One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws.
One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all”.
— Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963)
…and one more I found interesting.
I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do.
Robert A. Heinlein
On guns, gun control and the second amendment:
The story below is true. It happened to myself, my sister and brother-in-law many years ago when they lived in Redding, CA. I lived with them for a while and this took place during that time. I was a teenager then, young and stupid. I was raised in a very sheltered, naive and religious household, and was totally unprepared to survive in the real world. Teenagers all seem to think they’re immortal anyway, until something happens to change that. In the end, if we survive our mistakes we come out the other side older and wiser. I am not the same person I was before this happened. I make no apologies for what I did, though now I look back on what happened and shudder. I ask myself “How could I have been so stupid?” Anyway, I say this and post his recounting of the events as a way of trying to explain why I support the second amendment and the right to defend oneself and family with the best tools available to do the job.
By David L. Friend (my brother-in-law):
“I know there are very strong opinions on both sides of this issue and from what I am gathering we support different perspective views. I don’t own any guns and have never fired anything more powerful that a BB gun. When I was a kid I played army and all the shoot ‘em up games from cops and robbers to cowboy and Indians (apologies to indigenous populations of north America). I will say to this point in my life of six decades I have never shot anyone. I got into my late teens around the turn of the 60′s into the 70′s and found myself a pacifist who believed it wrong to take a life or violently participate in warlike events.
This attitude faced a challenge when, in the mid 80′s, a young punk knocked on my door at 3am armed with a 30-30. I heard the knock from my bedroom and jumped out of bed to see my brother-in-law, who had been staying with my wife and I, at the door – ready to open it. I was in my skivvies and didn’t want to be immodest so I positioned myself behind the door while he opened it. As my bro-in-law opened the door, it flung open against me and I watched as the barrel of a gun reveled itself pushing against my bro-in-law’s belly.
The guy yelled “This is a hostage situation” and was advancing into the house. Now I was a young father with two other adults and two little kids in the tiny apartment and my brain just exploded through my mouth as I screamed …NOOOOOOOooooo! He evidently was not aware of me until then when I instinctively grabbed the barrel he was turning toward me, with one hand and the stock of the gun with my other hand and began to wrestle with this young man in what I thought was going to be my dance of death.
For me time had stopped there was no past and no future. There was just now. I got him turned around with his back to the corner where I had been and fell on him hard holding the gun sideways across his body until he surrendered.
At this point you have to realize I was not only a pacifist but a simple and naive young man who had no enemies in the world and did not believe that there were people who were out to harm others and who were not actually nice people inside. Remember my last name is… FRIEND.
I made him get up and go sit on the couch but he kept getting up and pacing. He told me I had to punch him or hit him so he would look like he had been in a fight. I said no way guy. He told me it was a fraternity prank he had to do to get initiated. I later found out that the local college didn’t have any fraternities. Wow, he was lying (only I would have been stupid enough to believe him)!
My wife and I were poor as church mice and didn’t have many things – including a telephone. I would have called the police then if I had a phone but we didn’t and were afraid now to go outside with his buddies nearby.
So much of a silly fool was I that I just wanted him out of my apartment so much that I opened the front door and told the kid to get out and go. No one will believe this now …but I handed him his gun. He took it and ran over and got into a car with his buddies that had been circling the apartment complex. The car raced off and that was the last I ever saw of him.
When cleaning up some time later in my apartment I found a 30-30 bullet which had been struck but had not fired. I believe that happened at the time the punk kid saw me, I saw him cock the rifle as he was turning toward me. He had pulled the trigger but the gun didn’t go off. My Brother-in-law may still be alive today because of that gun malfunction and I believe in God so I know there were protecting angels with us that night.
Everything since changed for me at the moment the door opened that night. I relived that moment every day, every hour, every 5 minutes, at night in my dreams, in church, in my car, at work for a long time. Many many years have had to pass before my muscles wouldn’t tighten up as even they relived those few minutes. Anyway from that moment on, I have found it difficult to place full trust in others and, for me, it has never been the same as before.
I now believe amidst the good and peace loving people we generally meet every day there ARE bad people who have no problem crossing the line and do not respect anything or anyone. It has often been the case that bad people who are in the process of doing bad things to good people are only stopped in their tracks by the use of firearms and other powerful weapons. Sometimes there is no other way.
I don’t believe that everyone should have and use guns but I do not believe that rational, responsible, mentally sound peace loving persons should be restricted from gun ownership and use because people think guns do bad things. Guns generally do what they are directed to do by people. Some people do bad things and bad people and guns should not go together.
Specifically for me I have found after reliving that traumatic episode thousands of times – I believe I would not now have let that young man leave my apartment under his own power. Things would have been different.
Maybe from this you will begin to see why I feel like it is important to have the ability to defend yourself, even to have a gun if you think you need one. For me, I did not need the gun but now looking back I probably would have used it on him given who I am now …although it may have only been the butt end …used on the butt head.
I know this doesn’t really answer your question or solve the violence problem in the world today but maybe it helps you see into my mind. I do have strong opinions about defending oneself and their family and loved ones.”