What's With These Apologies?

Written by Kathryn A. Graham

Continued from page 1

So choosing to bear arms is indeed an act of great courage. It is a decision and a stance that any human being should be proud of.

Yet my students do not come to me with pride. They come to me furtively and ashamed, desperately making excuses for their decision as ifrepparttar mere association with firearms will somehow damage their integrity as human beings. Before I can even begin to teach them what they must know to bear arms safely and legally in this state, I must teach them that armed self-defense is their right, not a privilege they must ask for – and never, never something they should apologize for. They are requesting a concealed handgun license fromrepparttar 126051 state forrepparttar 126052 sole purpose of remaining out of jail, but they were born withrepparttar 126053 instinct andrepparttar 126054 right to defend their own lives. This instinct is not immoral, and it never will be. And there is nothing nobler thanrepparttar 126055 decision to risk your own life to defend someone else.

It is interesting to watchrepparttar 126056 process. They sit a little straighter now.

The next step is to teach them Texas law and a few simple rules for resolving conflicts without violence. We cover some firearm safety rules, and they take a range test so unbelievably easy it only proves that they know at which end ofrepparttar 126057 rangerepparttar 126058 target is located. That test is meant to be easy. It should be easy for an 80 year old grandmother to pass. It was designed that way!

Afterrepparttar 126059 state requirements and testing are completed, they take their first steps on a lifetime journey together. I would not presume to tell my students what is right and what is wrong. I tell them about Texas law, that’s all. But I do have an obligation to make them think about right and wrong. They must begin to set their personal boundaries and define what they are and are not willing to do.

Inrepparttar 126060 midst of a firefight is notrepparttar 126061 place to make these philosophical decisions!

For example: If a burglar broke into your house tonight and tried to make off with your VCR, would you confront and try to stop him? If he attacked you then, would you shoot to defend yourself? You had better knowrepparttar 126062 answers to these and many other questions before you choose to keep and/or carry a firearm. Whenrepparttar 126063 situation is happening, it is already much too late to think it through. I ask my students to try imagine every possible circumstance and decide what they would and would not do. The thinking process is never complete. It is ongoing.

There is self-defense, and there is murder. Much ofrepparttar 126064 time that line is clear and obvious. But many circumstances can blurrepparttar 126065 line between self-defense and murder torepparttar 126066 point where there is no clear cut right and wrong answer. Personal boundaries must be set in that gray area. In fact, I can’t imagine any decision more personal except possiblyrepparttar 126067 decision of what deity to worship.

That idea sinks in, and my students leaverepparttar 126068 classroom with a lot of thinking to do.

What they do not yet realize is thatrepparttar 126069 thinking they will do overrepparttar 126070 coming months and years is going to change them forever – and forrepparttar 126071 better. It never fails. That isrepparttar 126072 hidden virtue of firearms. We do very little moral thinking in our society. Most kids today are actually embarrassed atrepparttar 126073 mention of “right” and “wrong.” Yet concepts of right and wrong, of duty – and of sacrifice – go hand in hand withrepparttar 126074 idea of lawful carry. Training your kids inrepparttar 126075 use of firearms offers a golden opportunity to teach them moral values.

Thomas Jefferson, one ofrepparttar 126076 great architects of our nation, understood this very well. In 1785, he wrote a letter to Peter Carr, then attending school in Paris, in which he offered warm advice on how best to seek success, both in college and in life.

In Jefferson’s own words: “A strong body makesrepparttar 126077 mind strong. As torepparttar 126078 species of exercise, I adviserepparttar 126079 gun. While this gives a moderate exercise torepparttar 126080 body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence torepparttar 126081 mind. Games played withrepparttar 126082 ball, and others of that nature, are too violent forrepparttar 126083 body, and stamp no character onrepparttar 126084 mind. Let your gun therefore berepparttar 126085 constant companion of your walks.”

Excellent advice.

At a tiny 5'1", Kathryn A. Graham is a licensed private investigator, pilot, aircraft mechanic and handgun instructor in Texas. Also a prolific author, she has written numerous articles, short stories and a science fiction novel. http://www.kathrynagraham.com/

Find An Enemy

Written by Kathryn A. Graham

Continued from page 1

Element 3 is to demonizerepparttar enemy. That's pretty easy. The Roman Catholics started that some centuries ago withrepparttar 126050 lie that Pagans are Satanists. Since Pagans do not believe inrepparttar 126051 Judeo-Christian pantheon at all, belief in Satan – let alone worship of Satan – is a bit of a stretch. Nevertheless, that ghastly lie resulted in literally millions of deaths atrepparttar 126052 hands ofrepparttar 126053 Inquisition, and is still believed by many ignorant people today.

Interestingly enough, Pope John Paul, himself a sincere Christian, has only a few months ago formally admitted his Church's responsibility and made public apology for those very deaths, among many others.

So nowrepparttar 126054 opportunists are taking a slightly different tack.

It seems (now) thatrepparttar 126055 earth-based religions are destroying America by promoting environmentalism andrepparttar 126056 U.N.'s "New World Order."

Really. Uh, huh. This lie flies because very few non-Pagans known anything about us, and they believe without question what their religious leaders tell them.

Oh, sure, Pagans have some brain dead nutcases that get some lurid press now and then by sitting in Lotus position under trees, and I wouldn't be surprised to find that some of these twits have a mutual love affair withrepparttar 126057 United Nations. Christians have their share of nuts, too, in case you hadn't noticed. I don't think any religious faith is devoid of silly fanatics.

In fairness, It is certainly true that most Pagans are environmentalists. As a group, we revererepparttar 126058 Earth which gave us life, and there are few of us who are not concerned about things like destroyingrepparttar 126059 rain forests of Brazil (which produce more than 70 percent ofrepparttar 126060 world's oxygen, byrepparttar 126061 way). Breathing – and eating – are very difficult habits to break.

Onrepparttar 126062 other hand, most Pagans also haverepparttar 126063 pragmatic view that Man is very much a part of Earth's environment, and I have yet to meet any Pagans nutty enough to advocaterepparttar 126064 destruction of Man's habitat to benefit some nearly extinct snail garter! Nor would most Pagans object to further development of our world's energy resources – while searching for a renewable source of energy, of course. I, for one, prefer an automobile to my feet, as my ample fundament will attest.

Since we don't cling torepparttar 126065 ridiculous belief that Man's history is barely 6,000 years long, we have a more encompassing view of geological history, recognizing that "global warming" is a part of a cyclical climate pendulum that has been swinging back and forth for many hundreds of thousands of years, and is certainly not a result of Man's rise to civilization – which, if you think about it, is a singularly arrogant view ofrepparttar 126066 problem.

Now we come down torepparttar 126067 United Nations. I have never imagined a more sinister threat torepparttar 126068 country that I love or to my personal freedom than I see inrepparttar 126069 very existence ofrepparttar 126070 United Nations, let alonerepparttar 126071 very idea of a "New World Order." I have publicly stated on many occasions that I would dearly love to nail an eviction notice addressed to that evil organization to their Manhattan front door personally.

Just to setrepparttar 126072 public record straight, I have been a practicing Witch (Pagan/Wiccan) for thirty years. I am a Libertarian activist, and a firearms instructor. I amrepparttar 126073 Texas Director for Armed Females of America, and I carry a firearm 24 hours a day, sorepparttar 126074 global disarmament plans ofrepparttar 126075 United Nations constitute complete and absolute anathema to me.

If – if – I agreed with those plans, which are an integral part ofrepparttar 126076 "New World Order" as originally coined publicly by George Herbert Walker Bush, I would be no threat to anyone at all. I would be just another sad and pathetic victim suffering underrepparttar 126077 yoke of a global income tax.

Please allow me to point out that my very favorite targets for practice shooting are mock United Nations helmets – and I am very sure that real ones – especially occupied – would be even better.

Supportrepparttar 126078 "New World Order?" Don't make me laugh!

My dearest dream is a return torepparttar 126079 literal interpretation of our great nation's Constitution, most especially her Bill of Rights, followed byrepparttar 126080 immediate and forceful eviction ofrepparttar 126081 United Nations from U.S. soil. Hell, don't even bother to give 'em a boat! Let them swim allrepparttar 126082 way back to socialist Europe, where they damned well belong.

The First Amendment of that Constitution guarantees my religious freedom – and that of Christians, too, in case you had forgotten.

The Second Amendment guarantees enforcement ofrepparttar 126083 First Amendment. I would strongly advise against any attempt at moving pastrepparttar 126084 Element 3 practice of demonizing Pagans torepparttar 126085 fourth element – or "whupass" – stage.

A rapidly growing population of individualist, Libertarian, anti-U.N. and extremely well-armed Pagans are just liable to turnrepparttar 126086 tables on you.

At a tiny 5'1", Kathryn A. Graham is a licensed private investigator, pilot, aircraft mechanic and handgun instructor in Texas. Also a prolific author, she has written numerous articles, short stories and a science fiction novel. http://www.kathrynagraham.com/

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