shoot to end the danger. Your life, and others’ lives may depend upon it.

  52. Norah says:

    “Hard cases make bad law.”

  53. Gretchen says:

    I just read frjim4321′s comment about the Zimmerman case. I have followed that case since Day One. It is manifestly incorrect to describe George Zimmerman in that manner. He had a concealed carry permit (which means he had to have been trained), he was nearing a degree in Criminal Justice, and had decided he might want to become a lawyer (and not a cop, as has been widely and falsely suggested by the media). To say he was “over zealous” and “under trained” is to have bought the media narrative.

    I highly recommend the site: http://www.theconservativetreehouse.com. This site has been doing research for many months on this case, and has uncovered evidence of more than a little shenanigans on the part of over-zealous prosecutors and the grievance industry of Sharpton types.

  54. Geoffrey says:

    “Fr. Z. Love your blog, helped to send you to Rome. Love the analysis of the Latin prayers and their translations. But I think you missed the obvious choice in your poll of actions. Pray that the episode will end peacefully!”

    Amen.

    [It strikes me that that is so spectacularly, incredibly, mind-blowingly obvious that it didn't have to be included. I try to restrict myself to the merely obvious. o{]:¬) ]

  55. govmatt says:

    First, you are morally bound to act under Father’s scenario. You draw and if you are able to be rational (not panicked) and calm, you have the duty to save a life in danger.

    Legally, you’d also have a strong defense. The criminal charging is “iffy” but I don’t know any State’s Attorneys (DA’s) who are going to indict for intervening to save a life (then again, there may be some). The legal hangup may come in the civil action, but the real question is: “was your behavior reasonable under the circumstances?” In Father’s question, if a reasonable person could have concluded that the man would kill the child, you are not liable. You have acted to defend another person.

    The reason I bring up morals and the law: LEGALLY, you have no duty to act. You are not complicit if you sit back and wait for the “authorities” to show up… but, morally, I’d argue you are compelled to act. One hopes a person unaffected by the passion of the moment (and a good enough shot) could attempt to incapacitate rather than kill. But, if Father’s scenario is a “one or the other” and one is an aggressor and the other is an innocent… I’d say do what must be done.

  56. C. says:

    If you’re a good Democrat, you shoot the baby before the guy has a chance to change his mind.

    Happy Fourth, everyone.

    [ouch]

  57. ghp95134 says:

    1. I have a Florida CCW license which is reciprocated in many states …. but not in California where I live. However, were I presented with the same circumstances, I would put my US Army Ranger training and 20-years Infantry skills to use and get a clean shot. I was verrrrry good with an M1911-A1.

    2. @Fr Zuhlsdorf: “…[What is a "yahoo", is that a derogatory term?] ….” YES, it is. Re “Yahoo” [which I think was pronounced with a long-A sound]: I remember reading Gulliver’s Travels in middle school.
    ========
    From Wiki:
    A Yahoo is a legendary being in the novel Gulliver’s Travels (1726) by Jonathan Swift.
    Swift describes them as being filthy and with unpleasant habits, resembling human beings far too closely for the liking of protagonist Lemuel Gulliver, who finds the calm and rational society of intelligent horses, the Houyhnhnms, greatly preferable. The Yahoos are primitive creatures obsessed with “pretty stones” they find by digging in mud, thus representing the distasteful materialism and ignorant elitism Swift encountered in Britain. Hence the term “yahoo” has come to mean “a crude, brutish or obscenely coarse person”.

    American frontiersman Daniel Boone, who often used terms from Gulliver’s Travels, claimed that he killed a hairy giant that he called a Yahoo
    ==========
    Rangers Lead the Way!
    –Guy

    [So, that's what liberals think of you if you disagree with with their policies?]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  58. acardnal says:

    Geoffrey, dholwell,
    Jesus was NOT a pacifist. He was angry in the Temple, and he turned over the tables of the money changers and drove them out.

    Remember, we are responsible to God for both our actions and out inactions. “In what we have done and what we have failed to do.”

    “Pray as though everything depended on God and act as if everything depended on you.” — St. Augustine (354-430)

    “Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.” — – St. Ignatius Loyola

    To do nothing is to do something!

  59. EXCHIEF says:

    I answered the poll questions which, in the calmness of my office, was much easier to do than making those kinds of decisions in a split second at the scene of such an incident. The comments which follow are not intended to impress anyone. They are offered only from the perspective of a long time cop who, as a SWAT operator and otherwise, has had to make the deadly force decision on multiple occasions. And, for the curious, yes I have had to use deadly force in the line of duty.

    Any responsible human being, cop or civilian CCW holder, will make an instantaneous decision which will have life long consequences and impacts. Certainly it will result in the termination of one life but the saving of another. Moral? Yes. Legal? Yes. Easy to do? Not at all.

    In a situation such as the officer encountered there is no certainty. Is the suspect serious? At the end of the countdown will he actually harm the child? The cop or CCW citizen cannot know the answer for certain. If that were possible the decision would be a no brainer. It is the uncertainty that leads to doubt, hesitation, and second guessing and, yet, that hesitation could have had a deadly outcome for the child. Concerns about ending the life of the suspect? Yes that is also something which will cross the cop/CCW holder’s mind along with fear and a HUGE adrenaline flow. All of those factors together will push heart rate up to the point where both large and small muscle coordination are negatively impacted.

    Some citizens in my jurisdiction have asked me why the officer didn’t just “shoot to wound”. There is a list of reasons why to have tried that would have been a very bad idea. The aforementioned fear/adrenaline/effect on muscle coordination factors would preclude anything other than a certain point blank head shot. I would not gamble, first, on being able to shoot to wound and even if I could a wounded suspect could still, easily, kill the child.

    From my professional perspective the officer (or any civilian CCW holder who might have done the same thing) made the correct choice……but I am certain it was not an easy choice. I am also certain that all involved are in need of our prayers. I am also certain that the officer should be offered PTSD counseling. Most police agencies today offer (may even require) that. Would it have been a civilian CCW holder that had to take the shot s/he would be on his own to find and pay for good counseling. Hopefully that would be provided through some source.

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  60. Indulgentiam says:

    Worked trauma bay in an inner city hospital for years. I voted pull my gun, take careful aim and shoot to kill. Why? This USMC Colonel explains it so much better than I can. I apologize for the length but its worth the read.
    On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs 2008
    (From the book, On Combat, by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman)
    “Honor never grows old, and honor rejoices the heart of age. It does so because honor is, finally, about defending those noble and worthy things that deserve defending, even if it comes at a high cost. In our time, that may mean social disapproval, public scorn, hardship, persecution, or as always, even death itself.
    The question remains: What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for?”

    - William J. Bennett
    In a lecture to the United States Naval Academy
    November 24, 1997
    One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: “Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident.” This is true. Remember, the murder rate is six per 100,000 per year, and the aggravated assault rate is four per 1,000 per year. What this means is that the vast majority of Americans are not inclined to hurt one another.

    Some estimates say that two million Americans are victims of violent crimes every year, a tragic, staggering number, perhaps an all-time record rate of violent crime. But there are almost 300 million Americans, which means that the odds of being a victim of violent crime is considerably less than one in a hundred on any given year. Furthermore, since many violent crimes are committed by repeat offenders, the actual number of violent citizens is considerably less than two million.

    Thus there is a paradox, and we must grasp both ends of the situation: We may well be in the most violent times in history, but violence is still remarkably rare. This is because most citizens are kind, decent people who are not capable of hurting each other, except by accident or under extreme provocation. They are sheep.

    I mean nothing negative by calling them sheep. To me it is like the pretty, blue robin’s egg. Inside it is soft and gooey but someday it will grow into something wonderful. But the egg cannot survive without its hard blue shell. Police officers, soldiers and other warriors are like that shell, and someday the civilization they protect will grow into something wonderful. For now, though, they need warriors to protect them from the predators.
    “Then there are the wolves,” the old war veteran said, “and the wolves feed on the sheep without mercy.” Do you believe there are wolves out there who will feed on the flock without mercy? You better believe it. There are evil men in this world and they are capable of evil deeds. The moment you forget that or pretend it is not so, you become a sheep. There is no safety in denial.

    “Then there are sheepdogs,” he went on, “and I’m a sheepdog. I live to protect the flock and confront the wolf.” Or, as a sign in one California law enforcement agency put it, “We intimidate those who intimidate others.”

    If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen: a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath–a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? Then you are a sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero’s path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed.

    We know that the sheep live in denial; that is what makes them sheep. They do not want to believe that there is evil in the world. They can accept the fact that fires can happen, which is why they want fire extinguishers, fire sprinklers, fire alarms and fire exits throughout their kids’ schools. But many of them are outraged at the idea of putting an armed police officer in their kid’s school. Our children are dozens of times more likely to be killed, and thousands of times more likely to be seriously injured, by school violence than by school fires, but the sheep’s only response to the possibility of violence is denial. The idea of someone coming to kill or harm their children is just too hard, so they choose the path of denial.
    Until the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog.
    The students, the victims, at Columbine High School were big, tough high school students, and under ordinary circumstances they would not have had the time of day for a police officer. They were not bad kids; they just had nothing to say to a cop. When the school was under attack, however, and SWAT teams were clearing the rooms and hallways, the officers had to physically peel those clinging, sobbing kids off of them. This is how the little lambs feel about their sheepdog when the wolf is at the door. Look at what happened after September 11, 2001, when the wolf pounded hard on the door. Remember how America, more than ever before, felt differently about their law enforcement officers and military personnel? Remember how many times you heard the word hero?

    There was research conducted a few years ago with individuals convicted of violent crimes. These cons were in prison for serious, predatory acts of violence: assaults, murders and killing law enforcement officers. The vast majority said that they specifically targeted victims by body language: slumped walk, passive behavior and lack of awareness. They chose their victims like big cats do in Africa, when they select one out of the herd that is least able to protect itself.

    However, when there were cues given by potential victims that indicated they would not go easily, the cons said that they would walk away. If the cons sensed that the target was a “counter-predator,” that is, a sheepdog, they would leave him alone unless there was no other choice but to engage.
    Some people may be destined to be sheep and others might be genetically primed to be wolves or sheepdogs. But I believe that most people can choose which one they want to be, and I’m proud to say that more and more Americans are choosing to become sheepdogs.

    Seven months after the attack on September 11, 2001, Todd Beamer was honored in his hometown of Cranbury, New Jersey. Todd, as you recall, was the man on Flight 93 over Pennsylvania who called on his cell phone to alert an operator from United Airlines about the hijacking. When he learned of the other three passenger planes that had been used as weapons, Todd dropped his phone and uttered the words, “Let’s roll,” which authorities believe was a signal to the other passengers to confront the terrorist hijackers. In one hour, a transformation occurred among the passengers–athletes, business people and parents–from sheep to sheepdogs and together they fought the wolves, ultimately saving an unknown number of lives on the ground.

    “There is no safety for honest men except by believing all possible evil of evil men.”
    - Edmund Burke
    Reflections on the Revolution in France
    Here is the point I like to emphasize, especially to the thousands of police officers and soldiers I speak to each year. In nature the sheep, real sheep, are born as sheep. Sheepdogs are born that way, and so are wolves. They didn’t have a choice. But you are not a critter. As a human being, you can be whatever you want to be. It is a conscious, moral decision.
    If you want to be a sheep, then you can be a sheep and that is okay, but you must understand the price you pay. When the wolf comes, you and your loved ones are going to die if there is not a sheepdog there to protect you. If you want to be a wolf, you can be one, but the sheepdogs are going to hunt you down and you will never have rest, safety, trust or love. But if you want to be a sheepdog and walk the warrior’s path, then you must make a conscious and moral decision every day to dedicate, equip and prepare yourself to thrive in that toxic, corrosive moment when the wolf comes knocking at the door.

    For example, many officers carry their weapons in church. They are well concealed in ankle holsters, shoulder holsters or inside-the-belt holsters tucked into the small of their backs. Anytime you go to some form of religious service, there is a very good chance that a police officer in your congregation is carrying. You will never know if there is such an individual in your place of worship, until the wolf appears to slaughter you and your loved ones.

    I was training a group of police officers in Texas, and during the break, one officer asked his friend if he carried his weapon in church. The other cop replied, “I will never be caught without my gun in church.” I asked why he felt so strongly about this, and he told me about a police officer he knew who was at a church massacre in Ft. Worth, Texas, in 1999. In that incident, a mentally deranged individual came into the church and opened fire, gunning down 14 people. He said that officer believed he could have saved every life that day if he had been carrying his gun. His own son was shot, and all he could do was throw himself on the boy’s body and wait to die. That cop looked me in the eye and said, “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself after that?”

    Some individuals would be horrified if they knew this police officer was carrying a weapon in church. They might call him paranoid and would probably scorn him. Yet these same individuals would be enraged and would call for “heads to roll” if they found out that the airbags in their cars were defective, or that the fire extinguisher and fire sprinklers in their kids’ school did not work. They can accept the fact that fires and traffic accidents can happen and that there must be safeguards against them. Their only response to the wolf, though, is denial, and all too often their response to the sheepdog is scorn and disdain. But the sheepdog quietly asks himself, “Do you have any idea how hard it would be to live with yourself if your loved ones were attacked and killed, and you had to stand there helplessly because you were unprepared for that day?”

    The warrior must cleanse denial from his thinking. Coach Bob Lindsey, a renowned law enforcement trainer, says that warriors must practice “when/then” thinking, not “if/when.” Instead of saying,“If it happens then I will take action,” the warrior says, “When it happens then I will be ready.”

    It is denial that turns people into sheep. Sheep are psychologically destroyed by combat because their only defense is denial, which is counterproductive and destructive, resulting in fear, helplessness and horror when the wolf shows up.

    Denial kills you twice. It kills you once, at your moment of truth when you are not physically prepared: You didn’t bring your gun; you didn’t train. Your only defense was wishful thinking. Hope is not a strategy. Denial kills you a second time because even if you do physically survive, you are psychologically shattered by fear, helplessness, horror and shame at your moment of truth.

    Chuck Yeager, the famous test pilot and first man to fly faster than the speed of sound, says that he knew he could die. There was no denial for him. He did not allow himself the luxury of denial. This acceptance of reality can cause fear, but it is a healthy, controlled fear that will keep you alive:
    “I was always afraid of dying. Always. It was my fear that made me learn everything I could about my airplane and my emergency equipment, and kept me flying respectful of my machine and always alert in the cockpit.”
    - Brigadier General Chuck Yeager
    Yeager, An Autobiography

    If you are a warrior who is legally authorized to carry a weapon and you step outside without that weapon, then you become a sheep, pretending that the bad man will not come today. No one can be “on” 24/7 for a lifetime. Everyone needs down time. But if you are authorized to carry a weapon, and you walk outside without it, just take a deep breath, and say this to yourself… “Baa.”

    This business of being a sheep or a sheepdog is not a yes-no dichotomy. It is not an all-or-nothing, either-or choice. It is a matter of degrees, a continuum. On one end is an abject, head-in-the-grass sheep and on the other end is the ultimate warrior. Few people exist completely on one end or the other. Most of us live somewhere in between. Since 9-11 almost everyone in America took a step up that continuum, away from denial. The sheep took a few steps toward accepting and appreciating their warriors, and the warriors started taking their job more seriously. The degree to which you move up that continuum, away from sheephood and denial, is the degree to which you and your loved ones will survive, physically and psychologically at your moment of truth.

    [I don't usually like (or allow) really long comments with pasted text. But this one is an exception.]

    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  61. EXCHIEF says:

    Indulgentium
    Excellent post. Col Grossman’s series of books on the subject of use of force would undoubtedly terrify some who post comments on this blog. Yet for those of us thrust into the role of Warrior/Sheepdog his points are essential. For those who want to at least try and understand the “real world” of combat (whether in war or face to face with a potential child killer) I highly recommend Grossman’s writings. In my years as a SWAT Team Commander I required my operators to read his works and, if he was doing any training anywhere nearby, they were required to attend.
    Protecting others requires a mindset, not a pie in the sky, academic approach to issues that must be resolved in micro seconds. As a Team Commander I had two thing I emphasized. One, pray to our patron St Michael and two, remember Grossman’s points.

    [Thanks for the tip about Grossman's books. I added a couple titles to my wish list.]

  62. StJude says:

    @acardinal “To do nothing is to do something!”

    reminded me of this quote:
    “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”
    ? Dietrich Bonhoeffer

  63. dholwell says: …I think you missed the obvious choice in your poll of actions. Pray that the episode will end peacefully! I’d be begging our Lady and St Joseph to intercede with Our Lord for the safety of the child….The theology of taking the life of another, I think, is a more fit topic for us than the niceties of gun control….I am pretty sure Jesus doesn’t take the shot, and that he wouldn’t be carrying in the first place.

    Just praying is good if that’s all you can physically do; but otherwise, God expects us to act when possible, using whatever lawful means are available to us. Remember that presumption is a sin.

    As for the theology of taking the life of another, the unjust aggressor, by definition, has no right to attack another with deadly force. He imperils not only the life of the would-be victim, but his own life, by provoking a defensive response without justification. Therefore, if someone kills him in the act of self-defense or defense of another, his death is on his own head.

    As for whether Jesus would take a shot, Jesus, being God, wouldn’t need a gun; but Scripture is full of examples of God smiting His enemies (without guns).

  64. Geoffrey says:

    “Jesus was NOT a pacifist.”

    I never said that He was.

  65. Kerry says:

    Indulgentium. ‘Keep your powder dry, and have lots of powder’.

  66. PostCatholic says:

    I can’t answer “TO THOSE AGAINST CONCEALED CARRY WEAPONS AND FOR VERY STRICT HAND-GUN CONTROL: Does this incident make you reconsider your position in any degree at all?” I am for very strict gun control. I still own a police-type handgun (a Glock .40) and I have had a concealed carry permit. The permit was during a time when I had a very serious, specific need for self-protection which was easily demonstrated to law enforcement, and the time-specific permit was issued in my strictly-controlled state of Maryland. I like our laws. They work.

    In any event–it seems like law enforcement and bystanders all acted appropriately in the incident you outlined: they were patient when patience was prudent, very forceful when that time had past. I’m not sure how my presence with a handgun would have successfully changed the outcome.

    [You might review the scenario I set up: no LEOs in sight.]

  67. Cathy says:

    I have two concerns related to this discussion.

    The lesser one is that if we have lax gun laws and lots of people are walking around with firearms, we might have a lot bigger problem on our hands than these relatively rare instances where having someone with a firearm is needed.

    My bigger concern is that people don’t go to the traditional Latin Mass because they think it’s a place with people who have very specific political beliefs and that if they don’t share those beliefs, they’ll be an outsider. [?!?] They focus on our need to have a community of like-minded Catholics for support in the faith, and they never find out that the traditional Mass isn’t just a conservative hangout.

    When I go to the traditional Latin Mass, it’s like drinking from a deep well of life-giving grace. When I go to to the Sunday Novus Ordo as it is typically celebrated, I leave in a mostly dead state. I’ve tried everything I can to make this not happen, but I’ve finally come to the conclusion that it isn’t in my control. I absolutely do not believe that I am alone in having these problems. I think it’s pretty rare for people to realize it, though, because most people go all to one or the other. I have to bounce back and forth. Through this experience, I have come to believe that Catholics NEED the Latin Mass. That is a very politically incorrect thing to say in the Church today, but deep down I know it’s true.

    The whole gun rights issue being such a big deal in Latin Mass communities keeps people away. [HUH?!?] I believe souls perish because they don’t have what we receive in the Latin Mass, so I am opposed to gun law debates in communities with traditional liturgy. We have bigger fish to fry.

  68. Indulgentiam says:

    Cathy says:”The whole gun rights issue being such a big deal in Latin Mass communities keeps people away. I believe souls perish because they don’t have what we receive in the Latin Mass, so I am opposed to gun law debates in communities with traditional liturgy. We have bigger fish to fry.”

    I’m sorry but I do not follow your line of reasoning. The gun debate is being had everywhere in this country. Why it should bother you to hear it in TLM communities, I don’t understand. TLM communities do not exist in a vacuum. We confront what needs confronting and can debate the issues reasonably.
    The right to bare arms and protect oneself is fundamental and in every age necessary. Evil men will always exist. And gun laws DO NOT protect you. Criminals can get guns easily even in countries where owning one is punishable by death eg. Cuba, Vietnam, China etc… When governments pass gun laws ONLY law abiding citizens follow them. Criminals do what they always do. They IGNORE the law and pick off the suckers like shooting ducks in a barrel.

  69. EXCHIEF says:

    Fr Z
    I’ll help with your wish list for at least one of Col Grossman’s books. PM me at [Removed by Fr Z], tell me which of his books is first on your list and “your wish will be granted”

  70. Fr. Erik Richtsteig says:

    Human beings have a natural right to self-defense as well as an obligation to care for and defend our brothers. This logically entails the right to the means of that self-defense, even if deadly. The Second Amendment is a recognition and protection of that natural right. All gun control does is removed the most effective means of self-protection, particular that of the small and weak.

    To answer the question, I would shoot the man in a heartbeat. To fail to do so when it is the only practical choice is the act of a coward who does not recognize the difference between the guilty and the innocent.

    Remember, it general the police are there to clean up after a crime not prevent it.

  71. PostCatholic says:

    Ah, no “LEO” in sight, which in this instance doesn’t refer to an infallible Medici prince. [] Still cannot answer your question a multiple choice of false dichotomies. Such situations are dynamic and dangerous. I’ll say what I said earlier again: Patience until until it’s not prudent any more, and whether that point arrives seconds or minutes or hours would depend a whole lot on the dynamic situation. I’d be loathe to fire a handgun close to a baby’s unprotected ears until there were no other choice. [Is that still a better option than watching wacko slice baby's throat when he get's to zero?]

  72. maryh, putting the gun to the mentally ill man’s head and pulling the trigger carries the same risk as putting it to his shoulder: while collapsing, having a spasm etc. he could have injured the child in either case.

    maryh: “He’s going to take a chance that the shot won’t distract him” – are you seriously suggesting that being shot in the shoulder, or indeed anywhere would not distract a person? So… if I shot you in the toe, you would not be distracted from what you happen to be doing?

    Kerry: “Catholic Cardinal, “…a shot anywhere would be enough to distract…”. How do you know this?”
    Kerry, since you quoted from me, I presume you meant me, although my username is not “Catholic Cardinal”. How do I know that a gunshot wound anywhere would distract a person? Well, let’s try it on you: we’ll shoot you in the toe and let’s see if you get distracted at all.

    Fr. Z. re. “yahoo” – the term originates from Jonathan Swift’s novel Gulliver’s Travels written in 1726. [Yes. I know. I was employing a rhetorical device.]

    Gretchen: “It is never advisable to shoot to wound. Why? Because even at close range, it is easy to miss.” – OK. So the policeman held the gun close to the mentally ill man’s head, but he would have missed his shoulder holding the gun close to it?

    I am glad I live in the UK, where no one, not even the police carry guns. [Good luck with that. I recommend frequent confession.]I am surprised at the force of intent-to-hurt that seems to be present in many people. Do we believe in heaven at all?

    Suz. from Oklahoma, if that out-of-state young man indeed goes and kills Fr., Fr. goes to heaven. [Does he?]

  73. PostCatholic says:

    [Is that still a better option than watching wacko slice baby's throat when he get's to zero?]

    Of course not. Look, in such situations we need to know our own values regarding human life before we find ourselves having to make those judgment calls. You seem to want to me to say I’d shoot immediately. I hope (I can’t know) that I wouldn’t. As I said, the time to shoot could arrive in seconds or in hours or not at all. Not at all is my preference.

  74. Indulgentiam says:

    Dear Father Z, i would have posted my apology sooner but i was out in the countryside and had no signal. I really am very sorry for the extremely long post. I thought that I had cut it down more than that. It was so hard to leave anything out. I was posting from my phone. When I hit post and saw how long it was I cringed. I won’t let it happen again. I will thank you on behalf of the Colonel for the star :)

  75. Therese says:

    “That’s a ‘lifeboat ethics’ question which is specifically crafted to back someone into a ‘murder or suicide’ answer.”

    Hello, George. Actually it’s a classic of that genre. And not at all hypothetical. No, it needn’t end in murder or suicide–e.g., the ectopic pregnancy: back when I was a young mother, there was one outcome only. Perhaps these days technology has advanced enough to do uterine transfer and save a life. I wrote earlier that I pitied the perpetrator of this situation. I feel even more sorry for the cop doing his job, who will relive those terrifying moments for the rest of his life.

    Lots of interesting posts on this thread. Thanks to all.

  76. dholwell says:

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church:
    2265 Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others. The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm. For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

    This is the only paragraph of the catches that speaks to Fr. Z’s scenario. So the question is, does a bystander ‘legitimately hold authority?”

    And I still think, obvious as it is, a quick prayer should be the first response. :)

    BTW, I taught with Dave Grossman at West Point – we were on the same floor of Thayer Hall. He is a good guy.

  77. dholwell says:

    “Catechism” – spell checker issues….

  78. Fr.Z., living in the UK also means I live in a place with a much lower crime rate than the US. For example the UK has a rate of intentional homicide/100,000 inhabitants of 1.2, while the same figure for the US. is 4.8 (source here). Thank you for your encouragement to go to frequent confession, I appreciate it. I normally go once a fortnight.

    As regards the Fr. in Oklahoma with the murderer on his trail – yes, I do think he goes to heaven if he is killed – maybe after some “time” in Purgatory, depending on why he is killed (if the guy is specifically out to kill him because he is a priest, he could end up a martyr and go straight to heaven). If he is a priest and celebrates Mass daily (and I think Suz mentioned that he is FSSP, so he probably does), I think it is unreasonable for us to think that he is generally in the state of mortal sin. Especially with a murderer on his trail :)

  79. bookworm says:

    My question is for Cathy. Are you referring to actual, live conversations about gun control that you have heard before or after attending Latin Masses, or are you just assuming, based on your readings of this blog, that because Fr. Z brings up gun-related issues on a regular basis, that guns are “a big deal” in the TLM community?

    If it’s the latter, I can understand your concern about a casual or first-time reader getting the impression from this blog that TLM attendees are all very pro-gun and pro-CCW. However, I would not conclude merely from this blog that if I went to a TLM and hung around for coffee or a potluck afterward that everyone would be talking about their guns ad nauseam. In my experience — your mileage may vary — people are far more chatty about controversial issues online than they are in “real life”.

    “The right to bare arms and protect oneself is fundamental and in every age necessary.”

    I’m not so sure that TLM communities would agree with you on the right to bare arms, given their emphasis on modesty. :-)

  80. bookworm says:

    And as for the question of “what would Jesus do,” I can’t say what He would do, but here’s what he told his disciples to do just before His Passion (Luke 22:35-36, NIV because that’s the first result I came up with when I googled this):

    “Then Jesus asked them, “When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?”
    “Nothing,” they answered.
    “He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.”

    In other words, He’s telling them that they need to be packing heat (1st century style).

  81. Indulgentiam says:

    @catholicoffee- your stats are off b/c your source, by their own admission, is flawed. This is posted on the article you linked too–*This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia’s quality standards. The specific problem is: Items in tables do not match the cited sources. (May 2013)”

    FBI stats and UK’s own study—-Crime in England and Wales, year ending September 2012– violent crime rate in UK is higher than in USA. According to the FBI, there were 1.2 million violent crimes committed in the US during 2011. http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/ucr/crime-in-the-u.s/2011/crime-in-the-u.s.-2011/violent-crime/violent-crime
    According to the UK government, there were 1.94 million violent crimes in the UK during 2011.

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171778_296191.pdf

    And commenting in the final destination of ANY soul is presumption and therefore a no, no.

  82. Indulgentiam says:

    @catholicoffee–sorry typo- should be–And commenting ON the final destination of ANY soul is presumption and therefore a no, no.

    I don’t really understand your argument so I just commented on the stats. If you are so inclined I would really be interested in your explanation for why God fearing, law abiding citizens should be prevented from owning a piece of equipment useful for their protection. If said citizen is fully trained and proven responsible. Do you know how many vehicular homicides their are a year? Do you advocate taking away everyone’s car? Just asking

  83. Seano says:

    If I had a concealed carry permit and was carrying my concealed weapon I would like to believe that I would have done the same thing the police officer did. It is a benefit to society that good people carry the tools, and have the training, necessary to hold evil at bay. That is the only thing that keeps evil at bay, good people, with the right tools and the right training.

    Conceal Carry HQ

  84. Cathy says:

    Indulgentiam: I don’t really believe that traditional Catholics shouldn’t debate issues like these. I was in a foul mood the day I posted that comment and probably shouldn’t have been posting a blog comment anywhere.
    Bookworm: I would say the conservative political scene is prevalent both online and in traditional parishes. At the parishes, people’s political views are clear from the moment you pull into the parking lot. Conservative politics are expressed on bumper stickers, in the bulletin, from the pulpit, and at coffee and donuts. Traditional Latin Mass communities have a very conservative “vibe”. I am conservative, so it doesn’t bother me. For people who disagree with these views, it definitely makes them feel uncomfortable. I know many people who refuse to step foot in a Latin Mass because they see it as “right wing extremism”. Many are devout Catholics, not liberal, but considering themselves to be moderate. I don’t think it’s good for people to make these kinds of rash judgements, but the reality is that they do.

    And then there’s that whole issue of women’s rights to “bare” arms. That’s a big deal too.

  85. Indulgentiam says:

    @Cathy- understood :) if I had a dime for every time I’ve done that I’d have enough money to buy Obama off.
    “bare” arms ha! At my age I am sooooo grateful for the 3/4 sleeves that hide my “bingo wings” yaaaaa for modesty!