Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The Gospel, 2nd Amendment & Open Carry

I'm a 2nd Amendment supporter.  I actually am a 2nd Amendment activist.

Most recently I am working / volunteering as professional counsel on the issues of mental health and the 2nd Amendment here in my state for the upcoming legislative session with a firearms lobby that supports the 2nd Amendment.

But why, shouldn't we be "praying saints" instead of "warlike saints"?   Actually, I reccollect that assertion was made to the Latter Day Saints by a government official (whose name escapes me) as they were disarmed just before their extermination orders were given against them and during the genocidal actions against them by a corrupt government in the 1800's.

If there are a people who know, historically, the value of firearms, the Latter Day Saints are one of them.

Meanwhile....in Israel...
Obviously the issues of firearms is an emotional topic for many people, and I don't wish to wade too deeply or get distracted too easily.  The simple fact is, we are entitled by our God and our religious precepts to defend ourselves and our families from harm.  Additionally, the Constitution  and Bill of Rights, we know to have been inspired by God, preserve (not grant) the rights to keep and bear arms for the security of the states and those rights - "shall not be infringed."  (There's been a lot of infringing going on for quite some time now).

For those not familiar, in these United States there is the right to what we call "Open Carry" or carry a firearm openly in public without a license or any type of permit so long as you are legally allowed to possess / utilize a firearm.


While the right to open carry is a right, and a right not exercised shall be lost, I am going to have to recuse myself from open carrying in most instances.

Why?

I am a Melchizedek Priesthood Holder.  I am called to share the gospel with all who come within the sphere of my influence.  And while the 2nd Amendment is inspired of God, I do know that some people are afraid of firearms, and rather than feeling the spirit, they may feel fear around firearms.

Additionally, open carry often draws police scrutiny and public attention.  Were I to end up in the media exercising my rights as a "Mormon Elder threatens public with guns" I would be undermining the cause of the gospel within my own community - even if the headline was undeserved, I still have a responsibility to the Lord's work.  ("Oh be wise, what can I say more!" - Jacob 6:12)


There are many aspects to this fight to protect and defend our freedoms - the part of other activists who choose to open carry in maintaining our rights is certainly critical - but there's a part in this continuation of the war-in-heaven-on-earth that only a priesthood holder can do and I need to and want to be faithful to that and not detract from it.

Consequently, I still carry, but I carry concealed.

To every thing, there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven......

But that's.....just me.

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