Monday, June 24, 2013

Commentary - There Is No Hope


Hope: : to cherish a desire with anticipation

             : to desire with expectation of obtainment

             : to expect with confidence

              : to hope without any basis for expecting fulfillment

I sit with a friend in the dayroom of the dementia wing of a local care facility. I’m here to bring communion to the folks from our parish that live here. While he and his wife are not among our members, they are good friends and I always find time to sit and chat. She has faded from our world a bit more since my last visit. He seems improved but is weakening with time needing a walker to help get around. He’s a large man – coach – teacher – played in college on a team that traveled the world. Now he struggles from home to care facility and back home again.

I don’t dodge “hard” questions so I ask how his wife is doing. He says she’s working with a team from the university – she’s getting better . . . . . his voice, his eyes, his heart are filled with hope . . . .

Heidi Yewman recently wrote an article for “Ms. Blog” entitled “My Month With a Gun: Week One” She was determined to follow her 4-rules: “Carry it with me at all times, follow the laws of my state, only do what is minimally required for permits, licensing, purchasing and carrying, and finally be prepared to use it for protecting myself at home or in public”. Missing were any thoughts on training, safe handling, carry classes . . . . which begs the question about rule number 4 – if you know nothing about your weapon and how to use it – how can she possibly “be prepared to use it for protecting myself at home or in public”??

While attempting to make a political statement on the ease of purchasing a gun (though many discrepancies between real life and her account of the purchase are popping up) she appears to be relying on simple “hope” to keep herself safe. I suspect she:

  • Hopes she’s not attacked during her 1-month carry period.
  • If attacked, I suspect she hopes merely presenting a gun will scare the attacker off. (This works in about 80% of bad-guy/good-guy with a gun encounters).
  • If attacked, and the gun doesn’t scare the attacker off, she can only hope that she figures out how to draw, aim and engage the attacker before she draws her last breath.
  • And, finally, she can only hope she doesn’t kill anyone other than an attacker during the encounter.

So how do my friend and Heidi belong in the same post? Both are basing their future happiness on “hope”. My friend hopes his wife will improve. He’s not an ignorant man or a foolish man. He has a deep faith and a trust that his wife will get better. Still – under that faith and hope is an understanding of life – its beginning and its end. So along with the hope is an acceptance of the next stage of their journey together. Reality softened by hope.

Heidi is at the other end of the spectrum. She is willfully ignorant of the skillset required to properly use, care for and deploy a handgun in her defense. While making her political point – she is willfully depending on “hope” to save her. I can only “hope” that a merciful God sees fit that no hard lessons come her way . . .

In my mind’s eye the answer is simple for each of these two examples . . . . there is no hope. Sounds cold, doesn’t it. Yet, for my friend, we both know that his wife is on the beginning of the next leg of her journey. She will not turn back. While “hope” can soften this reality – the reality remains.

For Heidi – if she is like most folks that carry – she will go the entire month and never draw her weapon. She may well be able to carry her entire life and never draw her weapon. And, in her case since she is unwilling to take her chosen responsibility seriously – I suspect we all “hope” she fits into the norm and will never need a weapon to defend her life or the life of a friend or loved one.

Should fate conspire against her – there is no hope. She will either live or die, draw and engage or die.

Unlike Heidi – if you are reading my blog I suspect you take gun ownership and training a bit more seriously. You have all the time in the world NOW . . . . today . . . . to

. . . sign up for a class

. . . hit the range

. . . learn something new about your weapon’s system

. . . learn something new from another shooter

Because there is no hope. In a gunfight you will either win or loose.

You will either go home to your family or go home in a Ziploc.

You know what to do . . .

. . . now do it!


  1. All excellent points, and way too damn true... Thoughts and prayers for your friends.

  2. Rev Paul - Her journey comes to us all . . . best not to pretend it doesn't.

    Jim - thanks Jim, they both can use a spiritual hand.