One of my greatest personal heroes, Robert A. Heinlein, once stated flatly that a male pacifist was a contradiction in terms. Heinlein was a brilliant writer, one hell of a philosopher, and very seldom wrong.
He was wrong this time.
He should have said that a male victim is a contradiction in terms.
Heinlein may be forgiven, though. No writer is perfect, and it is a common mistake to confuse ideologically committed pacifist with chronic, or professional, victim. Heinlein himself was a pacifist, although I do not believe he ever realized it, but he was never a victim – and he certainly had no shortage of testosterone!
This subject has been very much on my mind for last day or so.
I have a lifelong and very dear friend who is utterly and absolutely opposed to everything I stand for concerning firearms. I am aware of this, and I have tried and tried to accept it. I am seldom too terribly shocked by what comes out of his mouth, but this time he caught me totally flat-footed and left me completely speechless.
He related to me just yesterday that a couple of years ago, his thirty-year-old daughter came to visit him. He was talking to her as she was unpacking in guest room of his home, and when she got to bottom of her suitcase, there was her little handgun that she traveled with.
He was shocked and enraged. He informed her that he had not only never fired such an abomination, he had never even touched one, and he insisted that she remove that instrument of Satan from his home immediately and leave it in her car.
Unfortunately, she did as he asked without a murmur. I would have removed pistol also, but I would certainly have removed myself as well, both from his house and from his life. Permanently. Then again, I may have misjudged his daughter just a bit. It’s true that she’s never come back for another visit. Smart girl.
I wonder if my friend has any idea of what that little tale that he related to me with such glowing and self-righteous pride reveals about him, and about his feelings for his daughter? Let’s take a closer look.
First of all, and most obviously, it is very, very clear that he does not love his daughter. I have a bit of insider knowledge there, as I was aware that he had made no effort to see her in twenty years, but I would have realized this particular fact anyway.
He actually considered his blind terror of an inanimate piece of hardware to be more important that his daughter’s safety, and she had just driven from California to Texas to visit him!
As an aside, my own father loved me very, very much. If my father had ever learned that I had made such a trip without a firearm, he’d have tanned every scrap of hide right off my backside, thirty years grown or not! As a matter of fact, he’d have raised holy un-shirted hell with me for leaving it in bottom of my suitcase and not in my purse or pocket!
Not Harry. He was able to pull his soul out and polish it and tell himself what a wonderful Christian he was, and he’s been patting himself on back for it ever since.
Sadly, my friend Harry is a professional victim. He subscribes to pseudo-morality that says that it is better to suffer any indignity – even die – than to use force in your own defense or defense of another. If he is ever mugged or robbed, I am quite sure that I will have to attend his funeral, because he will not lift a finger to help himself.
Harry really isn’t an evil man. If anyone came to his door hungry, he would feed them. He is kind to animals. He pays his bills. He drinks in moderation. And he has a sense of humor that is wicked and delightful. I enjoy his company very much – or I did until he found out I carry a gun. Now that I know his views on matter, I will never visit his home again (because I am never, ever unarmed), although we have a professional and friendly relationship on Internet and telephone.