Guys and gals, I know this terrorist attack in Orlando has you up in arms — literally.
Gun sales spike after every terrorist attack or mass shooting. Law abiding citizens become acutely aware of their need to defend themselves and their neighbors. They realize that law enforcement authorities can’t be everywhere all the time. I appreciate your attitude.
But I am a bit concerned about one thing: Are you really going to be any help in a genuine emergency?
A customer tries out a Remington 1911 equipped with a silencer at Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly, Va., USA on January 9, 2015. (Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
First, you need to get training. You have to take your weapon out and get comfortable using it. That usually means practice and formal training.
The good thing about formal training is that it's enjoyable. Shooting at metal targets, or pieces of paper can be very satisfying. Most instructors provide thought experiments, too. They train you about when and how to engage with a criminal — and when to walk away.
I know that many of you are thinking that fewer people would have been harmed in the Pulse nightclub if some of them had been armed. You are almost certainly correct. But that someone won’t be you, unless you are so well-trained and comfortable with your firearm that you feel good about carrying it with you.
Second, if you are like many of the people I have encountered at gun ranges, you need to get in shape. I’ve seen guys who are excellent shots, but who cannot even make it up to the firing line without a walker. I’ve seen people with great equipment that they probably couldn’t carry 50 yards.
Honestly, how much help are you going to be in a gun fight with an armed and dedicated ISIS warrior, if you can barely walk up the stairs? How much good can you do if your knees are killing you because you’re dragging around several pounds of extra weight? Do you have the stamina and endurance to go the distance if the situation demands it?
So, armed America, here is my challenge to you. Lose some weight. Build up your strength and endurance. Yes, by all means, go to the firing range and practice with your firearm. But practice running around the block a few times, too.
I ask this because we’re depending on you. Guys and gals, you know I’m not trying to hurt you. In fact, you have permission to go all "snowflake" on me. You know the type of snowflake I’m talking about. They are the each-one-is-precious, each-one-is-special type derives from our ever-so-sensitive college students who we seem to be breeding in this culture.
Don’t melt on me. I’m just asking that you to get in reasonable shape. If this particular shoe fits, wear it, until you put on your running shoes.
Our extra weight is a symptom of our self-indulgent lifestyle. We can spend money on toys, but we don’t have the time to walk and get in shape. This is one of the things the ISIS-type Islamists find contemptible about us. We are fat and lazy and addicted to our comforts. That is why they believe they will conquer us.
Osama Bin Laden believed that he and his Afghan freedom fighters brought down the Soviet Union. They regard the United States as the weaker and more frivolous of the two super-powers. We are the weak horse they can easily dispatch. How about we prove them wrong?
I’m not going to be a politician for a moment and hector you with empty words: I am going to go first. I have lived a pretty self-indulgent lifestyle myself in many ways. I will do the unthinkable for a woman: I’m going to reveal my age and weight right here on the internet:
Today is June 13, 2016. I am 62 years old. I am 5 feet, 7 inches tall. I weigh 170 pounds. I mean to do something about it.
See you at the gym — and at the gun range.
We need you.
Jennifer Roback Morse Ph.D. is Founder and President of the Ruth Institute, a global non-profit organization, dedicated to creating a Christ-like solution to family breakdown.Visit at www.ruthinstitute.org or facebook.com/TheRuthInstitute/
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