Why I Have a Baseball Bat By My Bed

Am I unarmed?  Well, I keep a baseball bat by my bed at home.

If someone comes into my house, I will confront them verbally.  If they come at me with threat, I will try to defend my wife and child while also keeping that person alive.  They are created in the image of God, after all.  If they are after my property, I would most certainly rather them live and take it than die and me keep it.  If they are after my wife and child, I will do what I can to stop them.  And if I end up taking their life, I will pray and mourn, because no man’s death is something to celebrate to me, no matter his intentions, especially if that death occurs while he is likely lost from the way of God, for then I have sent him to a most unfortunate judgement.

But why a bat instead of a gun?  Having a gun for this purpose isn’t beneficial to me because I have to assess the potential threat before I fire, whereas the intruder may not.  If I fire in the dark first, it could be a friend or relative sneaking to prank me, or a homeless person seeking shelter.  An armed man will simply have the (physical, not spiritual) advantage, and so be it.  If the intruder is unarmed then a bat will suffice and I am less likely to kill an unarmed man.  But one willing to kill me has nothing to lose, and shoot me before I shoot him.  It is just inevitable and unfortunate, but it’s life.

And what about on the street?  Well, if my gun is by my side someone can still come up and shoot me in the head.  My gun has done nothing for me in this case.  God is my protector, for he protects me through providence, and when his providence allows my physical death, my soul is unharmed by guns, my soul ever safe in his Grace.

Oh, I also have two rifles.  But they can’t be loaded with anything you can find for miles.  Once a year I shoot them off, without any ammunition in them, and that is the only extent to which they will ever be used.  And no, I’m not talking about my rock hard biceps.  I use those every day, and they should be illegal.

Previous posts:
10 Resolutions for Responding to Violent Tragedy
Swords into Ploughshares: Voluntary Disarmament in the Kingdom

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Addendum and Clarification: [added after the initial posting]

Am I hypocritical for being critical of the gun obsession but being willing to use a bat violently?  No, because I did not say that guns were wrong because they are violent.  Had I done so, that would make me hypocritical for my willingness to merely use something else.  I believe a bat is a better choice because it provides for me the highest chances of the will I want accomplished in the most scenarios I can imagine, which are based on my love of Christ, not some “sissy” fear of guns.  I actually very much like the feel of a revolver, and have shot clay pigeons with a shotgun before, during which I experienced great aesthetic and kinetic joy.

It is not a personal thing for me at all; it is very much a spiritual thing.  I am against the cult of weapons.

My family needs no pity from anyone, because my wife and I are in agreement about the presence of guns in our home, and because we are Christians we feel very secure about the ultimate fate of both our bodies and souls.  If anyone pities us merely because we do not have a loaded, functional gun in the house, it is because that individual’s heart has been tainted by the pagan cult of guns.    Paul of Tarsus once wrote that if Christ did not resurrect, we have no resurrection, and we are to be most pitied among men.  If there is no resurrection, then by all means pity us.  But we believe in the resurrection, and by that standard there is no pity in death.

I am not jealous of anyone who has a weapon, but I do pity a man who thinks he is more of a man because he owns a firearm.  I have demonstrated that I am not blind to the harsh realities of the world, because I am well aware of the potential of people seeking to take my life and the life of my loved ones.  I have thought these things through.  I expect you to find my reasoning foolish if you are an atheist.  I am reminded of the 14th psalm of David, in which he calls out to the Lord about the foolishness of those who do not believe in God.  He says that such people mock those who put full trust in God.  Therefore, looking upon David’s experience, I am not surprised by these kinds of responses.

I do not have a “victim complex” any more than the first century Christians did.  Please do not patronize me with such cod psychology.  I draw my philosophical commitment from the teachings of Christ and how they were reflected by his apostles and initial generations of followers.  Many of them were martyred for their faith.  They did not fight back with weapons.

9 responses to “Why I Have a Baseball Bat By My Bed

  1. This is exactly what I was thinking about on my drive home from work 2 days ago. Well, I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I am never going to want to own a gun. I am never going to want to threaten someone with it in order to save my life. I will never want to shoot someone with it. I am very very scared to imagine dying a violent death from someone with a gun, but I still would not point my gun at them and pull the trigger. I would rather die than cause someone else’s death, even if they “deserve” it. And that is all I can say. I guess I can’t tell all Christians they should feel the same way even though I kinda want to – Patrick Mead has said that there are warriors and there are pacifists and the kingdom needs both. That may or may not be true, but I can tell you I am not a warrior. I might have a warrior instinct if my kids are in danger, but I am still not going to shoot a gun to defend them.
    I will say, though, when you start talking about defending your children, it seems a little more cold-hearted to say you won’t shoot someone to defend them. I haven’t worked that out in my head yet.

  2. Thanks, Lisa. That is the part where it always gets tough, is when you’re down to defending your beloved from violence. I think the key is the attitude. I know I would probably swing that bat harder than I knew I ever could if I knew someone was coming at my wife or child. And in the heat of the moment I might even hit them again and again after they are down. But I’m not going to hope I do that, and I’m not going to dwell on a fantasy of me defending them violently. I have no problem with people committing to grabbing a gun to defend their family at home in such a case, but I do have a problem the attitudes some have toward it. Of course, I also want to know how they will resolve having a gun safely hid in the house from children (and offenders who will look for your gun), while also making it easy to access it before someone can get to you. Unless you have cat-like reflexes and a digital safe with a brief combination right under your bed, some scenarios would render you defenseless anyway.

  3. The sound of a cocking shotgun might just scare them away. That’s a sound everybody knows. If you don’t want to have one in your house maybe you can just keep a recording ready to play. You could go overboard and put a gunfire sound on some loud speakers… throw in a light that coordinates its flashes with the bang. Or a machine gun sound and a strobe light or maybe just some Black Cat firecrackers. Home defense Home Alone style…

    A big dog inside might even stop them sooner than that.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong or irresponsible with your approach for the record… even without a bat at your side. It’s different from my own mindset, but I understand and respect where you’re coming from. Especially where it stems from – a desire to honor God and respect the value of life.

  4. I understand where you are coming from but what about the woman recently on the news. She was at home alone with her 9 yr old twins when a man broke into their home. She took her kids upstairs to hide in a closet, called her husband, and grabbed a handgun they kept for securtiy. I’m sure she never thought something like that would happen. They hid in the closet and I’m sure she was thinking he can take anything he wants. But, he came looking for them. I’m sure whatever he was thinking it wasn’t going to be good. Her husband was at work, he was talking to her and 911 at the same time. You could here her husband say “If he opens the door shoot him”. What would you have told your wife if it was you and what if she had no gun. How helpless her husband must have felt. The intruder opened the door and she shot him more than once. He started crying and ran to his car and drove a short distance away where the cops found him. He desperately asked them for help. He was taken to the hospital and he will survive. Oh to think what evil this mother and children were spared because she had a gun and knew how to use it. Everything you said in your statement is based on you being home when something happens. What if it is just your family? You make valid points about shooting someone you know by mistake and I am in agreement on this point. By the way, I don’t own a gun but I am not against it. I do want the option and right if I so choose in the future.

  5. I didn’t hear that story but I’ve heard ones like that and other various scenarios that have played out in real life. I have confidence in my wife with a baseball bat, especially if our son’s life is potentially in danger. I understand why that mother did that and am fine with it. I hope that were my wife in her position she would do what she felt she had to in the moment, and that hopefully she would be able to merely frighten the man, or shoot to injure and not kill. I am not quick to judge people for what they do in moments of crisis such as that. I am more interested in focusing on what we do to prepare, and the messages we send people as we do.

    I am find with you choosing to have a gun in the future. I don’t believe that the US Congress is going to take away our right to own pistols any time in my lifetime. Very few countries similar to ours totally prevent citizens from owning pistols, we have too many people who own them already and won’t give them up without a violent upheaval, and the restriction conversation right now is only about automatic rifles. Some might say that this is the beginning of a slippery slope, but I disagree. I believe the national consciousness has drawn a fine enough line that most people, or most Congressmen, won’t stoop to the level of banning all firearms.

  6. I’m not sure I have that much confidence in our government. I do believe it is the beginning of a slippery slope. I think there is a much bigger picture here than guns. I believe the erosion of family values, society’s lack of consideration for human life, and even mental illness play a much bigger role in the gun debate than what is being considered. Just my opinion. Thank you for your opinions and debate.

  7. I agree with you full that the bigger matter is of the value of human life and mental health and societal and familial health. And it’s not that I have confidence in our government, but that I have confident that our government knows it’s people. Plenty of countries currently ban automatic weapons and have not taken measures in a long time to ban pistols or create a Hitler-esque government at all. In America I think this is even less likely to happen precisely because the government knows the power bodies like the NRA and all kinds of independent militia groups have over the population. As many Americans as there are who want to put trust in the government to ban assault weapons, I’m convinced there are many more who would go to war over the very mention from Congress of a ban on pistols.

    I thank you also for your contribution to the debate.

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