Because I’m a Christian, people often expect me to stay within the acceptable cliches’ that are supposed to define us. The problem with those cliches’ is that many have no Biblical basis. They have simply gained traction over generations of time because they sound right.
With many Christians, self defense seems to be an anomaly not consigned to those of faith, just to the rest of the world. In other words “…. turn the other cheek” means becoming a doormat for criminals who the rest of the world can defend themselves from. “Love your neighbor” means allow criminals to assault, rob, rape, kill you or your family in the name of Christian integrity.
There is no place in scripture that requires us to acquiesce to the activity of criminals without defending ourselves. That includes defending ourselves with deadly force if necessary.
And as much emphasis as I place on firearms and gun rights, many times a gun is not available. It should not be considered to be an end all in all things related to self defense.
If you and your family are in immediate danger, using what you have available is what’s necessary. And using it decisively is critical.
A man with his wife and young daughter riding in their SUV through Manhattan on the West Side Highway was surrounded by a pack of thugs on motorcycles. With the man trying to get out of the pack one thug intentionally swerved in front of Alexian Lien’s SUV and slammed on his breaks causing Lien to hit his rear tire toppling the cyclist to the pavement.
Lien stopped only to have the pack of bikers begin to tear into his vehicle. Vehicle pummeled, tires slashed.
Right there deadly force became justified for Lien. Assault was taking place. But of course in New York you can’t carry a gun. So what to do?
Lien’s reaction was to take off in an understandable panic hitting another biker. He left the highway trying to get away from the mindless herd of bikers. But they followed him onto a busy Manhattan street where Lien and his family were pinned in by a red light and traffic all around.
The bikers got off their machines and began to smash at his vehicle.
They pulled Alexian out and in front of his wife and daughter began to beat and cut him. They left him lying in a heap in the street.
Then we see the words so often present in news reports:
“By the time police arrived …..”
Sadly police arrive at the scene of the crime rather than being able to prevent the crime. It’s up to us to defend ourselves and our family with everything available. Our hands, feet, a tire iron, a set of keys ……. none of that would work in this case. In this case Alexian had one effective weapon.
Unfortunately he didn’t use it when it could have saved him the life threatening assault. To make matters worse, the mob of sludge could have assaulted his wife and daughter as well.
The result of him running from his attackers and eventually getting trapped. The picture at right shows him after they finished with him right in the middle of a busy street.
The unfortunate reality of this situation is that the only chance Alexian had to defend his and his family’s life was with his vehicle. But he used it to run and it became his prison, trapping him for his attackers’ pleasure.
In this hideous situation, there was no good alternative for this family. There was no guarantee that anything would work. But being trapped and helpless in the face of an attack is the worst of scenarios.
What’s unfortunate is that when the assault began, Alexian didn’t take out a half dozen of the perpetrators, then drive to safety. He had every reason to use the most likely self defense weapon of that moment, his vehicle. That SUV could have left the most aggressive of the attackers and their bikes in a heap.
Would it have worked? Better chance than leaving them to stay with him to beat and slash him on the street.
Self defense means just that. Defense. Justifiably using what is necessary to stop criminal assault.
If you have the ability to carry a gun, carry it. If not stay in a mindset that is ready, when necessary to defend yourself and yours.
Finally, if you carry a gun, don’t put all your focus on it. There’s no guarantee that you can use it when necessary to save your life.
In the world we live in, it’s foolish not to be ready and to help our spouses and teach our kids how to defend themselves in the face of assault. There is no responsible alternative.