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Tolerance

Tolerance
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I have something weighing on my mind; it’s probably a rant, so I am going to give fair warning. If you read this site, you may have (if not then I’m not doing a good job of expressing myself) noticed I am a rather conservative Christian. So far warning, if you don’t want to hear my opinion on the current direction of the American culture then don’t click the “read more” link below, and wait a day or so to read my next how to article. Otherwise please enjoy part two of a three part series.

Words have meanings, and when having discussions about thorny issues, I think it is vital to agree on the proper definitions. Let me give you an example; When a convict says, “I got 14 years for accessory to armed robbery, it’s not my fault I was at the wrong place at the wrong time” you define that to mean he is saying he is innocent of the crime, when he just might be saying that the he shouldn’t have been home when the cops arrived.

I titled this post as “Tolerance” because I want to express my understanding of what progressives mean when they use this term. I feel this is needed because the progressive dictionary is much more flexible in meaning than the conservative one. Anyone that disagrees with that statement should tell me what the definition of “is” is.

In the last article I talked about judgment, and how I believe each adult is responsible for their own actions, and how we should not try to enforce out will upon others. Today’s article will go into detail about what I see is the reasoning that a segment of our population feels the need to do just that.

I am of the belief that not everybody holds the same opinions as I do, and I respect that. I came to my beliefs based upon observation, education, and life experiences – what I believe works for me. I am rational enough to understand that if different people have different life experiences then the resulting belief systems may not be the same.

I think this is a source of American strength; Tolerance is part of the reason we can improvise, adapt, and overcome. Why we thrive on adversity – because we can learn from each other, and have a rational discourse.

When I use the word tolerance I prefer to define it as “a fair, objective, and permissive attitude toward opinions and practices that differ from one’s own.” Coupled the idea that one should not judge others – it means that I am pretty accepting of other’s beliefs without compromising my own. That does not mean I believe the practices and opinions of others are right or even healthy, just that I don’t see it as my business to force my opinions on others.

However, I am also starting to see the meaning of the word tolerance becoming twisted. The permissive portion has become over strengthened and fair has been weakened. Somehow tolerance has a new meaning that means any behavior besides the traditional American Christian viewpoint is acceptable, but the conservative viewpoint is no longer tolerated.

I find this to be rather interesting, as that this viewpoint is still the majority opinion of this country, and the freedom to bring about the change in the meaning of tolerance stems from the tolerance of the typical American conservative.

When it boils down to it, the Christian Conservatives I have met are good people, they want little kids to go to sleep in warm beds and full bellies. They want them to go to good schools and grow up to have good jobs.

The typical liberal I know are also good people, they too want kids to be safe and grow up to

So, since this is, at the heart of it, a gun blog I will illustrate another way.

I believe I have a right and a duty to protect my family from harm. I believe that God endowed me with certain rights that cannot be righteously taken away. One of those rights is to possess and carry firearms to protect those rights.

There are places I cannot carry my firearm, and frankly I am uncomfortable without it. All I can think of is that “IF” something happened, without my pistol I really cannot respond to an active shooter situation nearly as effectively as I can with my handgun. This is born out in statistics – when an active shooter situation is stopped by police the average civilians death count is 18, when stopped by an armed citizen it is 2.

I tolerate my feelings of being uncomfortable without my firearm in certain situations because that’s the law, and because part of being part of a larger society is subjugating some measure of individual rights for the common good.

What bothers me is that I know that in the event of a spree killer I am more useful with my gun than without. I know my skill level, and have trained specifically in being able to determine if I should or should not use my pistol to attempt to end a threat. I also know that I am mentally stable enough to act in a reasonable manner. My possession of a gun is only a threat to those looking to harm innocent people.

However, not all Americans like guns; some are uncomfortable with the idea that there are men who are willing to commit violent acts in protection of something greater than themselves. To some, a gun has a soul – that it is an evil implement that has a desire to kill – The mere sight of a gun makes some uncomfortable.

I don’t understand that mindset. I know the true nature of a gun. However, in deference to those that are afraid of a hunk of metal, I am willing to conceal it from their view so that they do not feel uncomfortable.

That’s not good enough for them; somehow, they believe that even though I am willing to compromise to spare their feelings, I should not be able to own a gun. My inability to protect my child, my wife, or myself and my feelings of fear that I would not be able to protect those I love is not important to them as their feelings of discomfort.

It is ludicrous, why does one person’s opinion and feelings more important than another’s? I make a point not to enforce my will on those that disagree with me, and all I ask is that they give me the same respect.

Why is it that certain classes of people believe they have the right to criticize my life choices and attempt to force me to change my perception of the world, while demanding that I do not do the same to them?

I will tell you what I believe is the reason in the next post.

I believe the rules should be applied fairly, and that while we don’t have a perfect system, if we work within the framework of our Constitution we have a very fair system. I believe that those that abuse the system and try to circumvent the rules because “the end justifies the means”, those that wish to force their will upon others are anomalies. I believe conservatives greatly outnumber militant progressives, and that gun owners in particular make up the majority of Americans, and that the vast majority of gun owners are conservatives that believe in our system of government.

If there ever is a time that being conservative is criminal, if guns are outlawed and our Constitution destroyed, if conservatives ever adopted the progressive playbook and adopted the “rules for radicals” We would crush them. That is why I believe they work so hard to demonize us, because they cannot understand why we allow the rules to be twisted against us, and still try to work within the boundaries of the law, and they have night terrors at the thought that one day we may “wake up” and treat them as they treat us.

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One Comment

  1. Sarah Sarah

    I agree 100% with everything you just wrote about guns and our rights to own and carry them. I am damned tired of people screeching about guns as though banning them will solve all of our crime problems. (See below for my reasons as to why they do this.) I am a woman, I hunt, I shoot, and I carry concealed.

    However I am also one of those so-called “progressives” that you think are so bad. 🙂

    Back to the guns in a minute, but first I consider myself very socially liberal in my views, and very tolerant of others’ views as well. It has been my experience that many conservative Christians are NOT so willing/able to allow people their own views as you apparently are. In general, my experience has been that Christians are all too willing to judge me, not only harshly for the decisions I make or might make, but are also willing to vote for government LAWS that enforce their own morality and point of view upon others. That is where they lose me. I don’t mind being lobbied, proselytized, evangelicized, whatever. I DO mind people attempting to force statues and laws upon others, be that abortion rights, gay marriage, civil rights, or prayer in schools. Convince me with your arguments, lead by your example, tell me how wonderful life could be for me. But stop trying to force it on me. (I know, you personally are not doing this, but please be aware that there is a very large contingent of Christian folks out there who ARE actively doing this, and while we are lumping Progressives all together, it is important to compare apples and apples.)

    It is an example of the same exact thing that you yourself are complaining about, and it is the exact same thing that I hate about the liberal arguments for gun control. The abortion argument in particular is an excellent example. I believe that as a woman it should be MY decision, not the state’s, the church’s, the court’s, nor any other person’s, what actions I take in the event that I become pregnant. You may believe I should act differently, because you have different religious beliefs than I do. That’s fine. But LAWS restricting MY right to make decisions about what happens to MY body? I will agree to that when you pry my gun from my cold dead hands.

    I see it as a direct correllation to my right to bodily integrity when defending myself with a gun. I have the right (God-given as far as I am concerned) to decide what happens to me and my body in EVERY circumstance. If I go to Hell (according to some people) that is MY business, not my neighbor’s, and certainly not the state’s.

    The thing is, it’s all Hollywood anyway. All of the so-called political hotbutton “social” issues, like abortion, gay marriage, and even gun control are not realy about…abortion, gay marriage or gun control. They are really about the control of other people, pure and simple. They are about whether or not the state can legislate morality and intimate private behavior. One “side” wants to restrict me from being able to defend myself with a weapon, the other “side” wants to restrict my right to decide what happens inside my own body. I see no difference between the two, and both come down to whether or not I am allowed to make my own decisions. Neither “side” trusts me to make an adult moral decision on my own.

    To add insult to injury, it is a false argument to begin with, wholly designed by political powers to get people going at each other’s throats, and to insure that they keep in office while the rabble fights over a straw man. It is all designed to (massively) distract all of us while the criminals in charge back the truck up to the Treasury and rob us all blind.

    As promised, I will tell you why so-called “Progressives” hate guns and want more laws restricting them (it’s not really limited to “Progressives” nor does it include all of them.) The reason is simply fear, with a hefty dose of ignorance thrown in. Not stupidity, but ignorance. And propaganda.

    The reason I know this is because I used to be one of those people. I was raised in a certain way, the same way that millions of others are: by parents who do not own guns and know nothing about them. My only source of information about guns was television and the newspaper and the movies, and my ONLY associations with guns were a.) the police and b.) criminals. I was led to believe that guns were inherently dangerous by themselves, and could simply “go off” like a bomb just sitting there on the table. There are millions of people out there who believe this, astonishing as it may seem to someone who is familiar with guns. I never once in my whole life (until I met my husband) was shown anything about guns, never saw one except on a cop, never shot one or handled one, and the movies told me that the only people who carry them are… cops and criminals. You see where this is going and you can clearly see what this has done to the perception of much of society. I do not know why liberalism or progressivism or whatever seems to be associated with a fear of guns more than conservatism, but my guess is that it is largely a function of living within cities and/or living in a world of academia and ideas. Lack of practical skills and so forth. But I can’t really say that either, since my parents (who owned no guns and taught me nothing about them) also taught me to garden and raise animals and live off the land. So you can see that the situation is a bit more complicated than you make it sound in your article.

    The way out of this is to take away the fear and ignorance surrounding guns and their ownership. I was lucky and had a good teacher. My husband taught me that guns are FUN to shoot, and from the second I first pulled that trigger at the range, something massive shifted in the way I perceived them. He gave me time, too. He let me come to understand the different kinds of guns, and the issues involved with carrying concealed, and led me to books and articles to learn more from. But I never would have been open to this if it hadn’t been FUN first. If I hadn’t realized that you can be safe with them first. It might seem like a silly thing to someone who has been around guns all their life, but it is monumental to someone who has lived in a city, raised without guns, and never victimized by crime. (That is sadly the other way that people decide to learn about guns.)

    The upshot (heh) of all of this is that there is only one cure for this kind of anti-gun thinking, and that is for every one of us who now hunts, shoots target, or carries concealed make a point of TAKING PEOPLE TO THE GUN RANGE. Make it FUN. Be PATIENT. Help people learn that they are simply tools, not ticking bombs. My husband and I make a point every summer to take new friends to the gun range and teach them how to shoot. Every single one so far has had a BLAST (pun intended) and wanted to learn more. They experienced the same shift. You want change? That’s the way to do it.

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