Last week, an acquaintance -- we'll call him Mike -- was hanging out at my home church with the worship leader, Paul, a good friend of mine. Mike just got a new gun and was telling Paul all about it. Paul really wants a gun for protection. He was hesitant about it because he has a three year-old in the house, and it made him nervous. I asked him why he needed a gun, and his answer was for "protection." We live in a town of, according to the 2010 census, 10,400. We don't have a lot of violent crimes, and there is really nothing you need protected from.
When I brought this up to him, he said, "I need it in case of the Zombie Apocalypse." I really don't know if he was joking or not. Paul is the type of person to sometimes be serious and sometimes be joking about this kind of stuff. For a few months, I thought he really believed the end of the world was in 2012. But, this isn't really the reason why I'm writing this story.
It came up in our ensuing conversation about the Zombie Apocalypse that Mike had almost shot someone.
Mike has a conceal and carry permit, so he carries his gun around with him sometimes.
A friend of his was home alone one weekend while his parents were out of town, and the neighbor knew this. Paul works as a delivery person, so he drives around a big box truck. After work, he drove his box truck to his friends house to watch movies, play Xbox or whatever 20-something single Christian men do.
While Mike went inside, the neighbor saw a giant truck pull up to a seemingly empty house and thought someone was burglarizing the home. When Mike came back out to get something, the neighbor popped out of the bushes. Mike went for his gun and asked what he was doing. The neighbor asked the same thing of Mike.
Mike told us he was thinking -- and this isn't an exact quote -- "I don't want to have to kill someone today." He ended up telling the neighbor he was a friend of the family, and he was hanging out with the son. The neighbor let him go back inside, and all was well.
My girlfriend asked Mike why he couldn't have just shot the neighbor in the leg. He replied, "If I'm going to shoot someone, I'm going to shoot to kill."
Mike is a really great guy, but I don't think his reaction to the neighbor is a good one, even if he weren't a Christian. His first instinct was to reach for his gun, and the neighbor wasn't armed or even dangerous. Somewhere along the way, we've decided self-preservation is a Christian Discipline.What do you think about Mike's reaction to the neighbor? Is it a proper reaction for a Christian? What would the proper response look like?