The Way of the Wheelgun: The Defensive Mindset, Pt 1

Posted on April 13, 2011 by


Mindset. The World English Dictionary defines it as “the ideas and attitudes with which a person approaches a situation.” In a personal defense context, it refers to the ideas and attitudes with which you approach the idea of defending yourself or others from imminent bodily harm. Regardless of your preferred defensive platform or method, these next few paragraphs are for you.

Guns are fun. It’s fun to shoot and handle them, it’s fun to buy accessories for them, and it’s fun to find just the right load to shoot that meets your needs. It’s even fun (if you’re like me) to talk about guns with your other gun buddies. But I want to encourage you to step back for a moment and ask yourself a very serious question: Are you willing to take the life of another human being in defense of your own or of those you love? Some people simply are not. And that is fine. They should not carry guns.

For me, the choice is clear – I have a family for which I am responsible to provide, and a wife whom I love more than anything else. Yes. I would do anything in my power to protect her from harm.

What about the religious and moral implications of killing in defense of your own life, or that of others? A lot of good people will disagree on this. Naturally, this is a question that I’ve given a lot of thought. As a Christian, I encourage fellow believers to search the Scriptures diligently for themselves on this topic.

With that said, let me give you a few verses that I find helpful.

Romans 14:23 –

The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.

Paul isn’t talking about guns in this case, but he is talking about something else that was equally controversial in his time: the eating of meat offered to idols. Paul says that there is nothing inherently sinful about the meat itself, but that if a believer has doubts about whether or not it is really okay to eat, his eating would be sin.  I think to a point this also applies to the concept of self-defense. To a point.

Nehemiah 4:14 –

And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”

Here’s a case where a man of God is calling on the people of God to fight, not only for their own lives, but for those of their families, and even their homesteads. This and other verses throughout Scripture lead me to believe that God not only allows us to fight for just causes, he expects it. It is from of these same passages that I also infer that having your widescreen TV stolen is not a just cause, but protecting the life and limb of your wife and children is.

1 Timothy 5:8 –

But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

In this case Paul is talking about monetary provision. But there are a lot of other ways to provide for your family. And one of those ways, I believe, is to provide for their bodily defense. Another way is to make sure that they still have a husband/father to provide for them. So as I said earlier, I think the concept of faith and doubting applies to the question of self-defense – but that stops at the point where God mandates that we (at least as men) protect and provide for our families. There’s much, much more to it than that – for instance, what about martyrdom? Well, that’s another blog post for another day.

Let’s say you’ve gotten past the mental and moral implications of self-defense, and you’re fully committed in mind and heart to defending and providing for those you love. Okay. Good. That was the easy part.

The hard part is cultivating and living with a defensive mindset. Once again, I’m not an expert. In Saturday’s article, I’ll try to distill it into three concepts that I have found helpful in trying to cultivate the defensive mindset.