Remember World War I? Few alive today were around when we sent the doughboys off to liberate Europe; meanwhile back home, American citizens were banned from exercising their Second Amendment rights in National Parks, including the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Knoxville.
Today, that 94 year old ban is being lifted as a result of Federal legislation enacted last year.
One might ask if it is wise to allow handguns to be carried in such places. But, one might also ask, in view of serious violent crimes in parks, if it is wise to not carry a handgun in parks. There probably won’t be any rangers nearby to offer protection from attack.
Some seem to think that it is immoral to carry a defensive weapon, although, deep within their souls, they know that they would take up any available weapon to defend their offspring from harm.
We can learn from the Bible some things about carrying of personal weapons.
Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. Then said Jesus unto Peter, Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? (John 18: 10 -11 KJV)
This event occured in the Garden of Gesthemene, immediately after Judas Iscariot betrayed the Lord Jesus. We see that Saint Peter was carrying a sword, which was the common handheld defensive weapon of the time. Note that Jesus did not tell Peter that he should not have a sword, but simply to put it away.
On another occassion, Jesus had spoken to his disciples about swords, telling them to go and buy one:
Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. (Luke 22:36 KJV)
We see from these two passages that Jesus did not prohibit the carrying of a personal weapon. Israel was under the despotic rule of Rome, the Pax Romana, yet, it appears that the Roman authorities had no problem with Peter carrying a sword, even in a park. Technology has advanced us from the use of the sword to the use of the handgun as the best portable defensive tool.
As you decide whether or not to exercise your right and arm yourself when going into national parks, remember that Saint Peter probably would pack a pistol in the park, were he here today. Remember, also, that there are rules to follow when packin’ in the park. Generally, state laws apply, but you can’t carry into Federal facilities, such a welcome centers. And, remember that you are still are not allowed to carry in Knoxville City Parks.
Oh, did I mention that you need training, and must always follow the four rules of gun safety?
For more info: To learn additional information about carrying a defensive weapon, check out: The Gun Digest Book Of Concealed Carry by Massad Ayoob.
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Disclaimer: The information and ideas presented in this column are provided for informational purposes only. Firearms, like cars, kitchen knives and life itself all can be dangerous. You should get professional training as part of any plan to use firearms for any purpose. I have made a reasonable, good-faith effort to assure that the content of this column is accurate. I have no control over what you do, and specifically accept no responsibility for anything you do as a result of reading my columns. Any action or lack of action on your part is strictly your responsibility.
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