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Saturday, April 07, 2012

I Shot the Sheriff



My stand on guns is simple enough and straightforward. I wish they were never invented. But since they have, wishful thinking is nothing more than arcadian gibberish. I strongly support gun control when a just rule of law is imposed on each and everyone in a society. Guns should not be carried around concealed or revealed by civilians out on the streets. Yet, once within the confines of their own homes I believe that the right to keep and bear arms and to use them in self defense is an inalienable one.

I am an advocate of handgun and weapon training for every member of a household. It could come in handy one day and save lives. When an intruder breaks in and threatens me, my family or my loved ones he becomes fair game. Despite my peaceful disposition I wouldn’t hesitate nor feel guilty ripping him apart with my bare hands or blowing him to pieces with a hollow-point 45.

I am not much of a political activist. In fact I am politically timid. A line has been drawn, plain and obvious, however. I can’t stand aggressors. Whether it’s a lowly thief, a thug or the badass Sheriff himself, if he violates my human rights I won’t go down alone.

I Shot the Sheriff, from the album Burnin’ by Bob Marley - Harry J. Studios, Kingston, Jamaica, 1973.

21 comments:

Joseph said...

What was that about!? :-)

abufares said...

@Joseph
It's really hard for me to write during these sad times. My message, if I have any, is to make a clear distinction between aggressor and victim, between cold bloody murder and self-defense.
Happy Easter my friend.

Gabriela said...

There are lots of interests involved here. That makes this a very delicate matter, Abufares.

abufares said...

@Gabriela
There's nothing controversial about this post. I'm only stating the obvious. Every living being reacts in self defense if threatened. Whether it succeeds in sustaining its life or not is another matter. I think I'm driving as close to the edge as possible without going off-road. I've drifted gradually from the mainstream center to where I am today, cruising comfortably in the left lane. I am for abortion if a woman decides to have it, I am for the separation of church and state, I am for mixed and gay marriages (if they're crazy enough to get married) and the whole nine yards. I am for world peace, the emancipation of women and the confinement of those bankers who play poker with people's lives. BUT!!! If someone walks into my home, uninvited and threatens my safety or that of my family and loved ones I will jump as far right as it takes to stop him once and for all. It's not delicate at all. It's a fact of life and death.

abufares said...

@And oh Gabriela, Happy Easter :-)

BIL said...

Abufares,
I know exactly where you are coming from. Where I live, we have the “Castle Law” or “Stand Your Ground Law”. I say live and let live, however, when someone uninvited breaks into my home the 12 gauge pump is standing by. This law is fairly new here but got a lot of news coverage and you know what? Home break-ins went down dramatically. So to all the skeptics out there, there is something to be said for responsible gun ownership. OBTW I am NOT a member of the NRA! Yes it is a sad state of affairs we must live in today. Stand your ground, and take care BIL

Gabriela said...

I think I didn't make myself clear enough, Abufares.
When I said delicate matter, I was refering to weapons. Not self defense at all. If someone threatens me or someone I really care for, I'd react exactly as you describe. Of course I would.
And sorry for the omission: happy Easter too!

Isobel said...

The best way to deal with aggressors is to disarm them. If that is not possible, I think a level playing field must be ensured.

abufares said...

@BIL
Glad to see you here. I think both of us agreed that in modern democracies Left and Right are 2 sides of the same coin. In truth, once empowered they sit on opposite sides of a seesaw and exploit the average person to death.
On a personal level, I'm comfortable with my seemingly "contradictory" points of view regarding various sociopolitical issues. I could care less if self-confessed Liberals shun me as too conservative or vice versa.
Live and Let Live is my motto and as long as nobody screws with me I don't screw with nobody :-)

abufares said...

@Gabriela
I think I understood you the first time around. The reason I elaborated further in my comment was only because I thought this post might be misinterpreted by the vast majority of readers. Some won't understand the relevance of the video as far as its relationship with the brief article is concerned. I don't blame them. The truth of the matter is that the video captures a fun afternoon spent by 2 very close and extremely peaceful friends out on the range. When I decided to post it, I wanted to pass my message too about my stand on self defense. Yup, I am an opportunist and I love exploiting myself :-D

abufares said...

@Isobel
I could imagine you wondering:
"What the hell should I write in my comment. The guy is a lunatic sometimes", LMAO.

In theory I agree with the first part of your comment but human nature, as you've recently made a point in your excellent article on Sarajevo ( http://suffonsifisms.wordpress.com/2012/04/06/solemn-reminder/ ) seems to be inertly violent. How to disarm aggressors without directly and physically threatening them? From an evolutionary perspective, we are more like gorillas rather than unicorns. The second part of your sentence is a green light, albeit a reluctant one, to take matters in one's own hand when a real and eminent danger is life threatening.

Yet, I have an ulterior motive behind this post. I wanted to clarify a point I strongly believe in. I do not equate between 2 acts of violence. I make a clear and conscious distinction between a perpetrator and a victim. And I forgive a victim most, if not all, of his reactions to the actions committed by the perpetrator. In 1772BC, Hammurabi coined what has become the most fundamental basis of all Divine and later Human justice systems: An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. By divine I certainly mean what humans chose to believe to originate from God or the Gods. Many centuries later, Mohammad, the prophet of Islam, added to Hammurabi's rule ... "and the most unjust of the two wrong-doers is the initiator." In other words, he considered both to be wrong-doers. This is very worthy of noting and studying as it is in contradiction to what most people know about Islam, including Muslims themselves. A victim is a wrong-doer when he takes justice into his own hands but he's not as much of a wrong-doer as the one who victimized him in the first place.

Personally and in all honesty, I'm not that altruistic. Most significantly, and perhaps this is the core point of my article, what is true about me individually is also true about a group in general. When a whole society is victimized by an internal or external enemy taking arms in self-defense is their inalienable evolutionary right.

And that my dear Isobel is the true objective of this post :-)

Isobel said...

No, Abufares, I would never think you were a lunatic. Lol! I thought I understood your message but I decided to be brief in my comment just in case I was way off. As it turns out I was totally in line with your thinking. I didn't want to get into the politics and controversies of gun ownership. And I also didn't want to make naive and condescending proclamations, which would essentially appear hypocritical and idealistic in a less than perfect world. As much as I am against the ownership of weapons, I also see that an aggressor, who's biggest advantage is that he/she has no (or very little) conscience, has to be stopped and, in truth, can only be stopped by a weapon as big or larger than his/her own.

abufares said...

@Isobel
You're a smart girl but I always knew that :-)
As long as it is legal to manufacture arms, weapons and guns banning ownership isn't practical nor desirable. We might one day, as a race, look back and remember the dark past when our planet had weapons. I don't see it anytime soon but we can always hope that our future descendents are lucky enough to live such a dream.

Joseph said...

I never cease to surprise myself, Abufares. And, confuse others as well. It's in my nature. Alas...

Embarrassingly, I have to admit, my attention span these days equates to something in the region of -20.
When I first read your post I totally ignored the attached video file. Which explains the vague, confused contents of the question I asked. In my mind I kept asking myself what triggered you to write about this subject. The answer or perhaps part of it, all along was there in front of me. I'm glad you've enjoyed your kill with your friend :-)

Although I am no stranger to handguns and many other types of weapons. I choose never to own one... yet at the same time I totally agree with your point of view in regard to self defense.

Stay safe and be good.

abufares said...

@Joseph
Glad you got a chance to watch the video. Rumor has it that it's destined to win a double Oscar at least (Best music, Best Choreography).
I feel the same way about gun ownership but again, as long as it's legal to make them it should be legal for ordinary law-abiding citizens to own them and use them to defend their homes.
What attention span? Who? :-)

Anonymous said...

Abu fares, my neighbor (yet I have to meet):
An eye for eye and a tooth for tooth and the must unjust of the wrong doers is the initiater. Ghandi said any eye for an eye and the whole world will go blind.
May be it is better sometime to just run away , there are no winners here .
Keep safe.
Gassan

Abufares said...

@Gassan
Good morning. I don't wanna sound like a hypocrite diplomat (many of them are) but in principle I agree with you.
My point, however, is to remain compassionate with the victim and not to judge him too harshly. We would all be better off if we abide by Ghandi's words. Until then and in this violent world, I'm pitching with the guy who's been wronged first.
Be well Neighbor :-)

Maysaloon said...

I detest violence, but I do see your point, and the right to self defence, especially against a Sheriff who has forgotten his place, is something nobody has the right to deny.

Haven't been here in a while by the way, I like what you've done with the place!

abufares said...

@Maysaloon
Glad to see you back here. Voila, you said it all and left me with very little in the form of a reply. I rest my case :-)
I remained a silent reader of your blog BTW and I do appreciate both your political insight and where you chose to stand.
Thank you for dropping by.

Paul said...

Good post Abu Fares, I agree 100% with you on this one. When a society such as the UK outlaws the private ownership of firearms for self defence, it essentially makes the citizens helpless. It means in essence we can only rely on the state for our defence which leaves us as sheep; we just have to trust the government to be magnanimous and not push us around. History sadly seems to show that this is very dangerous territory indeed. All societies are armed of course, but what matters is who has control of them. A police state with 100% gun control? No thanks.

abufares said...

@Paul
There you go. Who would've thought we might actually agree on something :-)
My stand on private gun ownership and use in self-defense doesn't contradict my liberal tendencies nor stir any moral dilemma of conscience. BUT, I believe the right to self-defense is a human right for ALL. I know it wasn't your intention to exclude other countries/cultures/people when you pointed to the UK as an example to elucidate your point, however, I want to make sure that my own point comes across. The right to defend one's home (property) and life (well being) is as universal as the right to work, worship, travel (or stay) freely and without coercion from domestic police or foreign armies.
Thank you for your comment.